Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Dripping Destruction

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

Over the last few weeks we have experienced many different kinds of weather. We started off with a heat wave and we've had rain, followed by sunshine and then really cold weather, followed by sunshine again and now it seems to have settled into rain and much colder weather.

Wet weather is the last thing I need at the moment because we have a problem with water running down the back of our house and as it is an old stone wall that has no cavity, the damp is coming through the wall and has already ruined the bathroom and is now creeping downstairs.
Naturally we realised that something was wrong and our son, Sam brought a ladder round and cleaned out the gutter above the problem area. He felt that was the answer, but instead of drying out, the wet is continuing to seep through to the inside wall and I think it is something more serious. There is no sign of an overflow pipe oozing water. I wonder where it can be coming from?
Harry has to keep well away from anything dirty that could be harbouring bacteria... because of his lowered resistance caused by chemo therapy and it seems beyond me to be able to do very much myself. Besides, he hasn't the energy or stamina to deal with this anymore than I have.
I keep asking myself, why we didn't move into somewhere smaller and newer when we were in a stronger position a good few years ago. What has kept us in this big house when we are no longer in a position to look after it and do the necessary repairs?
Seems we get over one problem only to be confronted by something else.
I have tried calling plumbers that are known to us, so far with no success.

Isn't it annoying that this is the type of thing that can really wear you to the ground? It seems all we need after having to go through painful, lengthy treatments and life threatening illnesses to be outwitted by water.





27 comments:

Jeni said...

That's one of the major problems with being a home owner, isn't it -always something going wrong with the place and especially if you have an older type home. We have similar issues here too except ours involves the little roof over our front door entryway where the ice last winter backed up under the roof and created a leak problem. Insurance company says it's our problem, not theirs which makes one wonder why on earth do we purchase home owners insurance then in the first place?

Glenda said...

Maggie, I'm so sorry you're going through all that on top of the health issues the two of you have been facing. We're also in an old house and have considered selling it and downsizing into a small, newer home now that we've retired. But then again, I've heard horror stories about problems with new construction and we know that this old 100 year old home is built solid and has a lot of character, so we'll probably stick it out. I hope that you can find the problem soon. Mold and mildew are not very compatible companions.

Wendy said...

I can totally relate to this post, Maggie.

When David first got sick (lung disease), I suggested moving from our big home in the country into a condo closer to town. He did not want to. I let it go. Then asked again a few years down the road.

He still did not want to, but I respected his need to stay within familiar walls. We have many trees in the backyard and as you know, trees produce oxygen. So, I thought that it would be better for him anyway to stay here, among the trees, peace and tranquility.

Now, I'm on my own. Our house has just been sold. However, on building inspection, it was discovered that the french drains around the house are blocked. Water, although not seeping inside (yet), could do so with the next heavy rainfall.

The plumbers are coming Monday morning to blast away at the drain and hopefully, just give it a good cleaning out. The worst case would be to replace the whole system, which would cost the earth! Not to mention digging up the foundation. I sincerely hope not!!!

There were other plumbing problems that I had repaired before putting the house on the market, and I paid quite a lot for those, although this one could be a whole lot worse. I'm just crossing my fingers that it is only a matter of cleaning out.

All that to say - water, water, everywhere!!

I hope your problem gets sorted out soon. You don't want molds in your home. Do you have a dehumidifier? That would help with the moisture.
Good luck, Maggie. I hope things turn out well for you and hubby.
Hugs

Expat mum said...

Oh no, what a shame. I always think it's particularly stressful when no one seems to have a clue what the problem is so you don't really know who to ring. Good luck. xx

mrsnesbitt said...

Oh dear Maggie - don't you know of any reputable builders in the area? Maybes that come recommended? A check over just might put your mind at rest.
Dxx

Formerly known as Frau said...

Oh May I'm sorry I hope the professionals get it fix soon. In the mean time stay dry and warm. xo

dianefaith said...

There is a small window when moving from "home" to a new, more reasonable place is possible, and it comes earlier than we like to acknowledge. I've known only one person who actually planned and made that move. I talk to my husband about it, but we always "let it go" for the time being. Somehow we always think late life issues will work out better for us, although there's no reason at all to think that.

We could have talked seriously with my Mother about moving when she was in her mid-70's, after that there was no way she was going to budge, and the house deteriorated around her. She lived to be 89. Now we have an elderly aunt who lives by herself and keeps a gun on her coffee table. Again, 10 years ago she might have moved, but there's no way she's going to get out of that house now.

You've reminded me: My husband and I need to talk again.

Celia said...

I'm so sorry Maggie, I had a leak in the flashing of a roof vent near the peak of the roof. It dripped on a beam that lead to the other side of the house and ruined a wall that looked sound but we could smell mold. Then one day during a very hard rain a puddle appered on the floor. It yook some creeping about in the 90+ year old attic during a rain to locate the source. I keep wondering if I should give up and sell (if it would see in this economy) and move to an apartment. But I'd miss the yard and myneighborhood. These are tough choices, and tough to bring about those changes, moving, ugh!

