Saturday, 22 September 2012

Unearthing unpleasantness

After getting the bad news this week that the install of our kitchen cabinets is delayed a bit, we sat down with our contractor and mapped out what needed to happen prior to our Maui departure. Things then shifted into high gear.

First came the insulation dudes, who finished the insulation, then sprayed foam into my basement.
Foamed. The process terrified my cat.
Then the shingles and drywall got delivered.
Covering at least part of the leak
On Friday, it became Grand Central Station, there were so many people at work on the house. Our painter dude was here doing exterior painting. Our HVAC dude was here replacing a vent fan. The landscaper dude showed up to discuss how to fix the back yard. The dumpster dude took the dumpster away. The roofers started tearing the roof off the garage. At one point, there were 4 pick ups parked in front and two in the rear.

But the trouble came when my contractor and I were discussing the extent of the drywalling that needed doing. I mentioned that we had a leaky wall in the recent rains. Well, it was leaking at a place where we identified last year there had been previous leaks. In fact, in November last year our painter (not our home inspector, whom we paid to find problems like this) noted the bubbling wallboard and said it was water damage. We replaced the wallboard vowing to inspect it when we did the kitchen reno.

So we decided Friday to inspect. We pulled off the drywall we replaced. And we found a moldy, rotten header over the window where the recent leak was. It has been wet a long time, not just from the recent rains.
Bad header. Bad.
We kind of expected that. The wood was wet, as was the insulation, probably from the most recent leak. The window also looks partially damaged. We peeled the drywall off the roof, and found... more drywall. Huh? The farther back we went, the more mold damage we found on the drywall underneath the drywall.
Moldy drywall UNDER the drywall
Correct way to build, top down: insulation, vapour barrier, drywall.
What we found: insulation, vapour barrier, moldy partially finished drywall (in the above photo, the white part was painted, the dull grey part not), another vapour barrier, more moldy drywall.

So its clear that there was a roof leak in the past. The previous repair was to remove the wrecked drywall (the part closest to the window header), put up new drywall without fixing the leak, add vapour barrier over it all, then drywall over top of that.

Fixing the leak would have been better smarter than doing a cosmetic patch.

As a result of the shoddy and inappropriate repair, over time, mold grew in the wet drywall between the two vapour barriers. The leak continued affecting the header over the window, wrecking it. Then the cosmetic covering drywall got wrecked because the leak was never stopped. That's when we entered the picture and bought the problem.

We kept pulling the drywall back all the way to the original cabin edge. And found water damage on the roof sheeting and wet insulation all the way back (and of course more pine cones from the squirrels).
A mix of wet moldy insulation, moldy wood, and pine cones
Somewhere while pulling all this crap down, the contractor dude accidently busted the stairwell railings.
In the end, we decided to pull out the entire ceiling over the stairwell to let it dry out.
Bad stuff gone (mostly)
We have now sprayed it with fungicide to kill the mold. We have to re-insulate it, then re-vapour barrier it (properly), then re-drywall it, then paint it. We're also pulling out the rotten header over the window (which is no longer structural), and will replace that, too. I'd love to replace the window, which is probably shot, too, but windows take weeks to make. Can't do it now.

And (because you never just find one problem in this house)...

The roofers started peeling the cedar shakes off the garage. And found a torched on, bituminous (asphalt shingle) type material under the shakes.
It was green
Ah, well. Leave it be.

The roofer dudes are fast when it comes to putting shingles down. It took me a full day to do the shed roof last year. He shingled the entire garage in about an hour, though ti took them almost 4 hours to remove the old rotten shakes (they kept breaking apart and the nail heads would pull through).
Hard at work
The weather remains perfect for roofing, so today (Saturday) they're banging away on the main roof. Interesting roofer dudes. It's a family from Quebec. Dad (lead shingle putter-downer), mom (lead roof tearer-upper) and ~14 year old daughter (lead junk-tosser into the dumpster).

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