Saturday, December 8, 2012

That one time I flooded the apartment

Oh, yes...

As a person who works long night shifts, I don't have a lot of time during my work week for chores. Because of that, I like to be efficient about my housework. On Friday, I finished my shift at 7 a.m., went home, put some laundry in the washing machine and got ready for bed. I realized I needed to prepare a letter to go out in the mail that day so I could give it to Tim before he left for the day. As I walked into the dining area where we have our mail supplies, I stepped on some wet carpet.

"Why is the carpet wet?" I called out to Tim, who was getting ready for work. I took another step. Squish.

I thought maybe Tucker had an accident until I looked up and saw this...

About two inches of water here. On my floor. Yikes!
I don't remember exactly what I said next as I began to panic. I started yelling about water and flooding, running to the washer to stop it from continuing to pour out gallons of water onto our floor. I turned knobs and pushed buttons frantically until something worked and the water stopped. Then I ran around grabbing every towel and washcloth I could find while Tim headed to his car to get a five-gallon bucket and some giant sponges.

What do I do? I've never been in this situation before, I thought. Who do I call? 9-1-1? No. Dad? No. Maintenance. You call maintenance.

So I called maintenance. They weren't in for the day.

I left a short, breathless message, "This is Amanda Winters in apartment *** and my washing machine flooded the room."

They called back a minute later and said they were just getting in for the day and would be right up. I shut Tucker in the bedroom. We couldn't have him getting in the way of our flood clean-up. They brought three towels and four of us spent the next 40+ minutes soaking up water and wringing out towels. My arms are still sore.

I thought we'd have to replace the carpet because of all the water that thoroughly soaked it. The maintenance guys said they'd have to check the unit below us to make sure none of the water caused any damage to their ceiling. Thank goodness it didn' far as we know.

Tim went to work. Despite the chaos, my letter did make it in the mail. The maintenance crew came and went about every hour and a half throughout the day. I got about five hour-long naps in.

Giant machines were brought in to help
A water vacuum used by the maintenance staff five hours after the flood happened helped far more than the poor, old, overused towels had. A powerful fan and giant dehumidifier (I think) were brought in to help dry things out. Our apartment sounded like an airplane hangar.

Oh, by the way, the maintenance crew investigated the washing machine and determined it had been a "fluke" and could happen again. So from now on, I have to keep my eye on the machine until it stops filling with water. That really disrupts my efficiency flow.

I put Tucker's water and food in the bathroom where it was dry. He is scared of the bathtub, though, so he would only drink water by peaking around the corner and stretching his head out to lap from the bowl.

Getting a drink of water
After the machines ran for a while, things started to dry up and Tucker was ready to get back to business.

The carpet is dry enough for playing ball
But I had to go to work. Exhausted and with a throbbing headache, I decided to go for comfort over style. The result:

Sweatshirt: Charlotte Douglas International Airport, North Carolina. Jeans: Thrifted American Eagle via Value Village. Shoes: Puma
We shall see if I feel like repeating this look tonight when I finish my work week with a 13-hour shift. :-)


  1. Have you considered replacing the washing machine into something that has an automatic stop function when it reached a certain water level? I think something like that will help your efficiency. Anyway, I hope this flooding “fluke” never happened again. Have a great day!

    Gail Wallace @ Emergency Flood Masters

  2. The drawbacks of working long night shifts. I'm sure you were too tired to notice when the flooding began. Lucky for you, the maintenance came in right away before the water did more damage. Well, maybe you can change your schedule for laundry to a few hours before work, so as to not repeat the same situation again.

    Nathan Riley @ Stanley Steemer