Saturday, April 17, 2010

If Only We Had a ShamWow

*Line courtesy of my lovely, smart, and funny wife.

Frustratingly, things don't always go as you hope and plan. Today, we had a wonderful day with my sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and parents before my sister's family head back to Minnesota tomorrow. We got to eat some lasagna, see Louis dance, and do all of the lovely things that make a day with family enjoyable. Maureen and I parted ways with them at around 9pm and made our way back to Livonia. We'd spend the next three hours watching TV (reveling in the end of day that included no refurbishment work on our house by plan) and then probably gently fall asleep on the big couch in front of the TV.

I parked the car, opened the garage, and walked toward the door into the condo. I was greeted by a (not very) gentle high pitched scream as soon as I opened the door and instantly started to freak out. What the hell was going on? The carpet area immediately around the basement house door was wet - very wet - and the ceiling around the fire sprinkler system in that area was also fairly soaked. First thought was that we must have had a fire in the house, and the fire extinguishing system kicked on to keep the whole place from burning down. I couldn't smell any smoke, so I ran upstairs to try to figure out what was going on before Maureen came inside. Every smoke detector in the house was also screaming, but there was no fire, sign of fire, or any visible water anywhere else in the house. We had no idea how to get the system to stop making noise, so we called the fire department (via 911) to come and help us work through whatever was going on in the condo. Before they arrived, Maureen (being far more everything-inclined than me) identified that the water heater had sprung a leak, and this had either tripped a water sensor or had some other adverse affect on the intertwined house alarm system and everything went haywire.

When the fire people showed up (why do they absolutely HAVE TO send an ambulance and fire truck when you clearly indicate on the phone that everything is cool and you just need assistance turning off an alarm) we showed them to the problem, and they did some electricity magic stuff to make the noise craziness stop. They took a little information, and we spent the next hour or so calling our landlady, talking to her insurance people, and then sopping up some of the flooded basement (no standing water, just tons of it in the carpet down there. It's not our responsibility to clean up the mess, but we'll be living here for a couple more months and we don't want the whole place to smell like mildew), and trying not to be too annoyed that the relaxing evening plans were exploded in a fiery ball of slowly dripping water.

All told, this was a fairly minor house emergency, but we'll now have to deal with the process of reconstruction on a property that isn't even ours all while we're spending all of our free time reconstructing the property that is ours. Regardless of who is at fault, I blame LandArc. Jerks.

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