So in the middle of the sleet storm this evening, the power goes out. It was only off for less than a minute – I barely had time to get the battery powered candles turned on. Still, I had to go around the house to start re-programming the clocks that went all 12:00 on us. That’s when I noticed a dripping sound. I figured it might have been the gutters getting full and overflowing, so I tried to take a closer look out the back door. When a drop of water hit my face, I knew we had a problem.
We had the back door replaced… maybe this spring, maybe last fall. It hasn’t been too long. It was old and drafty and definitely not weather-tight, so we went to Lowes and got them to install it for us. Fine and good, nice door, no problems, no drafts, held up fine in the rain, we’re good. But tonight, with all the sleet, something changed. There was water seeping in to the house from the door frame, mostly on the outside of the door, where it was (thankfully) still weather-proof, but there was also some dripping in on the inside from a bad caulk job.
My first thought was that the new vent that was installed in our roof last week for the bathroom fan was letting water in, but I quickly realized that it wan’t in the right position for a leak like this. I grabbed a cheap LED lantern that I bought at the $5 store, threw on a pair of boots, and went outside. In the middle of the sleet and rain, I pulled a ladder from the garage, propped it up against the back wall of the house, and crawled up it. Sure enough, the gutter over the door was completely packed with sleet. I stormed back into the house, grabbed my hoodie and trenchcoat, ran back out to the garage for a trowel and a pair of rubber-coated gloves, climbed back up the ladder, and started digging.
It didn’t take long to realize that it was going to take more than just clearing the spot above the door to fix things, so I relocated the ladder to the end of the gutter, down by the spout, and chiseled a hole for the drain to start working again. After that, it was just a matter of digging out snowcones, chucking them over my shoulder, trying to keep my fingers from freezing off, and moving the ladder further down the gutter. All in all, I spent close to 45 minutes up and down the ladder, splashing myself in the face with ice-cold water, and getting so drenched that rain soaked through my trenchcoat and into my hoodie. The leak in the door stopped after I started digging further down the line, and I also managed to crawl into the attic after the shoveling was done to confirm that the water wasn’t coming from the new roof vent, so at least it wasn’t a wasted effort. Now to call Lowes in the morning and have them fix this.