Robb has been slowly but steadily working on our house. He's painted many of the exterior doors, replaced the screens in the screen doors, and has been reglazing our windows. His current project involves undoing some of the work that was done by the contractors who worked on our house when we first got the place.
When we first moved in, the front porch needed work. The contractors replaced all the boards on the landing, and also replaced many of the stair treads. Five years on, all of these boards -- every single one -- have "cupped." They are no longer flat, and because of that water accumulates on them when it rains. In addition, none of the contractor's nail holes were caulked.
Robb is working to fix all this.
He sanded the landing boards, and we'll be re-priming and repainting the porch and stairs.
On Saturday, his plan was to carefully remove the worst stair tread, and flip it over. Sounded simple, right?
It turns out that the cupping of the boards -- combined with the uncaulked nail holes -- created the perfect conduit for water. Water seeped through the nail holes, and rotted out the supports for the stairs.
This was part of our stair risers. Robb and I sawed the riser apart, and then Robb removed it entirely. It was bad.
There was only one member of our household who was excited about this discovery. Building Inspector Smog had a great time, jumping inside the stairs and running around under our house. Our postal carrier may have been amused by the roped off stairs, as she chucked a package on to our porch with great gusto. Good thing it didn't contain the vintage cocktail glasses we'd just bought.
At some point, our entire porch is going to have to be restored. But for the moment, we're stabilizing the structure, and choosing to deal with it later.