We need more acid, man

Today the specialist floor cleaners begin on the flagstone floor in the sitting room. A day we have been looking forward to. We cannot wait to see how the flagstones look underneath the red compound that is stuck all over them.

This floor was hidden under a thick layer of concrete for decades, Cat spent a fun 3 weeks chipping that concrete off by hand one winter, where she also had to tolerate no water or heating for a few days when the pipes froze as it was so cold, but that’s another story…

Removing all of the cement was proving almost impossible, she could get so much off, but on some stones it just wasn’t budging no matter what we used. It appears that under the concrete there was a red coloured levelling compound, a super hard product, and it was this that was proving so difficult to remove. We even considered covering up the flagstones again as we had researched and researched and asked everyone we knew about it, and it wasn’t looking hopeful it would come off at all.

Then we discovered a company who specialise in cleaning up old floors, and they came out to see the floor and said it would be no problem. They use a combination of acid based chemicals, polishing machines and manual scraping. It has been a bit of a nightmare booking them in at the right time, we had to delay the original date by well over a month due to the horrific issues we uncovered with the walls, as this should be done after we have finished making a mess.

They started this morning, but unfortunately had run out of all the acid they had brought with them by lunchtime, so had to leave to get more acid, returning tomorrow to finish it. Antonio and his team had made a good effort so far though, it was cleaning up beautifully!

Meanwhile Dan was on the roof continuing with the attic floor. It was very windy, not a great day to be working up there, but at least it’s not flooded today!

The ratchet strap being pulled tight, keeping the boards together while the glue dries.

A fresh new board.

Cutting the board.

Marking the board.

Pinning the board down to the joists.

Glueing the board down to the joists.

Pile of boards trying to keep dry.

How not to use a jigsaw. Don’t try this at home kids!

The flagstone floor after a brief clean. You can see the red levelling compound that they are removing.

The difference between the flagstones before and after the cleaning process.

George is on raking out duty today, working on the massive chimney breast, ready for Tom to point next week.

Cat continuing to remove the stubborn paint from the study window.

Meanwhile Tom has moved onto pointing the chimney breast and around the cubby holes in Zanna’s bedroom. The top half has already been ‘knocked back’ as he pointed this yesterday (it needs to be left to dry overnight).

Tom hanging up sheets which will be dampened down to protect the lime from drying too quickly and cracking.

The wall in the study is the next one to be pointed, Tom soaks the stone before he adds the lime, this again makes sure the lime doesn’t dry out too quickly.

Oh my god the attic floor is so complete that even Cat can stand on it without holding on. It’s transforming into a room.

Dan has started on the fiddly edges, working around all the ties and strapping.

The floor cleaning tools and materials ready for their return in the morning. I do like tidy workers!

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