I will go down with this ship.
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love, and always will be
It started last night while I was putting cookie dough on a pan to bake.
I was standing in the kitchen in front of the stove and I heard a strange scuffling noise. It sounded almost like a mouse. We had a mouse in the kitchen last year when we first moved in, and the cats quickly extinguished it…to put it mildly.
I heard the rustling noise again a second later and I turned to the kitchen window next to me to see what the noise was.
Then I realized it was water dripping onto a box of coffee creamers, not a mouse scuffling.
The water was coming in above the kitchen window, down from the wall.
For the past 24 hours we’d had a frozen cold water pipe in the kitchen. I assumed it was that pipe, finally burst and now leaking. I was confused though–why would that pipe be in the ceiling? It was the kitchen sink and dishwasher that were frozen up. The pipes run under the sink and down to the basement, not up and over to the wall.
I went in the basement and turned off the main water line, then called the property manager to tell him there was a leak. Nothing in the basement was leaky below the sink where it was frozen.
I checked the laundry room upstairs above the leaky wall. Nothing. Everything was dry.
Of course Tyler was at work while this happened, because as the rule goes any time there’s a crisis I’m alone to handle it. It was past the kids’ bedtime and they were going crazy.
The property manager had a plumber out right away. I was surprised! It was past 9 at night and a plumber arrived at my house within 10-15 minutes of my phone call.
The guy was really nice. He confirmed that it definitely was not the cold water pipe leaking. There are no pipes in that wall above the kitchen window.
That’s not good.
It’s not too hard to quickly repair a busted pipe. Just some soldering or screwing two joints together. We’ve repaired a couple ourselves in the past with the help of a neighbor, at the house we own in the city.
But a mysteriously large drip coming from the top of the wall?
Dude, that’s just not good.
The plumber is also a contractor, he does all kinds of work. So he was able to figure out that the leak was coming from a spot where the siding meets the brick. Our kitchen used to be a back porch until they closed it in about 45 years ago.
Apparently when they walled off the porch they didn’t do that great of a job. It has no insulation, which is why it gets so cold in there.
It has leaked in this spot before! This explains the old water damage on the cabinets by that window. I had wondered about that. But they repaired it poorly, just haphazard patching rather than quality (more expensive and complicated) repairs. This was way before we moved in.
Those cheap repairs backfired because now…
Winter Storm 2015 killed my vintage kitchen ya’ll.
THERE IS A HOLE IN MY VINTAGE WALLPAPER.
The contractor left last night with just a single drip falling down into a bucket. He said after things thaw outside he can come back and do some repairs.
Fine, no big deal.
This morning I woke up and it was a huge disaster. Tons of water pouring in!
There were several inches of standing water on the floor by the kitchen door. It was running under the top cabinets, through the cabinets, behind the fridge, down the wall in multiple places…
The drawers were filled with water. Everything in the cabinets was soaking wet.
What a mess.
I started taking things out of the drawers and cabinets, drying what I could. We used up most of our towels soaking up water.
The property manager had the contractor back out here in about 15 minutes again. Bless him.
The contractor was…stunned.
He brought his brother and about four other guys over. They did some arguing, and finangaling of water logged wood, used some caulk, and then determined there was major damage.
Major damage means we are now stuck waiting for the insurance adjuster to show up before any work can start.
The contractor said that the entire wall will have to come down, along with the stoop at the kitchen door.
It will take 1-2 weeks of work. My kitchen will be missing a wall. A whole entire wall.
I can only laugh. And thank the sweet baby Jesus that I do not have to pay any bills for this. (And I’m also thanking the sweet baby Jesus that my property manager handles all dealings with the landlord instead of me…)
I’m having old house problems.
It’s just one of those things. You know that saying? Every rose has its thorns. I love to live in unique houses full of character. My 112 year old Victorian castle house is awesome. You want really green grass, you’re going to need a lot of fertilizer under it. Gotta take the bad with the good…that’s life.
Want to hear a funny story? (My whole life is a funny story, but this is extra funny. Sort of.)
For the past four months I have been very angry at my cats.
I keep going in the kitchen to find cat pee in one of three places. In front of the fridge on the floor, on the counter by the kitchen window and on the window curtain, andon my stove.
This draws the line for me at disgusting cat behavior. I mean really. Peeing on surfaces in my kitchen? Just no. NO.
I’d been bleaching the hell out of it and utterly furious with the cats.
Ok this is where the funny part comes in.
This morning when the kitchen was imploding I found what I thought was cat pee in front of the fridge. It was in the same spot as always, right on the split in the linoleum where they’d joined two pieces together 45 years ago.
I cleaned it up with my special cat urine deodorizing spray.
Then I turned around to grab my coffee.
I turned back around and the cat pee had returned! Yellow puddle. Same spot.
Uh? There were definitely no cats in that watery kitchen. The cats had hightailed it to dry, warm places away from the chaos.
The kitchen has been doing some sneaky weird seeping of water through the apparently rotting wood, leaving gross smelling yellow puddles in my kitchen for months…and I’ve been blaming it on cats.
This means three things.
1) I feel bad for shoving my male cat’s face in that and screaming at him in pure frustration the 48234th time it happened.
2) This leaky wall has been building up for such a long time before it finally imploded. Yikes!
3) I am so relieved that cats are not peeing in my kitchen. I felt dirty. I am oh-so-relieved to not be harboring that disgusting secret any longer.
Oh and as a bonus to my Winter Storm 2015 fun?
I was laying in bed nursing Henry to sleep this afternoon when I looked up absentmindedly at my bedroom curtains. They are long, white curtains.
I noticed “cat pee” on the top of the curtains spreading down the top third of the fabric.
We all know there’s no way a cat has peed on my high Victorian ceilings.
Water is leaking from the top of my upstairs bedroom window too.
Luckily it’s not as much as the kitchen at all. Not yet. I feel the need to say Hail Mary’s at this point or something.
So the insurance adjustor gets to check out my bedroom too.
Do you think this blog entry is long enough? BECAUSE IT’S NOT DONE YET!
This evening I went into our back room, the one that has a door to the backyard. It’s the room next to the kitchen. We keep the dog crates in there, the bikes, and some random kid craft stuff that’s all disorganized and hoarder-like in one corner. The kids enjoy digging through it.
Anyway, I was letting my hound beast out of his crate and I happened to look up at the wall.
And then I couldn’t stop laughing. Because…well I don’t really know why. I just couldn’t.
Do you see that? Do you see that???
It’s a substantial amount of water. RUNNING DOWN MY WALL.
Is this a joke? Is there a hidden camera?
I hope the insurance adjuster comes soon.
Until yesterday’s drip in the kitchen we have never had any leaks here, not all year. Nothing. Heavy rains, snow, ice. No problems. (Except for the mysterious not-cat-pee thing.)
Why is every room of my house suddenly leaking?
Most importantly, why am I cursed? Do you remember last February when the cabin we were renting died? And we had to move in the dead of winter? And we were homeless for like a month?
Not again. Not again, I say. I am not moving.
Luckily this time they are making repairs as quickly as possible. But what the heck February? Why you gotta do me this way every year?
I’m already nervous about what will happen in February of 2016.