Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Does This Justify Raiding the Emergency Fund?

What makes an emergency worthy of a raid on our hard earned savings fund?

This is the question on my mind today, let me tell you why.  So, our dog is getting old and has been peeing on the floor more and more frequently.  We do own a carpet cleaner, and have been able to clean it time and time again.  I won't bother to go into how much I hate this, because you've all probably heard me rant about it already, and it's totally beside the point of this post.  The second last time Jinx peed on the floor, I followed my usual routine of cleaning it up immediately with our Bisell Little Green Machine, treating the carpet with pet stain and odor remover and then shampooing it again with the full size cleaner.  (ok, technically, Shawn does all of this, I played the sensitive pregnant nose card and got out of it).

The problem is, this time it didn't work.  I shampooed several more times, and still the whole house smelled like a combination of wet dog and dog pee. Niii-iiice huh?  I kept apologizing to the kids' piano teacher, since she had to be just feet from the odor that week.  A week of nice weather so I could keep windows open and air out the house, and a whole box of baking soda later, it finally smelled ... a bit less gross.

One week later, the morning of the next piano lesson, the dog peed again.  Now, I don't think the dog just has it in for the piano teacher, but I did feel bad for her again!  It had dried completely before we saw it in the morning, so Shawn poured a bit of cleaner and water on it before starting to suck it up.  The smell was so horrid, I almost threw up and had to run out of the room.  We followed our usual procedure again, and it did not work at all.  I covered the spot with an upside down bin so the kids wouldn't walk in it ( it was conveniently right in the middle of the main living area, thanks Jinx).  I cleaned again and again.  I dumped baking soda in it, and left it over night.  I tried odor removing sprays, desperate to at least cover it up.  Nothing has helped at all.  Over a week later, it still smells so strongly like ammonia that I don't even want to sit in my living room.  And there is no way any of us can sit on the floor to play!

Now, this carpet is not in the best shape anyway.  It's original to the house (1986) and a torturous shade of off-white.  It's sculptured-textured beauty has long faded, but at least I could always get it clean, if not completely stain free.  Having carpet bothers my allergies, but it was nice to have been able to sit on the floor to play with the kids. 

Shawn's theory is that the poor carpet is just too saturated to salvage anymore.  We suspect that the dog is getting old enough that she may not be around forever.  But we can't keep living with it until she is gone.  It's now so gross, that I wouldn't be able to let baby lay or sit on the floor.

So this is why, with only about 10 days until my due date, we are having to rip out our carpet.  But then what?  I have lived with bare floor boards before.  For many years, while we renovated our previous house, we had bare floors in one room or another..or all of them.  If we're going to have exposed floor boards, though, we will have to seal them with something, so that any future accidents aren't just going right into the floor itself.  If we're going to buy cheap paint, stain or sealer, would that be money well spent, or should we just suck it up and buy flooring?  If we buy flooring, what do we get?  Do I want to settle for just whatever I can find cheap enough by this weekend, Shawn's only day off before baby's arrival? How long will it take us to replenish the emergency fund if we do?  Do I want to spend more than that and look for something I like? Do I have time for that?  Should I just seal the floor and save for what I'd like? 

Of all the reno projects on my dream list, I really didn't want to deal with living room flooring first.  But, now that I don't have a choice, what should I do?  I feel so frustrated, because there are so many other things I'd rather have paid for first, like the bench we need in the kitchen, the activities the kids want to do next fall and at least one fishing trip this summer, to name a few!

So, to answer my own question, I don't think this is an emergency worthy of breaking open my piggy bank.  I may be living with bare floors for a while, but at least they won't smell like dog pee!

What would you do?

Here's how it turned out... (Flooring Dilemma Update)


  1. I'm no expert, but I think I would just paint the plywood for now...wait until Jinx isn't in the picture, your kids are a little older, you've had a bit of time to settle in with baby and figure out what type of flooring you want/like.....And then you can lay a big blanket on the floor (or an area rug or something) for baby to lay on in the meantime...Ugh..sooo frustrating!! :( Sorry, Girl!

  2. Check kijiji! People are always getting rid of partial boxes of flooring. If you are just doing the living room you wont need much.

    Hope it all works out for you.


  3. As someone that has an old fixer upper house and a tight budget my advice is to temporarily seal the floors. I know where you are coming from with "wasting money that could go towards the floors" but with 10 days left till due date that's not very much time to choose and install. If you wait it might be a few months but atleast you will have plenty of time to keep your eye out, get a good deal and maybe save a bit of money so you don't have to dip into emergency. Good luck!


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