Apparently the previous owners of my house made a few adjustments up in the attic. Two days ago I went up there to check on something, quickly, because I don't trust it up there I wanted to get it done before my daughter's bus came in five minutes. I stepped on the plywood to peer into a corner and suddenly the floor beneath me gave way. I stepped back further onto the plywood and it slipped right between the joists and hit the concrete garage floor twelve feet beneath me. It all happened in slow motion. Next thing I knew, I was hanging with my hips wedged between two joists and my daughter was below freaking out.
I was dangling half in the attic, half in the garage. I hoisted myself up onto the joists, while assuring my daughter that I was quite okay. She wasn't convinced. From the joists I stepped over to the attic fold-down ladder, and returned to solid ground. My daughter thought that she was about to lose her mother, her face was blotched and she was shaky and now her bus was due in three minutes. She was in no state to be by herself in the wilds of a pre-k to 8 school bus. Luckily, the bus doubles back down our street and picks up kids on the other side about 15 minutes later, so I drove her across the street (the road has a 50 MPH speed limit and at commuting time 65 seems pretty standard, and cars just pop over the hill and surprise you, especially the Prius') and she caught the bus in a somewhat calmer state. The bus driver inquired if she had overslept and she replied, "No. I wish."
I asked a neighbor at the bus stop if he had a ladder tall enough to reach a 12' ceiling and he said he thought he had one at work and that he would take a look. He showed up a few hours later with the ladder offering to help fix the hole. First, I had to move 79 forty pound bags of wood pellets out of the way to make room for the ladder. I relocated the bags to the other side of the garage on top of another pile of pellets, making a giant tower of pellets. I then dragged the pallet out of the way and swept up the debris, which contained a couple skinny broken screws. I won't write what my husband said when I sent him the photos at work.
|The Tower of Pellets|
Back to the recalcitrant flooring, it turns out that someone had installed the piece of plywood that was a bit too small by screwing in a few #6 screws halfway and using them as supporting pegs to hold up the plywood. Of course, I didn't know this, and when some of the screws broke beneath me, then gravity did its thing, sending the plywood and then me through the drywall ceiling. For a bit there I thought I must have done something really stupid, but then realized that it was the person who used the #6 screws who did something really stupid, but I just don't have the ability to see through 1/2 inch plywood...#10 screws might have held or maybe they could have used a couple pieces of scrap wood screwed in place to hold the board up like a shelf...or something!!
My husband stopped at Home Depot on his way home to get the new dry wall, so we could start the repairs the next morning.