Water, water everywhere. We discovered as we pulled out the refrigerator that some of the boards invisible under the fridge were in various states of rot. Our initial response was panic. I would have to take all the kids and go to my parents and somehow fit it Christmas shopping and all the activities of December and rip out all the floors and install new ones. And who knew how bad the rot went. Was it rotting out our floor joists? Just how bad is this? Panic.
The next day--the next few days?--we reassessed the state of things. We had immediately turn off the water to the fridge so the problem was not getting any worse. A quick inspection under the house revealed a good bit of wet wood and, um, we shall it fungal growth, but no signs of rot anywhere. The problem looked fairly contained. The water had obviously been leaking a good while so waiting a few weeks to get through Christmas wasn't going to hurt anything.
I looked at my calendar and found two weeks at the end of January where we only had one outside school commitment for the entire week. It would be easy enough to temporarily move to my parents' house an hour away, continue with schooling there, and only have to venture long distance over the road for preexisting commitments once a week. We settled on that timeframe to pull up the floors and fix the kitchen.
Of course the reason we decided to wait six weeks to address the problem is because Christmas was staring us in the face. Over Christmas, just about every person we told about our predicament said the same thing: You need to submit this to your homeowner's insurance. Frankly, it had never occurred to me to make a claim. I had the vague idea such calamities were not covered, but didn't have a copy of the policy to check. (Have I mentioned our paper problem?) But person after person, all who have owned property for far longer than I have, recommended making a homeowner's claim.
Dave, who saw an opportunity to maybe having someone else do all the work since we couldn't really afford to pay for installation unless the insurance was buying, decided that inquiring into the insurance was a good idea. I agreed since ripping out and installing floors in the main living area is a ton of work. I was still dubious the insurance would actually cover it, but decided it was definitely worth the phone call just in case I was wrong. If the insurance agent agreed our policy covered this type of event, we would file a claim.