Before the holiday I thought I would share our latest home renovation drama. First the good part. Greg removed the rest of the ceiling from the den. On the other side of the room we found a little water damage. The beams are sagging a bit. When your in our office above the room Greg’s aeron chair rolls down a slope if you don’t keep both feet on the floor. We are brainstorming fixes. We also found more treasures in the ceiling; an old shoe and a piece of striped fabric.
Marblehead had a very large shoe industry back in the day. I think we had a cobbler living in our house. If you look here you’ll see a photo of a set of tools we found last week.
Now the gross part. I battled sharing this story for the last week. After many discussions with friends and family I’ve decided even the embarrassing stories of our renovation need to shared. We’ll look back at this adventure and laugh, right?
Last week it was really cold. I think temperatures dipped to about 5 degrees. Last winter we had problems with our pipes freezing but where learned some tricks. We did the standard checks Thursday night; made sure heat was on downstairs (we live on second and third floors) and let the faucets drip. Unfortunately, Greg choose to let the cold water drip. For the record, I had the hot dripping when I went to bed. But somebody came along and decided he knew better.
The next morning the water turned on just fine. We both breathed a sigh of relief and laughed about how bad it was when the pipes froze last winter. We went about our normal business. Coffee, breakfast, and then upstairs to work. We both work from home. Greg had a busy day of back to back conference calls. He went downstairs around 10 am to use the bathroom and came back and quietly mumbled, “The toilet is clogged and it backed up into the tub”. His voice seemed non-urgent so I didn’t really give it much thought. Maybe it would unclog itself?
Around noon after his conference call ended he stomped back downstairs. From the upstairs office I heard lots of yelling, banging, and drill noises. I guess the drain didn’t unclog itself? I went downstairs asked if he needed help. I got a short answer back. Something about just getting out of his way. At this point poop was all over the bathroom. The tub was full and he was using a drill to snake the pipes.
After this I heard more banging, cursing, stomping downstairs, and our truck squealing out of the driveway. Guess he went to the hardware store? (I took the below photo while he was gone…I cropped out the poop tub.) He was back in about 10 minutes, fiddled in the bathroom for a few minutes, and then came back upstairs with a comment of, “useless” and then back on another 2 hour conference call.
I tried not to ask questions. He seemed pretty mad and didn’t really feel like I could offer any advice. I went to Foodie’s for lunch and used their bathroom.
By 5 pm I was still working, he made it back down to the bathroom and yelled to me it was fixed. Really, great? He was calmer but particles of poop where still in the tub. I saw some flinging into the toilet and my hand towels soaked on the floor. I literally puked in my mouth. An hour later after all the major poop was gone I offered to bleach down the entire bathroom and clean up. I felt bad. I told him he was the best poop declogger ever. I got a “Thanks, baby” and we went upstairs and watched a Friday night movie.
He told me later the pipe had frozen at the point where the indoor line turns to the sewer line. He assumed this happened because the cold water he dripped froze up. He remedied the situation by pouring boiling water down the drain.p.s. this post was from my point of view. Greg had no input but I am sure he’ll add in his own comments once he gets home. I’m sure I’ll hear from him that’s not how it happened at all.
Working On Removing Ceiling