Bob & Ellen's Excellent Adventure

Black Sheep Tower House

There’s Something Rotten In – Well, A Lot Closer Than Denmark…

December 11. 2020 Now that a good amount of tongue and groove siding has been ripped off, thoughts turn to what will go up in its place… All summer and fall, the extra cedar siding and the concrete clapboards left lying about the house have been repurposed and used for repairs, but there is some of the T&G left. Today Bob L’s guys helped pick through it and bring it down to the basement, where I was setting up a work space. The problem was that the left-over siding had been left-over for a reason. The good pieces had been used, and what was left had some sort of flaw, like a knot, a hole, was cracked and so on. Also, after lying around for 15 years in a vermin infested environment, most of them were filthy. My task was to sort, clean and paint the good pieces. (Was this my job? No. But all hands on deck to stop the leaking!)

I was sorting wood and scrubbing away when my cell rang… It was Bob L in the tower, asking me to come up. In the eerie glow under the blue tarp, out on the deck, Bob L pointed to water rot here, and over here, and definitely here, and yes, a lot more over here! Granted this was not a complete surprise, but nonetheless extremely unwelcome news.

Further investigation uncovered more rotten wood. I got another call to come up to the tower. This time to discover that a rim joist had essentially rotted away from water collecting between the sheathing and the siding, inside the wall. There were several questions to answer: How did the water get to the rotten rim joist? From the top of the tower? From inside the tower? What’s under the flooring that was completely rotted and was replaced? Why did it rot? Where did that water go every time it rained (and what else did it rot?) It was mind boggling, and frankly, very discouraging.

Water is once again definitely leaking from the hatch, inside the tower, as you can see by the photos. The hatch had been sealed once by Bob L, and now it needed further attention. It seemed like there were two problems from the top deck – rain and melted snow coming in around the hatch, and also running down the outside walls. I called my Bob and gave him the low down. Oh joy. Then went back to my toils in the basement.

You have to wonder why we bought a neglected house with a really tall tower that we already knew had a hole in it! Ack!

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