Flooding happens. If you have ever experienced a flood or other type of water damage, you are not alone. This is part one of our Flood Story Series where we will ask ordinary people about their experiences with flooding and home water damage.
Because we are in the business of preventing home flooding, we figured what better group of people to start the story-telling with than ourselves. Below are three stories from members of our DriBot team.
MIDWEST THEATRE FLOOD
-Courtney, Marketing Manager
"I used to work at a small, midwest theatre company. The theatre building was converted from an old church built in 1907, so it had its fair share of maintenance issues with its old age. There were two stages – a mainstage on the main floor, and a smaller stage in the basement. Productions would rotate back and forth between these stages. While the basement stage production was running, the mainstage production was in rehearsal.
I came into work one morning and saw that everyone who arrived before me was in a panic. It turns out the basement had flooded overnight! To make matters worse, there was a show scheduled for that very night on the basement stage.
I went to the basement to investigate for myself and I stopped on the last stair before I was greeted by about an inch and a half of water. The guys who built the stage sets were wearing waterproof boots and using shop vacs to suck up the water. In my mind, there was no way the show was happening that night, so I started to wonder how we were going to break the news to our guests who had already purchased tickets. The set builders had been working there far longer than I and said “Oh, this has happened before. We’ll just suck out the water and it will be fine. We don’t need to cancel the show.”
Just like most “ordinary” people, I was not well-versed in flooding, sump pump systems, or pump maintenance at that time. In fact, I probably didn’t even know what a sump pump was. All I knew was the basement flooded, and we had a problem that was, as I understood it, under control.
It wasn’t until later in my life that I learned how concerning that whole scenario was. Even though the majority of the basement floor was cement, I know proper flood restoration measures were not taken to prevent the growth of mold and mildew (perhaps that’s why I developed a cough while I worked there!). This was partially due to the theatre’s monetary restrictions and partially due to the pressure to have the basement ready for a performance that very evening, otherwise risking the loss of income.
To this day, I am unsure what the ultimate cause of the flood was, but I can tell you that looking back, there are several concerns I would have expressed and several suggestions I would have made to prevent those recurring floods. Now that I know what a DriBot can do, installing one is my number one recommendation for this small theatre!"
WATER HEATER STEAM LEAK
-Zach, Production Engineer
"I was at dinner with a friend and on our way back to my house we got a call from my friend’s sister asking if we could stop by their house to feed the dog because they had been gone all morning and would not get home until late.
Since we were close to the home we stopped. When we opened the garage door a cloud of steam rolled out. Apparently, the braided hose on the hot water heater had got a pin hole leak. It was shooting out hot steam for hours. Luckily, we happened to stop by at the right time because we were close to the house. Because we caught it in time, the only repair that had to occur was a 1’ x 1’ square had to be cut out of the ceiling and replaced because of the steam damage. Plus, they replaced the braided hose that initially had the leak. It was still an annoying fix, but nothing compared to what it could have been.
If this problem would have continued, water would have coated everything in the garage and the ceiling and walls would have been soaked. It was just dumb luck that we stopped by when we did. Since I now know of the DriBot Water Module and how it has an automatic emergency shutoff valve, it would have been the perfect product to prevent an incident like this from occurring in the first place."
OLD FARMHOUSE FLOODS
-Jeff, Electronics Technician
"I grew up in an old country farmhouse in the 80’s. Our basement was more of a cellar and would flood about once every few years. When it did, it was bad (the septic system would sometimes backflow)! We learned the hard way that we couldn’t store important items in the basement. I remember we had to throw away some furniture that had been stored in our basement and that two freezers got ruined during a flood which had to then be thrown away. Our washer and dryer were in the basement, so we had to prop them up on platforms and hope that water during a flood could not reach them. Plus, we had bad mold growing as a result of the consistent dampness in our basement. We did not have a sump pump in the basement to prevent these problems from recurring so it was not the ideal situation.
When I reached adulthood and had a more modern home of my own with a finished basement, I thought the days of farmhouse water damage woes were behind me. It turns out having a modern basement with a sump pump doesn’t mean that you are fully protected against flooding. There was one weekend where it poured down rain heavily and the power went out. We did not have a battery backup sump pump and our sump basin was slowly filling. I had to go out in the pouring down rain to find and plug in a generator so the sump pump could continue working and keep the basement from flooding. Had I not been home at the time of the power outage, it is likely that our basement would have flooded.
Shortly after that scenario, I figured it was time to take more precautions to protect my basement. In learning more about sump pumps and checking out my existing setup, I discovered that the discharge pipe was disconnected. This meant it was not actually discharging water away from the home like it was supposed to. The homeowners before me had set up the sump pump and discharge pipe connections incorrectly."