Greetings, oh so few of you!
Been a while, as usual. Not much interesting or ground breaking stuff going on really, other than the usual fixing/replacing of roofs and other things related to roofs.
We were called in for an estimate to re-roof a house that was being remodeled maybe a month ago or so. It was owned by a nice old couple who you could tell really didn’t keep the house up too well, if at all, since it seemed they simply didn’t have the energy to do so. Here’s the list of things that ended up fixing other than the roof:
The toilet was connected to the kind of drain typically used for an island sink in a house. Not a proper toilet drain. For you plumbing-oriented people out there, you probably just had some kind of negative, possibly shocked reaction. Or a scoff and a headshake, as you’ve probably encountered stupid at this level before. For lack of a long explanation as to why this is stupid, just know this: sewer gas doesn’t smell very good.
We took out the sub-standard drain valve used FOR A SINK and put on one that is used for a… wait for it……………..
After that, Thomas was naturally a bit inquisitive about the house. When one finds that kind of a problem, there’s a good chance there are more. And boy, were we not disappointed.
Next up: the door in the center of the house was stuck. It lead from the hallway to the living room, but wouldn’t open. It was able to be bypassed since there was more than one way into the living room and more than one door to the hallway. Tom noticed the walls in the house were surprisingly scarce, and the interior was rather spacious.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “load-bearing wall” it’s the walls in the center of the house. They essentially hold up the center part of a structure. Roofs are heavy. Imagine piling some rocks on the center of a cardboard box. Eventually the box will cave in. The load-bearing walls hold the center of the house up. Some had been removed.
Whoever agreed to removing the load-bearing walls in the center of the house was a friggin’ idiot. This is why the door in the center of the house couldn’t open: the roof was pressing down on it. And it’s a good thing that door never got opened. Really, the house may have collapsed in on itself. Imagine the insurance claim on that one.
Best for last!
When we first went up onto the roof, we noticed something odd: no pipes. Pipes are common as roofs as they vent things like heaters, ovens, etc. There were not any on there.
We found the pipes though, like the heater pipe and the one for sewer gas. They were still there, connected to stuff, venting… into the house. They were cut off right below the roof at the attic level and stuffed with paper.
The reason why vents and pipes exist in homes is to release noxious and hazardous fumes and elements out and away where they dissipate into the air. But in this case, this was not occurring. One such hazardous element is produced by the heater: carbon monoxide.
Now, the house was big enough and the carbon monoxide leakage minimal enough that dissipation occurred to the point where any inhalation was not lethal. I haven’t checked back with them, but I wonder if they attributed a lot of their Feeling Tired Pretty Often with old age, and if they’ve been feel more energetic after we left. That’s a symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning- feeling tired all the time when you’re in a space with a carbon monoxide leak.
It’s odorless, so people don’t know they are being affected by something. You get tired, real tired, go to sleep… and never wake up.
(Helpful hint: don’t burn charcoal in an enclosed space.)
How does that work? For those who might remember this thing in school called The Periodic Table, that’s a good place to start.
Warning: Incoming vague grasp on the workings of chemistry. Proceed with caution.
Carbon is represented by a capital C. Oxygen is represented by a capital O and a small 2 next to it. A single O (oxide) doesn’t exist naturally, as far as I know. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is what you exhale after you breathe in oxygen (O2).
Dioxide – 2 oxides.
Carbon Dioxide – one carbon, 2 oxides
Carbon Monoxide – one carbon, one oxide
Oxygen – 2 oxides.
OKAY! What happens when you breathe in carbon monoxide is MATH! Bad math. The carbon dioxide combines with the oxygen in your blood. It does not add up to CO3. Instead, one oxide is dropped in the process, equaling CO2. So, the oxygen in your blood gets turned into carbon dioxide. You literally suffocate internally.
Why someone thought it was a good idea to do that shows that not enough people are aware of this in the first place. It also displays why it is good to check up on the track record of whoever you hire to do work on your home. So, yeah, we cut the roof open and extended all pipes outward, like they should have been. Then we put on the new roof.
The elderly couple were very thankful for all this.