Monday, 21 September 2009

This old house

Why no blog for such a long time? It all does back to the floods in 2007, when the water flooded almost all of the garden, my pottery and the garage and nearly came into the house. It flooded the cellar and ever since then we have had a damp patch at the foot of the staircase, the cellar is just underneath there. It’s had two years to dry out and still looks damp so I decided that the floor had better be dug up to see what was going on.

This house was built sometime between 1820 and about 1850 and probably built in pieces because you can see a joint halfway along the house where the second phase started. More was added in 1970, but that’s another story.

I think farm workers who knew very little about building must have knocked it up, every time I take plaster off or dig anything up I find more horrors. After removing about a ton of old quarry tiles and earth I found the root of the problem. See the picture.

The staircase comes down towards the wall of the cellar underneath it but it never actually gets there. There’s a gap of about 4 inches that was filled by a chunk of wood (now pretty rotten). When the water came up in the cellar it would have flowed into that gap and soaked the wood, hence the damp patch. The wood in question is that piece under the pick axe

So instead of blogging I have been digging, taking out all the old muck and filling it back in with a new damp course, some foam insulation and a ton of concrete. It’s a new kind of keep fit. I’ve lost three pounds and hopefully there won’t be a damp patch any more, well, once the concrete has dried out completely.


  1. It's worrying me slightly that you didn't take up the stair carpet first...

  2. Ah yes. The plan is to replace the carpet when it's all done and have the new carpet along the little corridor to the cellar as well.
    The carpet is sort of useful as well because it gives me a level on that side telling me where the old floor was. OK so I could have measured it of something and marked it, but as it is sitting there.....