Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fear of the Unknown

Post  42                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Martha and I live in an 1890’s Victorian House. I once thought it was wonderful, with its never painted woodwork, pocket doors, and stained glass windows. People who visit “ooh and aah”, and declare “how charming” it must be to live in such a house.  After twenty years of repairs, restoration, and exterior painting, the house really does look nice.
The problem is the work never ends.  Finish four sides, and then start again.  Upstairs, downstairs, windows, floors. Finish it all, then do some more.

This spring, I did a full remodel of the second floor bathroom. Too bad I didn’t think to replace the cast iron waste pipe while I had the floor open. This winter it developed a leak that is slowly destroying the plaster ceiling below.

I ignored the situation for a few days, hoping a clever solution would come to mind. Really, I was procrastinating. Wet plaster always fails, and leaks never spontaneously heal themselves.
Today is the day.  I will put down the plastic tarp, take a dulled chisel and hammer to the plaster and lath to find out what nightmare resides above the ceiling.  
Experience has taught me that it’s never as bad as imagined.

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