Before I go into the details of our latest house fiasco, let me set up the scene:
South Georgia has experienced record-breaking low temperatures this week. The whole US has it seems. We took care to leave our water running in our two downstairs bathrooms and made sure the heat lamp was turned on at our well house.
On Tuesday, our freezing temperatures would have been PERFECT for us to get a tiny bit of snow—but we have been without precipitation for a few days so we weren’t going to get lucky with that. My SIL Amanda saw on Facebook that with below-freezing temperatures, you can use a pressure washer to make artificial snow. Justin and Amanda were with their Papa Theron at his chemo appointment so they missed out on the fun. He had a bad reaction to his new chemo and they ended up staying there late.
So I took half a day off work and headed out to my in-laws’ neck of the woods to participate in the fun. Long story short: it only kinda worked. It was fun to see the white fluffy stuff spraying out of the pressure washer but we would have been soaked to the bone with snow-slush after spraying the pressure washer for hours for any to accumulate. It was a fun experiment though!
After the snow didn’t work, Wyatt, Sami, and I headed back to my house with a can of tomato soup and the pannini maker for a little cold weather dinner. As we walked into the house, I flipped on the lights in the kitchen and it hit me like a brick wall: it was RAINING in my kitchen! I was terrified that we were all going to get electrocuted because the water was POURING right through the light fixture in the ceiling fan I just turned on. Sami quickly swept up Wyatt and took him into the other room while I incoherently called Mr. Sheldon and Mrs. Desiree. I don’t know how she understood what I was saying—it was probably something along the lines of, “SHELDON…WATER EVERYWHERE…ELECTROCUTED…CEILING…KITCHEN…HELP PLEASE!!!” Thankfully Mrs. Desiree got the message and Mr. Sheldon made it to our house in minutes. I repeated the same conversation with Justin and he left his Papa’s appointment to fly home. He managed to talk me through turning off the breakers in the house and I tried desperately to turn the water off at the house but that didn’t happen.
Mr. Sheldon got there and shut the water off. Sami wrangled Wyatt, found a flashlight to check for more damage, and luckily found that it was all contained to the kitchen. She started bringing in armfulls of towels to start mopping up the water that was everywhere and setting out buckets to catch the downpour. Who else would use vintage Tupperware to catch the drips other than me?!?
My brother-in-law Michael and nephew Jake came up then without me even asking or calling for help. Thank goodness for reinforcements! After checking a bit, we figured out that our water line for our ice maker had burst from the cold. Running the water in the sink didn’t help with the pipe that was up in the attic because it’s a terminal pipe: its “drain” is literally the ice bucket in the freezer, so there was no way to let it run all day. Michael, Jake, and Mr. Sheldon hauled off tons of soaked attic insulation. We used every towel we own to sop up the water from the floor (thank goodness for brick floors and not hardwood or something else in the kitchen!). Eventually, Justin made it home and helped finish up the clean up. We got fans running to dry everything out.
In the end, I think the only damage we are going to have to repair includes replacing the water line for the ice machine, installing new attic insulation, and repainting some discolored areas on our ceiling where the leaks were.
We were very fortunate that the water didn’t run into our cabinets and ruin all of our dry goods or that it didn’t leak into the living room onto our TV and other electronics. We’re also lucky that the damage was only in the unfinished, unused portion of the attic and we didn’t loose any priceless photos, yearbooks, or even my wedding dress. I am so thankful for family that rushes to help out whenever we are in need. We got the power restored and the house heated back up quickly. I’m sure my Mama’s happy about that; she would have had three unexpected houseguests that night if we hadn’t been able to warm up!
Who else is ready for spring?