So where do we stand – Besides firmly in our temporary apartment?
I thought it would be illuminating to write a dated timeline to illustrate how slowly the process has moved and to help you guys understand the daily goings-on (and un-goings on). Most days consist of frustrating seemingly circular moments, heated email exchanges, and exciting plans that float in the tangible future, just out of reach.
Once our claim has been officially processed and accepted, we will be able to shake a few of the more obnoxious parties we have been dealing with from our radar. When that blessed day arrives, we will be looking forward to smooth sailing in the construction phase. Our architect and contractor have been wonderful to collaborate and communicate with, and ultimately, we hope to be back into our home’s first floor by the end of August. The 2nd floor addition will be under construction when we move back in.
As most of you already know, our house suffered a burst heat pipe on the weekend of February 13th, causing severe water damage and eventual mold damage throughout our home. If you love drama, click here to relive the recap of the discovery. A lot of the events outlined below have a way of lingering and creating pebble-like effects in the bigger claim pond. Each item that is required for our overall submission affects the next item, so it constantly has a way of feeling like “two steps forward and one step back.”
- February 15th – Day of discovery. I took the baby and dog and left for my parents’ house upstate, while Pat called the plumber and insurance company to get things under control. The insurance company instructed us to call a particular remediation company (to be named at a later date) in order to mitigate the water damage. They arrived that same night to start working. Want to see pictures of the damage?
- February 16th – We hired a Public Insurance Adjuster to represent our interests while dealing with the insurance company. When the claim has been submitted and completed, I will address the pros and cons we have encountered in regards to this service, and whether or not it is truly beneficial.
- February 15th-19th – We stayed at my parents’ house about an hour north while the remediation company stripped down the areas they deemed to be damaged, threw out multiple items without permission, and used space-dryers in order to start drying out the dampness. A clothing restoration company removed all clothing items from the affected areas in order to attempt to salvage.
- February 20th – The insurance company put us up in a Tarrytown hotel while they searched for a temporary housing arrangement. This seemed great until we realized we were essentially living in a studio apartment with a 6 month old baby and a dog who barks at changing levels of silence. So, Pat continued to stay at the hotel with the dog in order to get to work and check on the house easily, and I continued to stay at my parents’ house with the baby in order for everyone to get sleep and be able to function at a minimum level of acceptability. While I had just started a new job a couple of weeks prior and felt guilty that I could not take any time off, Pat had to miss multiple days of work in order to deal with the steady flow of contractors/agents to and from our home.
- Week of February 22nd – Our adjuster arranged for his experts to create an inventory of our contents as well as a detailed scope of demolition/construction work to be performed.
- February 29th – We moved into a temporary apartment at Avalon Ossining with a projected move-out date of June 29th.
- Week of March 5th – Patrick and I conducted walk-throughs with architects/contractors to discuss scope of work and project.
- Week of March 12th – Water mitigation company removed all equipment from our house and claimed to be finished with remediation. We noted that the house still had a severe mildew odor and many affected areas had been untouched.
- March 18th – We made final selection of our architect/contractor team and discussed planning timelines.
- March 19th – Industrial Hygienist brought into the house to conduct mold clearance testing of living spaces and contents.
- March 29th – Hygienist completed report and alleged that the water mitigation company’s drying process was not adequate and surfaces and materials remained damp for an extended period of time. Mold developed in heavy amounts throughout all water-damaged areas, as well as colonized in upholstered items on the first floor. Report contained protocol for the remediation of mold damage.
- April 8th – Architect submitted first round of preliminary drawings for our review. Meeting was held later that week to discuss revisions.
- April 14th – Insurance company agreed to temporary house lease extension – new move-out date is now August 29th.
- April 15th – Insurance company performed walk-through with their preferred remediation vendor in order to develop estimate for further mold remediation work.
- April 22nd – Architect submitted facade drawings for our review. Again, meeting was held later to discuss revisions.
- April 28th – Remediation vendor submitted estimate to insurance company. Insurance company balked at extremely high cost. They then claimed that they want to exercise their right to bring in ANOTHER hygienist to make a new scope of work and protocol.
- April 29th – Clothing restoration company dropped off clothes – around 500 items – for us to inspect for damages.
- Weekend of April 29th – We sorted through all items and rejected many due to staining, shrinkage, and mildew odor. Many shoes had also warped in the cleaning process. We compiled a list of rejected items with brand, age, value, etc.
- May 4th – Insurance company walks back previous decision and moved forward to work with their preferred vendor to reduce their initial remediation estimate.
- May 5th – Architect submitted revisions for review. Everything is looking great with only a few more tweaks before he can enter the construction documentation phase.
- May 11th – Remediation company submitted revised estimate – currently under review.
As you can imagine from above, this process has been multi-faceted and at times very frustrating. In upcoming posts, I will go into more depth about each aspect, including the components of a claim, hiring a public insurance adjuster, and hiring an architect and/or contractor for construction and design work.
Stay tuned and keep praying for us! Let’s keep that positive visualization flowing!!