If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that last week we found mold in the second of two back-to-back evictions (affectionately referred to as E2).
Last I posted about it, we knew it must be something to do with the outside water faucet, but needed to tear into the wall to figure out why it wasn’t acting like a normal burst pipe.
Late last week, the hubs tore into the wall…
…and found this.
Can you tell what that is? The pipe is swollen, but not completely busted. Had it been copper, it probably would have busted when it froze, but this pex stuff is more expandable/flexible. I already knew God was good and faithful and still in the business of miracles, but this would have convinced me if I had any doubts.
Our evictee (is that a word?) works in the oil field and is gone for three weeks at a time. He was literally never there. Just enough to make messes and run out the door again, apparently. If this pipe had fully burst, and he had been gone for three weeks so no one knew, we’d be looking at a lot more damage. Like possibly the entire house flooding and the water just spraying in the walls for weeks. That doesn’t sound cheap.
Instead, it was a tiny little leak. Still a big deal when not discovered for probably nine months, but not expensive at all. We already had carpet and pad for this room on hand, as well as paint, drywall leftovers, and joint compound. A couple bucks for new pipe and clamps is all this cost us, and of course our labor.
Then all we had to do was let it air out for a few days (which is why I’m just now posting about this) before we started the process of patching the wall. We threw away the old drywall and flooring, of course, and bleached the floor and studs. After everything was dry and mold-free, it was time to patch.
(Notice the carpet? This was a “dry run” to see if it still fit. Did it need to be stretched? Cut?)
We have lots of experience with drywall and joint compound, and this is definitely one of those things that you get better at with time. I’ve seen some horrible patched drywall. I have no advice except to try your best to get your seams flush. It all comes back to good seams.
I built it up with a couple of layers of “mud” over a couple of days before my line was totally gone. Don’t be in a hurry if you want a nice, clean, unnoticeable drywall patch.
(Notice the carpet pad and tack strips have gone down in the mean time.)
Then it’s time to spray.
If you don’t texture walls often, you can just buy a can of spray rather than investing in an electric hopper sprayer.
It kinda globs it on and then you let it dry for a few minutes and then you come back to see if it is firm enough to “knock down.”
Depending on how much you water down your joint compound, how thick/thin you apply it, and how long you let it dry before knocking it down, you can get different patterns. Like you can have more “splotches” but smaller ones, or you can have bigger “splotches” but less of them. I don’t know if that made any sense. Pretty much we’ve just practiced on scrap drywall over the years when we’ve needed to match existing texture in a room where we’re renovating or patching renters’ holes. This really is a practice-makes-perfect thing. I’m still not perfect at it.
Then more drying time. Joint compound/texture/”mud” starts out light gray and will be white when completely dry.
(The carpet is in for real this time. After purchasing our very own stretcher, I think we might just add carpet to the list of things we don’t pay to have installed (unless it’s a super great price with carpet purchase, of course).)
Then it was time for paint. So glad I still had some of this color so I didn’t have to repaint the entire room. I always suggest feathering your new color up into the old color (think blush and highlighter) when only painting part of a wall so you don’t have a harsh line in case your old paint has faded or something. (This was still a perfect match, but that hasn’t always been my experience.)
And with that, this place is for rent.
P.S. Just in case anyone is wondering what’s up with those shutters and that arched window (because I’m the type of person to want a full understanding of the entire room), it really is a lovely window and the shutters open fully flat against the wall (when there aren’t bookshelves in the way). Here’s a pic from when we were using this as our classroom.