Wednesday, April 4, 2012

We-Design-Day: Home Evaluation - Starting your study

Keeping up with my plan to document my home evaluation, I started photographing things around the house. I had planned on doing the exterior first, however, when I woke last Sunday, there was snow everywhere and it was still snowing! So I focused my attention indoors!

Doing close-up photography sure goes to show one where the dirt lurks in a house! So please excuse the large and overwhelming dust bunnies running around the pictures!

First, I started off in the master suite looking at the window casings. I was aware that we had some water infiltration in the past, however I had always thought it has been because we'd left the window open in the rain.
If you look (and I hope it translates in this picture) there are streaks down the wall. It would appear, at first glace, that I'd left the window open. The only issue is this is the end that doesn't get opened.

Then I started examining the wall under the casing and I found evidence of further issue. See that little bitty piece of peeled paint? That, my friends, can be evidence of water damage. finding this did not make me happy. I pushed around and sniffed (don't ask, I have a weird sniffy thing I do). Now I didn't find anything soft or smell anything odd. The sniff test, for the record, is not scientific. But finding the peeled paint and additional bubbling paint indicates to me there may possibly be water infiltration at some point on the window.

I then started looking at the window structure itself and the wood supporting it. I noted it was very dusty (someone should really dust behind the blinds once and a while) and in the corners, years of ground in dirt. We bought our house in 2004 - it was 23 years old at the time and although it had been well maintained, things age naturally. Couple it with the window's northern exposure, the two large spruce trees that shade and shelter the window, the decorative wooden "trim" installed under the window and it can lead to what I'm seeing in the window. The exterior casings are also shown here and you can see that they are moderately weathered but still in reasonable condition. I do believe my 'problem' is the decorative wood piece on the outside. It's been inset in the aluminum siding this providing an easy access point for weather. I know part of it's rotten (from when I repainted it seven years ago) and I'd love to remove it (I'll take a picture of it soon - if it stops snowing at some point this weekend) but I'm not sure what's under and what exposing it would do. So, I'm smart enough to leave it alone (for now, anyway)!

Disheartened, I moved into the ensuite. I already know I've got problems in this room. Firstly, the exhaust fan conked out years ago and oh, it's so necessary in small space! I already knew the shower pan is cracked and we have a humidity problems in the space and a while back, I noticed darkening at the edge of the shower and under the toilet. Both spots indicated a leak of some variety.

I don't like dark marks under places where water is. I'm not necessarily concerned about mould - dangerous mould anyway. However, dark spots like this mean there could be rot and I don't like rot. Rot means more work. One wants to remedy leaks before dark spots appear. I'd like to say that I did this for my science, but it was mostly caused by busy lives, a husband living in a different city, marriage, new baby, new job syndrome. We got busy and didn't have the funds to manage repairs. It happens to everyone and why having a plan in place is so important.

Here is a picture of our window. Other than needing a good cleaning, a coat of paint and an operable ventilation fan, it's in reasonable condition. It does ice up in cold weather (like big chunks of ice - but this usually occurs at minus 30 Celsius).

Our sink and taps were next - the sink is cultured marble and it's horrible. The big black mark is a chip that had been previously repaired and is now deteriorating. The taps are new (we replaced them last fall). I don't like them but we opted to get the cheapest taps available as we were not in a position to properly renovate the ensuite however the taps needed replacing.

Finally, I looked under our sink to check the condition of the pipes. We've got a proper trap and the plumbing is adequate. The water lines are good and show no sign of corrosion, leaks or sweating.

Putting it all together takes effort and energy and time! Having it completed will allow me the ability to properly plan and develop our maintenance and replacement schedule. I hope you've found today's article informative and educational! If you have any questions or if you'd like additional information, feel free to send me an email! Thanks for reading and see you again next week!

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