Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What a Drip! (Part 2)

OK, I'll admit to being a little crazy OCD about my house. But, c'mon! This mess would bother anybody. And to think - 10 days ago we were joyfully hanging a few more pictures and Steve took some time to hang the mirrors in the master bath.

We're now on Day 2 of the spray foam fix. I have to admit that when I wandered out to see the progress (More like retrogression!) during the crew's short lunch break yesterday, it was pretty disheartening. I knew they were tearing my house apart, but it was still quite a shock. I didn't leave my master bedroom sanctuary again until 5:30 p.m. and it certainly hadn't gotten any better. I guess things sometimes have to get worse before they get better, right?

We all have the same goal - to make this problem go away for good - so that calls for drastic measures. The boss knew from what he saw on Saturday that this problem wasn't isolated to the area where the water was leaking into the great room. The water wasn't actually coming through the roof in that spot. The problem started much higher, and if there was one problem, there could be more. More boards had to be removed - not all the boards - but, many, many, many boards. Like I said, drastic measures. The plan is to remove enough boards in order to reach all areas of the roof system again with the spray foam - by spraying up or down behind the boards that aren't being removed. We already have a trap door cut into the low wall of Guest Room 2 and we're going to cut a trap door into the low wall of Guest Room 1. These will give us access to some hard-to-reach areas. Boards are also being removed from the peaks in order to hit those areas again.

I snapped some photos before the crew arrived yesterday to show you how things looked in the morning. The great room and loft felt stark and raw - stripped down to the basic furniture pieces the crew was going to move and/or cover.

The guys got to work covering the carpeting with plastic and tarping off the spaces as best they could. The boss got up on our roof again and spent the next 3 hours knocking off the remaining snow/ice.

More fun was being had inside as the 2-man crew began the laborious process of removing boards. Remember, the boards on our walls and ceilings aren't planks sitting side by side; so you can't simply pop out a few nails, yank the board off the wall and throw it in a pile on the floor. They're tongue and groove - locked into each other like an intricate puzzle - that somehow has to go back together again - so great care is being taken to mark each board and location - and to stack them in piles that will make sense when it's time for the reinstall. The goal is to ruin as few as possible. But, let's be clear - some boards are getting ruined. This presents another problem. This wood has been on the wall for over a year - aging a little each day. As it ages, it darkens. How many new pieces will we need to cut and insert? How can we make it match without looking like a patch job? Will some of the spare pieces we have in the basement work or will they all be way too light? Will we need to remove boards from the interior of our master closet to splice in instead? We won't have these answers until things start going back together later in the week (hopefully?).

Anyway, here's what I saw during the crew's lunch break yesterday.

The whiter areas of foam are the spots they resprayed last January after removing fewer boards.

Here's the view of the loft from the great room. The guest rooms are on the side walls - one at each end. The guest bath is near the center of the loft - just to the right of the peak.

Did you notice my darling hubby in that shot? He looks so tired and frustrated. That's why I want to stay here with him this week instead of escaping to Mom's house. He's the Captain and I'm the First Mate. If he's going down with the ship, I want to go with him. I want to do my best to keep him calm and make sure he eats - right up until the end!

Here's the sloped area above one end of the loft - taken from the great room.

The next shot shows the same area - taken from the loft.

And, again.

Looking from the loft down into the great room.

The crew reported finding shallow spots and small pockets that were missed by the foam - and could feel air movement where they knew it shouldn't have been moving. (I should mention that these 2 guys were not the original installers and seem to be very conscientious and thorough.) The work of removing boards continued the rest of the afternoon, and here's what I saw when I left my master bedroom sanctuary at the end of the day - after Steve pulled some of the plastic down to allow better access to the kitchen.

If you haven't been in our house, it might be hard to judge scale. Look at the wall opening that leads to the dining area in that last shot. That's a normal ceiling height. Now, look at the door opening to Guest Room 2 in the next photo, and notice how much wall space is above it. 

This last shot shows where they removed more boards from the peak above the guest bath door in the center of the loft. 

It's like a car accident. It makes you sick if you look too closely, but it's hard to look away.

So, we now have scaffolding set up in the great room again, and the pounding and sawing noises have continued all day today as more areas are opened up. They tell us that they're going to cover every "finished" surface with plastic before they begin spraying. That will sure take some time. We may have to abandon ship on the day they spray. We're not sure yet. At this point, it doesn't seem possible for them to finish this week - even if they work on Saturday. I promise to try my best to keep you updated.

We're under a Winter Storm Warning until 4:00 p.m. tomorrow, so Steve will have a lot of snow to push around in the morning. We're praying we don't lose any trees and that our power stays ON. Feel free to pray, too. 


All is still well (with our souls) in the Keweenaw.

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