Sarah Stultz: It’s one home project after another these days

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

I have a love-hate relationship with home ownership. 

This last year at our home has not been pretty as we’ve encountered problem after problem. 

It makes me think back to our previous home in the Park Avenue neighborhood that was built pre-1900s and how few problems we had there. Yet, we move into a house built in the ’70s, and it has been just one thing after another. 

I wrote last fall about a leak through the ceiling into the main level in our home above the washer and dryer. After calling in the professionals, it was determined the toilet from upstairs was leaking — and had likely been leaking for some time. 

After a few weeks with a hole in the ceiling, we got the issue fixed — had new floorboards put in, new flooring installed in the bathroom, the toilet fixed and the drywall underneath it repaired. 

A few months later, I noticed water coming through the ceiling again, and I knew it wasn’t going to be good. 

The toilet was still fine, but this time it was the shower — which was probably original to the house. It had somehow developed a crack over the years and was leaking water when in use. 

We met with a contractor a few months ago, but because of how long it is taking to get supplies these days, our new shower will not be installed until later this month or the beginning of next. 

Then this last Saturday, to our dismay, we walked down to our finished basement and found soggy carpets, which had likely been that way for at least two days before we found them from the storm earlier in the week. 

In investigating how the water could have gotten into the house, we discovered that outside of the house, the last piece of the gutter in the back corner of the house that directs water away from the house had somehow been unattached. We’re guessing the water came gushing down that spout, and it was too much all at once for the foundation. 

Needless to say, we spent much of the day on Saturday sucking up water from the basement with a wet vac and have been lucky to borrow a couple dehumidifiers from friends to have running around the clock to get all that moisture out of the air. 

If the smell — though lessening — is any indication, it’s likely we will have to pull all of the carpets out and put in new flooring. 

I’m hoping this project will be quicker than the one in the bathroom and that we can at least get the supplies in and knock it out ourselves with help from other family. 

Until next time, let’s cross our fingers that nothing else will happen in the coming weeks. 

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.