On doing a rain dance
Running a property can have its ups and downs.
Over the last while there have been a few unexpected problems on top of routine stuff.
The biggest problem was the leaking roof which had become a right pain in the arse. I have lost count of the cowboys who came to look at it only for them to vanish over the hills. The problem was getting worse and it came to a head a short while back when we had two storms in one week.
When it pisses rain, water starts to cascade down inside the hotpress [or the airing cupboard or whatever you want to call it]. This happens to have a bit of electricity buzzing around as that is where a lot of the heating plumbing and immersion tank is. Water pouring onto electrical stuff is a little concerning and can easily end in tears. But the water also gets into the ceiling cavity and can then reappear in unexpected places in the bathroom and lobby.
The two storms were an eight-Pan job. I should maybe explain that for some time we have been measuring the leak in units of Pans. In other words, how many pans, saucepans, buckets and basins do we need to use to collect all the drips. So the eight-Pan event mean two pans in the hotpress, two in the lobby and four in the bathroom [why the fuck can’t the flood ever happen over the shower tray, the hand basin or the toilet?].
I was getting really pissed off with this lark and decided to have a bash at the job myself. I went out and bought a large tarpaulin and some very heavy duty waterproof tape. I threw the tarpaulin over the tank on the roof and weighed down all the edges with concrete blocks. Where I couldn’t use blocks, I used tape. It looks terrible and very temporary, but the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
We had a bit of wetness the other night. It was what we Irish term a Grand Soft Night. In other words, there was a little bit of soft rain.
The next thing I heard was a ping from the hotpress in the bathroom. A drip had landed in one of the two permanent pans [which try to deflect any deluge from the electrics]. Bugger! As the night wore on it became a three-Pan job which was a vast improvement on eight.
I went up on the roof when things were dry again. I discovered what had happened – the wind had got under one of the tarpaulin edges and pulled the covering back a bit. I weighed it down and did more taping. The water tank now looks like an enormous, very badly wrapped present. I don’t know what the neighbours must make of it.
Now of course it won’t rain so I can’t test it.
I think I may have guaranteed us a very dry Spring and Summer.
Whenever I have a problem with house or car, I get the parts needed, then as often as not the problem disappears – at least long enough for me to forget about it!
When I worked in RTE I would get a call from someone around the organisation to say their computer or network had a problem. I would stroll over and as soon as I entered their office the problem would fix itself. There were a few around the place who wanted me to move permanently into their office as it would guarantee their system would work all the time.