Saturday, September 29, 2007

Don't Let Me Cuss!!

In his office, my Architecture school dean kept a drawing done by one of his small children. It was a passable portrait of himself, and in the speech balloon was written the plea, "Don't let me cuss!" Seems he tended to let it rip in front of the kids, and his son had drawn the picture to remind him not to.

Me, I don't have any kids to shelter from my bad language. But I don't want to cuss in front of myself, because that'd put me in a cussed state of mind and things are cussed enough as it is.

Though, under the circumstances--!!!

Here I have this appraiser coming. And the basement bathroom didn't look so good, especially not the shower. I don't know about you, this appraiser, or anyone else, but when I'm looking at a house, a dirty, scabby basement bathroom is a prime turn-off.

Here's the basement bathroom shower pan just before I moved in:*



Here's how nice it looked after I painted the concrete floor:*



But alas, here's how the shower looked four years later. I did my best in 2003 to prepare the surface, but under ongoing wet conditions the floor paint hasn't adhered 100%.
And then there were the rust stains on the grout. Disgusting.

So this evening I tackled the job. I intended only to clean off the iron stains and mold and touch up the bare spots after. I used a rust-removing cleaner on the grout joints. And I sprayed the tile down with a high-powered hose nozzle I bought this afternoon.

The tile now looks pretty good.

But the painted floor is a disaster. The reactive cleaner and the high-powered spray between them lifted most of the rest of the paint off, in some places down to the bare concrete.

Damn! Looks like something died on it, doesn't it?

Wouldn't be so awful if the paint were all gone, or if it were all stable. But it's not. A lot of what remains is loose underneath but I can't get it up with the wire brush or the scraper. Only spray, spray, and more spray does it, and I was already soaking wet and the bathroom and basement floor was getting flooded and my dear POs (whichever set of them it was that built this bathroom enclosure) didn't bring the wall tile all the way down to the concrete floor in the bathroom proper, and the standing water was already wicking up that half inch of exposed drywall and right up the wall. So I gave up for the night.

I hate it, but I think this calls for a half-assed, stop-gap job. Once the shower floor's dry, run over it one more time with the wire brush and the shop vac, then slam down a coat of primer and a couple coats of floor paint, just so it looks good. And hope the appraiser doesn't go stand in the shower, since this floor paint can't be walked on with shoes for seven days after.

Stop-gap is really what's called for. My plan is to put in unglazed ceramic mosaic. But I can't do that until something's done about the moisture that's seeping through the outside walls. I have an appointment with a waterproofing company rep on the 9th. The ironic thing is, if I can get the house appraised higher, I can get a bigger line of credit and I could swing getting the waterproofing done right away. But if the house looks in too much need of work, the line will be lower and I won't be able to do it!

(Did I cuss a couple of times up there? Yeah, guess I did. Damn.)________________________________________

*I forgot. I took those photos with the 35mm. I'll have to remember where I put the prints and scan them in.

1 comment:

Cate said...

Thanks for the comment over on my page. :)

I don't have a task as herculean as yours but it looks like all the caulk in my upstairs shower is peeling off. Guess I get to learn how to caulk now. Woo hoo! :P