Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Gutters and chimneys!

It's difficult to walk in the garden of the Dower House these days without being followed like the Pied Piper, by chickens and dogs.
We had lunch outside yesterday and Bertie almost had my scrambled egg, he's getting more cheeky by the day!

Islay still looks grumpy!

Nick is....yes you guessed it, sealing windows...

Rick is perched on platform pointing under the eaves. am I...

To Point the walls we need rubber gloves, as the lime mortar wrecks most people's hands! A boiler suit, goggles, a mask and steel toecaps are very useful for all the work 
& a bath at Topsy's is essential to my well being!

Any cracked stone or mortar has to be dug, chipped or ground out, (illustrated by Katie in November with the Titan) the cavity cleaned, sprayed with water and filled with lime mortar.
The mortar is a mixture of 1 x lime,1 x cement & 6 sand it must fill the whole cavity and have a smooth finish. This stops water getting in, which can freeze and cause cracks and water getting inside.
I think the lime make the mortar more flexible.

The same applies if you are planting trees, no stones or gaps round the roots for ice to form!

You see I have been listening!

So when I came to fit the gutter brackets, which is a fiddly job,
 all fingers and thumbs...

I found 1 or 2 brackets like this!

...when they should have looked like this!

By the end of the day I had fitted 60 gutter brackets and added a bit more pointing, lost a few nuts and bolts, climbed up and down the scaffolding to retrieve my spanner a few times...

...retrieved 2 pairs of knickers and a sock from Cassie...

...refused entry to Bertie and his wives 3 times...

...and helped Nick, who was up on the chimney again!

At Tom and Sandy's end one of the capped chimneys is leaking when it rains into the fireplace below. Gary suggested sealing it with PVA again, which Nick has done, but also where the mortar was laid in the hot summer weather, it dried too quickly, despite us wetting it often and there are some small cracks, so Nick gouged out a bigger channel and filled it with mortar again.

The problem being a  force 4 southerly wind , which got stronger and the forecast overnight is 3 hours of rain... Nick covered it up with plastic and tied it on in 4 corners to the scaffolding below, I can hear it flapping as I write! 

Tomorrow it may be over the Fairy hill and far away!

"Can I come through please?"

Cassie and Islay are looking for the rat,
 that chewed a hole in the bathroom wall, 
spread sand over the floor where I put my feet last thing at night before I clean my teeth! 
It is a sobering thought, luckily I didn't shine the torch at my feet until I was leaving...
We have now moved the chicken's corn to a higher place and Nick has boarded up any holes already dug!

I'm not keen on rats, are you?

The next update may well be Jenny, who is at the moment on a coach from Poole to London - Glasgow- Kennacraig to catch the lunchtime ferry tomorrow to Port Askaig. Shall I take the pup? We'll see.


P.S. Haven't heard from Katie and Dan, they must be in the Australian outback!


  1. Gutters sure are tough and demanding to fix. It's good you're taking care of yours. Sometimes, though, it will take more than that, as the debris accrue and pile up, and the gutters themselves rot and fray. Soon as it breaks down, well... you're going to have a lot of maneuvers to choose from.

    Kate @ Aqua Duct Roofing

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience and progress!