We have begun to assess Greenwreath's overall condition, and so far there aren't any major surprises. The one thing that you always hope to avoid finding in a house made of wood, the termite, has of course made its presence much known in ours. We are lucky in that our termite infestation, and the resulting damage, is only found in the ‘newer’ part of the house – the main living room added in 1810. The termites have not affected the older timbers, which are still solid as stone. We have had Jason Ecker, a local contractor much beloved and trusted among the plantation-owning crowd around Greenville, to come over and take a look at just what we are facing. Here is what he found:
That is the visible portion of the main sill that basically supports the front wall of the house on the left side. It looks a bit like swiss cheese. The joists in the living room are in much the same condition. We are planning to remove the lower half of the front porch, raise the house off the sill, and replace it, as well as sister the weakened joists in the living room floor. That’s pretty much the extent of the structural damage in the house. Pretty impressive considering its age!
As far as the interior goes, we are basically focusing on just giving the whole house a good deep cleaning. Since Greenwreath has stood empty for about 2 years, every room is full of spiders, and 2 years’ worth of spiders in quite enough thankyouverymuch. I hate killing things, so I just remove the webs and allow them to scramble away, although they seem to just relocate to another room. I’ll have to rethink my strategy. Also, scrubbing 2 years’ worth of spider droppings (white spots in upper left corner of this photo) off of 230-year-old heart pine floors is enough to make anyone want to cry.
Here are just a few pictures of what the house looks like now. Check back and see what progress we are making!
|Mold and water stains in master bedroom caused by leaky third floor windows|
|Mold in second bedroom ceiling from leaky third floor window|
|Broken window pane in the master bedroom|
|Crumbling exterior paint|
|Old water stains in second bedroom|
|Spider webs aplenty!|
|Mold on the banister|
|Damaged window frame|
|Water damage and fried socket in the living room|
|Separation in wainscoting in living room caused by compression of termite-damaged front sill|
|Porch ceiling on lower level|
|One of several missing porch railings|
|Termite-damaged wainscoting and flooring in dining room|
|Sand from second floor hearth collected and caused drywall in dining room ceiling to collapse|
|Fireplace in kitchen pulling away from wall|
|Old water damage to floor in den|