We didn’t have any problem with our house, especially when it comes to heavy rain preparations. Our community was not listed as a flood zone area, and we believe that we were ready for all types of water damage. So when the usual rainy season came, my family thought that we were pretty secure.
Little did we know that we overlooked one very important thing – our ceiling. My sister had already noticed before that a part of our ceiling had water damage stains already, but my father ignored the problem, saying that he was going to repair our ceiling someday. Well, that “someday” certainly came sooner.
It had been raining steadily for two days. Suddenly, there was this tearing noise coming from the other room. It sounded like our roof was being torn by the strong winds. I jolted, thinking that some intruder has just broken into our house.
What I saw was much worse. Directly above a part of my bookshelf was the torn ceiling, gaping open and drenching all my precious books with rainwater. The plywood covering our ceiling has completely budged off the corners, and it was literally raining in that part of the room.
As a book lover, all I could think of saving were my books. Unfortunately, at that time, I did not know of any ways on how to salvage books. So I did what I thought was the right thing to do–spread them out on the floor and expose the wet pages to the open air. But as much as I wanted to expose it to more air as possible, I could not open the windows for fear that rainwater will further bring more water damage to the books.
Instead, I made use of the electric fan to dry my books faster. I turned my books upside down every few hours or so. I also turned the pages of the books which have already dried to expose the wet parts to air. It took me several weeks to dry all my books affected by water damage, which were around 15 books. Fortunately, a huge part of my bookshelf was not affected by the cracked ceiling. It did not suffer much from water damage.
I was not able to salvage all of my books, though. The really soaking wet ones, around five to six books, had to be discarded, since there was no conceivable way to salvage them. Even if I were able to dry those books, the text was already blotted anyway, so I couldn’t read a thing. Thankfully, most of my books were saved from water damage, and though I could not get them back to their pre-damaged state, they are still in a good, readable shape.
As for our ceiling, the most that my father could do at that time was to get another piece of plywood to cover the hole. Two days later, when the rain had stopped pouring, he started repairing our ceiling. He pulled the old nails from the ceiling and cut the water damaged ceiling sections. He measured the ceiling wall that came off, and mark the part that he will patch. He then cut a replacement piece of drywall and attached it to the ceiling. Afterwards, he screwed the drywalls in place. It was only a week after when my father hired a professional to do a total renovation of our home’s ceiling.
Lesson learned? Never ignore a stained ceiling. You never know what surprises it might bring you.