We had done it. We had taken the plunge and bought a house. This was seven years ago, when getting into a house was easier and the market wasn’t going nuts, like it is now. We had a fixed loan, thank goodness, and our first home. We were so excited, we got frisky right there on the carpet of the living room, right after the realtor left. What we’d have done if he’d come back in, I shudder to think.
It was a small home, only sixteen-hundred square feet and built on a hill. It was also built above an unfinished crawl space. The access, in the closet, was just big enough for one person to open, lean into, and huck stuff down…it was a great way to store Christmas decorations and lights, books and DVD covers, less important documents and trash like that. We had a sump pump built in and we had been assured that it was fully functional. Peace reigned and we enjoyed decorating, filling our new home with family and friends and furniture.
Now, neither of us had ever bought any kind of real estate before. And so the joys of homeownership were just by-words to us. We’d heard others lament about wiring and plumbing, floods and fires, but we had been quite unmoved, not being able to relate… Until our first “event”.
We had been experiencing the rainiest spring season that had been seen up until that time, even for the Pacific Northwest, which was going some. Floods and flash floods were everywhere, and several of the homes in the bottom of our neighborhood, below us in elevation, had had to hire wet crawl space cleaning and restoration companies because the water level was above them. We didn’t think we’d have to worry, being so much higher up. But we had also been selected to experience the wet crawl space cleaning and restoration vendor and get to know that industry well. The water rose and rose and we kept straining to hear our sump pump go off. It never did and our crawl space filled with water. We almost flooded but got to a wet crawl space cleaning and restoration firm before it happened.
Fortunately or unfortunately, our crawl space was only half-complete. There was more earth than there was shoring wood and the wet crawl space cleaning and restoration firm found that they were simply able to pump out the yuck and clean off our stuff. We had bought sealed boxes for our items, stored down there, and had to find a new home for them. One small corner of the pipes below the house had to be cleaned and resealed. Besides that, all we had to do was pay their bill.
I’ve learned my lesson. Never take assurances; make sure everything works before signing on the dotted line. And certainly have your wet crawl space cleaning and restoration company bookmarked during the monsoon season.