Saturday, 13 September 2014

Nobody Likes a Damp Patch: Revisited!

The weather was getting much cooler when I started to write this post, that is until this week which has been lovely so far.  I've even been doing some gardening in the sunshine and have the 16 mozzie bites to prove it.

But when it was all grey and mizzly, I was being a bit 'glass half empty' and was thinking about last winter which was a total nightmare.  I literally don't think it stopped raining for 5 months straight.  Definitely one of the worst in history according to the MetOffice, so many people were flooded that it makes our little watery winter nightmare pale in comparison.  

So, we have established long ago that I have an obsession with damp, I have done several posts on it like this one here and then this one here.  This house was riddled with it and just as we thought it was drying out the winter hit and water literally started pissing in all over the place.

Leak Number One
By the time we noticed the first leak it was too late, the water was pooling on the new wooden floor and it had warped slightly, much later we realised that small section needed to be cut out to lay the hearth for the wood burner.  Phew!  luckily crisis averted.

Damp patch...Yep!
Leak Number Two
This time coming from the back chimney and running onto our brand new plastered ceiling in the 2nd bedroom.  Nightmare!  This was the week before Christmas as well which is always fun and adds to the festive spirit!  Matthew noticed this leak when he went up in the loft for something or another, and water was literally pouring down the chimney was less than a week before Christmas.  

Leak Number Three
Water started to come into the living room, through the roof of the bay window, again on the freshly plastered ceiling...this was becoming ridiculous!  

Leak Number Four
The fascia board and guttering at the front were starting to come away and the join between ours and the neighbours was leaking and running down the front wall.  Luckily, the summer before we had the telephone wire removed from the house, as we knew it all needed replacing at some stage.  We were ready to get this done when we had some money.  

Leak Number Five 
The rain and wind were so bad, the water was coming up through the angled louvre vent in the chimney breast and running down the freshly plastered wall again in the living room.  I don't have piccies of this either as it was a total nightmare keeping up with where the water was about to start pouring in next.  

So, the first action was to call our local building and roofing roofing company for an emergency patch up job of the worst of the leaks which was through the back chimney breast.  We tried calling the guys who had fitted lintels in the living room first, but unfortunately, that company had gone bust, so we called the roofing company that had moved into their premises in the village.  They came round on the 23rd December as quick as they could to try to patch up the dice as the rain kept coming and so did the water ingress, albeit slower this time.  They had a quick squizz at the front chimney and could see no obvious damage causing that to leak, so we left it there.  They waived the original charge for the patch up and came back out in the new year to remove the chimney breast above the roof line all together...phew, no more pacing past the bedroom worriedly looking at the growing wet patch on the ceiling.  £834 later, a dislodged bird's nest in the dining room and a new bit of roof and no more leak, hooray! 

Chimney Removal

Then we had to cross our fingers and hope there was no lasting damage to the house until Spring, when we finally had enough cash put together to have more work done, we were really happy with their price and service with the chimney so it was a no brainer to have them back (more info on that here).  We gave them a list as long as my arm to complete, and they did with speed and efficiency so happy days, they are now officially our go to builders, and boy, we'll need them a lot in the next few years.  They replaced the fascias, soffits and guttering at the front, removed a TV aerial, re-pointed the brickwork and reset the air brick at the bottom of the bay window, re-leaded the bay roof, patched in the chimney air brick as now it's not needed as the chimney is vented in the loft, and finally, they rebuilt a window arch that had dropped in one of the upstairs windows.  

Here's some before piccies just so you can see how knackered everything was.  

Dropped Archway & 110+ Year old Fascias

Knackered Lead

So, fast forward and they started work...Hoorah!

Scaffolding up ready to go

Then £2014.32 later, we had this!

New shiny fascias and repaired window
Renewed pointing here
And here!  And a few other places too!
Renewed Lead Work

They checked the front chimney again, while the scaffolding was up, and nothing was untoward, so we are waiting and seeing on that this winter, they seemed to think the volume of water and driving horizontal rain had soaked the stack and rain was coming in up and over the chimney cap.  In the picture below, it looks a bit dog eared but we'll see if more work needs to be done on it.  

Then just as we thought we were water tight, this happened a few weeks back...the back guttering has come away as the fascia board is rotten, that's the next job once we get some cash together!  And there's a bloody wasp's nest in there, so that'll cost some money to remove too!

The moral of the never rains but pours...Total cost of winter 2013/2014 was £2848.32, eek! 

UPDATE: We got that final bit of facia board and guttering done, luckily the wasps nest died of its own accord in the colder weather, so that adds another £485...making the new total £3,333.32

Has the weather been causing you some troubles this year!  Holler back and vent should you need to! 

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