For those of you with morbid curiosity, you may wonder whether we succeeded in draining the swamp that became our home on March 5 of this year. See The Swamp Comes Home – Navigating the Blowers. It’s three plus months later, and while we are no longer navigating blowers, we’ve dealt with about every other conceivable calamity that can be associated with floors. I can only analogize it to some hike where each time you see what appears to be a clean shot to the summit, something – weather, a rabbit trail, or your own idiocy – sets you back the proverbial two steps.
So here goes:
- The blowers weren’t doing the trick so all the baseboards had to be pulled up. I asked if they could be saved but was rapidly told no. (Foreshadowing – this plays a role later in this saga.)
- Floor still had a high moisture level even after two plus weeks. I reluctantly conceded we couldn’t save the vintage parquet.
- Floor is pulled up; now we are down to the slab (yes, that part of your house that is on the actual ground), ready for more drying.
- Blower people question why there is black stuff on the slab. After 30 seconds of internet research I learn it is “black mastic,” commonly used in 1950, which contains a substance that shall not be named. We are now at post flood week 6 or 7.
- We buy masks (even though said substance is safely encapsulated in the mastic). Everyone agrees said substance must go (probably not correct, as you’ll see later).
- Turns out finding a company to do said substance removal is not easy. We finally find one and the main house is completely sealed for two days as a chemical treatment is applied.
- We are back to the blowers.
- The slab remains wet and they conclude it had probably never dried fully in its 70 years of existence and wicks moisture up from the ground.
- Solution- what feels almost like a coat of rubberized sealer to cover the slab. We are now at an additional two or more weeks. And I realize we could have slathered the offending black mastic with the coating.
- Time for the new parquet to go down. One worker. At least 13 business days.
- Baseboards to go back up. Turns out they don’t manufacture the size made in 1950 any longer and they have to be hand milled.
- Special bit for saw breaks. Add at least one week delay.
- Floor down, most of the baseboards up. Almost there?
- Sander guys show up. We arrive home, discover our washer isn’t working and find that instead of using the big plug under the oven they have wired the sander cord direct to the circuit breaker box where it is hanging into a pool of water where the garage flooded in the latest rain deluge.
- Back office floods (tile floor, thank God) due to clogged gutters. At least it doesn’t reach the originally new (now the old) parquet in the family room.
So, that’s where we are today. There’s a glimmer of hope that order will in fact be restored. But, given the recent trials and tribulations of some of those near and dear to me I feel fortunate that this rocky road has just involved a surface! Namaste.