The Next Catastrophe and Blog Candy

It’s not often that I have the privilege of knowing what the next catastrophe is going to be around here, but this time I think I have a very good chance of guessing correctly.

We moved in here October 1, 1983. January 1, 1984, a huge section of our kitchen ceiling collapsed. At the time, my infant daughter and I were having breakfast, and had we followed the suggestion of family members who helped us move, we would have been sitting directly under it when it happened. Not only did a large section of the ceiling cave, but with it came a substantial amount of broken brick, which had been tossed into the crawl space when a recess was chipped into the 12″ thick brick walls of our house to install a shower in the bathroom carved out of the corner of one of the bedrooms upstairs. It was an event that could easily have proven deadly.

Once the dust had cleared, we discovered that someone before us had placed a plastic tub in the crawlspace under the shower drain. Apparently, it was prone to leaking. It took us just 3 months of regular showering to fill that tub to overflowing and soak the plasterboard of the ceiling enough that the weight of the bricks brought it down. It was many years before DH repaired the hole, and even longer before the ceiling was finished and repainted.

Somewhere in that time, the shower was replaced, but I suspect our contractor wasn’t substantially more talented than the original installer. Even before the ceiling was done, it was apparent that there continued to be a problem, and that it would be necessary to re-caulk the shower drain on an annual basis, at the very least. It’s also no secret that DH’s favorite activities have little or nothing to do with preventative maintenance, and our beautiful new kitchen ceiling was discolored and slightly bulged within a few years. A change in its appearance and a gentle reminder has been sufficient to see the caulking done – until now.

This has been worsening quickly for several weeks, and after his shower this morning, the split (where the blackish line is) showed up.

Personally, I give this one more shower until it comes down, so I took some time today to move the things below it that could be destroyed by wet plaster. I thought we could have a little bit of fun until what looks inevitable happens, so I created a poll. Cast your vote and leave a comment with your guess as to when the ceiling is going to collapse. Include a date and the time, based on Eastern Standard Time. You can vote without leaving a comment, but you will not be entered for the prize drawing, as I won’t know who is attached to the vote. I’ll send the person who comes closest to the time of the actual event a $10 Amazon gift card. If he caulks before it crashes, I am going to wait one month before announcing a winner, since it will take a while for the plasterboard to dry out and prove it is going to stay up for another round. If I’m away from the house and can’t determine the exact time, and more than one person could be right, I’ll do a random draw to determine the winner.

And stay tuned!


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30 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sunday , 10:30…am….

    Keep your heads away from downcomming ceilings guys!!

  2. if i were you i would wear hard hats. ;0)

    this happened to our living room ceiling in germany. thankfully we were sleeping in the bedroom when it happened.

  3. I voted for my Birthday, although I really hope it doesn’t happen :O)

  4. Definitely Monday morning! Good luck and stay clear…..

  5. Oh I would be SOOOOOOOOO upset thatyou have all that much more mess to “look forward to”!

  6. Sunday, Jan. 31, 9:30 am

    I hope no one’s in the shower when it happens. That could be messy! LOL

  7. i voted for monday… i’ll say 12:38pm… but, will add that i don’t think it’s gonna do it by itself… i think gregg is gonna poke at it in all his innocence and that will be the crack in the dam! jus’sayin’ ūüėČ

  8. I voted sometime in Feburary but really hope it can be fixed instead…you have a great sence of humor about this. I have a son in law who doesn’t do anything until it’s almost too late and we had such a thing happen with a frozen water spigotwhich he should have taken care of in the fall.They were out of town and my husband stopped by their house saw a flood in the garage..he took care of it for them all the shoes and boots filled with water in the freezing cold I dried all the shoes at mt house over a heater when are they gonna learn??

  9. Have you considered using concrete board (or hardie plank) when you replace this. I don’t think I would want to worry with this on a recurring basis :).

  10. Monday the 25th. I have the same splotch but mine was from a leaky roof. Roof patched, no leaks, but splotch still on the ceiling 2 yeasrs later!

  11. Geez . . . looks much like a spot in mom’s living room only hers is ceiling tile, not plaster

  12. Monday, January 25 at 9:30 am. That looks rather awful. I would have found the contractor when I knew what a crap job he did and Had Words with him. *nods*

  13. Jan 26 @ 5:11 am. I hope it doesn’t fall, but just in case I want to get in on this one.

  14. Jan. 23, at 10:30 p.m.

    Hopefully it won’t happen, but you know that it will some day.

    Stay safe,

  15. January 25 5pm.

    Mashed potatoes any one?

  16. I chose Jan. 28th at 2am. But I’m really hoping and praying it doesn’t happen at all. What a horrible thing to happen. Prayers to you.


  17. Call some one and have this fixed the rite way, so there will be no more near misses.

  18. I’m going for Saturday at 8:36pm.
    Girl you have a wonderful sense of humor to not only be calm about this, but being able to turn it into a contest! I hope your next contractor will do a better job than the first too.
    I been in this situation before too! It is NEVER fun to have part of your home collapse!

  19. I voted for not this time as I am like the ostrich who buries his head in sand. I hope it does not collapse and that it will get repaired before anything happens. It is wonderful that you can be so good natured about all this. By the way I like your kitchen wallpaper.

  20. Sat Jan 23 9:15 AM

    you didn’t say if you had your shower today, DeDe!

  21. I think it will be on Sunday, January 24 at about 20 minutes before you are planning to leave the house…! Things like this seem to happen at the most inopportune times. To give an exact time, I’d go with about 7:20 a.m.

  22. Just keep something down on the floor so it won’t make too big of a mess when it crashes down.


  23. Wed Jan 27 @ noon.
    I hope your DH would see the writing on the ceiling and HIRE a proper repair, but it seems as if the male genes don’t go that way; IF my DH is an example. What a fun (tongue-in-cheek) way to deal with such a stressful situation. Good Luck

  24. I say sometime in February. It’s likely to be either sometime while you’re away, or as you arrive with company. Hey, nice entertainment!

  25. Well DeDe…I have seen that problem…in my own kitchen…and it rains when I shower…but it hasnot opened a floodgate yet. However…I voted fro Thursday , Jan 28@0239 AM…try to make sure you are done washing your hair!!

  26. I’m thinking about Feb 2, about 10am, after morning showers have given it some time to soak up a little more moisture. It looks bad, but these things tend to hang on longer that one expects. I very much doubt that your dear hubby will see any point to tackling the job before absolutely necessary.

  27. As someone suggested, I would put a tarp or something on the floor. It’ll make clean up easier. I picked Jan 30 at about 11 am. I don’t think it’ll fall but you’ll get rained on! Good luck!

  28. Are all men alike then? Sure sounds like it! I’m going to say some time in February, mid morning.

  29. […] contest, there’s still time! So long as the ceiling is up, you may enter. Scroll down to the Next Catastrophe post and leave a comment there with your prediction regarding day and time of the impending […]

  30. I voted for it to come down after he caulks it…that’s how things work in my house, lol

    I voted on 2/2/10 at 8:46 am – Indiana time

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