Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Mushroom Factor

The mushroom factor is a well documented old house phenomena in which the home owner starts on project A only to discover that in order to complete it project B must first be addressed, which leads to project C, etc. on to N (which is a VERY big number)

We at Foxcroft had been extremely lucky in avoiding the mushroom factor for over a year, since our fabled 5 Deadmen in the Basement episode. I was quite worried when Lisa said three weeks ago, “The toilet in the first floor bathroom seems to be leaking!” I decided to pull the toilet and prayed that all we needed to do was put down a new beeswax seal and call it good. Pete came over and we pulled the toilet to find that there were already 2 seals there, and that the vinyl under the toilet was extremely wet. We pulled back the floor a bit to discover equally saturated quarter inch plywood under the vinyl.

We then worked at getting all the vinyl off to see what was going on down there.

I knew from the orginal house contract that Bess wanted some sort of poured “Imperial” flooring that no one was able to get for her so the original floor was 2 and a quarter inch yellow pine, painted black. I wondered if it was still there.

Yep, black painted floor except where a chunk had already been sawed out around the stool, so obviously water had been a problem for a while. I checked the joists from below and was grateful to see that the joists were not affected but some of the subfloor had.

I pulled out the flooring, and took off the flooring paper to expose the subfloor

So the subfloor is open now and you can see how wet the subfloor was. Our plan will be to saw out the subfloor where it is bad around the stool and replace it. I have contacted the plumber to cut the pipe so we can floor over it. Then we will put down durarock and tile over the floor.

More mushroom factor information to come, we have a lot more steps to go through in the bathroom.

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