Thursday, March 13, 2014
Cracked Drain Pipe
This is the ceiling in our basement bathroom.
Why yes, it *is* in the floor. I'm glad you noticed that. ::sigh::
Our quarterly exterminator visit was early this afternoon. When he came up the stairs from the basement and said "I have some bad news, if you don't already know it," I was expecting something critter related. You know, termites (something we don't currently treat for; I know, I know) or a mouse infestation (we saw one several months ago, but nothings since; hope he was just passing through).
I was not expecting to hear, "you have a burst pipe in your basement bathroom ceiling." Excuse me?!!
I called my husband as I was going down the basement stairs. The leak didn't seem too bad, more of a trickle really; certainly not what I envisioned when he phrased it as a "burst pipe." There were small puddles and splashes of water on the floor, but not an inch or so of standing water like I anticipated. The exterminator helped me turn off the water to the house (or so we thought; more on that in a sec), though the dripping continued due to whatever the insulation had absorbed, I'm sure.
The ceiling had obviously pulled away only recently, and the sheet rock at the top was barely wet. Given that my craft closet is on one side of the bathroom (with all of my fabric, fibers, and charts!), and many boxed up mementos are on the other side, I am truly grateful that the water damage is confined to the bathroom only. The ceiling was intact but sagging and pulled away from the corner when the exterminator found it. The pictures above and below were taken after the plumber's inspection.
When the plumber finally rendered his verdict (much) later this evening, it turned out not to be an active leak at all. Instead, it was a cracked drain pipe leading from Luke's bathtub in the "jack and jill" bathroom directly above. Luke had just taken a shower Tuesday night, and that was probably the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back (or ceiling, as the case may be). That said, it has likely been leaking at least a little bit for some time, but it only just now got bad enough to affect the ceiling. (You can see a little bit of mold right in the corner in the above picture.) That means that the water damage and mold remediation will most likely be (substantially) more expensive than the actual plumbing repair. Joy. We'll get that estimate tomorrow. Thank goodness hubby was already scheduled to work from home tomorrow so the air conditioning inspection guy could come by. We are certainly doing our part to support the service industry this week. ::rolls eyes::
The plumbing work will take several hours and will be very loud, not something we wanted him to start at 9PM right under Luke's bedroom when it was already past his bedtime. He had had an emergency call come in as he was finishing up the estimate for us, someone with a real burst pipe pumping out gallons of water. Since it wasn't an active leak and we had the water turned back on to the house, it really worked out best for everyone (us and the people with the major leak) for him to come back the next day. We'll also have him replace the water shut off valve, since the old one we used only shut off about half the water flow. Thank goodness it wasn't an actual leak!
This will be the second time in less than 5 years that same basement bathroom wall and ceiling will have been replaced! Makes me think we'll just hold off on repairing the sheet rock until we go another 5 years without incident. It's not like we ever use that bathroom anyway.
It has been quite a crummy week! I refuse to ask what else can go wrong, because something will.
Currently feeling: sad and frustrated with this week