Water Issues

It’s been raining like crazy the last few days. Two nights ago I discovered every homeowner’s dread: water damage and mold. I began working on it immediately, thinking it was a bathroom caulking issue, but this morning I discovered it wasn’t. Instead, water had gotten between my skirting insulation and my floor and wicked up through the wall. Investigating further, water also somehow got inside another wall and was wicking through there as well.

My house is a portable cabin. The structure was pre built and insulated before I bought it. As it turns out, the builder didn’t apparently use Tyvek or other house wrap, so there isn’t a good water barrier, definitely not enough to resist the recent torrents. It’s survived spring rains fine, but maybe this rain came at a different angle. It survive last fall’s rains, but maybe water got in then, too, and it just wasn’t enough to soak clear through the walls. And maybe the skirting made all the difference, keeping it from drying completely. I skirted it after last fall’s rains.

Whatever happened, I’m now looking at $2000 of new siding and house wrap, as well as other damage repairs. This is much cheaper than it could have been or than it would have been in a big house, but still a huge set back in my long range goals.

And so another few lessons learned: make sure you have proper moisture management, don’t take someone else’s abilities on good faith alone, and move your furniture out from the walls after big rains to ensure none of that water got in.

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About thrugracealone

I'm a country girl raised city. I prefer open windows to AC, love a good thunderstorm, and enjoy hearing the owls and seeing lightning bugs. A bit old-fashioned, maybe, I can recognize many trees by name, resent elms and weeds, wish for a large garden and canning skills, and hope someday to downsize and get a few acres in the country. I am blessed with a terrific church, a good job, a sturdy house, two cats and a yard full of strawberries and mulberries in the right season. Some of my other favorite things to do are spoiling nieces and nephews, reading, swimming, biking, long walks, and blogging, of course. One of my favorite stories is creation. My abbreviated version goes like this: 1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth wasa formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters... And God moved... And God said... And it was very good. If God can speak to darkness, to an earth without form and void, and make something like this that we see everyday, and make it very good (and it was even better before the Fall!), He will surely make something wonderful out of the dark, void situations I sometimes find myself in. He has, and it's been very good. Two top posts: Can a Person Lose their Salvation? http://wp.me/p1CY5z-1R Baptism! http://wp.me/s1CY5z-baptism

Posted on August 9, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Who was your builder? Was it local?

    • I converted one of the “sheds” on skids to a small house at first, both to learn about living small, to see if I could do it, to save money up front, and to move more quickly.

      There are a few builders around who would have assisted with a build, as long as I directed the project. It turned out that I lost my job after living there for a year or so and then got a job in St. Louis, so my little house building hopes weren’t ever fully realized. I continued to live in my cabin for three years, but never built “from the ground up”.

      The structures that I found most interesting were earth contact (I could finish the interior and wouldn’t have had to have separate contractors for foundation, full house framing, etc) and net zero housing with SIPs or Structural Insulated Panels, which would have allowed for a quicker build and near zero electric/gas bills.

      I learned a lot from living in the cabin about the tiny lifestyle, myself, and construction/structures. I would recommend that anyone considering living tiny or small try living smaller for at least six months before committing to a new building project of they can–that attempt could be in the form of a small house, an apartment, a small older trailer, or even a camper. It’s difficult to conceptualize tiny life without ever having lived it, and very difficult to know what will be important to you and your family if you’ve always had the things you plan to do without. Things I missed I’d never have thought about: a very comfortable couch, a real, 3×3, floor-to-ceiling closet, a bathtub, enough kitchen outlets and kitchen shelves, and a washing machine. The tiny fridge got a bit old, too. Things I never missed: a full sized oven (I much prefer the little toaster oven that heats quickly and turns off on its own), a full sized water heater, and more than 5 electrical outlets in the entire rest of the house (other than the kitchen).

      Every person is different, and one of the joys of tiny living is that people can make a house that is truly suited to their own particular needs and goals. So your family might very much miss the water heater but not the couch, for instance. That’s why it’s good to “test drive tiny” before committing with a new build, in my opinion.

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