Exploding pipes of boiling hot water, black mold, breaking fixtures; ahhhh the glory of home ownership. And as these things always tend to go, it happened at the worst possible time.
Last weekend was chaos. A friends band from New Orleans was passing through during their month-long tour on the East Coast. After a multitude of car issues, they ended up on my doorstep. On this particular day I had woken up with a fever coupled with suffocating congestion. But attempting to be a good host I let them post up until my roommates returned. After multiple failed attempts to revive their van, they shipped it off to the shop where it would be held captive for days to come, terminating their tour.
In the meantime it was chaos at the house. My once vacant home was now filled with big, stinky, hairy, tattooed men, drunk off of adrenaline and loading up on booze. And if things weren’t getting crazy enough, leave it to my roommates to turn up the intensity.
“Jenn, I have some bad news,” Diego warned, cautiously peering into my room. “The sink broke.”
“What do you mean it broke?” I tried to remain calm. The sink was already broken. A crack spiraled it’s way around the bowl, compliments of the previous tenants. To be fair it had to be replaced. It was clogged, leaking, and breeding mold and bacteria. But why, of all days, did it have to be today?!
I know I’d been putting it off and this was the universes way of saying, “get it together! You have work to do.” But just…why now? I grabbed my little pink tape measure and recorded the basic measurements of the gaping hole in my bathroom vanity. The mildewy stench permeated throughout the house, lucky for me I couldn’t breathe through my nose regardless. I hastily jumped on Homedepot.com and ordered a new drop in sink, along with a copper fixture. I had been planning on painting the fixtures in the bathroom, but the current faucet was crusted over with lime-scale. Better off just getting a new one to match my projected color scheme. We set it up for pickup the following day and packed it in for the night. The boys all left to play a show, and I was able to crawl into my bed to finally sleep away some of the sickness.
The next day Dan went to go pick up the sink. He questioned if it would even fit, but we started to unhook the water pipes to plug it in regardless. Apparently the waterline hadn’t been successfully shut off the day before, and boiling hot water starts shooting out of the line. Panicked, Dan tries to cover it with his hand, burning his skin and doing nothing to stop the flow. I frantically raced to the basement to find the main power source. But I had no idea where it is! And the basement is so messy, it could literally be anywhere! Fuck, fuck, FUCK!
We finally found the main waterline (or Dan did) and managed to turn it off. The leak had trickled it’s way down into the kitchen at that point, and was no doubt sitting on top of the drop tiles. Knowing what I was in for, I hopped on a chair and lifted the tiles, whimpering as the yellowish water dumped down on me. “Welcome to home ownership!” Dan beamed. I choked back the tears and maniacal laughter bubbling up my throat. And after all of that, the sink didn’t fit. It wasn’t a drop in silly girl, it’s a push up. Duh. Back to the store we go. At least this gave me an opportunity to grab some other things at the store. We got the right sink and the boys got to work hooking it up.
But after they hooked up the sink and cleaned up most of the leakage, I just had a nagging feeling. That leak had defintely caused more damage than we could see. I just knew. By the next day there was a smell. There was definitely water under the vanity, soaking through the wood and floor beneath. We had to get to it. I commissioned Diego to break through the floor with a crowbar, unearthing the rotten wood and black mold that hid beneath.
In a sense, I guess it’s a good thing that all of this chaos ensued. Now we have a new sink, less black mold, and I’ve actually been motivated to do more repairs. My handywoman skills are a bit lacking, but hey, I’m learning.
Welcome to homeownership, indeed.