As a software developer, my first instinct at work to solve an issue with a computer system was to trash it and start over with a new, better, more modern solution. Most of the time, this was the correct approach – either because the base functionality was being stretched beyond measure and required a new foundation or because the older system just wasn’t able to keep on working well, no matter how many fixes were applied.
I applied this same philosophy at home as well – on any home maintenance projects that came up. Our first home was a 50 year old ranch. It had a small master bathroom with a shower. That shower was nasty. The grout had eroded at the bottom, allowing water to get into the drywall causing rotten soft walls and allowing mildew to grow. Yuk. Without even looking for other solutions, I decided to tear out the tub surround. Once it was out, I went after the drywall in the shower. I had so much fun smashing it out that I tore out the drywall in the entire bathroom. You should have seen the look on my spouse’s face when he came home from work that day and saw the state of the bathroom!
I spent quite a bit of time and some money putting up new greenboard, tiling the shower, having a plumber install a brand new base, drywalling the rest of the walls and putting in a new floor. It looked great when I was done and I got some good experience. But, perhaps a simpler solution would have sufficed.
At times, trash and replace isn’t the right solution, either to software or to your home maintenance projects.
Now I am looking askance at our patio, which doesn’t drain properly into the yard. Once again the first thought is that we need to get someone in here with a jackhammer to tear out the concrete and relay the entire thing at a better slant. We’ve been postponing that due to the anticipated expense and consequently the wood siding is starting to get damaged from frequent exposure to standing water.
But, I understand that there may be patio and balcony solutions that could help us out. I found this article: Balcony Waterproofing: What You Need to Know Now that describes how a product called Megasealed can be used to protect against this kind of water damage.
All homes require maintenance and each of us should be prepared to spend part of our overall budget on home maintenance and repair. That said, the maintenance and repair doesn’t have to be trash and replace. It can be fix and extend as well.
Here are t least 3 things that can be done to deal with issues, or at least postpone a final solution until you have the time and resources to handle it. Continue reading