I’m exhausted. It’s been a challenging few weeks.
Right now, I feel tested beyond it all. And yet, I continue to breathe… but taking angry and frustrated breathes, fighting back tears and fire. Something I need to feel at the moment but the stubbornness within will not let it last for long.
I don’t care if you buy a brand new home or a aged/Century home like I did – get a home inspection. Pay the extra money – it is worth it. But I will recommend that you find someone who has the MANY years of experience in both the inspection business AND the construction expertise. One without the other is useless. One can easily become a home inspector with minimal training but if you have no clue what you’re looking at – then you are wasting your money.
I would say I had a mediocre inspector. I didn’t know it at the time. Immediately, my father started pointing out items in the house that ‘passed’ inspection but shouldn’t have. My father voiced concerns about the potential issues with the foundation – at least on the South East side of the house, where the outside concrete was all cracked and lifting off the ground, where the ground meets the foundation, at the seam. He asked to see my inspection report – and nothing was noted as it being a concern. It should have been noted – it was a very visible concern. The inspector SHOULD HAVE noted it. He didn’t… how was I supposed to know?
Well, with the amount of snow we’ve had this year that has now melted and with the Spring rains… I have had major issues with the foundation leaking. The previous homeowners hide the problem behind a ‘newly renovated basement.’ The cracks that have been there for quite some time – were never fixed – they were simply covered up. Some of the problems were pre-previous homeowners. The problems have been ongoing for a long time. But how could the previous homeowners NOT experience the problems we are having is beyond me (“we never had any problems that you guys are having… ” Yeah… my ass you didn’t) And as the snow melted and rains poured – the water and mud started to make its way into my basement, soaking up the foundation wall and drywall. There was no sealant, no insulation, no thought put behind the so called ‘renovations.’ The foundation wall is soaked like kitty litter and crumbling like sand… Literally, my house is cracking at the seams. And so am I.
For several months now, I have been getting more migraine headaches than ever before. My sinuses have been overworked and in much worst physical condition than ever before. Both myself and the doctors could not understand why the sudden physiological changes. Stress is what we deducted. Well… that is perhaps a contributing factor… but I now know the root cause.
Insane amounts of mold. All over the place in the basement.
OK… well to me – it’s insane amounts. I have seen way worst on TV… but there is more than enough to make a person very sick. And today, I have been put on another dose of very strong antibiotics to fight yet ANOTHER sinus infection… the third one this year.
The water and moisture seeping into the house was enough to foster a perfect breeding grounds for mold and lots of rotting wood. I could never understand why it was so damp inside the basement. Now I know.
Now if it weren’t for my father and his years of expertise – I would be royally SCREWED. I am blessed to have him living with me. Immediately – he went into action… knowing exactly what to do while trying to keep me calm and out of the panic mode. Sort of too late for that… but it could have been way worst.
The holes in the foundation wall were big enough that we could see directly outside. He sealed them up immediately as a temporary means with foam. Bleach to kill the mold. Tearing down the supposed renovations to expose as much as we could. Off to the Home Depot to buy concrete and sealant for the outside fixes that will have to be done. But we had to wait.
We had to wait until the ground to dry. We had to wait until it warmed up a bit. Looking at a week worth’s of rain… my nerves were fried. All I could do was watch more water seeped in until we fixed the foundation. We finally had a few days of consistant sun – the ground dried up, allowing the new concrete to set. We had to move concrete steps to get to the worst part of the foundation. We had to dig at least a foot down into the ground… fix the bricks, remortar the wall and pour new concrete around the house. And when I say WE – I mean my dad, because I had to work. My father who suffers from pretty bad arthritis. But I will talk about that another day – how he did with relatively no pain.
What kills me is I feel like I failed my dad. I was supposed to help him – give him a break – the one he needs for his health. I failed him because I don’t have the money to have someone come do it for us. I don’t have $15,000 just sitting around in a bank account. So we did the bare minimum, which will be sufficient, tie me over for at least 10-15 years (maybe more) – which is what it is what my father did. But if I have someone else come in (thus the high price) – it will be repaired for life, never having to be fixed again. But I can’t afford that.
I am still sooo angry right now. I am so frustrated that I feel sick to my stomache. Because I feel dupped. I feel like I was taken advantage off. I feel like a huge failure. Because someone lied about something so crutial. I am currently looking at all my options. But I don’t have any recourse. Oh sure – I could sue their asses (previous homeowners and the home inspector) for the cost of the full repairs – but suing in Canada isn’t the same as suing someone in the US. It’s difficult to sue here. And at the end of the day – it would cost me more to sue them than to have my dad do it. So I really don’t have any recourses – insurance doesn’t cover foundation repairs. I’ve had to bite the bullet and live meagerly. Perhaps not such a bad thing but it’s stressful.
I haven’t enjoyed this whole home-owning process. Not at all. A gorgeous old home indeed. But what a pain in the ass. And I know for a fact… buying brand new… isn’t any better. Today… I still wish I was renting.