Ma hoose is creaking. It’s not an ancient house, so it’s not creaking the way my knees creak. My knees could creak for Scotland!
The hoose never creaked last year but, this year, the attic rafters have been belting out a discordant symphony of creaks, pops, groans and bangs.
At first, I’d no idea of the cause, and the issue was clouded by the coincidental onset of another problem from above: a fissure appearing in the bathroom ceiling! Hell’s bells.
I think I know what caused this. There’s a pull switch for a heated towel rail, but I never had to use it before as the beastie came on automatically with the central heating, even when that’s only on for hot water at present.
But, for some reason, the towel rail hadn’t come on lately. So I had to pull strings, so to say. And, unfortunately, in doing so I pulled the ceiling down with them. Don’t know my own strength! (Actually, I do: it’s rubbish).
What came first?
Like most men, I can focus on only one problem at a time. So these two problems discombobulated me. Everything became confused. Was the weakened bathroom ceiling causing the pops and bangs in the attic? Or had my crawling aboot in the attic to investigate the bangs weakened the bathroom ceiling? Which came first, the creaks or the fissure?
Ultimately, I believe they were unrelated. If you’re unfamiliar with life on Earth, this is how it works: whenever you hear a strange noise, it stops as soon as you go to investigate it. But what I did notice was that the noise stopped when the attic hatch was opened while I poked around.
I’d already suspected that heat was causing the wood to expand and pop. Now the open attic hatch was letting the heat out. Unfortunately, I’m not comfortable with having the hatch off all the time. I get mice up there sometimes, and they might come tumbling doon on ma heid one evening when I’m stoating aboot the hall.
I tried Amazon for a thinner hatch – mine is a thick, heavily insulated affair – but all those available are insulated too, which is a fat lot of use when I’m trying to cool the joint (indeed joints) down.
Putting my DIY to the test
You know what’s coming next, readers, don’t you? Yep, I’m going to have to make a hatch myself. Ha, as it were, ha! Better alert the police, coastguard and NHS, as the usual Destroy-It-Yourself disaster is sure to ensue.
Worse still, I can’t get a tradesman to sort the ceiling. There are few round here, and most just ignore you. I wouldn’t know where to start with repairing the ceiling myself. Arguably, it couldn’t have been my strength that brought it down because I’m too weak to push it back into position.
Already, online, I’m eyeing up obscure tools and latherings. Having recently botched a bath-sealing operation, the runes are ominous. I’d been thinking of putting the house on the market too, but am not sure that would be wise with a hole in the ceiling.
Do you think potential buyers would notice? Maybe I could cover it with a carrier bag or something? Then the estate agent could say that the bathroom had “character”.