Sunday, January 18, 2009

Floor beams and all that rot

When we took the skanktastic vanity out last night, we noticed a plain piece of sheetrock set into the wall. As it was not covered in the nastiest of nasty blue wallpaper that the rest of the room sported, it was clearly a patch. "A patch for what?" we wondered. Seems that it was a patch for a leak that was probably never fixed correctly. Not a surprise.

You see, the prior owners (we'll call them "the Funkettes" to protect the guilty) have done a host of repairs and upgrades to the house that were of, umm, questionable quality to say the least. As a matter of fact, we refer to these repairs and upgrades as being "Funketized". What we saw in the bathroom was more like being "Funked". Seems this leaky area sits against the outside wall of the cantilevered section of the top floor (see artist rendering above). This area has been collecting water for a long enough time for my husband to grab a section of floor beam and come up with a handful of what I can only describe as wood pudding. I was peeling carrots in the kitchen when he came to me with his upturned hand in a claw pattern, covered in wood goo. I was completely horrified at the time, but an hour later this mental image seems funny to me. Pain + time = comedy, I guess.

Turns out that there is good news and bad news in rotville. The good news is that the liquid wood is contained to an 8" length of a single floor beam and its surrounding floor board. Also good, we're in the phase where we can easily update (and remediate) pluming. The bad news is that the wood fascia that is separated from the outside by thin foam insulation and some vinyl is gone. So gone in fact, that you can touch the siding insulation board. This discovery has led us to believe that we have found the genesis of the carpenter ants that we had to deal with when we first moved in. The exterminating bill for that yet another vigirous Funketting. I may have to purge the most current episode from my memory by writing a letter to the delightful former owners . It would start like this - "Dear Mr. Funkette, Funk you!"