What a week we’ve had here at the mansion! Monday morning we woke up to the sound of water pouring in from the ceiling up on the 4th floor and down the main stairwell. It sounded like someone was literally taking a shower on the stairs. The main roof drain had failed and water was flooding in around it. We shoved a large Rubbermaid type tub between the wall & top of the stair railing to catch the water and I was bailing out water from that into a 5 gallon bucket and running it down 4 flights of stairs out the front door and dumping it into the snow outside. Then it was back up the stairs and do it all over again.
Meanwhile, Atom went up on the roof and discovered basically a swimming pool up there on the flat part in the front on top of ice and snow (we got a foot of snow a week ago and it has stuck around due to temperatures well below freezing). We hoisted a 100 ft garden hose up to the roof and created a siphon to drain the water off the side.
The main drain pipe (which is 4” PVC) comes inside the building from the roof, then wraps around the inside 4th floor ceiling, through a wall into a closet and then punches out the side of the building and down to the parking lot level. We discovered that this pipe had completely frozen solid all the way up & to the roof which created this significant back up of water. We are very lucky that it only leaked into the building in that one spot where it just couldn’t handle the amount!! After the water had been siphoned off the roof and Atom shoveled & launched the snow off the roof we wrapped the inside pipe with all of our heating pads to help thaw what we could.
While we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off we heard a loud SMASH and I ran outside to find that a chunk of the drain pipe had broken off and bounced when it hit the ground in the parking lot right next to the building and shattered one of the large basement windows.
I’m thankful it didn’t hit anyone or any vehicles! The window/glass can be replaced relatively easily. Later Monday afternoon, Atom and our son ran that same garden hose from one of the water heaters on the 3rd floor up though the roof access on the 4th floor and he ran hot water over the exposed pipe that comes out the side of the building. After about 5 minutes they heard loud *thunk* noises as a few large 4” chunks of ice broke free and the pipe was flowing again, draining the remaining water off the roof that our siphon couldn’t get. It’s a good thing the window was already broken when these hit the ground in the parking lot!
It is now Saturday and my legs are still sore! My Apple Watch logged that I climbed 48 flights of stairs Monday morning. I haven’t climbed that much at once since I did my last American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb in 2016 when I raced up 32 stories (657 steps) and Monday blew past that number of flights climbed!
Yesterday afternoon Atom was inside the building and heard what he said sounded like an explosion out in the parking lot. He went out to investigate & found the rest of the ice from the no longer functioning drain pipe had shot out the bottom & across the parking lot.
Things dried up super quick inside and we caught it before a ton of damage was done. We will have quite the project ahead of us come late spring/summer to try & reroute the roof drainage back into the original large pipe that runs down inside the building and out to the street level so we will avoid having PVC which isn’t built to last and never should have been used in the first place years ago long before we moved in.
I think this DEFINITELY tops our pipes bursting in the boiler room our first night in indiana!
Just another bump in our renovation journey and if anyone on earth can fix it- it’s Atom!