Homeowner Spotlight: David
Earlier this year, we completed a critical home repair for David in Iowa City. Originally, David reached out to IVHFH with concerns of a roof leak. At 76 years old and living on a fixed income, he was unable to undertake the project independently and lacked the financial means to hire someone to complete the repair. When Helping Hands staff visited for an initial house evaluation they quickly recognized the home was in dire shape and would require more comprehensive repairs to keep David living safely in his home.
Problem: The metal roofing was severely deteriorated with rusted-through holes and burst seams on several large sections of the roof. We determined the roofing material was irreparable and the entire roof would need replaced. As a result of the roof condition, leaking water caused extensive damage to the ceiling; soaked insulation resulted in a sagging ceiling and mold growth in the kitchen and living room. Additionally, the water had weakened the trailer floor, causing David to fall through in several locations. It was clear to IVHFH staff that the roof leak was threatening the structural viability of the home and David’s safety. In order to keep him safe and secure, it was imperative to carry out repairs to the roof, the ceiling, and the flooring of the home.
Solution (Roof): We worked with Godinez Construction (Kalona) to build a pitched roof for the home, tied it into the original framing, and covered it with new metal roofing. This changed the roof profile so water would efficiently run off the roof and prevent any pooling. The work immediately resolved the active leaks in the roof.
Solution (Floor): Once the roof was addressed, it was imperative to address the flooring—with open holes, the floor posed trip hazards and fall risks to David. IVHFH staff removed the old, damaged flooring, the waterlogged underfloor insulation, and the damaged moisture barrier. Working from below the trailer, extra blocking and framing was added to shore up the floor joists. We then installed the new moisture barrier and insulation and finished by installing the new water-resistant floor.
Solution (Ceiling): With the roof and floor fixed the ceiling became our focus. Initially our staff thought the ceiling would be the least critical and easiest repair; however, we did not foresee the extensive ceiling and frame damage caused by the long-term exposure to moisture. As we began removing the ceiling material and waterlogged insulation, we found that the moisture and rot had weakened every ceiling and roof truss in half of the home resulting in structural failure of each of those trusses—they were all replaced. New trusses were installed and blocked, new insulation placed, new moisture barrier installed, and drywall hung. After the drywall was hung we finished by re-installing lights and painting the ceiling.
According to the Iowa Department on Aging, 93 percent of Iowans age 50 and over desire to age in place but many of our neighbors, like David, face significant barriers that make aging in place unsafe and unhealthy. Through Helping Hands, services including critical home repairs, accessibility modifications, and emergency repairs and major appliance replacements (ERMAR) make home repairs possible and affordable; in this case, Helping Hands brought a home back from the brink of livability and ensured a low-income household retained access to safe, decent, affordable housing.
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