It’s been a lovely day here today with a high of 24 degrees Celsius and clear blue skies. Not much wind either, so pretty much an ideal flying day. But I had to be single-minded! It’s highly likely that we’ll have another similar day tomorrow, but brilliant though the prospect of having two consecutive gorgeous flying days would have been, I had to stick to my original plan for installing my wood burner. In fact, two consecutive dry days is just what I need, to do the making good on my chimney and then to fit the slab I got yesterday from Point P to make it weatherproof. So that’s what I got on with today.
I faffed around a bit too much this morning and didn’t get going until after lunch, but it still left me with enough time to do what I needed to. After I’d put my ladders up and got up onto my roof, I checked out what needed to be done on my chimney. The first thing I did was remove and throw down what was left of the remaining two of the original four tiles that had once capped it off. I thought that if I did that, then I’d be committing myself to doing the job. The more I looked at what needed to be done the more I thought, ‘Dammit, there’s not that much to do, so why do a temporary job that would mean doing it all over again in the spring when I could give it a good shot today and tomorrow, that would last quite a bit longer?’ OK, pointing in the cracks and making good the chimney rim that has been eaten away by the smoke and fumes over many years may not be a permanent solution, but heck, if I do a reasonable job, it could last for four or five years at least after which the whole stack could be torn down to roof level or lower and rebuilt, possibly as part of a proper roof refurb.
So later on there I was sat astride the ridge of my roof, having clambered up there with a hammer and cold chisel, a bucket of mortar, two small trowels, a piece of ply to use as an edge to work against and my water spray jug. And by golly, as I worked was it hot, and didn’t the insects have a field day, amusing themselves at my expense. It started off with dozens of little wood wasps that were having a day out on the warm roof and then thought it would be good fun to start dive-bombing me. They were soon joined by flies, ladybirds and all kinds of little flying beetly things who thought that they’d get in on the action too. So there I was on my roof with arms flailing around me like a man possessed while I tried to complete the job.
I managed to despite everything, and here are a few pics of how it turned out. From the ground you can see how I’ve pointed in the two main cracks and the largest of the gaps in the joints between the blocks used in the construction of the chimney.
Only when you get up-top can you see how much more I’ve done, to make the rim good and level so I can mount the capping slab on its blocks and to replace rendering that has been completely weathered away over the years.
I used the yellow sand I had with white cement but I think that the repairs I’ve done will end up looking a bit too light against the existing old rendering. That isn’t just because what’s there is old – builders down here use a special external finish that naturally has a pinkish-orange colour to it, and that’s what’s been used on my chimney stack I think. If necessary, when I’ve finished, I’ll get around the colour difference by slapping on a bit of exterior paint of the right sort of colour.
So that’s it for today. I have to say, it’s left me feeling very tired so if I’m going to do a good job with fitting the slab on the top of my chimney stack tomorrow, I think I might just go off for a sit-down and, er… to rest my eyes for a few minutes 😉