Thursday, November 29, 2012

Aha, gotcha, you critter, you!

So the last couple of days have been occupied with household stuff, mainly a leak in the bathroom under my studio, which the HOA maintenance people assured me, after tramping about and cursing for quite a while up on both sides of the inner roof, was not the roof, was probably the vent pipes in the roof leaking, and was certainly not their job.  Sigh.  Meanwhile, drips kept on coming down from the ceiling, removing parts of the ceiling board, so my friend the HandyLady agreed to come and see what it was, since all the HOA people said was what it wasn't.

She climbed into the roof through the entry from the studio -- which was right over the leak, and which the men had assured me would need the wall torn out to find it, but it wasn't their job-- and moved insulation and generally crawled about the confined space, and concluded she couldn't find a leak up there.  So we went back down a floor, and she pulled out a bit more ceilingboard then thrust her hand up into the little hole in the ceiling, and instantly found the trouble: a hole bitten into the PVC piping by some critter, like a squirrel or chipmunk, with which we are infested, causing condensation, instead of traveling along the vent pipe to the exit, to exit quickly down my wall and ceiling.

and here's a closeup, so you can see the toothmarks. Gah!

So we now think a simple application of plumber's putty and duct tape might do it.  It's a small pipe, a tributary to bigger ones, none of which can be accessed from above in the roof, since joists and other pipes intervene, which is why it wasn't visible from above, despite my shining a flashlight through the hole downstairs, light never penetrated,don't ask me who designed this and who ran the phone line like a tripwire over the entrance to the roof.  Meanwhile, since a trip home, three houses down, established that after a lengthy search, she concluded that her son has apparently abstracted the putty, she came back and put up a temp. fix of duct tape so I can observe the patient and see if the problem of dripping stops. 

If so, we'll go to Stage Two, the cutting of the ceiling board back to good board.  Then the Stage Three, the app. of the putty and duct tape, and Stage Three, the replacement of new ceiling board and taping thereof.  Stage Four, repainting, can wait a bit, I think.

Meanwhile, if you want a job properly diagnosed and inventive solutions found, get a woman to do it. Preferably a highly skilled friend who likes to rescue the likes of me from the likes of this problem.


  1. Grrrrr, darned critters. Very nice in their own environmnent but not in ours. So glad your fix-it lady is willing and able to help you out. I just hope it doesn't dent your bank account too badly.

  2. thanks for the blog. I had had mice coming into the barn and running around during my counseling sessions. It is very tough to live cooperatively with the critters.


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