Friday, September 25, 2009

Wet walls

I went into the house yesterday to ponder....ruminate....imagine possibilities.

While I was there, I had a look at this area behind the door to the patio. I had been worried about it as the sand just kept falling, buy Hubris Architect said that it was nothing, just the plaster. Sorry about the blurry photo.

So I picked at it a bit. I figure if it is loose enough to come off in chunks, it is going to have to come off eventually anyway.

I was however rather alarmed by what I saw. That nice light beige stuff? Crumbly but dry. The dark brown? Soaking freaking wet.

Ho hum.

You can see these weird straight lines between the wet areas and the dry. Haven't figured out what that is all about.

From the position I figured that there were one of three possibilities about where the water could becoming from.

1. The sink in the pati....a leaky drain and it is wicking in.

2. Something on the other side of the wall.

3. (and most worrying) that it is leaking from the roof all the way down to the ground floor.

At that point I lost my nerve, went home, put on happy music and painted.

Ostrich-like I know, but there it is.

Today I felt braver. I pulled more of the plaster off to see how far the damage went....a long way.

Then I went upstairs to look at the big fat crack in the wall there that is right over top of the wet spot in the kitchen.

See it there? Floor to ceiling.

Then I pulled out some of the plaster.

It is wet back there, very very wet. It is also, as far as I can see, pure mud, these walls don't seem to have any rocks in them at all.

There are also some VERY deep cracks in it.



Ho hum.

Good thing those walls are three feet thick.

Ohhhhh, on the good news front, our very good friend who also is an electrician/plumber/gas installer also knows an architect that he personally has used and with whom he has worked often.

Hope rises up again.

Welcome to the rollercoaster ride that is home renovation.


swenglishexpat said...

I understand your worry. It reminds me of our house in the French countryside, which is built with stone and mortar. There is no foundation, so the stones soak up the water from the ground making them go darker. When we arrive in the colder, wetter parts of the year we can always tell how much rain has fallen since last time. Sometimes the grout between the floor tiles are not just darker, but there is water on the tiles. After a few hours with the wood-burning stove on full blast it starts to disappear. BTW that mortar the French farmers used in the past was made from all sorts of material; sand, earth, horse hair etc. It dries with time and just crumbles when you touch it, so you need to clear it all out and stick some modern mortar in there. Don't despair, it is probably not as bad as you fear! :-))

Anonymous said...

:(. I hope everything will be fine, and that it won't cost too much to renovate...

Beth said...

I FERVENTLY hope that your first commenter has the right of it. These old, old houses can indeed be funny things.
It's probably not as bad as you fear.
Or not.

Best of luck!! My fingers and toes are crossed for you on this!!

Hula Girl at Heart said...

Thankfully, we are on the last hill of our roller coaster ride. I think. You never know what's around the next turn, do you? Here's crossing my fingers that it isn't that bad for you.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope that architect turns out to be the real thing!You do need someone good to get things going and keep at it and whom you can rely on! GM

Beth said...

I have a small water mark on the ceiling in the dining room and I KNOW it was from a leaky roof (since repaired) but I’m not digging any deeper.
Glad I’m planning to move out, not in…

oreneta said...

Swenglishexpat...thank you a great deal in fact....hope springs eternal!

ElP, me too frankly.

Beth. Fervent is the perfect word.

Hula, when do you move? Have you sold your house yet????

GM, we are chomping at the bit to get this going, but know how important it is to get someone good.....gnash gnash....

Beth...DON'T TOUCH IT!!!!goodness, there is a time to be glad to be moving out isn't there.

Vancouver Isle Doug said...

Oh my! You have lots of guts to start poking into the wall like that! I could not do that, would be too paranoid of what I might find. I give you lots of cred for buying a house like that - reminds me of a British show where people buy old properties in the country and rehab them into usually stunning family homes. I'm sure yours will turn out fantastic, just a few roller coaster rides before the house is done.
My main concern lately with our place is some shifting of BIG rocks in the yard - small tremors? I don't even want to think about it. HAHA!