When the floods came through Boulder in 2013, we were incredibly lucky to have avoided any major flooding. We had some water seeping in through the foundation and some panic set in as it filled the mechanical room, but we pretty much dodged the bullet compared to the major issues so many of our friends experienced.
Our “flood” happened almost a year later, and sadly could have been avoided if we had a water detection system in place. We were in the mountains for the 4th of July and came back to find our dining room chandelier dripping water like a hose that wasn’t fully turned off. Turns out we had a toilet tank on the 2nd floor crack while we were away and it had spent the better part of the week leaking water. The leak managed to get through the bathroom floor, to the dining room ceiling, and then through the hardwood floors below.
So, in came ServPro with their huge fans and dehumidifiers (note: the house was now a balmy 90 degrees inside) to dry us out. We just, (yes…just in the two weeks) had the floors redone, but there is still painting and woodwork to be completed. Pretty sure it will be October before we’ve fully recovered.
What really frustrated me was knowing that the damage could have been caught much earlier and probably avoided if we had a good detection system in place. Turns out, there is a Techstars Boulder company called Notion working on this very problem. Too bad I didn’t have one of their prototype systems running. They are just about to bring their home intelligence system to market, which, of course can detect water leaks and send you real-time notifications. It also can detect movement, smoke, heat, and noise. Thus, I’m pretty anxious to get my hands on a Notion bundle and deploy these little sentinels. I just backed their Kickstarter campaign so I could get the system a bit early.
FWIW, I had looked at some of the other systems out there but never pulled the trigger. The cost or the size of the sensors was a huge turnoff in this category. I’ve got Nest, Protect, Revolv, Hue, and Dropcam so I’m loving all of the automation and convenience coming with these IoT devices. However, one thing I’ve really noticed is that UI/UX really matter and that the system has to be truly smart. The Notion system will not just say “alert” in some room, but actually tell you what is going on (movement, water, temp, etc) so you know what you are dealing with. I think installing something like is going to be come pretty standard. Would be smart for insurance companies to offer discounts if you’ve got an early detection system in place like this, similar to what the do for home alarms.
So Notion, I’m a backer – now HURRY UP AND SHIP!