On the list of things I never want to deal with is most definitely flooding and fires. Unfortunately, flooding has become super-common here in New Jersey, especially along the coast. While some of our worst flooding in New Jersey has been from storms like Hurricane Sandy, lots of people also have problems with hot water heaters leaking, sewage pipes backing up, sump pumps that stop working, a leaking roof, or leaky plumbing.
My mom just recently dealt with flood damage in Toms River. She’d pretty much avoided any trouble during Sandy, but she had an upstairs hot water heater that leaked while she was away on vacation. It was a disaster. She was gone for two weeks on a cruise and the heater apparently ran and leaked for the entire time. In her house the water heater is above the kitchen. Basically the fridge, oven/stove, all the cabinets, and half the drywall had to come out.
The mess was incredible! I know her vacation was relaxing, and coming home to the incredible mess was just devastating. She knew there was a problem when we pulled into the driveway. There was a slightly icy patch outside the kitchen door that looked suspicious. This was water that had leaked from the kitchen floor straight out into the pad by the door. Besides the pool of water on the kitchen floor, the ceiling sheetrock was sagging and dripping, the wood trim and cabinets had swelled in several spots. It was obvious that the floor and most of the cabinetry was totally ruined. We got out of there pretty quick, especially worried about getting electrocuted.
Oh. And there was mold. As the restoration company said, you shouldn’t even enter a house with mold. They used hazmat suits, tented off the area, and wore ventilator masks. Crazy! I had no idea that mold was toxic, but apparently it’s really dangerous to breathe it in even for a short amount of time. They said that mold shoots spores into the air that contain toxins. Breathing this stuff is both toxic to your health and bad for your lungs.
There wasn’t a lot of structural damage, but there was a ton of construction. The kitchen basically had to be redone and the resto company had a huge dumpster outside for a couple of days just disposing of the garbage that was once a kitchen. The blew everything out with huge fans and had to actually certify the air before resuming construction. Once everything was dried out and they got back to work, they worked like lightning. The kitchen was back together in about a week and everything was perfect.
My mom was pretty thrilled with the whole process. The restoration company dealt with the insurance directly and everything was pretty painless. It was great because when she returned from vacation, her kitchen was basically a horror show, and they turned absolutely everything around extremely quickly.
If you have a water or fire problem I highly recommend you contact NJ Flood and Fire Restoration for any water or fire restoration issue in Ocean County, New Jersey! In the aftermath, she also had her hot water tank moved to the garage to prevent this problem from ever happening again.