Posted in Writing Life

Jay to the Rescue: Part I of SteamKleen

When our tenant asked me to have a look at the basement this morning, apparently I was smiling as I walked down the stairs, but I assure you there was no smile in my heart. I knew by the tone of her voice that there was something disastrous down there.

I was already stressed to the max and had just managed to focus on some R&R for March break. So the sight of a soaked carpet was not what the doctor ordered. This has never happened before, though underlying damage indicates that there have been smaller leaks that we weren’t aware of. But this time it was undeniable. It’s no tsunami, let’s keep things in perspective, but it was a flooded basement.

I had no idea what to do next. I’m a writer. I can also paint walls and have gone as far as lifting carpet. That’s about the extent of my abilities. (My husband fixes the toilet.) I just wanted to cry. Instead I called my best friend and left a message that there was water in the basement and I was going to have a nervous breakdown.

Then I googled carpet cleaners. The first one on the list wasn’t available to come out until tomorrow. The second one was Jay Nader of SteamKleen, a family business in operation since 1986. Jay sounded like he knew what he was doing. He was reassuring (and I needed reassurance!). He explained what was going on, why, and what was needed to fix it. Best of all he said he’d be out this afternoon and he was–in fact earlier than I was expecting.

Jay was considerate, courteous, I can even say chivalrous–more welcome here than a knight in shining armor. He even removed a damaged closet door that was scheduled to be replaced so that he could get at the carpet inside the closet. He pulled back the carpet, removed damaged underpadding, sucked out water, and set up a blower to dry everything out. Everything necessary is being done to prevent mold. He said he’d be back in 3 days time to finish up, promising that all will be well.

Impressed and grateful, I offered to post a review on my blog–I am a writer, so this was one thing I could do. You know, there is so much aggravation in this life, but there is also opportunity to be heartened and helped by complete strangers.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

7 thoughts on “Jay to the Rescue: Part I of SteamKleen

    1. Thanks Mary. Now if we can just get everything put back together, discover where the water is coming from and fix that, I think I’ll have found heaven. (Though wiser people than I say that heaven is in having an accepting attitude.)

  1. Dear Lilian Nattel,
    I’m glad to hear your carpet damage is all gone and you’re enjoying the great work Jay did for you, just came by to say thanks for supporting my brother by writing such a nice story, hope you’re happeir now that your basment is all dry 😀
    there is no need to worrey when you got Jay’s number!
    Smile, Negin.

  2. It’s so comforting to find good people to help you out of difficulties! It may not be a tsunami, but it does not sound like fun at all, and I’m glad you were able to get the process of repair underway.

  3. I would have completely freaked! And it never occurred to me that carpet cleaners are the people to turn to in such an emergency, although it makes perfect sense now you say it. I wish I could use them myself, but I think the UK is a bit far for a call-out!

  4. Last night I dreamed that I got out of the tub and as I pulled the plug, I said, “Oh no! That is going to drain into the basement!” What a relief to wake up to sunshine and the basement dried, carpet restored, and clean. However, I am starting to develop a phobia about rain. The contractor who came in told us that it looked to him like a leak from the roof. And as you know from previous posts, we’ve been having problems there. I’ve called the roofer and am waiting.

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