Bathroom water damage and floor rot, temporary fix

Man what a pain in the butt.

Preface: we already want to remodel our downstairs bath, some of it we need some contractors (plumbing, electrical wiring aka things you can’t see normally) and the rest.. all the things you can see I will do myself. I want to take my time, maybe a month or two over the weekend and do it right. It will be thoroughly enjoyable. The only problem is, that budget-wise this will NOT be on our schedule for 2 more years… OK.

Back to ‘the now’, I’ve started to notice the floor underneath the cheap vinyl tiling has been feeling spongy near the edge of the shower. Pretty much anyone can tell you that’s not a good thing… it’s just a matter of when are you going to start ripping things apart to see the extent of the damage. I’ve procrastinated because I knew I wouldn’t like what I would find, and needed a whole weekend free of obligations to tear it apart and come up with a plan..

So, today, after a Sapporo, I felt the liquid courage and decided to listen to the voice in my head that luvvvs home demo. ‘do it.. rip it up.. see the rot.. see the decay..’ So that’s what I did. Damn Sapporo, smooth, and tingly, urging me on.

The situation is kinda bad, but not as bad as it could be. All the plywood subflooring for about a 3′ square area is trash. The bottom of the adjacent cabinget wall are also rotted… Even a percentage (maybe 25% of the surface) of the 1900’s thick wooden boards underneath the plywood has rotted.. So that’s bad, but it really does open up my ideas for the complete remodelling 2 years from now.. Basically the shower and cabinet wall needs to get ripped out, all the subflooring and maybe 1 structural floorboard needs to go. With that much demo coming, we can really redo the bathroom however we want… it’s freeing.

Yea, but I need a functioning 2nd bath for 2 years. The plan is to first the damn leak in the shower, now that I can see exactly where it is… then rip and cut out the rot, spray it down with ammonia solution, patch up the flooring with whatever I have in the shop and throw some cheap new vinyl tiles on top.. and be careful no to slop water all over the place until we do things right. Pics of the unplanned project below;







Extending the usefulness of an OLD snowblower

Frankenblower vs Mother Earth- season 2.


I made it through last winter with the Frankenblower as is.  “As is” from what I can tell is 3rd or 4th hand.  As you can see from the pic, it’s pretty damn old, and appears to be made out of metal salvaged from a WWII heavy crusier…  But, the neighbor I bought it from is an engineer extraordinaire, so  despite its obvious age and jerry-rigging, I’m pretty confident a strong machine.

A couple weeks ago, we get about 16″ of heavy wet snow.  Now, the Honda engine started fairly decently despite sitting neglected almost a year, and I really didnt do any maintenance to it at all, my bad.  Only problem with starting was that the choke lever got a little bent in one part so I had to trace the movement along until I found a lever that appeared like it wanted to slide a certain way.  O_o   Well, I slid the lerver in that certain way, yanked the starter cord, and voilla, I had a running engine.  Impressive. 

Yes, this is the extent of my troubleshooting skills, trace and fiddle.  It works with programming and apparently with small engines as well.

But things just got worse.  Me and Frankenblower got our butts kicked by this storm.  



1) My right tire had completely deflated over the year… (Mental note, don’t be a lazy sod and at least check on the snowblower once during the summer).  So, you can picture this heavy beast continuously pushing to the right, with me fighting it to stay straight, all in heavy wet snow.

2) The chute kept CLOGGING!! wtf!?! didnt happen at all last winter.  was there no what snow last year?? Possibly.  


1) have a deflated tire??  don’t want to invest in a heavy duty air pump yet?

I bought this baby off of amazon.  For a small portable air compressor it really kicks @ss. It’s cheap ($20), lightweight, small and comes with a long cable, maybe 15′.  Only drawback is it needs to plug into a car cigarette lighter outlet.  Not a problem, and since it was cheap, I consider it a very easy experiment.  It filled the completely deflated tire in less than a minute, and topped off the left one as well.  There is no air tank, so it has to be running to pump air – it won’t be a problem for the intended use.  Not sure if I can somehow rig it up to my spray gun for working on models though.  That would just be the ultimate victory.

Hopefully the compressor lasts a while, and I get some use on the car and bycicle tires as well.  It comes with some nozzles for inflating kids toys, footballs etc as well… no chance to use them yet

Also, just bit the bullet and bought some snowblower tire chains as well.  The defeat at the hands of the last storm put me in such a fould mood that I am willing to ‘splurge’ and give the chains a try – from what the neighbor says it makes a huge difference, especially on slopes… which I have 

2) Snow chute keeps getting clogged with snow?  They say spray the chute with WD40, or PAM cooking spray of all things.  Can’t say for sure, but will give it a try during the next storm.



I’ve never ever had a snow blower.  I was the kind of guy that always just kind of ”toughed it out” and spent hours and hours shoveling, even if it meant going out around midnight to halve the accumulation before I woke up in the morning. Well, I bought this Frankblower a couple weeks ago from my neighbor.  It’s an ancient, rusty, heavy beast that my neighbor rescued from the trash and rigged a Honda engine on.  I don’t know how I ever lived without one.. and I didn’t know how much fun snow removal could be.  Now, all I need to do is get some tire chains and pimp the Frankenblower out.  Bring on the snow!