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Attempting Aloha: Putting out Fires

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Putting out Fires

Sorry I've been behind on the Blue and Silver Christmas countdown...But my house sort of imploded.

Remember when I showed you my popcorn ceiling fell down on me??

Well, last week it POURED and POURED some more. Then it decided to just go ahead and keep right on POURING. I was getting pretty nervous about all that water leaking down my ceiling and down the living room wall via some unidentified leak in my roof.

And the homes in our development all have concrete tile roofs and because they were extremely cheap for some strange reason they didn't put any plywood under the tiles...they're just stacked directly on the cross beams and trusses (mostly I'm just pretending to know the jargon, so let's not quote me on any of this, k?).

Anyway, from the ground, we couldn't see any kind of hole or crack near or above  where the water was leaking in. And because there isn't any plywood under the tiles, we've been told if you walk on the tiles, they crack and break easily (and nothing sturdy underneath where you're standing, so you could potentially fall straight through. So we had no idea how we were going to get a close look at the roof.

Then I had the bright idea of just tearing out the drywall in the ceiling where the water is, and hopefully we'd be able to see the hole from that way.

So we had to paper and plastic off the entire room. Quite the task when it has vaulted ceilings and an open stairwell to the upstairs:

Then we scraped the popcorn ceilings in the living room and the adjacent dining room. AND we cut out the drywall where there was water damage. The area on the ceiling near the triangle window is the front of our house, and it's above a fireplace (Yes, we have a fireplace in Hawaii. No, we don't know why. No, we'll probably never use it. Yes, everyone laughs when they see it). That was actually old damage from a problem with the flashing around the chimney that the bank (the home was bank-owned) before we moved in, but they neglected to repair the drywall damage. Boo.

So the main lead was in the center of the room, and it ran down the ceiling and pooled in that spot by the window and dripped down the wall. Pure awesomeness. The drywall was a so soggy and a tiny bit moldy, but luckily the mold was just concentrated in small spots.

The skylight in our entryway (between living and dining rooms) also had a bit of damage. Extra bonus awesome.

WE SCRAPE OUR POPCORN CEILINGS DRY! It is super dusty, but was so much easier for us than spraying a patch, and then scraping. it came off like a charm. I filmed my husband scraping some, so maybe I'll upload that soon, so you can see how we do it. That's why we have to have the entire place sealed, though (these pics were taken after...there were no tears or holes in the paper during scraping or clean up).

And it was 3:00 in the morning on Saturday when we finished, so I wasn't thinking about taking pictures. But here's what the floor looked like after we finished scraping our master bedroom ceilings. Picture that times about 4 and add some rotten drywall into the mix. Yummy. My poor vacuum and ShopVacs hate me.

After all that work, we found part of the problem...but not the hole/crack. They installers did put sime kind of silver sublining below the tiles that was supposed to keep the water from leaking directly to the drywall should a crack occur. But after 25 years, ours had pretty much disintigrated to nothing up to the place where the water damage was. So the leak was above that area somewhere and had run down the silver lining and then started dripping onto the drywall where the lining started to disappear. Blah.

My husband is in residency right now and is in the middle of one of the busiest rotations with the longest hours. He works a 30 hour shift this Saturday and Sunday and gets home between 7:30 and 9:00 at night each night. Plus it was raining cats and dogs. Plus we had no idea how we were going to get on the roof to find the crack.

Meet my arch nemesis, aka "our roof":

So our entire living room set is crammed into our kids' playroom/family room, PLUS my kitchen is torn apart because that was supposed to be our next project (not leaky roofs and popcorn ceilings), and I had no idea how we were going to fix it or when it was going to get done. Lovin' my life.

So then on Monday I notice our neighbors across the street are having their roof refinished. Every 6 years or so, it's recommended to have these concrete tile roofs power washed, sealed, and then primed and painted with a special roof paint.

And these guys were just hanging out and walking around up there in their "slippers" (flip-flops are called slippers here in Hawaii).

So I went and chatted with one of them. Turns out he's also my neighbor! He lives a couple houses up the street. So I told him my dilemma, and he was like, "Well, I can show your husband how to fix it and seal the roof real easy and how to walk on the tiles. But you have to have these rubber slippers."  I love Hawaii.

Super nice guy, very eager to help out, but no hubby with time.
Behold, what's that I hear as I'm walking across the street after talking to him?? It's my "Dirty Little Secret" ringtone!  Yeah, my husband was calling to say 6 of their 8 patients in the hospital had miraculously been discharged, and they sent one resident home! He was on his way home at 3:00!

So he chatted with the neighbor/roof repair guy who told him all about the roof cracks and how all of them leak. He showed him that if you walk on the front of the tiles, it's on top of the beams, so they won't crack. And then he told him the best sealant to use to fill up ALL the seams above where the drip was (since we couldn't tell where the actual leak was coming from still).

Here's the sealant we used. Henry 208R.

So my husband was home when there was daylight. We found out how to walk on and repair the roof. And the weather was perfect!  Do miracles always come in 3's??

Now don't go thinking he got to have all the fun up there. I've enjoyed some lovely time up on the ladder cleaning these:

Yes, those are plants growing out of my rain gutters. How people let it get this filthy, I'll never understand. But don't they look much better now:

The roof guy was even nice enough to tell Scott he'd show him how to seal and refinish the roof himself (since Scott used to be a professional painter, and we have a sprayer). The quote we got before buying the home was $8500 just to do the refinishing. Ugh. I'll happily give Lowes or Home Depot my $1000 or whatever it costs to buy the 50 gallons of paint and primer.

Eventually we'll probably do black. This home is the exact style as ours but is a couple blocks away. I LOVE it. Their chimney is also done in an amazing stone. ((sigh)) One day... One project at a time. Or 5. Whatever.


At November 11, 2010 at 5:16 AM , Blogger Kimberly said...

That house looks awesome. You guys are so brave. I'll take a toilet apart, but climb on a roof and repair it myself? I'd be way too scared.

At November 15, 2010 at 8:13 PM , Blogger Susan Payton said...

Just blogging around this evening and found your blog. I love reading all the different blog, they are all so different and unique. They all have something special to offer. Thanks for letting me visit.

At November 16, 2010 at 6:46 PM , Blogger VS said...

Greetings Friend...
Your house looks beautiful now!
You have a wonderful blog & I look forward to following along with you through lifes many adventures!

At April 6, 2011 at 8:14 PM , Blogger Adrienne said...

Hey Charlie, I found your blog recently and I'm obsessed. You're so creative and brave. Funny thing is that my husband is also a first year resident and I also have three kids, so you'd think we have a lot in common, but I get next to nothing done in the creativity/crafty department and you are truly inspirational here. I think you need to share your energy secret. You're my hero!

At February 6, 2012 at 6:42 AM , Anonymous Freddy Wingfried said...

How's your roof right now? I hope you haven't gotten any problems with leaking and stuff since it was repaired and refinished. Did you go with a black roof? That would look pretty good!


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