Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Fitting new drains and gutterpipe : Holding back the flood part 4

Time to give you an update on the water situation! We've been beavering away in the back ground laying the new drains around the mudroom. In the last update, we'd just finished using a jackhammer to lift the concrete and with Christmas coming, we ended up taking a bit longer than we'd planned to complete the job .Over the next few days, W dug out the channel sufficiently deeply that we could arrange the drains with a downhill flow towards the canal. Once he had them arranged just right - and tested with a few buckets of water flowing through, we lifted and glued the plastic tubes together at the join points. Then, back into the channel, re-measure with a level and re-test with more buckets of water to make sure that we haven't disturbed the underlying soil and set the angles wrong. 

Yesterday we spent the day filling in the edges of the channel with bits of broken concrete and gravel to a level about an inch below the top of the drain. We knew we needed to seal the area with concrete again, but didn't want to have to invest in huge amounts when using some waste material as fill would give just as good a hold. 

Today we filled in and over the edges with concrete : W went first and did the rough fill, then I came along with a fine trowel and did the shaping and edging to ensure that the water drained down into the plastic pipes. I decided to give the finished work a little signature mosaic to add a bit of winter sunshine to the day! Luca tried hard to add his signature paw print to it as well, but we managed to fend him off long enough to complete the task. [update : he managed it - we have two prints for posterity!]

We still need to dig the channel down through the lawn to fit the pipe that runs down to the canal, and we still need to adapt the base of the downpipe from the roof-edge gutters so that it flows into the main grid. Both of the remaining jobs are quite quick and easy, so we will probably get to them tomorrow, once the concrete has had time to set. I'm super happy because already you can see that water drains down and away from house, instead of pooling at the base of the walls , and soaking into the wooden door. We've also stopped the cascade over the edge of the roof gutter and the wall is clearly drying out already. I've had a dehumidifier running in the mudroom for the last few weeks and whilst it would fill in a few short hours when this all started, now it takes a good couple of days before I have to empty the tank - a sure sign that the situation is getting better. 

We've also redone the window frame on the mudroom window, with new hardwood, and lots of industrial grade exterior construction sealant. It looks a lot nicer and the window sill is now dry, so I think we've even managed to stop all the leaks from that location. We may actually finish the year in a dry house!

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