Storm Francis hits

Storm Francis had been raging all night and by the time we were awake it had ripped most of the sheeting off the sides of the scaffolding so the rain was being blown straight in. The new attic floor was soaking and it was pouring through to the floors below. Our freshly cleaned flagstone floor (which ironically was supposed to be drying overnight so we could cover it up) had puddles of water on it dripping down from above.

Me and Cat were in the house at 6.30am to try and stop the water coming in. Word of the morning was a 4 letter one starting with C and ending in T.

Fortunately we had bought a 25 metre roll of plastic sheeting the day before as we knew the storm was coming. The new oak window and the elm floor getting fitted both needed to be protected from any rain. The sheeting on the sides of the scaffolding had already been ripped off last week with the stormy weather, and water had already got in. We didn’t want a repeat of this.

It was so windy though that it really wasn’t much fun up on the roof. Plus everything was so wet that the boards were very slippy, and out on the scaffolding the risk of being blown off the roof was higher than we would like…

Everything is soaked on the front side of the house, the direction the rain is coming from. Seeing timber getting wet is horrible, especially old timber.

Cat is not too good on the scaffolding at the best of times, so I volunteered to fix the plastic sheeting from above while Cat was inside trying to fix the staple gun that was jammed (LOTS of cursing ensued). Not only was it slippy but there are also gaps between some of the scaffolding boards big enough for a leg to fall down, and by this point I couldn’t see as the rain was pouring down my glasses and off my nose. I was wet through to my pants and muddy too, but I managed to get the plastic fixed down using these lengths of timber to keep it from blowing away and weighted it down with stone at the bottom.

The wind fought with us the whole way.

Plastic sheet above, plastic sheet on the floor, all secured down.

Cat was not enjoying this at all.

Another area where it was beginning to leak through and the elm floor being fitted in Zanna’s bedroom is underneath this…

And then the cavalry arrived, also swearing, but with roofing felt which they then rolled out over the top of the plastic.

They then proceeded to fix the sheeting back onto the scaffolding as best they could. The edges are ripped to shreds from the wind making this a very difficult job, also challenging as they are standing on slippy boards and poles whilst being battered by the wind.

We had covered up our new oak window with plastic sheeting the night before, but this had been attacked by the wind so needed securing. The oak had got wet sadly, Cat had oiled the inside of the frame so this hadn’t marked, but the outside had. Not the end of the world though as we will be painting the outside of the window.

Jasper’s dog towels came into good use for mopping up the floor and protecting our precious window.

The plastic sheeting we had put on the first floor level when we first arrived was already pooling.

You can see how wet the timber was getting, this was what had dripped through the attic floor and was already dripping through to the ground floor.

The reason we had got up early was to cover the sitting room flagstone floor with Ram Board, so as Tom, Dan and George were battling on the roof we were busy (in our wet socks) protecting the floor.

The hard hat (and tape) marks the spot where the ash pit is in the floor, to stop anyone falling down it.

The roofing felt successfully installed and now protecting the house from the storm.

Cat made a run up to the farm shop so we all had bacon butties as a treat after our awful start to the day. I followed this with a nice hot bath.

Meanwhile Tom is cutting through the crazy paving in the back garden for a drain that will run to a soak away for the guttering and French drains.

Dust monster doing what he does best.

Meanwhile Dan is making steady progress with the elm floor, thankfully this is the only room that has remained dry today.

It feels great to be standing on a floor that doesn’t wobble and bounce! It’s also beginning to feel like a room again, with walls, a ceiling and a floor…

This floor from below, in the study, where you can see the underside of the high-tech sound insulation. This will be covered with acoustic wool and acoustic plasterboard between each joist, to a depth of 60mm so it will hide the steel angles but we will still see the joists.

Tom continues with the pointing while George digs the trench.

The solution for keeping our oak window dry and the only way to stop it from being blown away by the wind. It’s not the prettiest though.

What started as a truly shitty day improved massively towards the end. Yesterday Cat called our favourite soda blaster, Dave, to see if he would be able to remove the paint from our metal windows. They are proving very difficult to do with the heat gun. She took them all over at lunchtime and by the afternoon he had done them! We couldn’t believe it, we had imagined they would take a few days at least as Dave is a very busy man.

OMG they look amazing! They look like new windows and the latches and handles are so beautiful now they are not covered in thick white gloss paint. Imagine how gorgeous these are going to look with our oak windows 🙂


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