Monday, March 7, 2016

Awesome Song in This Post, But Only the Title Actually Applies

The previous owners of our house were...what's a nice way to say it?... creative (?) in their home improvements.

Their handiwork has been baffling professionals for a decade now.

The 4 layers of shingles on the roof of the house.

The two air conditioning units connected to one furnace that could not handle the load.

The cover on the porch, which was actually built around the old one, gutter and all.

The windows that were installed improperly, causing the windows and the siding to rot all around the back of the house.

And we aren't even blaming them for the now-illegal septic system that was on no government records and couldn't be found by two different septic companies. (Ended up, the tank drained through a single pipe right out into the corn field behind our house.)

This time, though, I'm pretty ticked.

We're lucky to be alive.

This is a terrible photo of the "fireplace" in the family room.

We've been wanting to see if we could get a gas insert, but it has been on the bottom of our to-do list.

Well, a couple of months ago, the mirror started crackling.

Odd, but nothing we were overly concerned about. Most old mirrors we've ever seen are crackled.

Two weeks ago, Bryan noticed that the tile-looking thing, which is actually just a thin piece of board, was warm.

That got our hackles up.

The chimney inspector came out today.

The moment he took the board off and stuck his head in the chimney, he knew something was wrong.
It should not be warm air.

I'll cut to the chase.

The chimney guy discovered that our water heater vents into the chimney, and the chimney has insulation stuffed into it, blocking any venting of the fumes.

Carbon Monoxide has been pouring into our house for an entire decade.

The only reason we haven't died is because the house has large, really drafty rooms.

I've never been grateful for cold, bitter wind blowing into our house until this very day.

The insulation has been pulled out, so the gases can now exit through the chimney top.

It's still not perfectly safe, though.

The chimney guy will be gathering supplies to properly line and vent the water heater.

This chimney guy has been in this business for over 25 years. He's a nice, honest guy who lives on a farm and raises dairy goats with his wife.

He has seen people improperly venting things through their chimneys before, but he's never seen anything this bad before.

How much has this affected us???

Are Bryan's and Buttercup's headaches symptoms of a decade's worth of carbon monoxide poisoning???

It's making me question every single health problem we've had over the years!

I just can't wrap my head around it.

It makes me want to say some very bad words.

I wonder how we'll be feeling once this is all taken care of and we're breathing non-carbon monoxide laced air.

Of course, as anyone who hears that there is a lice outbreak at school knows, the power of suggestion is real.

I've been feeling sick to my stomach and fighting a mild headache all day.

I'm just at a loss.


How do people do things like this?!?!

In the end, though, I'm just glad it was found. I'm glad we are OK. I'm glad it can be fixed without too much trouble.

I'm glad it's not worse.

And I wonder, why in the world haven't I slept a whole lot better than I have these past 10 years??

I'll keep you posted.

Have a lovely day.


  1. Whoa, that is truly horrible. Thankfully, you discovered the problem and are able to get it fixed. Now everyone will sleep better.

    1. I'm still shocked by it. And still very grateful.

  2. Wow, that's pretty scary! I'm so glad nobody was seriously harmed by this and that the problem was uncovered so it can be fixed.

  3. Oh my goodness, I am so happy you are safe and tbat the problem can be fixed. And, yes, so grateful for all the wind blowing through your house!

  4. Oh my goodness, I am so happy you are safe and tbat the problem can be fixed. And, yes, so grateful for all the wind blowing through your house!

    1. While I've always liked the sound of a good strong wind blowing outside, I've never cheered for it before! Bring on the wind!

  5. You might want to have your whole house inspected. If you found this what other surprises are there.

    Some people can't do any better than this. They are cheap and will find their own way to fix stuff so they can save money. Saving lives isn't in that thought process.

    I'm so happy you found this. Perhaps you'll all feel much better soon.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    1. We had the house inspected when we bought the house. I looong, 5-6 hours. If I remember correctly, we discussed the fireplaces, and he said to have them inspected by a chimney guy before we even thought about using them. He did not see the vent, since he didn't have the camera the chimney guy had.

      Yes, the owners before us did everything themselves. I admire people who can do things like that. However, I only admire them if they do their research and do it right. Many of the things he did could have been done the right way without spending more money.

      I'm happy, too. It will be interesting to see if any of us notice a difference. We won't know if we were affected until we aren't being affected anymore.

    2. I think you will notice a difference. We experienced carbon monoxide poisoning a few years ago - only for a few hours- but we had headaches and other symptoms. I cant imagine that you would not notice improved health.

