Today, I conducted a war on terror. It isn’t finished, but we identified the vermin, it is terror. As the days go ahead, more and more experts will give opinions about what repairs will kill this scourge known as RLBW.
Peg and I are undertaking a complete renovation of our living quarters by having all the rooms painted within five days. It sounds easy at first, but along with the painting comes the repair of many drywall joints that have split open by the forces of a house settling. Our home is now old enough to drink by Illinois law, that makes it twenty-one.
For the past six years I have noticed a spot on one wall that has changed color. The snow-white wall had an ominous grey spot on it. I guessed it to be moisture. At that same time, I identified several roof leaks that were severely damaging some of the walls. Four years ago, I had a new roof installed to stop the leaking.$$$ It seemed to have worked. I never took the trouble to repair the grey spots, until this major paint job became a reality.$$$$$
This morning the crew attacked Peg’s sitting room at the front of the house and the terrorist popped out and reared his ugly head. In chipping away at some of the drywall to replace it with sound plaster, the technician discovered that the plaster around our front window is soaking wet. He began pulling down wet moldy wall thus exposing the RLBW (Roof leak behind walls). This discovery told me that replacing the roof at considerable expense did not correct this problem. It has leaked for another four years without our knowledge. The result is a sill plate that is so rotted it must be replaced. The rotten sill plate supports the roof structure, and it is crumbling. Even as we tore away more of the drywall and insulation we could not find out the source of the water. My roofer sent a technician to investigate, and of course he couldn’t find a thing wrong, but he did admit he is looking at a leak problem.
Now the paint job has taken a new twist in the schedule. The priority has shifted from Peg’s room to my office, and I am knee-deep in the usual shit that takes over an office. Books by the shelf full, papers, and brochures to read later, my book notes, maps, and manuscript are strewn about the surface of my desk. Not to mention a bird’s nest of wires connecting printers, modems, hard drives, routers, that make up a modern office.
By the time I started to cook supper, I had transferred 95% of my stuff to another room with a solemn vow that 75% of it will never return. This is a great opportunity to purge, and to simplify, except I am doing the same with every room in the house. By the time the paint is dry, my body will be yearning for a couch in front of a big screen TV. Because of the extensive drywall repairs today, our bedroom is still wrapped in plastic waiting for a second coat of paint. That means Peg and I sleep in he guest room among all the stuff I moved there from the other rooms. There is a path around the bed into the bathroom and the bed itself is clear, so we will rough it in a strange bed. Gee it will be just like it is when we travel. Except for one thing, our guest room mattress does not match the same high quality of a Holiday Inn bed. It will be roughing it while the terrorist lurks two rooms away waiting for another opportunity to sneak water into the walls.$$$$$$$$$$