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Monthly Archives: April 2018

My house is broken

And it’s breaking my heart.

First of all, this is no one’s fault.  The house plans were lovely.  The permits were all obtained.  The builders did a great job.  The inspectors all signed off at every stage. But no one could foresee the problems that climate change would bring to our little corner of the world.

For the first 3 years, we had no problem at all with the floors.  It was the particularly harsh 2016-17 winter that first affected a small area of the main/ground floor.

All the precipitation that has traditionally fallen over the East End of Vancouver still falls.  Except it now falls on fewer days.  Great for hot, sunny summers (with the attendant water restrictions).  But the ground in the yard between our laneway and the  main house becomes completely sodden in the fall and winter and spring and that water seeps under our house, and then through osmosis, through the concrete base and up under the floorboards. I don’t know exactly why and I don’t know how, but that’s what’s happening.

Last summer the area around the damage was ripped up and the concrete sealed with pink goo, then the wood floor boards were replaced, but far from fixing the problem permanently it seems to have made it worse.

Walking in our ground floor hallway sounds like we’re stepping on a wharf.  The floorboards are warped and some are discoloured.  Water actually squirts out of gaps between the cupped floorboards and the baseboards, which are also warped and discoloured.  Towels must be stuffed beneath the doors to the bathroom and the studio (where the floors have been sealed and therefore do not leak) and all along the hall.

Of course this will be fixed.  Our builder will come in during the dry season and replace all the wood/laminate floor with ceramic tiles that look just like wood.  That will seal the floors for always.

The house is still under warranty.  The builder is a man of principle.  All will be fixed.  I just have to live through the rainy season until we can make that happen.

The mental problem I have is bigger than the physical one.  I love our house.  I love it when the sunlight streams through the windows on the top floor and the surfaces all sparkle, and you feel like you’re in an aerie floating above the traffic below.  I love it when I am in our bathroom and the sun pours in and it’s like taking a sun shower.  But I really love it when the rain pounds down on the roof and the clouds lower and everything is cozy and warm and protected from the tempest outside.  Not just the weather but all the troubles that ail this world.  Safe and comfortable.

And now there’s a chink in our castle walls (well, floor).  There are sodden towels lining the hallways and tucked beneath doors.  It’s sad.  And depressing. Our sanctuary has been breached.

Of course I realise how foolish this is.  We have a home in one of the most desirable and expensive cities in the world.  The house will stand and the floor will be replaced and we will appreciate it all the more.

I just have to live through a couple of months of the occasional soggy sock (watch the 3rd board in the hallway or oops!).

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Artist and Desert Dweller with Big City Style.

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