I mentioned in a previous post how the floors in the kitchen, living room, and dining room were all hickory engineered wood. I had planned on refinishing them (which, from my understanding, is a one-shot because of the thin layer of wood veneer) and staining a different color than the golden/orange it was. Here is a photo of the floors (again, ignore the wallpaper and decor… that was all from the previous owner):
Enter the cracked cast iron pipe in the kitchen. This is an interesting story, quite a roller coaster ride.
I bought the house in December 2016 (yay for a year of homeownership!). I didn’t move in until April 2017, because I was working full time and taking two grad classes at the time, so my time was limited to work on the house. But I wanted to get all of the wallpaper off and the two walls around the kitchen knocked down and patched up before I moved in. So yes, that all took almost four months.
Around May, I did notice some water damage on the wood floor by the sink and dishwasher. But I had had one of those memory foam mats down by the sink and thought maybe that was holding the water in and damaged the floor. Once I removed that and I was getting a little more damage, I thought it was the dishwasher leaking. I had other projects to focus on, so when the damage didn’t increase exponentially, I kind of ignored it.
Then my laundry room started flooding. Not all the time. Just intermittently. So initially I thought it was the washer (which was just purchased in May), because the water seemingly started leaking from underneath the washer. However, the air conditioner unit is also in the laundry room and it was sweating in the height of summer in Florida, so I thought maybe it was just working too hard or that the outlet drain was clogged. So I cleared the drain out and didn’t have any issues for a few weeks.
Then it started flooding again, and I noticed where it was coming from, a 1″ PVC pipe that looked like it was coming from the A/C unit, but actually wasn’t. It wasn’t until I noticed that the laundry room was flooding when I ran the dishwasher that the light bulb shone brightly above my head. And then, at long last, I called a plumber.
Verdict? Cracked cast iron pipe behind the sink.
Here is what it looked like removed from the block wall:
It was only a matter of time, given that the house was built in 1960 and that was the original drain pipe. The crack in the pipe was just slowly getting bigger to the point where it couldn’t hold really anything in. Somehow (and my plumber couldn’t figure out what was going on), the water was being diverted to the laundry room. There were extra pipes for this reason, that’s where that 1″ PVC was coming from. So we think that the previous owners had an issue with this before and installed extra piping to divert instead of flooding the kitchen… but wouldn’t you just fix the source of the problem? *shrug* who knows.
Here is the brand spanking new pvc drain pipe:
At this point, my wood floors looked like this:
And then I had to wait weeks to get an insurance inspector to come, well, inspect. This was right after Hurricane Irma so they were flooded (heh, pun intended) with Irma claims. Mine happened to be a water claim of a different variety. So, I lived with this gross floor like I had been for a while, and in the meantime, shopped around for new flooring.