Quite literally, in our case! And a bout of heavy rain showed up a few problems which needed immediate attention, and which looked to scupper some of the hard work we’d put in up until this point.
We’d been making great progress upstairs, as I’ve discussed in my previous update, and started mist coating all of the walls. Well, after a few days’ worth of heavy rain those freshly painted walls were covered in unsightly yellowing damp patches, showing up a leak in the roof and some porous brickwork which needed dealing with before we could go any further.
I’m not going to lie; walking into Ted’s bedroom and seeing a huge, yellow damp stain covering one corner of the wall and ceiling left me feeling absolutely gutted; even more so when I saw the extent of the problem in the middle bedroom on the chimney wall. We’d already gone to huge lengths in totally stripping and fully replastering, rather than just skimming, and to see that brand new plaster already damaged was so disheartening.
Luckily, we were able to get to the root of the problem quite easily; if you looked from the outside, the roof was showing some damaged tiles in exactly the place where the damp patch had appeared in Ted’s room, and with regards to the chimney wall, well the chimney had still been open during the heavy rain as Paul and his dad had not got round to capping and finishing it off the weekend previously like we’d hoped to. There was also evidence of blown bricks on that elevation which Paul thought could have been sucking moisture through to the inside walls.
We still had scaffolding up from the previous chimney repairs so Paul was able to get his scaffolders to just move it over a bit so we could strip back and repair the roof damage. Paul also gave the exterior brickwork a good few coats of brick sealant to help stop any moisture coming through that way, and the chimneys were both capped off and finished to prevent any rain coming down.
It seems to have done the trick – fingers crossed! – and with a bit of stain blocker and some damp proof paint the interior walls are thankfully back to their gleaming whiteness.
It just goes to show that, even when you think you’re making good progress, things can crop up to set you back. But that’s the nature of the beast; I think you have to be prepared to expect the unexpected and roll with it to find ways to fix things quickly and efficiently.