Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wanna see something scary?

Though lately I have been wrapped up in toilets and insulation and HVAC systems, thinking this will be our next big home improvement project, this past week I was reminded of that old adage "Expect the unexpected." The unexpected is, thankfully, not so major a project--just one that must be completed as soon as possible. And if I am truthful, it was not completely unexpected; we had been warned during our home inspection, and kind of had our fingers crossed that we wouldn't have to deal with it so soon.

We had two snow days this week, and while the boys were out playing, B decided to knock the icicles from the eaves. To do this, he stood on the post of our side porch--


Similar to this one

and then immediately found himself on the ground, with no icicle in hand, as the post essentially disintegrated (he was completely fine, and to his credit promptly confessed to his misdeeds).

All the trim fell right off

Around the bottom too

Dry rot we knew about, and probably ancient termite damage as well

Yikes.
C has wedged a board between the porch floor and ceiling to help keep it supported.  The good news: the whole post may not have to be replaced, but instead can be repaired; the rot does not appear to extend through the whole piece.  I also walked around the rest of the porch, stabbing rails and posts with a screwdriver--it all seems fine, except for needing a new coat of paint.

The culprit in this dry rot is most likely our gutter, which, when it dams up with leaves or snow, sends a steady drip of water right down the length of the post. This will have to be remedied as well.

Hopefully we will have our rotten post repaired and good as new in the next week or so!

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