Wednesday, September 3, 2014

There is something rotten in Villa Bellevue

When on Friday the contractors left the site, we were quite satisfied that we didn't rush into changing the roofing felt on the north side of our house. Afterall, we need to understand and evaluate!
It was also good to see that they had covered the south side, on which they had started to work because of our decision, in case of rain.

Sunday night, I had a nightmare. I was up in the attic and it was raining in. Unfortunately, I do not remember the details of the dream any longer but the general sensation I had was not good at all. When I woke up later on, I could hear that there was heavy rain and I felt uneasy.
I woke up fully few hours later and the first thing I did was to go up. I did panic when I saw several stains of water everywhere on the floor of the attic and I started to put buckets wherever possible.
The rain was starting to get stronger and stronger and I finally went down and I checked on our entrance door. I could hear that there was a lot of water there. I called Mattias and showed him that just outside the door the roof was not holding anything and it was almost just raining through the protection and what was left of the roof. When we looked up in the room, we noticed that water was coming down on the wall and... there was half a liter of water in the lamp!
At that point, if before we were a bit hesitant, we were sure we had to call the contractors and three hours later, they finally arrived to try to patch as best as they could all the sides.
We were very unlucky that such a stormy rain came when we had taken away the tiles. But we are always having such kind of luck :-)
We did see this though from a positive perspective: it seems that the roofing felt we were having doubts to change was not in such a good shape, afterall.

Changing the roofing felt
On monday, we finally started to remove the old roofing felt and put the new one. The conditions of the roof on that side looked promising, however the work has been difficult since there were several layers of roofing felt.
We finally made some sense of why that looked good. We think that most likely there has been a storm few years back, during which few tiles flew away. In order to secure them, they most likely changed the lath and that is why it looked new.
However, this is just a guess.

Pipe for the oil boiler expansion tank: we don't use it anymore and it is anyway totally rusty
 It is very interesting to look at the old metal sheet. The oldest one seems to be from the 40s. Back then the labour was cheap, but the metal was not so they were taking small pieces of metal and put them together: it was cheaper.When I look carefully at it, I can see that there are three layers of color (if we exclude the rust): a brown-red layer, a dark green and the current light green.
I really can't believe that noone has had the guts to change it in 70 years but they have just painted over and over again (even though, with the proper maintainance, I suppose, one should have a durable component). Clearly, the proper maintainance has not been done in a while... It is enough to look at how bad it is in certain points!

If this is not bad maintained...
Crap that is being thrown away, a mixture of lath and metal sheets

A piece of metal that is painted red
A piece of metal that shows three color. Red, dark green and light green

Rotten wood under the partition plate
Of course, we had to expect few surprises and in this case under the partition plate, structured in a quite sloppy manner, there was pieces of rotten wood.
Side of one of the bedroom windows
Under the "new" metal there is plenty of rotten wood. Why!?

More crap
The main problem here is that under this light green metal there is the old one!!! Thanks to this amazing invention, the water has just gone through and the pillars and beams of the supportive construction are actually quite rotten. The pillars are rotten for about 10-15 cm each.
Now, I don't know who to blame, but I have a suspect and anyway, it looks like they tried to patch some bad looking metal by adding on top something that was supposed to look fresh and nice, so that they could sell the house without big troubles. 

Rotten wood on the edge
 This is of course generating a lot of worryness and troubles for us. Now we don't know the entity of the damage, but it is serious enough in my opinion.
Over our entrance
 Over the entrance, they have also found a 40 cm wide hole in the wood. In fact, they could tell me what they saw in the small room we have beneath our bedroom!
Some good news there is though. Today, they could put new roofing felt in an area that I thought would be heavily damaged. Luckily, the beam there was instead in a good state and they could proceed without problems to the next step.

For us, it is quite heavy to go through all of this.
Meanwhile, in another part of the garden, I take out my frustration on the plants that anyway need to get cut down. The first big victim has been an incredible gigantic jasmine, that was covering the garage, the neighbours and suffocating an apple tree with its top.
I got the chance of borrow a chainsaw (which I have now purchased) for enjoying the painful operation.

The decapitated jasmine bush

The jasmine ;-)
It will take a while before Mattias will manage to make all the rests disappear! 

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