I made threats with my blog again,

since I have so many readers.
I don't really. I just pretend that I do.

Sometimes, to help me make a solid complaint to a business that,
I think, has handled something unprofessionally, I make threats with this blog.
I tell them I'm going to write a post about their bad way of doing business.

I think it might work,      maybe,      well probably not.

That's what this post is about.

My terrible, horrible, no good, very bad dishwasher leak,
and my home owner's insurance handling the situation badly.
(I threatened them, so I have to follow through and post it on my blog!)

Remember that new dishwasher I was so excited to get and have installed.
It caused me, our home, and our family  A LOT OF TROUBLE.
A LOT OF TROUBLE,  I tell you.

We had it installed by some random guy from the yellow pages in August 2010.
It turns out he didn't tighten a hose tight enough.

Then, fast forward to August 2011 (a whole year later),
Chris starts noticing our hardwood warping underneath our dishwasher.
I tell him, it's nothing, just normal wear and tear of a family over the years in a kitchen.

EXCEPT, we spill stuff over our hardwood in our kitchen all the time,
and it was only warping under the dishwasher.
Chris, just knew something was wrong, so he pulls out our dishwasher on Oct. 24th.

Water and the horrible M word - Mold, was discovered under that dishwasher.
We had a slow leak for over a year. The water never puddled shortly after installation,
just a slow drip, that caused major damage.

To spare you the ugly details, and to keep this post short, I will try to quickly finish this story.

Through a series of phone calls, I began working with our homeowner's insurance USAA,
general contractors, mold experts, flooring specialists, appliance experts, insurance adjustors, etc.
One phone call led to another and new problems kept coming up.

I went 47 days without a dishwasher, pantry, and working kitchen with 5 kids during the holidays.
My kitchen was completely torn up for weeks.

Too many men were in and out of my home, sawing, using loud blowers, painting, demolishing, making huge disasters in my home, etc. I had to spend hours on the phone with insurance, fighting to get things fixed and done right. It was a full time job, one which I did not have time for, especially with little ones home with me. In the end it took 3 different companies to finally get the job done right.
I cried a lot, prayed a lot, called my mother a lot.

We also had guests in our home for part of this - it was Kyle's baptism,
and my sister and her family were moving out and needed a place to stay.
It was a little nuts, we all survived, I think.
Maybe, they'll never stay at my house again, it wasn't exactly a 5-star hotel experience.

Just today, on Dec. 13th, the last contractor finished up and left my home.
It is finished, and I'm using my kitchen again. It feels wonderful, really wonderful.

Now, I am an expert on these matters,
and I could assist you if you discover a similar thing in your home.
I know exactly who to call, and what to do.
I also learned what not to do as well.

Here are some tips for you, in case this happens to you. (But I hope it never does):

  1. Don't use a random guy to install your appliances. Keep track of the name, and company who installs in case, months or even years later a problem comes up from bad or improper installation.
  2. Think twice before calling your homeowner's insurance. Do some of your own research before calling them. For expensive jobs, you will want/need to use them to help pay for the costs.
  3. Ask around from relatives and friends if they've filed claims before with their insurance companies, find out who's had good experiences with their insurance. I found out the hard way, that your insurance is your best friend, until you file a claim-then they don't remember your name!
  4. Insurance will want you to use their contractors. This is not always a good idea. In many cases it is better to use a contractor you know and can trust.
  5. Not everyone is a mold expert in the yellow pages. Make sure you get someone who is certified. The bigger the ad in the yellow pages does not mean they are better or even experienced at what they do.  You need someone who knows what they are doing.
  6. A trusted, experienced realtor in your area, can be someone you can call for this situation. They know exactly what needs to be done, to have your home fixed correctly with the right paperwork. Realtors will often have mold experts, and general contractors they can refer you to, if need be.
  7. Don't panic over mold and water damage. It is fixable, and generally not toxic.
  8. Sometimes you can have insurance pay for hotel and food expenses, try to work that out.
  9. Be Patient, these jobs take time to have them done right.
  10. If possible, have some names of: fix-it guys, repairmen, plumbers, general contractors, handymen, etc. around of you who know and feel comfortable using. That way when a problem comes up you're not scrambling through the yellow pages calling unknown men to work in your home.


Anonymous said...

Oh that's awful...so sorry. That's great advice/great post on a bad situation. On a random note...I had a dream about you last night. You were a hair model.

Kristen said...

Miserable! I have been wondering what that big tent in your kitchen was. My guess to your quiz was, D, tackling a do it yourself project. Glad it is over with!