I usually try to post on our General Practice blog every 3 weeks. If you follow our blog, you will notice that I have been absent from our General Practice rotation over the past month or so. It’s not that I have been unable to find happenings in the law to comment on. It’s not that I don’t look forward to communicating to clients and friends through our Ask Gallonlaw blog. On the contrary, the reason that I have not posted on a regular basis is that I have been dealing with issues concerning the restoration of my home after extensive water damage. Here’s my story.
My family and I returned home from a summer vacation to North Myrtle Beach, SC on August 9, 2011. Even though you always enjoy time away, you look forward to getting home and simply relaxing in your own home. As we prepared to enter the house from the garage, I noticed water on the step to our house. I thought to myself that the recent rains must have produced the puddle. As we opened the door, we were shocked to see our kitchen ceiling collapsing and water streaming down from up above. It was as if it was raining in the kitchen.
We were all in a state of shock! My wife started to look for buckets, not knowing the extent of the damage. ( She could have located all of the buckets in the greater Toledo area and it would not have done any good). I ran to the upstairs and found the cause of our damage, the master bathroom toilet. I could hear the water running from the first floor. The supply line had somehow become separated from the intake valve. I hurriedly turned off the valve and ran back downstairs.
I then noticed that our cook top had two burners lit. I tried to shut it off at the source, but it was not responding. I hurried downstairs to shut down the main switch to all of our electric. At the same time, my wife was contacting the neighbors to help. We were both concerned that the kitchen cabinets were about to fall off the wet drywall walls. If they did, all of our glassware and dishes would also be permanently damaged. Monica went out to round up our neighbors to help and I called our insurance agent.
Our insurance agent called a local water damage emergency company and their representative contacted me right away. I’ve always seen the commercials on tv, but I had never had to use them in my day to day life. The representative was out to the house in a prompt fashion. He then gave us the bad news. He said that there was very little he could do for us that night and that he would have a full crew to the house early the next morning. He said that an immediate response would not make a difference due to the extent of the water damage.
As we were still in a state of shock, one of our neighbors started calling around to see if there were any hotel vacancies that night so that my family and I would have a place to sleep. As it was I didn’t get much sleep that night….
Michael P. Dansack
It is my plan to continue this series of blog posts to chronicle our ordeal as we deal with the insurance company and the restoration of our home. In the next few posts, I will touch upon subjects like “How much Home Owners Insurance Do You Need?”, the different types of insurance coverage available, and other topics. I will also touch upon the stressful nature of trying to rebuild/restore your home , replacement of personal property and the back and forth with the insurance company and vendors. I will also touch upon the help, kindness and understanding that we have received from our neighbors, family, co-workers and friends. Although my postings will not be solely about legal issues, it may give you some insight into what it is like to deal with a devastating loss and the challenges that one faces in trying to rebuild their home.