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Archive for March, 2008

Back to Rack and Ruin

Sunday: Back home to dark, wet England. Sure enough as reported by friends, our electricity was off. Thank heavens for modern breakers.. I managed to narrow the problem down to one breaker – the one providing power to the “east wing” of the house – i.e. my office and the master bedroom. As I was doing this, Maureen reported that one of the lamps in the bedroom was full of water – and she wasn’t exxagerating!

The inverted lampshade was simply brimming with water. After isolating the area electricaly, one bucket and screwdriver later, we fixed this and dried out the wiring harness (after removing the lamp altogether) – stood back, tripped the breaker and…. electricity was back on. It wasn’t until much later that we realised the carpet was soaked from one end of the room to the other (and there’s more but that’ll do for here) . Dehumidifier on – time for bed (in another room of course).

Monday: After a good night’s sleep I woke up bright and early and decided the first thing I should do was to check the flat roof – for one of those barely discernable openings that you find which let the water creep in – WELL – I found one!!! They say that some some folks have “all the luck” ??

9am sharp we rang the insurance company and informed them of the problem, stressing the damage being caused internally. They were to get someone down here pronto! The weather picked up so I didn’t worry unduly.
By 3pm, no-one had turned up so I rang the number they’d given me to chase up. The building company knew nothing about this – but would be out in a couple of hours. I range the insurance company back to confirm and to complain.
By now it was starting to rain.
5pm I received a call from the building company “we can’t send anyone out until the morning – health and safety” – which is tech-speak for not wanting to travel all the way out to Wark out of hours – we get this from delivery companies. Back onto the Woolwich I stressed the need to get this sorted. “Someone will be out this evening sir”.
7pm another call from a building company “we can send anyone out until the morning – health and safety.
8am on Tuesday the builders turned up – the roof was now deformed due to the extended overnight rain – the carpet and it’s associated wood flooring is no doubt in even worse state – and the cupboards in the room affected have visible rising damp – all because our insurance people can’t get a handle on their suppliers!
The next thing we heard from the builders – they could not fix the main roof properly because of nail fatique!! The insurance company seemed to think this was relevant – but of course the roof has been doing quite nicely for 200 years until it was hit by a flat roof so that’s not going to wash.
Monday 3rd of March we had our own builder in to take a look – and he agrees with us – damage all due to wind and the damage to main roof caused by the flat roof lashing about. He’s going to do another temporary fix and send in a quote!
Monday 4th. My birthday and I’m sitting in a meeting in London praying it doesn’t rain back up home!!