Sunday, April 13, 2014


This was a huge undertaking, one which took me about two months to finish. Because I've never done anything like this before, I would stop when I was unsure, do some reading and thinking and then move forward. My room rehab involved several techniques, most of which I improvised, and hope withstand the ongoing moisture issue from the crawlspace. My technique involved repairing, filling, and patching with expandable foam, because it's weather resistant and adds insulation value. While working on the wall and exploring cold spots, I discovered that the walls had blown in insulation, but the the house envelope is missing a layer. The envelope is only siding, tarpaper, studs, and drywall. I think the old tar paper has holes in places adding to the cold spots, and moisture infiltration. I tried to fix this with foam. The cellulose was also over filled, otherwise known as a "blow out" which caused the south wall to bow out into the room. The cellulose also acts as a sponge to absorb moisture from the crawlspace, gaps in the tarpaper, and later I discovers a rotten and separated facia. I had to foam and silicone the entire south side facia board where it meets the roof because it was gapped and rotted in places. My technique for fixing the mold crack beneath the west window involved foam, and a layered cast of drywall mesh and mud. This technique would have also worked for the punch hole, but I hadn't thought of it when I repaired the punch hole first. I think the foam, mesh cast would have given me a smoother and stronger patch over the punch hole. As is, the punch hole patch involved foaming the area behind the drywall around the punch hole and towards the window where the drywall was flexing with pressure. I foamed it flush then cut out a relief to insert a square of drywall with flaps of drywall paper around the edge to help with blending. I did end up taping the edges with mesh and the result was slightly raised and the wall still flexes slightly, though not as bad as before. I also removed the tape and mud blob patches for the cellulose fill holes, 4 holes per wall. The tape had water damage and the holes where allowing moisture to enter and become trapped beneath the many layers of paint. I foamed these holes and as much of the surrounding area behind the sheetrock. I also drilled holes every 8 inches in the wall near the crown molding and foamed a continuous line inside the wall. The interior wall and soffit share an opening which leads into the attic. I'm not sure how this adds to the problem, or what will happen if I add soffit vents. I also foamed the entire length of the south corner and west corner. After all the foam, and patching I had to blend everything with a float coat of mud. So almost the entire wall of the dividing, south and west wall, was mudded. Lots and lots of sanding, and lots and lots of dust. Finally, after all old and new discoveries where addressed, and I felt happy with the surface, I primed with two coats of Zinzer, and then it took 2 tops coats of Glidden premium. I also decided to go ahead and repaint the ceiling while I was at it, because it was splotchy in places. I decided instead of keeping it white to paint it an off white, which I had seen Nicole do on her show. The color scheme changed though at painting time. I was originally going to paint our room a color called, "Haystack", but decided it was too yellow and wanted something more relaxing. So I switched to a color called, "Misty Summer Day". I tried to re-tint haystack, but they couldn't do it, so it will probably go in our daughter's room. She picked out a color called, "Dazzling Daffodil". But it was way too yellow. I tried re-tinting it and ended up with a color that looks like gross caramel. Still not sure what I'll do with that. Mix it with something else, sparingly. The color for the ceiling is called, "Glow". I had 2 gallons I tinted that color, should have only tinted. I took it back to try and make it lighter. Should have added more white. They made is a more beige color which I thought I liked. But at home It was too dark. There's a huge difference between the lights at Home Depot and the light in my house. Smartly the guy in paint recommended only re-tinting one can just in case. Good thing, because I decided to just keep the original color on the ceiling. I still think it's a little too dark, but I like it. The room now has a very relaxed happy feel too it, which is exactly what I wanted. Best of all, no more pea green soup color on the wall, and no more peeling paint. Only time will tell if this repair will hold up. I did the very best I could with the money and resources available to me.
It all started with a flap of peeling paint
Underneath was the tell tail signs of water damage 
Rini called this the "Bunny"
A small peel quickly becomes a massive paint fail
inspecting a crack under the window
Finding crumbling sheetrock and mold
other areas where beginning to blister and crack.
When scraping away these blisters, larges areas of paint would come away.
Testing for lead
Covering where I had opened up the crack which had mold and termite residue.
Be careful when changing scraper blades. The ER visit cost more than the entire room rehab.
$1000 for liquid bandage and a crappy splint?  Where is the ACA now?
Soon our room looked like a meth shack
Found a strange curved crack and the wall next to the window was flimsy
Finding more water damage next to the other window
caulking the crack, but what is this spongy peach stuff  I'm  revealing? The paint that was covering this area was darker and sticky.
The water damage next to the window was pretty bad

Close up of some of water damage on south wall
finding poorly patched holes from when the blew in cellulose, which is acting as a moisture sponge.
Patching poorly taped drywall pieces 
Underneath the spongy peach stuff was a poorly patched hole some one had punched in the wall

A domestic despite between Joseph and Meg? How interesting. 

Foaming the cellulose holes and the punch hole

Just cut flush when dry with a serrated knife. Bread knives work really well.
repairing more cracks under the west window

When scarping the paint by the south window, it failed all the way to the sheetrock paper.

Mudding starts and scraping continues

Mudding the curve crack while still repairing the punch hole.

More foam for the punch hole and the surrounding area behind it to ad stability to the wall

Things have really gone from bad to worse. 

Investigating the water damage, trying to find it's source. It may have been the rotten facia board which I discovered later.

Scraping the west wall finds more water damage 
Looking pretty horrendous, what's that red stuff?
Squaring off the mold area for a possible drywall splice
West wall is done being scraped and now needs patching and a float coat

close up up mold crack. Had old termite damage and even mud from the out side in the wall

debris from a prior infestation, and red clay dust

scraped out all the dirt and debris from between the two wall beams

South wall. Meshing, and mudding the long relief cuts I made into the wall length cracks from the cellulose over fill or "blow out". Also mudding the drywall paper.

I break for inspiration. Nicole Curtis wears the same shoes as me
Now she is awesome in my book
I've just patched the punch hole with a drywall square. Maybe a full foam patch with a mud cast would have been better. But I was still learning at this point.

Second foam patch. I chose foam for all my patches because it's moisture resistant and adds insulation. 
With an ongoing moisture issue, I need to use weather proof materials.

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