And the Crack Came Back the Very next Day...

I forgot to mention in the last post some of the interesting things we discovered while inspecting the front door. When measuring for the opening, we removed some of the vinyl siding around the door. The next-door-neighbor was correct when she said that the house used to be a tan/peachish stucco house. Of course that is after it was a brick house, but before it was a vinyl-sided house. It looks like I might as well stay with the vinyl, since the brick would take some effort to restore. Maybe the stucco isn't that bad, but I would be a little hesitant to pull off the siding and find something massively unpleasant. So for the time being, the house will be vinyl.

Another interesting thing is that the door was arched. I am not sure if the original door was arched, but the opening most certainly was. You can see this from the weird-looking header in the picture of the door. Under the vinyl siding, you can see see it even better, but a picture really isn't possible. Here is what I think the door used to look like.

Well, not quite, but I am guessing that the top bricks were arched like that. Since the porch was added on later, an arched doorway would no longer be possible. Or at least it wouldn't really be seen anymore. What a shame!

I also mentioned in the last post that the bedroom was finished. Where are the pictures you ask? Well, it is a little dirty right now, but I will post pictures of it at a later date.

Finally, before the dining room could be started I needed to determine what should be done with the wood burning stove. You might remember that it had a 90 degree bend in the pipes (my apologies to Lance, as this was the only "before" picture I have that shows the bend in the pipes).

Well, it turns out that some chimney sweeps not only clean chimneys, but also fix stoves, fireplaces, and pipes. So I called a local chimney sweep and he said that the 90 degree angle was probably there because of where the rafters lay in the attic. He also said that the stove would need at least 16 inches of non-combustible materials in front of it. You can see from the previous picture, that this is not even remotely the case. You can also see that if I were to extend the bricks further out in the room, not only would the new floor need to be cut, but it would extend into the doorway as well. He suggested that maybe I purchase a new wood burning stove (in the spring when the deals are better), and it could be connected to the existing pipe. A new stove would be smaller, more efficient, and the pipe usually comes from the top of the stove instead of from the back. Even still, I would need to extend the non-combustible surface further out, to prevent starting a fire on the floor. If I were to completely remove the existing stove and replace it with nothing, I would have to patch a hole in the ceiling and the roof, and a weird brick area would remain in the dining room. Removing the bricks would most likely be out of the question, since the wainscoat cannot be matched without some custom work and the floors would need to be fixed.

Here are the pros of each option.

The pros of replacing the old wood burning stove with a new stove:

  • Efficient heating method for house

  • Smaller design

  • Help house resale

The pros of just removing the old stove and leaving things as they are:

  • Cheapest option

  • Non-combustible materials do not have to extend further in the room

  • Place to put plants

Because I shamelessly enjoy putting polls on my blog, I would like visitor's opinions on whether or not I should remove the wood burning stove all together or if I should get a new stove and extend the brick. Voting is in the side bar again.


Now to explain the title. The last two days we have had nothing but rain. This morning when I glanced over at the living room wall, I realized that there was a weird shadow there. On closer inspection, I found that the Krack Kote has swelled and formed a bubble.

This area has been repaired twice before. Why is is still coming back? Well the first time we repaired it, the joint compound cracked. The second time we repaired it, we used Krack Kote over joint compound (the Krack Kote label DID say that it can be used over joint compound). We felt like maybe we should have primed the surface first, but tried it anyway. It seem to hold pretty well. However, this time it appeared that one of two things have happened;

A. Water has somehow gotten into the house during this rain storm and has caused the joint compound to swell. This caused the bubble in the Krack Kote.


B. The humidity has caused the joint compound to swell and in turn, the Krack Kote to bubble.

Brice went into the attic today and could not find any leaks or dampness from the rain. The roof is still in very good shape and it would be unusual to find a leak. However a leak from the side cannot be ruled out. Last weekend Brice and I set to work cleaning the yard, house, and gutters. Perhaps a gutter is still blocked and water is backing up into a crack. Or perhaps water from the hose leaked through some crack in the roof or siding.

The other option is just swelling from humidity. This is possible, but I found a new and smallish crack in the ceiling above the bubbling in the Krack Kote and it is slightly darker then the surrounding ceiling. This makes me think that it is slightly damp and leans me towards option A.

Either way, there is a problem. I think that the best way to fix the problem would be to wait until things have dried out, remove the old Krack Kote, prime the surface thoroughly, and reapply the Krack Kote. Although there is bubbling, the Krack Kote has done what it promises, and that is NOT CRACK! I am very happy with the product at this time and will continue to use it on all my plaster (and occasionally drywall) walls.


sarah said...

Did you explore the possibility of a pellet stove?

Amandazzle said...

I am not opposed to a pellet stove, but I still think that it will require making the surround larger, thus creeping into the doorway. Unless they have small pellet stoves...


Anonymous said...

I like your blog. I just looked up "Krack Kote" demonstration and found you! I love your wishlist on the side with the percentages, that is awesome.

About your wood burning stove--you could keep the one you have, it's really not bad. It does have a certain appeal to it. If you do end up replacing it though you could wait until the spring and put an add on craigslist or in the classifieds with a "wanted to buy" add. That way you could spend a couple of days looking at the replies and looking at something that might cost a lot less and suit your needs. Lots of people move into homes with fireplace inserts/stoves and they don't use them. They are more than happy to part with them. You'd be surprised. I've done the classified ad route 2x with fireplace inserts (and I live in MS, so there isn't as much to choose from). I always had 15+ calls.

Good luck with your home!