Monday, December 13, 2010

*Drip... Drip... Drip... The joys of not being able to call a landlord.

As I mentioned in my last post, we hosted our first holiday dinner this past Thanksgiving. Since we were out of town for a work conference the weekend beforehand, this meant we were in a flurry of activity during our post-work hours on the weekdays leading up to the main event. Once we had settled down, and the only things left to do could only be done on the day of, I snuggled on the couch to watch TV. And that is when I heard it. A sound that will strike fear into the hearts of homeowners who are no longer able to call a landlord...

Drips. I heard dripping from the kitchen, so I went into investigate, hoping that it was just the faucet. It was not the faucet. Instead, I was greeted by a slow drip coming from a small crack in the ceiling.

I may or may not have mentioned this, but our kitchen is very dated: textured wallpaper, possibly-original-to-the-house stove, and carpeted floors. Lucky for us (?!), the leak was not heavy at that point, so I set down a bowl, and got out the wet vac. Upon discovering how wide the wet spot on the carpet was, I was surprised we had not noticed it when we first got home. The wet spot was probably a 1.5 - 2 ft diameter circle.

My husband and I had two moments of panic: 1) there's a leak in our roof, and it is supposed to rain the entire holiday weekend, and (2) we are supposed to be cooking a lot of food and hosting our first holiday dinner!

From our various improvement projects, we do have a smattering of tools. My husband got the dry wall saw, and started cutting around the wet area, so we could try to get a look at the leak. (This section of the roof area is inaccessible via an attic space. The leak makes me think that when we redo the kitchen, putting in a pull-down-attic-ladder would be a good idea, even if those things give me the heebie-jeebies.)

Wednesday evening ended up being full of cutting and clearing the ceiling, dealing with the spray insulation, and finding the leak! While having a leak in your roof is not a very happy thing, finding said leak within 24-hours is. We are relatively lucky in that the water was coming in directly above where it was leaking through the ceiling. No hunting for the water's path or obscure leak location. Turns out that there was a knot in the roof board. Knot - as in an actual hole. And there was a roofing nail through said knot. Water was just dripping in along the nail.

As it was Thanksgiving Day Eve, we knew that we would not be able to do much other than prevent the carpet from getting soaked. We (my husband, rather) put a bowl on the rafters underneath the leak, and used painter's tape and a bag to cover the hole in our ceiling. Classy, I know. ;)

We did check on the collection bowl regularly, and it seemed to do the trick, at least for the time being. The holiday dinner went well, and no one was drenched by roof water. Friday after Thanksgiving, my husband had to work, and went to a hardware store to see what we could do about the leak until we can replace the entire roof (a project we knew we would have to do in the future - this just brings the project into the more immediate future). Less than $10 for some roofing cement and supplies (plus much more for a ladder we needed anyway), and the leak is patched (and holding up against the recent snow).

Now we get to research our roofing options! Do you have any particular favorites?

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