Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Saw Something Nasty in the Crawlspace

And the kitchen.  And the bathroom.  When we bought the farmhouse, we knew there were a few things we had to keep an eye on, and if you've been following me for a while, you know we got, um, a bit more than we bargained for when we bought the place.  So a couple days ago I forayed into the crawlspace to check on the joists that butt up to the brick patio at the rear of the house. 

Because there were no gutters on the house for years, rain water has made the ground and patio slope toward the foundation of the house.  Some of the joists, while still sound, had sustained water damage, and unfortunately, it's gotten worse.  We had hoped gutters and rain barrels would solve the problem, and though they've helped, they're useless against heavy rains.  I also checked out the area under the downstairs bathrooms and found lots of old water and termite damage.  Thank God we had the plumber disconnect everything a few months ago.

There's also a mystery leak under the kitchen sink and mildew in the dishwasher.  Geesh, can't these things just go away???

These problems won't be solved quickly or cheaply.  Here's what needs to happen:
1. Slap myself out of my catatonic state.
2. Demolish patio.  Bummed about it but the brick is sitting on concrete, which means instead of the water seeping into the ground, it seeps into the house.
3. Regrade ground at rear of house.  No idea how to do this, which is why we have Youtube.
4. Call someone to eradicate the mold in the crawlspace.  Maybe I forgot to mention that.  We have black dots all over the joists.  This needs to be done first because as soon as you start demolition, mold spores will take flight and end up on your walls, ceilings, hair, and soup.
5. Tear out bathroom and damaged floor areas.
6. Scab joists, i.e., bolt a new piece of lumber to the damaged piece of lumber, extending several feet beyond damaged area.
7. Rebuild everything...floors, patio, time and money allow.  Byron does the majority of the work himself so that we can do this as cost effectively as possible, and he also teaches full-time. 

Let me reiterate how happy we are to be here, and to have bought this house and land back into the family.  Though the problems with the house have been a major setback, posting them helps extract them from the recesses of my brain and keeps you updated with the activities at our homestead.

Again, apologies for the lack of photos.  I know you're itching to see those moldy joists.  The good news is that I finally ordered a new computer!


  1. Hey, word is, you can do the mold yourself. We recently had a problem, and Paul's friend that does environmental something at the city said all the professionals do is spray it with bleach anyhow. Bleach is much cheaper when you do it yourself ;-)

  2. I read that you shouldn't use bleach. Did it solve your problem, however?

  3. i recently had a wall tested and we found out have the bad black mold in our bathroom... let us know what you decide to do. we're still deciding.