Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Multitude of Sins

I've been working on this post this afternoon while in the bathtub. Unfortunately, I've not been in there enjoying a nice long soaky bubble bath. Instead I've been looking at this mess and trying to figure out what to do.

We've known for a little while that the wall behind our tile is "soft." So my husband asked me to caulk over the grout today, just until we can get this problem taken care of. He was very clear in that I should not try taking the tile off the wall, just caulk over grout.

For some reason, I have been appointed chief caulk and grout girl around here. Perhaps because his mother always did that kind of stuff. Or perhaps because I am good at it. I did the countertop in our gameroom as well as the entry way down there. And I've repaired the bathroom tub when he put new faucets in a few years ago. I really don't mind the detailed and time consuming effort it requires.

But . . . I couldn't just "caulk over" old stuff. No way. I had to dig out all the old stuff first and clean it properly. I promised myself that I wouldn't get carried away, but obviously I did. Now it's 6:00 pm and my husband will be home from school in about 3-1/2 hours. Uh-oh.

Well, as you can see, my husband was absolutely right in that I should be very careful not to remove any tile. Basically because the plaster wall behind it is becoming non-existent. If you need a visual, picture brown sugar. Yep, nice and crumbly.

I don't know if this will work or not. But I cut a piece of vinyl siding (that's another current project in our house) to fit the gap and spooged construction adhesive on the back and squished it in place (thank goodness my husband is addicted to Liquid Nail and all manner of construction adhesives and we have plenty of it laying around!). Next I spooged more adhesive on the back of the tile (yes, I cleaned them first, silly!) and jammed them in there. Then I said prayers. Lots and lots of prayers. I hope the stuff starts to set enough so I can caulk the seams before someone gets home tonight. And I hope the darn things don't pop off in the middle of the night. And I hope someone doesn't mind taking yet another bath.

Is there a spiritual thing in all this? Well, does there have to be? Just kidding. Of course there's a lesson for me. Something about looking good on the outside when what's underneath is a mess. And something about how even when you think you have it all together, don't. Because another mess will surface before you know it. Because houses and humans have that in common - the falling apart thing. I'm glad I can rely on the grace of God to hold me together.


Katrina said...

Okay, well first of all, I'm completely impressed with your home-repair skills and bravery. The one and only time I attempted something similar - I tried to re-caulk the tub at our old house - it was a pretty major disaster. Let's just say that no one will be hiring me to do any remodeling projects anytime soon!

You did a fantastic job in the gameroom, and I have a feeling your bathroom will come out well, too. Hope everything gets done before "someone" gets home!

Jennifer said...

Well, said. I also am impressed with your home improvement skills. I am most definitely not cault girl.