Last week Mike and I traveled to Florida to visit my parents and attend my cousin's wedding. I could tell you how great it was to be in warm weather while Ohio is firmly stuck in winter, or how nice it was to see my out-of-town family, (and hang out with all my family that traveled down for the celebration), but instead I have much more somber news to share.
While we busted our asses to finish as much as we could in the never-ending basement before we left to go out of town, we were greeted with a 6-gallon-red-wine disaster when we came home at 9pm that forced us to tear out some of the brand spankin' new drywall.
Let me explain, for the wedding Mike's making the beer and we're making our own wine, (would you really expect anything less from us at this point?), so a couple weeks before we left we picked out the three wines we are making, including a awesome sounding Chilean pinot noir. We made a cute mini-date out of making the wine one night and put it away to ferment. Red wine needs a warm 72-75 degree temperature so we put in in the dining room closet. We had a small leakage problem from the spigot when we were making it, but Mike (thought) he fixed it, and monitored it for the next week before we left, (it hadn't shown any more leakage the entire week), at this point I think you can see where this is heading.
When we came home, we checked the house, cuddled the cat, and checked on the wine. Mike was surprised to see the towel underneath the bucket was soaked. He was even more surprised to lift the empty bucket. We immediately knew where it had gone and ran downstairs to be greeted with a scene worthy of a horror movie. The wine had leaked through the hardwood floors of the dining room closet into the drywall of the ceiling in the beer cave. Because there was a light there, the wine must have collected, then dropped in large quantities onto our brand new chest freezer because there was wine spatter on all three walls.
Since my first reaction to a crisis is not to grab my camera, but to gather cleaning supplies, I have no evidence of the massacre scene to share. I think it will always be engraved in my head though.
The ceiling actually didn't look that bad. I did grab my iPhone after cleaning the walls to take a picture to send to my parents.
While it didn't look that bad, we knew underneath there was 6 gallons of red wine causing all sorts of problems. The only option we had was to tear out the drywall and replace it. So, only 20 hours after getting off the plane, Mike had tore out all the damaged drywall.
You can see the wine had soaked the wood behind the drywall. But the majority of the wine was all in the drywall.
The light will also need replaced since wine and electronics don't play nice.
As for the walls, most of the splatter washed off, but large spots of splatter were stained. It's hard to see in the photo, but there were large areas on each of the three walls that had dark gray/purple spots.
To get your bearings, the closet is on the right in the picture below. The left is where the chimney used to be.
I told Mike it looks like a dead body was stored up here.
Here's the bottom of the floor boards below the closet.
I did get a cool shot looking up into the area where the chimney was. When we renovate the kitchen, all these walls will be torn out and the floor will be covered.
This photo breaks my heart, Mike never poses for me, so I just snapped around him cleaning up. He looks so dejected after tearing out the work he completed.
While it sucked, it showed how great of a team Mike and I are. When things like this happen, I'm actually pretty calm. Mike freaks out for a hot second, then we immediately evaluate what needs to be done and jump right in. It's not to say that we're still not bummed, (it cost us about $78 for the new supplies, and another $100 for the wine), but we'll live. We've even been able to joke that we didn't have enough practice drywalling and painting, (as if), so this was helpful!
Mike remove the entire ceiling piece, then a small section at the corner also needed to be patched.
Before Mike covered everything back up, I used some Kilz Premium to paint all the wood that had any wine on it. Was it necessary? Maybe not, but we weren't risking it. We let the wood dry out overnight after tearing it all out, then washed everything down, then I painted. I used some junk brushes and rollers and painted all the floor boards of the closet too. Our reasoning was to seal the wood in case any mildew formed. We're confident the wine was mostly just traveling along the wood and was mostly in the trashed drywall, but after something like this you can never to be cautious.
Last night Mike installed the new piece of drywall and the patch at the corner. One of the worst parts was the corner bead needed to be torn out and replaced to get a perfect corner again.
I used the Kilz primer to paint any stains on the walls, and also along the areas that would need to be mudded, (for better adhesion).
Mike plans to mud and sand this weekend. Which means I'll be able to paint when I touch up the rest of the rooms.
As for the wine, we threw the leaky bucket away and bought a new one without a spigot in it. The spigot only made it easier to transfer into the glass carboy, but Mike's got enough tools to make it just as easy. On Wednesday we made the new batch and have already gotten bubbles, (always a happy moment knowing your yeast is active)!
Although we wish we had somewhere better to put it, the only spot in the house is still the dining room closet. Since the hardwood floor is already ruined, it's not noticeable in the photos, but the boards are all cupped a little, we figured there's no harm. There's also no spigot anymore, and we're anal about checking it, so we're good.
We've always known we were going to tear out this closet and extend the kitchen, so we're not that bummed. That's also the reason I've never painted the inside of the closet, you can see what all of the baseboards looked like when we bought the place, eww.
So, there's our lovely vacation coming home horror story. Hopefully, this is the worst we'll ever have to deal with. We've also decided that we'll probably have someone stay at the house while we're away, or at least have them check inside everyday, (we have the boys next door pick up the mail and they even take out our trash for us, so they're already keeping an eye on the outside). Oh, and we'll probably never start a wine batch before vacation, or at least not leave fermenting wine on the first floor while we're away again. Better safe then sorry.