Will it never end?????? Last month, the contractors had to rip out the floor of the guest bathroom. This month, they are ripping out part of the ceiling. To be more specific, they are ripping out the ceiling around the vent fan in the guest bathroom.
The reason the ceiling around the vent in the guest bathroom is being ripped out is because I discovered that the vent ducting was not quite venting to the outdoors.....
To give a little background......During all of the mayhem ensuing in the period when our contractors fired our second project manager, the port-a-potty was removed from our site (or should I now call it our property). As a result, now, when the contractors are working in our house and they require the lavatory, they have to use the guest bathroom. This is a critical piece of information for the following.....
One fine day, I was working in the study which is directly above the guest bathroom while two of the finish carpenters were working on finishing up some odds and ends listed on the punch list. As I worked away, I suddenly became aware of a foul smell in the study. My first thought was that I had stepped in some of the dog crap that our neighbor's dog leaves for us in the front yard and the neighbor doesn't pick up (pet peeve), but I checked my feet and was in my slippers so that wasn't it. I got up and walked out to the hall to see if the smell was wafting up from the main floor, but as I walked out of the study, the smell disappeared. I walked back into the study and it was rank. Then I heard the toilet flush in the guest bathroom and I knew instantly what it was I was smelling!
I contacted the contractor who couldn't believe that the smell I was accosted by was really the result of the finish carpenter in the guest bathroom. So we insisted that the contractor set up a smoke machine in the guest bathroom to find out if the vent was really venting to the outdoors or just into the study.
A few days later, the contractor showed up with a technician and a smoke machine that they set up in the guest bathroom. The contractor and I went upstairs to the study and the technician started up the smoke machine. Almost instantly, smoke started pouring out of the outlet in the wall of the study indicating that there definitely was a breach somewhere along the ducting between the vent in the guest bathroom and the outside world. Now they just had to find the location of the compromised ducting.
Fortunately, when they tore the ceiling out in the guest bathroom, they found that the ducting was not properly fitted to the vent assembly. I say fortunately when it doesn't really sound fortunate. We have lived in this house barely two months so you would think that the ducting would still be well fitted. In this case, it was never well fitted. Apparently, they had the wrong size ducting, and instead of going back to the store and obtaining the proper size, they had just jammed the ducting they had into the vent assembly, wrapped it with a bunch of tape and hoped that would be good enough. It was not good enough. However, although we are not pleased that the original construction was done improperly, we are glad that the ducting was not compromised further up the pipe where it would require them to rip out the study wall as well as the guest bathroom ceiling to gain access and fix it.
We are also thankful to the finish carpenter who led us to this issue because if I had not discovered the venting issue, we could have had much larger problem. In particular, water damage. The vent in the guest bathroom also vents the steam from that bathroom that is created in the shower. Had we not been able to discover the compromised venting, we could have lived here for years with the guest bathroom steam filling the wall and floor spacing and causing a mold issue.
As when there were other problems with the construction of this house, I am now paranoid about the other vents in the house. The contractor has checked them and labeled them okay, but I still wonder.
And I wonder what is next........