And repeat

Willy and I ultimately left our loft in the Market because it was not suitable for babies, and I had a bun in the oven when we sold. While that is true, there was one other flaw with the place, and it was a big one. The building was originally a beer store, and had been converted into nine units that all shared a roof. A flat roof.

The roof was poorly installed, and started to leak in the wee hours of a rainy January 1, 2005. We’d been out at a friend’s house, and came home to a couple of puddles that were alarmingly close to our computers. We spent the rest of the night trying to clean up, and wishing that the rain outside would stop. This pattern continued for the rest of that rainy winter, in our unit, and those of our closest neighbours. We tried to triage, tried to repair, but knew that the only permanent solution would be realized in the spring when the snow was gone.

I was somewhat hopeful the following winter. The neighbour’s had gotten together and had the roof repaired, enjoyed a dry summer in the house, and repaired the damage from the previous winter. Sadly, the roof started leaking again early the next winter, but it was much, much worse. We had buckets EVERYWHERE in the house, and at one point, there were 43 separate points where water was coming in to our living space. It was a long and stressful winter, where we watched the weather to see if it was “safe” to go out; where every little sound that we heard could have been, and often was a drip; and where our repaired walls were cut into to find more drips, and the damage was way worse. The following spring we re-roofed the building and sold the house.

Our current house has been a bit of a money pit, but one thing that has been pretty predictable is the roof. We put a new one on the summer after we bought the house, knew that the skylight in the kitchen leaked occasionally, and learned our lesson the one time that we had an ice dam cause some leakage. The snow that we have received this winter has caused us to be cautious, and Willy has made several trips onto the roof to check out the areas that we were concerned with, clearing snow as needed. Still, we let our guard down.

I was sitting on the couch yesterday morning, and noticed that there was a big bubble in the drywall on one of the walls. A water bubble. We drained it and Willy headed up to the roof, while I caught the steady stream of drips that came down the wall. The situation got worse when I went into the basement to check something in the office, and heard that telltale splat of water hitting wet carpet. It seems that the water was travelling down inside the wall too. At that moment, it all came back; those two long winters spent chasing drips and cleaning the mess that they leave behind.

The thing about leaks is that the water rarely shows itself in the house in a direct line from where it is coming into the house, so Willy chased this leak for much of the day. He finally found the entry point mid-afternoon, about an hour before he left for the airport on a business trip for the week. The drip has stopped, and I continued to get rid of the ice that surrounds the problem spot today. With the weather forecast ahead, I know that it is going to be a long week of listening and watching for, but hopefully not catching any more drips.

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