Quick and easy was the replacement of the rusted handles on the flyscreens of the sliding doors. After less than a year the handles had started showing signs of rust and after a year and a half they were clearly unacceptable. I phoned up my window supplier, Rylock, expecting to have to explain in detail how the flyscreen door pulls had rusted in such a short time, but to my surprise they were really good about it. Rylock explained that their supplier had changes where they sourced the handles though without notifying Rylock and that the quality had changed. Rylock then sent me out new door pulls for all the flyscreen doors, and with a couple of screws the door pulls were replaced. The new ones look great and just as well as they have the company name on them in big letters.
|Rusted door handles
|New door handles
|Exhaust fan vent installed
|Lockable door handle
|Trim to cover sliding door track
|Corner of eaves lining
The big job for the holidays was cleaning the outside of the windows, something that had not been done since the windows wee installed. Although they had been covered with plastic during the rendering some of the windows and particularly the fly screens were filthy and quite difficult to clean. Big thanks to my partner and my sister for dedicating part of their holiday to this task.
Next job was sealing the gaps between the windows and the render. In places the render came right up to the window frame but in others there was a substantial gap up to 10mm and over some of the sliding doors even more. I used sandstone coloured Sikaflex Pro polyurethane sealant to fill the gap. Where the gaps were large I pressed foam backing rod into the gaps before applying the sealant. This was a much bigger and more time consuming job than I had expected. It was also pretty messy. I am getting better but there is still room for me to improve my sealant application. Big thanks to my plumber, Len, for putting me onto a produce called Silicone Clean up by Red Back, it did what it says and cleaned up that last little bit of excess silicone that is usually hard to remove.
|Putting in the foam backing rod
|Sealant around windows
|Close up of southern wall of main room
|Patch of black marks
|Black marks on upper wall section
A few more cracks have also appeared in the render. Interestingly the places the render has cracked do not coincide with areas where there was cracking in the hemp walls or the walls were less well built. The high level cracks are most likely caused by a change in the thickness of the hemp wall. The roof beams were cut down at the eaves so that they were not so thick, but this meant on the inside we could only hemp up to the bottom of the full beams but on the outside we hand to hemp another half a beam higher to reach to bottom of the cut down beams. My belief is that this change is a cause of the cracking and if this is the case the hemp wall must also have cracked to cause the render to crack, but the hemp walls had more than 12 months to dry out before being rendered. Another problem I am trying to find the cause of.
|Cracks in render just under eaves
|More cracks in render
|With decks to enjoy