I lived in Alberta for roughly twenty years before moving to New Brunswick about five years ago. Over the last few days, I’ve discovered one of the hazards of having lived there for so long. You are never where you were. (If you’re impatient, just scroll to the end for the capper.)
There was a moisture problem in my basement. It needed to be dealt with, especially with my house currently up for sale.
It appeared the problem was the upstairs bathroom. The area with the moisture was directly below the bathtub. I called a plumber. It cost $70 to discover the bathtub was dry as a bone; no problem there.
It had to be the toilet. So I checked with some handyman friends and online to figure out how to take apart a toilet. I needed to remove the bowl and check the ring. The problem had to be there. Unfortunately, previous owners had caulked the entire toilet so (I figured) I hadn’t realized there was a problem with leakage there.
Surely there was a disaster waiting for me.
However, before I did all that a guy came in and we went downstairs. We cut open the ceiling where the problem was to have a look. We discovered the moisture was more or less in that one area, near the window, but for the most part the same story: dry as a bone.
We tested flushing the upstairs toilet. We tested the bathtub upstairs again, filling and draining it.
We did, however, discover one more very small area in the basement where there was a similar moisture problem. We searched and searched, discovering no apparent cause. So in a Sherlock Holmes’ like process of deduction we arrived at the answer.
I had no dehumidifier downstairs. I lived in Alberta for twenty years! Who thinks humidity?
Having grown up in Ontario, I probably should have thought about humidity and dehumidifiers but twenty years of Alberta had dulled my awareness of such things. It simply never occurred to me to get a dehumidifier.
So now I have one. The problems have been fixed (largely involving cleaning up some mess).
And the lesson? Always be aware. Wherever you were is not where you are. Every place is unique.
Places are like people that way.