See Spot Run
Great moments in building history: Well, it must have bleedthrough...
This project was my first insurance-repair job. My assignment: Repair a garage to its original condition.
It had been a hit-and-run accident. The driver didn’t even slow down at the stop sign. He crossed the intersection, bottomed out on the driveway, slammed into the garage door and knocked the sidewall off the foundation. In addition, his car rammed the owner’s car into the furnace, the water heater and the living room.
Then he backed out and drove away.
The walls were a problem from the start: dirty, flaky, dented—and with poor drywall mud adhesion. So I cleaned, scraped and patched. Then when the old mud became wet, it fell out, and I patched and repatched. Finally, I got the wall to a condition where I could paint. The wet paint then loosened up the old mud, too. Patch. Patch. Patch.
When I got the call from the customer, I wasn’t surprised: “There’s a dark spot showing through the paint.”
Bleedthrough, I thought. It had to be. I figured I’d need a stain-blocking primer and one and a half hours. I scheduled the work to be done on a long lunch break.
It was a nice, sunny day that I should have taken off, but I was working anyway. As I pulled into the driveway, the homeowner was waiting for me.
“The spot’s right here,” he said, pointing to a place on the wall where I could see, uh, nothing—just paint.
I deliberated. “Maybe the sun’s too bright. Let’s close the garage door and take a look.” Down went the door. On came the little light on the garage-door opener and, again, just paint.
I deliberated for a little bit longer. “Maybe the garage-door opener light is too dim. Let’s turn on the garage light.” Bingo! There was the spot. I reached over and tapped the pull cord that was hanging from the disappearing ladder to the attic. The spot moved.
—Curt Liechty, Grabill, IN
Drawing by: Jackie Rogers