Water damage x2

Friday was a hectic and slightly disastrous day. I started picking up the weekly groceries from the supermarket. When I got home I discovered that the ice cream I’d ordered online was missing from the order. In hindsight, it was a prelude to a bad day.

After my pre-lunch ethics class, I drove over to my wife’s work to pick up Scully. I needed to refuel the car on the way home, and the shortest route past a petrol station went by the Naremburn bakery, so I decided to stop in there for a little while and grab another of those delicious cheesecake tarts that I’d had on Thursday.

As we left, it started to sprinkle. We got back in the car without getting too wet, and I drove to the petrol station to fill up the car. By the time we left, the rain was heavy and getting heavier. It was now I realised that I’d left all the windows open at home, since I hadn’t expected it to rain when I left. The petrol station is only about a kilometre from home, but we got stuck in some traffic and caught at a couple of red lights, and it took longer than usual to get home. I ran inside and found the rain had come in the bedroom window, soaking the carpet, some piles of clothing, and a wooden storage chest.

I spent about the next hour cleaning it up, soaking up the water with towels, moving the furniture to get behind and underneath it, then wiping things down with weak bleach to discourage mould growth. By the time I’d done, it was only ten minutes until my next ethics class – and I had three in a row, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to take Scully out if she needed to toilet. So I grabbed her and rushed downstairs to try to get her to go before the class. Fortunately she went quickly and we rushed back upstairs. By now the sun had come out and the air was getting steamy and humid. So I closed all the windows and turned the air conditioner on.

I did my three classes in a row. In quiet periods I thought I could hear some sort of intermittent plinking sound from behind me. My wife has recently brought home a bunch of pots from her beginners’ pottery class, and some of them are pinging with the glaze under stress from the firing (apparently this is a common thing). So I thought it might be that, and I was too occupied with my class to check more closely.

After the last class I finally took my headphones off, and heard the noise again. It didn’t sound like the pinging, but more like dripping. After hearing a couple more drips I located it… It was the air conditioner unit mounted on the wall above the bookcase, dripping water onto the bookcase! I quickly turned it off and grabbed more towels and a chair to stand on, so I could mop up the water that had pooled up there. And then I noticed the drips were going down behind the bookcase, between the furniture and the wall as well!

I got some plastic containers to catch any further drips, then got a strong light and a mirror so I could see down behind the bookcase to check how much water was down there. I really didn’t fancy having to empty the bookcase, move it, and dry the wall and carpet. That would have been an all-day job, since it’s a very large and heavy bookcase – taller than I am and about 2 metres wide, full of books. Fortunately it didn’t look very wet down there. A bit of water had run down the back side of the bookcase, but it was already drying, and it hadn’t penetrated to the front where the books are. Rather than spend all day Saturday moving the bookcase… I think I’m just going to leave it and hope it dries out.

After all that I needed to relax, and spent the rest of the evening playing board games online with friends in our weekly game night. I was a little frazzled and didn’t do very well at all, but at least it relaxed me a bit before bed.

Today, Saturday, I went for a 5k run in the morning. Then I spent the rest of the morning working on the game design for the Creative Thinking course. I told the student I’d get the game to her before the weekend, and fortunately I had a few hours since she’s in the USA and it was still Friday evening there. I had to iterate a lot as I wrote up the rules and created cards for cutting out, when I kept realising certain things wouldn’t work. Eventually I got it in a workable state (I thinK!) and finalised the file and sent it off.

This afternoon I went to the home appliances store to oder a new air conditioner. I might have been able to fix the current one, but it’s actually over 20 years old and I’ve been thinking about upgrading it to a more modern unit for a couple of years already. So rather than risk more dripping water, we decided to just go ahead and get a new one. I bought a unit and organised installation for this coming Wednesday.

Unfortunately… that means we won’t have it in time for the forecast next three days, which the Weather Bureau is warning will be the three hottest days Sydney has seen for almost a year. The highest temperature Sydney had all summer was barely above 30°C, but now we’re into autumn and the next three days are forecast to be 33°, 36°, and 34°. Great.

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