    3. I think you will notice a difference. We experienced carbon monoxide poisoning a few years ago - only for a few hours- but we had headaches and other symptoms. I cant imagine that you would not notice improved health.

  6. OMG!!! The minute I saw the fireplace photo I knew what you were going to say and my blood ran cold. Thank heavens you found the problem and can get it fixed, and thank heavens too for drafty rooms. I hope you all feel much better soon, and do keep us updated :)

    1. We are very lucky, to be sure. I'm thinking when my body cleans this toxic stuff out of my system, I'll be able to run a marathon.
      Ha! I have no desire to run a marathon. :)

  7. Ugh, I am SO SORRY!!! What a terrifying discovery. I'm so glad you're getting it fixed. We had a similar, far less dangerous discovery ourselves last summer. Minor CO leak from old venting tiles in chimney. We got it fixed too.

    1. Terrifying is a good word.

      Yikes! How'd you know to look for the problem?

  8. Oh wow!!!! I'm so glad you didn't all die! I pray no one has any serious, long-term health complications. Oh my goodness...that is crazy! Wow!!

    1. Me, too! :)

      I'm curious to see if we do have any health differences once our bodies clear the toxic stuff out.

  9. Wow I read this last night.. I could not process this - I needed to think about what I was going to say to

    from the septic system - to this

    first hallelujah you are all ok - despite the ongoing unexplained headaches; you are all ok

    I am so sorry that this happened and please understand that my next question is me being a New Yorker did you have the house inspected when you first looked at it; I think here in NY it is standard to have it done - that is how my sister found out that her new home was infested with termites the first inspector missed it.

    please do take care keep us posted, I am glad that your are getting it fixed.


    1. It was inspected. A thorough one, too. We were here for about 6 hours with him. We discussed the chimneys, and he told us to make sure we had a chimney guy look at them before we thought about using them. He told us they would need to be lined at least. However, he didn't have a camera like the chimney guy, so he couldn't see the vent.

      We're irritated, but very grateful. :)

  10. Shitting hell! THANK GOODNESS for your large, draughty rooms, and the protection they afforded. Blimey! SO glad the problem was discovered and solved, and that you'll all be SAFE now.

    1. Ha! That's one way to put it. I was using stronger words. :)

      No joke. We are very fortunate.

  11. WHAT??? That is horrible! So, so scary! Oh my goodness, I have a headache coming on and I don't even live in your house or anywhere near you. I hope you can get it fixed soon, soon, soon!

    1. I know! Every time I think about it, my head starts hurting and my stomach feels upset.

  12. Holy Guacamole and lots of very bad words!!! I'm speechless. Will really be interesting to see if you all notice a difference in some of your health issues.

    We have a carbon monoxide detector (similar to a smoke detector) upstairs and downstairs although who knows how sensitive it is. So very relieved you are all okay.

    1. We have one, too, in the basement, though. Near the appliances. I think I need to check it's effectiveness and perhaps install some upstairs!

  13. please, allow me, " &*(&ofhd0@!! Jpijo-$^*&@)!!….. &* "

    I will also say this: I used to smoke cigarettes. a pack or two a day (until 1987). I've been writing a blog since 2009. While not exactly health-enhancing, I would venture that, as you mention, the rate of air exchange in your house (draftiness) and the amounts of CO that got into the house, in all likelihood did not do any lasting damage. (Unless you believe, as some might suggest, that spending countless hours of my life typing messages and conversations to virtual/invisible people does not exactly represent, 'the human mind at it's highest levels of function' lol)

    (see!?!? the chickens? the ones trying to fly and/or climb fences!? a total message to everyone! they were trying to escape the hot water heater!!)

    good that you found it. smoke and CO detectors are not bad ideas.

  14. This took my breath away! Such prolonged carbon monoxide exposure, terrifying to think about, and it could have so easily ended up in tragedy. Thank God for cracked mirrors and Bryan's alertness. I am relieved to know that your house is now filling with clean air, I'm betting you will all notice a difference within a little time! This is a really good example of why people should at least check with the professionals before undertaking projects like this, and obviously not knowing much about proper venting!!

  15. Whoa! That is just way too close a call. Glad it was resolved, and for once, you can say yay for a drafty, old house!

  16. Whoa! That's terrible and really scary!! So glad you discovered the issue before something tragic happened. Jeez. I would be so upset thinking about it!


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