House items

January 4, 2011

Well, it’s winter again, and we’ve gotten tons of snow. Last year this time of year was a battle of man vs. ice dams. This year things are much better thanks to the 14 inches of insulation we blew in the attic on the day after Christmas.

But owning a house involves discovering issues left by the previous owners, and one big issue we have is a closet addition off of our bedroom. The bedroom itself doesn’t have a closet, so a walk-in closet addition seems like a great idea; but it seems that our closet is not insulated in the slightest, or, if it is, it is quite possibly the most useless insulation I’ve ever encountered.

Last year the ice dams on this closet were over 14 inches thick–the heat from the house must just pour out of it. We put up some thermal curtains that do a great job of keeping some heat out, as well as making our bedroom less freezing. But it turns out this creates moisture in the closet, so we discovered a bit of mold growing in the corners. The choices seem to be ice dams and cold bedroom, or warm(er) bedroom, fewer ice dams and now running a dehumidifier in winter. Strange. Particularly as we have a humidifier in the living room. If only there was some way to pipe the moisture back into the house…

We know the previous owner of our house, which is a bit unusual. We’re not friends, but she moved in with her daughter a quarter mile down the road, so we are neighbors. So we often find ourselves cursing Ruthie, as it seems any addition or “upgrade” she made to the house was never done quite right. When we were looking at the house she noted with pride all the shelves and molding she did herself…we think she may have been overly impressed with her own abilities.

The most fascinating thing about this is the observation on getting older–somehow I think that a story as boring as this is worth posting about. I can imagine a younger self being absolutely thrilled with a discussion of ice dam prevention. Next: a discussion on choosing flooring! Or not.

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