Part of the problem? Water damage. When we opened the plaster wall in our dining room during demolition, exposing the long-hidden logs, we saw that a couple of the bottom logs were so thoroughly rotten that they completely crumbled onto the floor. Oh crud, we realized. That means there's not much of anything supporting that wall all the way to the roof. We had to find and fix whatever leak we had ASAP, lest the house come crumbling down.
|Removing the wall of rotten logs|
So we went upstairs and started knocking down walls. We'd been planning to gut the whole place anyway, but we were not prepared for what we found when the drywall came down: a rolled up towel, shoved into a crack in the roof and drywalled in. As it turned out, when the previous owner built the addition (which houses our living room and guest bedrooms) on the back of the house in 2000, the roof never quite matched up so it leaked. Instead of fixing it properly, this previous owner thoughtfully placed a towel in the crack to absorb the leak before closing up the wall. The towel actually did soak up the water, which then slowly dripped and drained down the logs for the next 10 years.
Shockingly, we didn't find any major mold issues when we opened the walls. But the rot was more than enough to throw our plans into a tailspin.
Once we assessed the damage and regrouped, we realized we had to remove all the logs on the dining room wall and replace them with regular old framing lumber to ensure proper structural support. (This was, of course, in addition to removing the towel, fixing the roof and properly sealing the house to prevent future water damage.) That's why the large wall in the dining room has wood planking instead of exposed log. The good news about all this was that, by removing the log wall and replacing it with regular 2x4 framing, it freed us up to modify the floor plan and change up the doorways a bit. Silver linings, I suppose.
|The left-hand plank wall is the one that had to be completely replaced due to water damage and rot.|
You could say I'm a bit wary of leaks now. Water left to its own devices is not your friend. Another thing that I find terrifying now? TERMITES. When you live in an all-wood structure (and most of us have quite a bit of wood in our homes), the prospect of having it eaten right out from underneath you is a little unsettling. And where there are water leaks, termites can come sailing right in. Water = bad. Water + termites = worse. We’ve never seen evidence of termite damage, knock on wood (badump-ching), and after all we’ve been through, I’m hoping we never do.
That's why I freaked out when I saw this earlier this summer:
It's just a mud wasp's nest, which is not very comforting (call me crazy, but I don't enjoy bee stings), but my initial fear was that it was a termite tunnel. I mean, it is a pencil-sized insect tunnel making its way under our wood siding. For all I knew at that moment, all that was left of my lovely new board and batten siding was just the outer layer with its fresh coat of Crabby Apple. Everything underneath could be mush!
Though he knew that particular tunnel was from a wasp, Ez agreed it was a good idea to call for a termite inspection just to be sure there weren’t tiny homewreckers lurking somewhere else. After all the hard work and investment we put into this place, couldn’t we afford a FREE termite inspection? (Yes, some are free, but take care to read any fine print before agreeing to and signing anything.) Why yes, I think we can swing that. And so should you, every couple years, if you care about your home and your money.
Our appointment is all set up, and I’ll let you know how it goes. While they’re here, I might ask them to see if there’s a way to exterminate all the pesky spam comments I’ve been getting on the blog lately. (I get all excited that a new comment has been posted, and then it’s all about selling used cars and meeting singles in my area. I feel so used.) Anyway, mud wasps I can handle on my own, but some pest control needs a little extra firepower, ya know? (Also if you’re a spammer or a termite for that matter, pleeeease leave me alone!)
This is a sponsored post. The opinions expressed above, however, are 100% my own.