House Rehab: Henry

The house has been suffering from water works.  It is so wet under the house, that my husband has forbidden the water to be turned on.  That makes it tough to complete my wall washing.  I continued to prime wood surfaces, and I painted one of the nasty subfloors.  I used Kilz, and it took a full gallon to paint one room.  Mark had it in the garage shelf, and I thought it a good opportunity to compare it with Zinnser BIN.  I thought I had another gallon of product.  I did not.  My local salvage store had BIN at 23.99 a gallon which is significant savings.  I bought 4 gallons in addition to the 2 that already had.  I may have to use more than one coat on the urine stained subfloor.

My husband in the meantime was tackling the water works damage.  From the first floor foyer, he sawed through the subfloor to create a more advantageous place to work and view.  He did not like what he saw.  Several of the joists are spongy, and it appears that the framing was less than substantial in some places--specifically, some load that is not being borne by the joists.  He started ripping out saturated insulation, and in doing so discovered more spongy wood.  Also, he found a dryer vent that was rotted, and ineffective.  Accordingly dryer exhaust (hot, moist air) was circulating freely underneath.

Everything is fixable, but we will leave the balance of the job to the professionals--some things are just worth paying for, and this is one of them.  I have money in the budget for this.

After working from the front of the house from the airy upper floor, we went to the back of the house crawl space entry to remove insulation.  Wet insulation is no fun.  Mark was underneath grumbling and mumbling about the shape of the insulation when he backed out quickly.  Apparently, he had literally pulled the rug out from Henry.  Henry is the black snake underneath the house.  I'm not sure why I named him Henry--it is a benign name.  You will remember that Henry is the snake that belongs to the his former skin that I spied underneath the house when my husband had me crawling under there (he's on the phone giving me instructions) to turn the water back on and turn off the pump from the panel.  He was also assuring me that any snake was long gone.  Our home inspector found him.  Then Mark pulled his insulation rug from under him.

We covered the upstairs dryer vent and ensured that the cover on the subfloor cut away had no cracks.  Henry doesn't need to venture upstairs.  Today, there will be some a plumber and a pipefitter. Hopefully, they can get enough work done so that I can get a faucet feed at least and the damaging spray can be capped off.  I'm hoping that Henry escapes so that he does not surprise our handy guests!


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