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Still leaking

I had hoped that the leaking porch roof and blocked down pipe had been fixed the other week. But then a huge thunderstorm hit Malvern just before the Bank Holiday weekend, complete with torrential rain, and it became clear that I still had a problem. The two original leaks in the porch roof had indeed been fixed, but now there were two new ones. And the down pipe was no longer splashing water all over the walls from the gutter, but was instead gushing like a fountain from a joint half way down! Plus I noticed a disturbing-looking new stain on the kitchen ceiling……

Of course, it being a Bank Holiday, there was no one at the builders until Tuesday, though I did phone on Saturday morning and leave a long, and rather annoyed, message on their answer phone. I rang again at one minute past nine on Tuesday morning and was put straight through to the boss, who already had my file open in front of him. He said that they really needed to wait until after it had rained again, so that I could clearly note exactly where the leaks were to help trace them back. I replied firmly that there would be no need to wait, as I had stood on a chair in the porch during the thunderstorm, sticking post-its on the woodwork to identify the positions of the leaks. He commented that I was very organised! No – just cross and practical.

So today I had a queue of white vans waiting to get onto my drive at quarter to nine, as a posse of builders turned up to finish the job. They’ve lifted my paving slabs on the front path, thoroughly cleared out the drain and pressure washed it to show me that it’s running freely. They’ve been up on the porch roof to have another go at sealing the glass against the lead. And they went up onto the roof above the kitchen to investigate the source of the stain on the ceiling, which to be fair to them was a new problem and not one they could have known about before. That turned out to be due to a bodge job dating before we moved in – some cowboy had tried to seal a leak at the bottom of the chimney with what looked like super-strength waterproof gaffer tape which was no longer waterproof. In investigating the problem, they removed some of my roof tiles below the chimney, and pulled out a dead mouse! So at least I know the poison is working!

I asked the roofer to temporarily bodge the chimney for now, to leave me with a watertight roof, and to quote for doing the job properly next month, before the winter closes in and the frost starts. The original Victorian lead is going to need to be replaced, and the entire chimney stack repointed. Groan. That won’t be cheap. But I really don’t need a leaking roof, as that will get very expensive if the timbers start rotting.