Some done, others not

Standard
English: Snow and scaffolding, towards Wandswo...

Snow and scaffolding, towards Wandsworth Rd Taken from our bedroom, through scaffolding (having the roof done!)and looking towards our back alley and the edge of Wandsworth rd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday my van had its annual MOT test. It passed with flying colours but although I expected it to there was always a little doubt as to whether it would or not. The guy at the desk said there should be no problem as the van, now seven years old and registered in 2008, has only travelled 23800 miles, a mere dot in the ocean. My insurance premium quote for the van arrived a couple of days ago and at only £302 (fully comprehensive) I accepted and duly paid the fee. I received the new certificate yesterday too. My road fund licence will be paid automatically on 2nd March by direct debit then all will be alright for another year of driving. After I drove from the testing station I was able to do the only electrical job I had for the day and indeed the last one for the week. Again I have worked every normal working day this week. A few weeks ago we noticed some plaster had fallen off a wall and the ceiling in one of the top rooms of the house. Quite a large amount of plaster had come adrift and though we couldn’t actually see any water ingress the wall was slightly damp. A few years ago, June 2010 to be precise, we had some major work going on with replacement windows installation, a dormer being clad in plastic and some roof repairs all going on at the same time. The guy who did the roof did an excellent job so we called him to ask about the present problem. He told us he was busy and also had problems with his own van too but that he would call round as soon as he could. As the problem we have doesn’t require urgent attention we didn’t mind waiting. He told us he would call to see the problem a week ago last Saturday but he didn’t arrive. I didn’t want to put him under pressure for he had told us that he wouldn’t forget us. On Wednesday afternoon this week I was at home for an hour or so when the doorbell rang. It was our roofing guy. He apologised for not having been earlier but I told him it was alright. I took him upstairs to see the problem from the inside and then he tried to inspect the roof, actually the chimney stack which is the source of the problem, but with the roof being so high he couldn’t see properly without climbing up there. I went indoors and returned with a pair of binoculars. He exclaimed, ‘Wow, they’re good aren’t they’? He couldn’t understand why we were having problems for all seemed fine. However he did say that the stack itself might require re-pointing, not a big job but scaffolding would be required for it to be done. It is too dangerous to even think about working at that height without scaffolding and in any case I would insist on scaffolding being used. He advised us to wait until we get some heavy rain and then call him again for another inspection. So it looks like we will have to wait a while for the weather to change. Usually we wish for fine weather don’t we? Just the way it goes. That heavy rain is expected tomorrow according to the forecast.

Shirley Anne

Advertisements

2 responses

  1. Wow, talk about weather! We have been having biting cold temperatures here in Minnesota. What does it mean to re-point a chimney? Due to this weather I often smell the wonderful smells of wood burning in the many fireplaces people have in their homes here. Do you use yours very often?

  2. Hi Jenny. Re-pointing a chimney simply means that the mortar between the bricks (on the outside) is loose, missing in places or cracked and it needs replacing. Having had some rain since the roofer’s visit I am at pains to see any difference inside the house so maybe the problem we see has been there for years. The loose plaster on the wall and ceiling gradually falling off perhaps made us think the problem was ongoing. I will still keep an eye on it before I do any remedial work. There are only two usable fires in the house, both gas, but one of them needs servicing before it can be used safely. It is unlikely ever to be used again though unless the central heating fails. The weather this winter has been very mild and our house has double glazed windows and cavity wall insulation. It is much warmer inside that it once was. One of my next-door neighbours has an open fireplace and she burns coal or wood in it. I love those types of fireplaces. We had them in our parents homes many years ago and I come across them in other people’s homes that I work in. The Clean Air Act implemented in this country years ago put paid to burning fossil fuels because of the pollution so there are strict rules to obey if burning such fuels.

    Shirley Anne x