Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, cooking, make-up, travel, art and the occasional rant!

Water Water everywhere…

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We’re drowning…

So the upstairs bathroom is a complete mess… the water from the roof (ice dams) soaked the wall, floors and ceiling which are all being ripped out (next week we’ve been told) to strip down to the studs and let it dry out for a couple of weeks before repairs can start.

My office (the bedroom across the hall from the bathroom) also suffered from water (another ice dam) so the outside wall will be ripped out – maybe more if they discover more damage once they get it open.

THEN to add insult to injury… I was taking mom to the toilet before bed the other night and water came up from between the tiles… LOTS of water… lots and LOTS of water… the tiles were lifting up. There was so much water it saturated every towel I had within reach… I soaked up as much as I could and laid down more towels for the night. 

Thought maybe the water was coming from the wall – water trapped by the water barrier finally draining or something.

In the morning I had to get a bucket to carry away the wet towels and the water was still coming… the floor was swimming in it.  I wiped up again and then laid a flat coloured towel carefully down to see if I could figure out WHERE the water was coming from… THE TOILET WAS LEAKING!

I stuck a container under the tap of the water supply pipe and it filled up fast.  So I shut off the water supply to the toilet and called a plumber.

Plumber came – arrived when I got home.  There are TWO broken parts – the feed pipe to the tank and the seal inside the tank.  To fix it would be an $8 part for the pipe and a $20 part for the seal (plus labour)…

Keep in mind this toilet is being ripped out next week… and being replaced with a new one…

Personally – I can go downstairs, Mom can’t and she HATES using the commode … so I let her decide if we wanted to pay for the repair. 

So she says she wants it working, so the plumber says he’ll come back today with the parts and fix it.

So, then I change and make dinner… then go downstairs to use the bathroom and… WALK INTO DRIPS FALLING FROM THE BASEMENT CEILING!!!!!!!!!  Water leaking through from the bathroom…. it hadn’t been happening for long – the wet spot was only the size of a softball.  So I dumped some make-up supplies out of a large Rubbermaid tote and stuck it under the drips… AFTER I let out a primal scream.


Then I emailed the insurance adjuster and the restoration company to advise them – they actually had been there in the morning CHECKING for leaks and there weren’t any…

So… now my basement ceiling is coming down too…

Good news… 3 out of 4 contractors agreed the roof issue is TOO much insulation in the attic blocking the soffits.  So I asked the restoration company if they could get that dealt with ASAP, like, BEFORE they start ripping up my house.  He said they would.

Then one of the contractors I called (recommended by the insurance adjuster) called to report his findings directly to me – said that my bathroom exhaust fan ductwork  was NOT sealed so it was blowing warm air into the attic (cause #1) which made the ice form over the bathroom and the opposite side of the roof, yes, there was insulation in the soffits (cause #2) which prevented the cold air from entering the attic, and there wasn’t enough ventilation given the size of the roof (cause #3) and we should have another whirlygig installed at the other end of the roof (which can’t be done until “spring” or what passes for it here!)  All that was good and not TOO expensive to fix… BUT…

(Cause #4) he explained to me that in older home the 2X4s along the edge of the roof are often not “punched” out where it meets the soffits to allow for air movement.  He asked when the siding and soffits were done – we believe the previous owner did it so no more than 7 years ago.

He came back today to actually get INTO the attic and check it out… yep, they aren’t all punched out, BUT it isn’t as bad as it could be he told mom.  But it will be a fairly big job.  They have to do it from the OUTSIDE and that means taking OFF the soffits, and some siding, to cut them out and set them all up correctly.

He told mom he has to find a couple of skinny workers as he isn’t built for crawling around the attic.  He’s going to do us up a quote.

So all that repair to the roof/attic is OUR cost. 

The insurance will cover the repairs to put things back the way they were. The adjuster went through the house taking photos – even of the undamaged rooms.  She asked where we got our bamboo floors and about the paint colours, etc.  As matching things can be a problem – we still have a box and a bit of bamboo, and lots of left over baseboards and moulding.  And even some paint left by the painters last winter – I have the labels and the colour codes. 

The plumber (recommended by my uncle) and I discussed the bathroom changes – since it will be ripped up we are going to do our reno now – change out everything.  That will be our cost for the fixtures and “extras” that we are doing.

I went and checked out baths, toilets, sinks, fixtures and vanities at a few places tonight.  We want it nice, but reasonably priced.  Plain, white and functional – with resale value! 

I’m leaning toward a slightly larger tub with the walls and roof thingy. It is a lot deeper (20-23″ deep) than our existing tub which is pretty shallow.  Since we are losing the old cracked tiles (part of the walls being ripped out!) may as well rip them all off and replace them with a one-piece unit.  Much easier to maintain.  Tub has to have a flat bottom to accommodate mom’s bath seat.

The sink vanity has to accommodate a wheelchair – need the space for mom to wheel up to the sink to do her thing.  So it needs to resemble a desk… we want storage on both sides.  The sink MUST be recessed – below the counter.  I HATE cleaning the rim of the bathroom sink!

And a LARGE mirror with cabinets behind, new lighting, maybe some shelves.

New toilet will be low-flow, higher, and narrower.

And the closet we will steal from the front room will become a linen/broom closet, storage cupboard.

Taps have to be lever controls, preferably a single lever.  I want one of those giant rain-shower heads, AND a handheld shower, and those dial controls for temperature in the shower/tub.

Home Depot has a section of fixtures for handicaps – hand rails that look like towel rods which was an excellent idea!  If you don’t need them for support hang towels on them!

I would love to put in lime green counters but mom vetoed me… we’ll stick with the colour scheme of the house I guess and get a grey/brown/tan counter.  But the lime looks great with our wall colour!  My bedding is lime and turquoise and looks great!

And a new exhaust fan and vent, duct work on its own control switch!  Right now the single switch turns on the light and the fan.

Hmm… I just realized it is half past midnight.  Better get to bed – we are going to try to take the recycling over to the Eco Centre tomorrow. We’ve been trying to take it over for a month, but, the first two Saturdays we had horrible snow/snow storms and the roads were shite, then last week we had to wait for the guys to come clear our roof… I’m hoping we get out tomorrow, but it snowed ALL day Friday, is still snowing and the roads are shite…


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