Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Housewife and the Pebble...

Long ago, in a land far far away.... maybe not so far, and maybe not that long ago but this story does go back a ways. One Sunday in June of 2010, Melissa, the boys and I drove to my brother's cabin in Blanco for an afternoon getaway. We turned down the dirt road, nearly to our destination, when a rock flew up and chipped the very lower passenger corner of the windshield. I heard it when it happened and sure enough by the time we went to leave, the crack had spread about six inches. As we drove home, we watched as it got longer and longer. We left the crack alone for months... it wasn't in the field of the driver's vision, we had a vacation in August then found out we were pregnant in October, it just wasn't a high priority. Finally in February of 2011, we called and had a glass truck come to our house and they replaced the windshield for us right here in our driveway. Pretty cool. I remember their warning to not touch the glass because it was setting and we didn't want to break the seal. K. Got it. No crawling on the hood of the car. Done.

Fast forward to December of 2011, Adam and I long term parked the same car in long term parking for 5 days while we took Addie to Duke for her second infusion. It had been really cold and rainy while we were gone and there was an inch of ice frozen on our windshield when we got back home. I drove with the windows down and the air blasting and the windshield wipers going as fast as I could to go pick up the rest of the family at the shuttle stop to load up everything and head home. It was midnight and it was cold and we were tired and we had two kids that were tired so we weren't exactly paying attention to the details like we normally would have been. So it was a bit of a surprise to us when after we got on the toll road we heard this sloshing noise in the front seat of our car. (I was sitting in the back with Addie) I thought maybe it was a water bottle or a soda that we had left in the car from our drive thru breakfast in the car on the way to the airport days before. So Adam reaches over as he's driving to grab whatever is making the noise, and informs me the entire front floor board is WET. Like sopping inches of water wet. Huh?? I thought maybe we had somehow not rolled the window up all the way. I had lowered the windows to help see out the mirrors as I was driving with ice on the windshield. I couldn't have swore that it hadn't been cracked before I lowered it. I couldn't have sworn that the seat belt hadn't been caught in the door the entire time and the door had been ajar. Who knew?

So I called our insurance company and reported flood damage from the recent rains. The chick claims adjuster informed me that there was no way it was from the rain. We'd only received .92 inches during the days we had been gone, obviously not enough rain to flood our car. That we needed to get it diagnosed by a mechanic and let her know it if ended up being something that insurance would cover, though she highly doubted it.

A few months later, we were still sloshing despite taking a clean dry towel with me to the car every single morning. Where was this water coming from? I could not get it dry. It was starting to warm up again, things were starting to smell like a wet dog in our car. Ugh. So I did what any desperate housewife would do and took a knife to my problem. KIDDING. Kind of. I did take a box cutter to the carpet, ripped out the soaked insulation like stuff under the carpet and put more towels underneath  to see if that would dry it out and it helped but didn't completely fix the issue. It was suggested again that maybe it was a continuous leak, not an event from the rain and that we should look further into the mechanic causes of water leaks. I googled. I'm a googler. I'm a good googler. So I found heater core leaks and AC clogged drains. We took it to our new found mechanic and he couldn't find any leaks. All the usual suspects were working fine. And he spent hours looking over everything.  He said he would be happy to look at it again if it ever started leaking again. Great....

So we brought our wet dog.... er I mean our car back home and waited. I finally decided to inspect things futher on my own and discovered a panel under the carpet. I cut the carpet OUT, and sure enough there was MORE water underneath a panel sitting in a well. Finally we had a dry car. 3 months LATER. The smell gradually got better. I tried to leave the windows down to air it out when I was reasonably sure it wasn't going to rain.

Until it did rain.... a week ago Sunday. And I was driving home from the Hydro Angels support group and noticed water running into the floorboard again. IT WAS A LEAK! I was right. HA!  But my rightness didn't help the confusion of what the heck was going on.... so I googled again, this time including rain in the search engine and low and behold... there was a simple little answer to someone else's posed question asking the fellow wet dog owner if they had had a windshield replacement. *FACEPALM* How did I not think of that?! How did I not stick to my guns that Yes, in fact, it was related to the RAIN? I want to call that chick claim agent back and yell at her.... ".92 inches is enough!!!!!!!!!! .92 inches is ENOUGH! EVERYTHING is bigger in TEXAS !! .92 inches is enough!!", And then sob as I say over and over "I was RIGHT I was RIGHT .... I was RIGHT!" But I'm not someone that yells much... so I won't. But just typing it was cathartic so thanks for reading that little fit I just pitched.

I dug through and found the receipt for the windshield replacement, called up the chick and she asked if we could bring it to them instead of them to us. Sure, Adam's off today we'll be there in a bit. I tried to explain the magnitude of the damage to her over the phone but when she told me that could fix it in a day, I knew chickie wasn't picking up what I was putting down. So we get over there and I try to explain it to the dude that was working there and I knew once again, not clicking. So I asked him if he would like to accompany me out to the car so we could discuss it. I could tell on his face he was thinking "silly housewife, leaks are for men" but I wanted someone to appreciate the wonder that is 8 months of water damage in a car in the Texas climate. MMkay?

Dude walks out with me, and I open the passenger door and Dude goes from California surfer boy tan to a nice shade of puce pale in 10 secs flat. He blanched. That's the only way I know how to describe it. He was very careful to not come out and say it was from a windshield leak but he was talking it thru, all the steps they were gonna have to take to fix it... they generally just clean the carpets when this happens but genius me cut the carpet... so it was a bit trickier, he'd never seen that much water...  we had a LOT of rain last week... 3.35 inches (TAKE that! Insurance claim chick) and there was a good 3 inches of standing water in the bottom of the passenger floorboard and that was after a good 6 towels worth of soppage. He said the glass shop owner would call me after they figured out if it was caused from a windshield leak.

9am this morning I was woken by the glass shop owner and yes it was a leak in the windshield ( I was relieved that we finally had an answer and part of my subconscious was sobbing again " I was RIGHT.... I was r-r-r-rrright!") They had priced new carpet and a new carpet kit for our car is only (AHEM ONLY?) $311. They will be glad to provide the labor for us.... I had already priced that out at our local body shop and knew it was about $400 worth of labor alone... if we would pay for the carpet since I had cut the carpet. I don't blame them for my box cutter ways. I do wish they'd realize I never would have had to cut the stupid carpet had they not screwed up the windshield install but hey what can ya do? I do kinda blame the mechanic and the chickie claim adjuster for not asking if we 'd had a windshield replaced in the last year or so... it took a desperate googling housewife to find the answer on the internet but again.... what can ya do? I TRY not to sweat the small stuff. We have a newly sealed windshield that hopefully will not leak. And we will have brand spanking new carpet in the whole vehicle in a few weeks once the carpet comes in and the owner gets back from vakay. Overall, I'm pretty happy.

Moral(s) of the story: Small pebbles can be more expensive than diamonds and googling housewives rock! (ha get it, ROCK? )
I had driven in the rain for five mins when I looked down and saw it coming into the floorboard again. If this is the water level after five mins, you can imagine what it looked like after 6 days and 3.35 inches of rain.

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