Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fox and Floor, Bat and Door

The weekend after the foundation repairs were complete, DH and the kids and I went up to the house to check out the repairs and figure out our next step.  As we came in, I thought I caught a whiff of the smell of sewer gas.  We'd had an issue when we first took possession in that the grate covering the basement drain.  We fixed that at the time and didn't have any more problems.

The drain was replaced by the sump pump and there should not have been any more problems but I definitely caught the smell on that trip.  I returned by myself the next weekend to start cleaning the rubber stuck to the bedroom floor and to check out the new basement steps and the smell was overpowering to me.  (Think port-a-potty on a hot, humid Missouri summer day.)  Opening windows helped, it was a nice day for early March and I ran the fans all day which made the smell more tolerable.  I checked the basement and the upstairs bathroom, but never found a source.  It actually seemed stronger in the dining room. 

The new basement steps were perfect.

Hand rail!

I didn't get as far as I wanted with the bedroom floor.  I spent most of the day scraping, soaking with Goo Gone and Goop but no luck removing much at a time.  The next time I go up, I am going to try a car buffer with an abrasive pad and the Goo Gone and see if that makes a difference.  I am still trying to preserve the old finish if possible, but I am beginning to wonder if it is possible.

One of many odd things in the house was that there was no door to the east bedroom, the one that DH and I chose for ourselves.  We asked the sellers and they remembered taking it down, but didn't remember what they had done with it.  We looked in all the sheds but no luck.  DH and his dad bought a door from the lumber yard, but it had a frame and wouldn't have matched the existing trim.  I started checking the local Habitat for Humanity Restore to see if I could find a replacement.

I got lucky and found not one but two solid wood six panel doors for only $5 each.  They even still had the hinges and part of the original frame with the hinges still attached.   The hinges alone would have chose me more than the $5.  I brought the doors with me on my solitary trip.  The only bedroom to have a door is Sprite's.  It is a four panel door instead of a six but I don't really care.  Once the doors are painted, no one will notice anyway.

DH had made a trade with R-, the sellers' son who also built our ramp and the new basement steps, that he could have the wood burning furnace in the basement if he would remove it and replace the opening where the stove pipe exited the house with a block window.  I brought the window with me as well and left it in the front hall for him.  He stopped by that Saturday to check the window and confirm when he could come to the house to get the stove.  While he was there, he offered to install my door!
I dusted it after I took the pics.

It shuts!

I was particularly glad for the door that night as I found that I was sharing the house with a bat.  Despite attempts to get him/her to go out the front door into the night, the bat hid somewhere on the main floor.  I was glad to be able to shut the door on the bat (after making sure it wasn't in the room with me.

Buddy the Bat

Bats, by the way, really are silent when they fly.  I saw the bat fly but never heard it in flight.  Really amazing. They are amazingly sound sleepers as well -- the bat never moved from this spot despite my making lots of noise and flipping the curtains around.  He was still there when I left -- my father in law helped him out the door later.

In addition to the bat, I was also lucky to see a gorgeous fox trotting across the field next door to us carrying breakfast to its nest.  The picture is terrible (cell phone and I was too far away).  I heard a lot of owls overnight and recognized a barred owl.  I am looking forward to watching the wild life in our new home -- at least until they get into my gardens.

We came up again the next weekend as a family but didn't do much with the house as it was Sprite's birthday and we wanted to celebrate with a family get-together at her grandparents.


bbarna said...

Loving all the reno posts, as my parents bought an old farmhouse on 10 acres when I was a teen. I loved to see all the bits and parts come together. We also had bats -they love mosquitoes.
I would take the sewer gas very seriously as methane is flammable and builds up. You may need water in your traps, as it may have dried up if you are not using sinks, toilets, tubs all the time.

SewPaula said...

Thank you! We are taking the sewer gas very seriously and waiting for a estimate from a plumber. The drains all had water or anti-freeze in them, so we think the cast iron drain pipe may be cracked and in need of replacing. We expect to replace all of the plumbing -- fortunately just one bathroom and the kitchen. The kids and I will not be returning to the house until the plumbing is fixed.