October 5, 2008

Hoye On Homes

Filed under: fail,hate,vendetta — mhoye @ 9:33 pm

Down The Driveway

So, I didn’t take pictures of this while I was doing the work because I was too angry, but I really should have. Let me instead create a picture in your mind with words, that it may amuse you as much as it did me.

A little while ago we had our bathroom redone, and the fellow who did the work said something a little… cryptic? He said that he couldn’t see where the bathroom vent was going, because it wasn’t going out the side of the house, but he could see that it used to be hooked up to a pipe, so he just reconnected it to that and sent it on its way.

That seemed like a reasonable if not fully-informed decision. We don’t know where it goes either. So, OK, sure. But later, because I was a little concerned about a water-damage problem in a window frame on the second floor (adjacent to said bathroom) and the plaster in the room was brutally bad, we decided to take the room apart, clean it out, reinsulate if we have to, and put it all back together.

When I pulled the walls and ceiling down I found a somewhat exciting (though not terrible) mold problem, and that the bathroom was vented into a piece of galvanized metal pipe that flowed directly into the chimney. And I thought, um, what? Because aside from the metal pipe housing our gas water heater’s exhaust, our chimney is capped. So that humid air was getting pumped back downwards, into our basement, and if there’s any leaks in the water heater’s exhaust pipe, they’re venting into my bathroom.The chimney is mostly sealed at the bottom, too, so that air wasn’t going anywhere else. Except that’s not true, because this pipe was rusted through in a couple of places; the water had obviously had nowhere to go, settled there, and corroded it right through, and now I was getting humid air vented directly into my ceiling joists.

The absolutely infuriating part of this is that I can see that the ceiling has been pulled down and replaced at least once, right where that pipe is rusted out; that part’s drywall, not plaster and lathe. So at least one previous homeowner (almost certainly the one immediately prior to us) looked directly at this problem and decided to cover it up and pretend it wasn’t there until they sold the house.

Fuck you, previous homeowner. You have kids and you could still just cover that problem up and run away from it? I hope they turn out just like you, you selfish asshole, and I hope that you finally realize who you are when you see it happen. I hope you lie awake at night wondering if whoever sold you your new place is keeping all ten of their fingers crossed, hoping that whatever fuckup they’ve left hidden in your walls doesn’t catch fire the next time it rains.

Somewhat more positively, now that I’ve actually fixed all of this the bathroom fan works a hell of a lot better, and that previously-mysterious basement smell is quicly fading away. Turns out when you care about what you’re doing, you can get pretty surprising results! (And when you care about what you’re doing because you’re blindingly angry at the way it was done the last time, boy howdy. Rage gets things done.)

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