As in most humid climates, the Washington, DC area is subject to rather unexpected but severe summer thunderstorms, and this week was no exception. Over the last few days we've had thunder, lightening, and driving rain pop up out of nowhere (well, nowhere if you're not checking the weather anyway). Last night Alex was working late, and I was puttering around the house putting a few last things away from my business trip to Boston.
The wicker storage cubes next to the bed in our guest bedroom are the home to our travel toiletries, including the little shampoos and lotions I've gladly accepted from hotels over the years, along with my travel sized makeup bags.
When I walked between the bed and the window to return these items to their storage location, I had the unfortunate realization that the wood floor was wet. Thanks to my bare feet, something I may not have noticed in the dim light had it not been made blatantly apparent.
My first thought was that Mel had started peeing on the floor, either in protest of my trip or Lulu's permanent resident status in our home, or that at his ripe old age of 12 was no longer able to hold it. Upon further inspection, I realized the water was dripping in from the top of our bay window, had soaked our throw pillows, saturated the bamboo blinds and rug, and most destructively, had seeped into the heart pine floors.
The floors were so water logged in this area that the poly had actually peeled up from the boards. (As is evident by the lighter areas in the above photo.) I immediately called Alex at work. I'd like to be able to tell you the call went like this:
Wendy: In a calm, even tone...
"Hi Honey. We had a bit of a rain shower here, and I've noticed the slightest bit of moisture near the bay window in our guest bedroom. Do you think you might be home sometime in the next few hours so we can take a look at it together?"
In reality, it was more like this:
Wendy: In a frantic, borderline hysterical tone that may have been verging on tears...
"Where are you?? It is almost nine o'clock! We had a huge storm, and water has poured in through the bay window destroying the original heart pine floors. They're now black with damage, and we have no chance of saving them. Not to mention the curtains, blinds, pillows, and rug are so wet we'll probably need to throw them in the trash. Get home now!!!"
When Alex did return home roughly 20 minutes later, his assessment was a bit different than mine. Yes, it does appear we have a leak, but we think we've been able to pinpoint the location. In the meantime, we've been working to dry out the rug and floor, and have some curtain and pillowcase washing to do.
So now the $64,000 question: how is the water getting into the top of the bay window? We're going to need to do a little inspection from the outside to hopefully determine the source of the leak, but Alex seems confident we can knock it out. Hopefully this is a sooner rather than later task that we can bump up our priority list. I'd say it's important.
Don't get me wrong, even with the more mild damage assessment I'm not happy about it. Adding this project to our lengthy to do list isn't my idea of fun, and it just means one more thing to fix before we work on the master bathroom. <sigh> Any bets on if we'll finish the bathroom by 2013?