Monday, July 18, 2011

More Discoveries

One of the things I noticed, even before I took possession of the house, was that the side of the garage between the two houses was in really bad shape. The siding on that portion is a different kind than the main house, and the rain gutter is also in bad shape.

To add to this, there were a large number of maple and ash trees growing in between the houses (all of which were against the neighbour's foundation). The actual space between the houses was piled high with old wood debris and garbage (old rotten wood, various newer and older mouldings, and chunks of cement, concrete, and drywall compound. Amongst these, I was able to find one reusable piece of old moulding:

The larger trees have now been removed, and heavily salted. Some of the neighbour's kids started to clean out a bunch of the junk after I removed a large portion of it. I later found out that there is asphalt between both houses.

Because of the bad gutters, and the fact that the garage door had no seal along the bottom, I quickly found out that heavy rain turned the garage floor into a lake. I was able to fix 90% of the water flooding problems by adding a rubber seal, and cleaning the huge amount of leaves out of the gutters.

Leaks were not limited to the garage, either. When we first had some very heavy rain, I discovered several small leaks in the foundation. That was real fun. I've started to patch some of the areas with hydraulic cement (that's a huge labor intensive job), and the leaks are now minimal.

While I'm still on the topic of water leaks, one of the very first repairs I had to do was to the new water tank. One of the two connections on the top had a very slow leak (just enough that the top of the tank was wet.

The attic was another interesting to explore. For quite a while, I couldn't get up there because I only had a 6' ladder, so I was able to stand on it near the top, and point my camera in there to take photos initially. The house has a hipped roof (pyramid), and I was surprised to see that it's a completely empty space (no interior braces).

Future trips to the attic led me to find that under the newer blown insulation is the original vermiculite insulation, which is very likely contaminated with asbestos. I don't plan to do anything about this, other than work very carefully around it.

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