Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Up On The Roof

Once upon a time, about two and a tiddly weeks ago, a lovely young couple of intelligence, humour and not inconsiderable cake baking talents, noticed a dubious-looking and lightly damp stain appear on the wall of their Laura-Ashley papered hallway.

The couple (let's call them 'Denise' and 'Andy') repaired immediately to the telephone machine and called upon the services of their Plumber Man, (let's call him 'Matt') because the stain was situated directly beneath the shower room, Laura-Ashley tiled. 

But then they noticed that the stain grew in itself when it rained. And it had been raining a lot, inclemently so, and thus Denise and Andy thought, 'Hello, hello, p'raps something is amiss with the roof.' And Andy climbed into the loft and noted a damp patch in the corner of the loft and so the services of a Roofer Man were summoned.

And so the Plumber Man and the Roofer Man appeared and the Plumber Man declared good health upon the shower and the Roofer Man repaired the damage on the main roof and Denise and Andy thought, 'Whew! All is well, but 'tis a bit of a b*gger we will have to sort out the water damage to the wallpaper (Laura Ashley).'

The stain dried, well almost. Until the next torrent of rain. When it reappeared. Twice as big. This was not good. But not as bad as many people who were being flooded out of their homes, bless them. And so the Roofer Man was recalled and he said, 'I shall return next Thursday,' but he did not, and there was neither telephone call nor e-mail to explain his non-appearance, and so he was struck from the list of 'Handy Builder Types' via the medium of tearing up his business card and chucking it on the woodburner. (Although, to be fair, the loft is drying out so he clearly did something worthwhile for the money we spent.) 

But what to do about the continuing and mysterious leak? Andy knew how to vet and how to make a jolly good loaf. Denise knew how to teach difficult teenagers and how to make jolly good marmalade, but neither knew a diddly squat about roofs. And so they spent a few days making suppositions and guesses and searches on the interwebbly, all the while trying to avoid watching the dampness as it spread down the wall taking the wallpaper with it. They also tried engaging other roofers who never returned their calls of growing desperation and Denise now believes the recession is over if people can afford to turn down work.

And then, on Saturday just gone, Andy girded his manly gird. He marched down the stairs and stood, legs akimbo in the living room doorway which Denise thought was excellent because his stance obscured her view of the peeling wallpaper and 'out of sight, out of mind' was becoming the tenet of the day. 

'Apparently,' said Andy, 'we have to aim the hosepipe onto the flat roof and watch to see where the water is entering where it shouldn't. And this I shall do, for tomorrow, according to the soothsayers of weather, the rain is stopping and the wall will dry briefly, like it does, and we shall see where this problem lies and then we shall cure it ourselves! Or at least tell a roofer where to look, if we can ever get one to answer our calls.'

And so it came to pass that on Sunday the sun arrived and the wall mostly dried (it having now achieved a stain of five feet by three feet in places) and Andy trailed the hosepipe through the back door, through the kitchen, through the hall, up the stairs and out of the landing window, with Flora Bijou Mybug in tow as Official Hosepipe Escort. And much water was allowed to rain on the roof from the hosepipe. And the inside wall was watched for the reappearance of wetness.

Nothing. Not a sausage. Not even a stain in the shape of a sausage.

Well. It seemed the flat roof was fine.

So Andy trailed the hosepipe out of the front door to spray water on the roof ridge that surrounded the flat roof bit. 

Almost immediately, in her official capacity of 'Leak Watcher' inside the hall, Denise shouted, 'STOP!'

For there it was. The Leak Monster!

It was action stations aplenty from then on. Andy wobbled up a flimsy ladder which was not built to bear his weight in order to inspect the roof ridge, with Denise clinging onto the ladder in a sterling anti-wobble effort. Denise wanted to go up the ladder because she was more weight-appropriate and, having worked on a farm, was used to shinning up ladders and did not mind ladder wobbling moments. 

But Andy was being all manly and heroic and did not want Denise up a ladder wobbling in the wind.

'What can you see?' shouted Denise.

'A hole!' shouted Andy.

'We need to mend the hole!' shouted Denise.

'With what shall we mend it, dear Denise, dear Denise?' shouted Andy.

'With straw!' shouted Denise.

'Isn't that a song?' shouted Andy.

'Oh yeah,' shouted Denise. 'How about sticky roofing felt tape stuff?'

So Andy dashed into town and returned with the technically named sticky roofing tape stuff. He shinned back up the ladder. From below, Denise passed up brushes, tar, tape and other important stuff all the while hanging on to the ladder which was a-wobbling like a good 'un and cutting the sticky roofing tape stuff into appropriate hole patching lengths. (Woman = multitasking) 

Half way through, there was a massive hail storm. Andy and Denise thought this was unfair play and will be complaining to the appropriate authorities.

And so the hole was patched, and Denise and Andy spent the next two days watching the rain pelting down outside and....(tum ti tuuuuuum!)....

...NOT watching the water spreading again!!! Admiring the dryness!!!!!

Success!! Andy mended the hole that was letting in the water, where the official roofing man failed to notice the hole was even there! Andy and Denise did it for themselves!!! 

And then they performed the 'Fab Pants Dance' in celebration of their newly dry hallway! 


doodles n daydreams said...

Denise, I am so glad you still have a sense of humour after all that WET. Did you know Britain is having the worst weather since about 1720? Or so Bob has just informed me. Not much fun.
I am pleased you have fixed the leak between you and managed to buy a new bed without damage to a salesperson.
And try as I may I can't get on to Andy's blog, bummer.


rusty duck said...

Bravo Andy and Denise!

Andy said...

This is where my blog is. If finding it isn't the problem but some weird web-related issue then I can help no more!

Countryside Tales said...

Excellent! Well done you two! Can we hire you to fix the damp patch in our sitting room? X

Vera said...

Way to go you two! Might you be thinking that it would be fun to do more dare-devil DIY projects, like rescuing an old and run down house for instance?

Denise said...

Hi Diana! It pays to have a sense of humour about these things but rest assured there have been a couple of tetchy moments, too. Andy has put a link ( see below) to his blog so hopefully you can access it from there. X

Jessica, thank you! For two people who between them perform surgery and wrangle angry teens for their livings, it was a hairy couple of hours! X

CT - (sucks air in through teeth all builder like) - certainly guv 'nor. Wot clown put it there in the first place, eh? Might be tricky but I'll see wot I can do for ya. Cuppa wouldn't go amiss. White, five sugars. X

No, Vera, I was not thinking that AT ALL!!! I was thinking it would be jolly nice to go inside, make a cup of tea and read a craft magazine. X You and Lester are the renovation masters and I am quite happy to read about your daring dos from the sidelines!