Wednesday, July 07, 2010

It Never Rains in Southern California

Today, my bedroom has holes through the walls that would admit a large rat, or a small (or determined) raccoon. My bedroom has been the seventh circle of hell for a while, and it's not getting any better.

First, we had the mold remediation guys in to take off the drywall and paint over the mold. Their job was to do that, complete some hepa filtering and go away. For some reason, they instead chose to cut off the lower 18 inches of paper and Kill-Z the stucco. For those people who don't live in the south west, that's probably meaningless. But for us, I shall explain, the paper on the outside of our house is the moisture barrier. Our houses are made of wood papered on the outside, and that's their integrity. The porous outer coat of the house (ours is stucco) is just a physical barrier outside the moisture barrier. Cut the paper at the bottom and the rain will soak through the stucco, run down the paper, and where it's cut, drip onto the wood framing of the house. Not ideal.

Due to other issues with our house, we've just had some regrading outside, and the concrete break-up has damaged the lower part of the stucco. We knew that would happen when we planned it. Not an issue (I hope) as the insurance company had already agreed to replace the stucco when they replace the paper. But for the moment, we have a house with the bottom two feet of drywall taken out (for mold remediation), the bottom two feet of paper taken out (because the mold remediators were idiots) and the bottom foot of outer stucco knocked off during regrading.

No one (who is not worried about sneaky evil raccoons) would worry, except this is the first July 7th in Southern California in human history where it's actually rained. WTF would believe I could have the stucco and paper both off my house in JULY and it's raining? So far it's been mild rain and there's some indication we'll have the house back in one piece before the actual floods start.

But I'm not holding my breath. And tonight I'm sleeping in a room with a raccoon-sized hole in the wall, again.

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