I looked up and it was there again, the stain, a growing blight of nasty, brown concentric rings.
”Out, out, damn spot!“ I shouted, but it remained.
It will fade with time as it always does, but when the rain comes again so shall the spot.
This weekend I went into my attic to investigate the cause. That's not as easy as you might think. Long ago attics were made with floors, but apparently that is no longer in vogue.
Indeed, most of the houses my parents owned in my youth had those attics that had a floor, in the form of sheets of bare plywood, over maybe half and then if you wanted to go somewhere else you had to walk on the beams. That's bad enough, but my house has a bonus difficulty.
Instead of laying out flat sheets of insulation between the beams, the builder just sprayed chunks of the stuff everywhere. With the exception of maybe 10 square feet of plywood flooring, now taken up with dusty boxes of stuff, my attic is a fluffy pool of fiberglass with no beams apparent.
So I had to cover as much of my flesh as possible, donning shoes, jeans, a long-sleeved shirt and gloves to defend myself against a case of the itchies. And then I had to negotiate a line of wooden braces, placing my feet in the joint so they were squeezed uncomfortably by the wooden beams that joined at an angle that was far more narrow than my feet. I also had to duck under some ducts while moving from perch to perch.
However, once I got the hang of it, and overcame my fear that the ceiling would somehow collapse under my weight, I began to enjoy the adventure of journeying into a part of my own home in which I had never been. And I've lived there for three years.
The source of the spot was not a leak, which is good because that could have meant serious trouble and a horrific depletion of funds. It appears that the rain is coming in from an air-vent pipe and leaking through a joint in that pipe.
Of course, to really fix that problem I'll have to go up on the roof, a dizzying experience that can make the 7-foot drop from my eaves seem like looking down from the edge of a skyscraper. But I'll do it, of course, because God forbid I should spend money on a handyman while I'm able-bodied and young enough to recover quickly from broken bones.
This is home ownership. Sometimes I yearn for the simple days, the salad days, the ”Tell the landlord to fix that“ days.
Gone forever, those, or at least for the foreseeable future.
If I want the spot out, then I da ... darn well better do it myself.
Ed Brock covers public safety and municipal governments for the News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .