Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Prepping for Winter

Before the weather starts to turn, we thought it a good time to get the water pipes insulated. Connected to the caravan, these were above ground and we really didn't want them freezing over during the winter months. We had previously put them under tile to stop us tripping over them, so up turned the tiles and attached some pipe lagging:

Following the pipes all the way back to the laundry, this felt good for the soul knowing we were helping our future cold selves:

We then arranged for a delivery of hay from our neighbour,
which as you can see Piper seems to approve of:

Mike had read somewhere that it was a good way of insulating the caravan - so as to stop the wind from blowing underneath. We had started to feel it chill down in the evenings, and didn't really want to switch the gas on for heating 'just yet'. So, we lined the bails around the outside of the van:

And after installing a cat flap in some ply board (in the place of one of the windows):

There was a perfect ledge from the new lining that acted as a step in and out of the van:

We were lucky to get this all done before the first frost:

The water is now drawing very cold in the morning - but the chill at night has had the edge taken off. I think we will try it a little longer by braving it with just a few layers of additional clothing, but I'm sure will be trying out that heating out before too long!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Trenching and Drainage

Whilst the weather is on our side, we got on to the pressing task of tackling the problems with drainage around the house. There is a large mixed bush sitting on the south western corner of the front of the house. It has grown over in recent years and blocked the drainage channel to the rear:

 So we cleared that out to see what we were working with:

There is inadequate run off from the guttering into this drain, along with some cement rendering on the outer face of the chimney in the living room. This has resulted in a severe pooling of water around the perimeter of the property and has effected the walls inside the house (they are damp and bleeding salt). So, we had the cement render taken off the chimney, adding in some ventilation for the stack:

A channel was chopped in around the perimeter of the house, which we then back filled with gravel to act as a french drain:

This worked well on the front of the property:

Unfortunately though, due to the height of the groundwater on the older part (the dairy) it was ineffective. We put an aco drain in its place however and this now seems to have done the job:

Next it was the task of fixing our 'down pipe that goes to nowhere' situation, on the outer corner of the old dining room:

The downpipe had been installed but there was no drain for it to run into and it had been like that for, well, ever... this seemed strange and was something we hadn't even noticed until there was some heavy rain. On closer inspection, of the walls internally, it became evident of the effects this had had here too - big cracks, damp wall:

So, Steve bought the digger round and established a new trench over to the lake:

We hit groundwater after a short while but placed a pipe on top then backfilled with gravel:


This was put to the test under a strong downpour and was very successful in draining into the lake. So test complete, we back filled the pathway:

built the wall back up:

and laid some cold tarmac down over the surface:

Whilst the digger was on site we got Steve to run another trench,
ready for the outlet from the en-suite of the master bedroom:

It made sense to get all this done together, even though it looks a bit like Armageddon in the garden now! At least all the water is getting away from the property now though - and fingers crossed by the time winter comes we will be nice and dry internally... or at least lets hope so!?