Hope you get a good workman soon. I's suggest a dehumidifier too in the meanwhile.

Celia said...

Oops, took not yook. Sorry about the other typos too, I'm on an unfamiliar machine.

Suldog said...

I'm sorry to hear about this, Maggie. Yeah, sometimes the straw that sends the camel's back toward breaking is something that would seem not too bad another time. Best of luck in finding someone to help. I'll say a prayer, of course.

Nora said...

I'm sorry that I have no good suggestions at all. You just have my sympathy. I would ask a builder to come have a look if I were you, but that's as far as I will go as to my help with the problem. It seems quite involved. I wish you the best of luck with this and I hope you have good home insurance. XOX

Mary G said...

Bummer. My parents' house used to do the same. My mother once said that the only bright spot about it was that wading through the water to clean it up made her toenails soft enough to cut.
You have to be pretty desperate.
Hope you find the cause soonest!

Brian Miller said...

ugh sorry...this is one of those things that will wear on you...i hope you find someone soon because water can certainly be destructive

Mimi said...

Oh Maggie, I know exactly how you feel about the leaking wall.
because I've had that problem, it ruined my kitchen, paint peeling off the wall, tried several attempts to get it fixed. My brother then came from UK (wish he lived in Bristol not Kent) and sorted it out for me. It was the roof, felt had been disturbed and had rotted underneath, just a little bit but enough to cause a major leak.
Can you get a reliable builder to look at it?
It's very hard on your energy to have to deal with this, and I wish I could help.

ladyfi said...

Oh - how very frustrating! Hopefully, you can find someone who will help you with the damp problem...

Retired English Teacher said...

Oh Maggie, I am so sorry to hear about this. I have no good ideas. I hope you can find someone to help you solve this problem quickly and with little expense.

Ayak said...

I do know how you feel Maggie. We have the same problem with the back walls of our house (bedrooms and bathroom walls). We think it is because we have a steep hill behind our house and there is no proper drainage system (there never is with Turkish houses) so th rain has nowhere to go except soak through the stone walls. Goodness knows how we can slve our problem as builders here are useless but I would be more optimistic about your problem being solved as at least builders in the UK are mostly reputable.

TechnoBabe said...

House repairs is one of the main reasons I am not interested in owning a house ever again. Let someone else be the landlord. I am free to enjoy our little hippie house and I paint it and make it "our own" but I don't have to own it. I am so sorry to hear about the water problem, Maggie. Like your say, you both are going through so much now. I hope you find someone able to find the problem and offer a sensible solution soon.

Akelamalu said...

Things like this always seem to happen at the most inopportune times don't they? I do hope you get it sorted out soon Maggie then you can both concentrate on dealing with your health issues and getting well. xx

Suburbia said...

Oh Maggie, I am sorry. Seems like this is the last straw.

Have you tried any General Builders instead of plumbers?

I bet your old house is lovely mostly, and it's so important to feel 'at home' when you're ill. I'm sure you did the right thing staying put. If you had moved to somewhere new you may not have felt so at home and lets face it, every house has problems, you might have even been worse off!

Hope you can get someone to sort it out soon. I do know a general handyman but I don't think this would be in his remit. Sorry.

Hugs

Sx

Rae said...

Oh Maggie, that really sucks :( I wish I knew of a plumber to help you but I am still relatively new round these parts (I know a great one back in Norwich, but I don't think he comes out quite this far!)

I do hope you get it fixed soon, damp and leaky things are a huge worry in a house

Rose said...

I can understand why you're so frustrated, Maggie, and I do hope you can get this problem solved soon. We lived in an older house for many years, and it seemed like there was always something to be fixed. Yet our newer home always needs something done, too. I suppose the only way to escape these problems is to move into a condo where maintenance is someone's responsibility. But it's so hard to leave a place that you've known as "home" for such a long time. I hope someone can figure out what's causing the problem and can fix it without costing too much. By the way, Sam sounds like such a wonderful son; you are so lucky to have him nearby!

Gail said...

Poor you, this is the type of problem that can really grind you down. Maybe a roof problem? I had something similar a few years ago. Hope it gets sorted quickly.

Shammickite said...

Last year I sold my 1895 home. I lived in that home for over 30 years. But with my husband gone, and then a live in boyfriend gone.... nobody to take charge of repairs, so the house was sold. Thank goodness. The new owners seem have found a few major problems that i didn't know existed and last week I saw a pest control van parked there.A nd I've moved to a modern home where house maintenance is done for me. Just in time.

secret agent woman said...

Yes it is. My house was built in 1956, and it has one problem after another, even with all the renovations I've done. I love the house, but still.

SandyCarlson said...

How''s it going with the water, my friend?

I hope all is well. It isn't easy, for sure.

Be well.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

What a blimmin' nuisance for you. Water can get anywhere and can cause such a lot of damage. I do hope you get this sorted out. We have problems with damp in one of our rooms downstairs and I'm hoping to have it renovated next year. It's been like that for many years now so I dread to think what the damage is.

CJ xx