Tips: Today’s Project Payne headline “Wet Rot ate my joists”

I’d love a nice, relaxing day every so often where nothing disastrous happens, nothing which needs immediate attetion, nothing which requires MONEY!! But I am resigned to a life in property renovation where that kind of day simply doesn’t exist ๐Ÿ™‚

So starts Project Payne, aptly named as the previous tenant (inherited from the old landlord) was one in every sense of the word. Never paid rent on time if at all, loud, fibbed, wandered the halls in her pj’s, and worse….. the subtle spelling alteration pays homage to Cynthia, as Mr M and I suspected that the her gentlemen callers left with both a smile and a lighter wallet. One of them, collared in the car park, shook with fear – or guilt?! – as he turned back on his mobile phone, looked up and saw Mr M standing by his side window. After a few weeks of procrastination and haggling she finally left, allowing me to snap the befores and commence the rip out of the elevated ground floor one bed apartment.

This is what the living room and bedroom looked like, stylish huh?

Drasticย Sian Surgery has now begun, but even I didn’t expect the builders to fall through the bathroom floor (the area to the left above in the bedroom) into the cellar below! On closer inspection it really wasn’t surprising as the ends of the joists forming the ground floor in the bathroom and bedroom were sitting in the external wall entirely unprotected (which is the norm in non-new-builds). The below image is the unprotected joist ends as seen from in the cellar looking up through the floor into the bedroom of the flat. We cut back the lath and plaster ceiling in the cellar to give better ventilation / access for works to install new joist ends.

Unprotected joist ends sitting in external wall

Even though they sit about a metre above external ground level, the combination of sitting there for 100 yrs, lack of ventilation due to the cellar plastered ceiling and piles of accumulated crap between the joists meant that the ends sitting in the wall were soft to the point of collapse. As indeed they did. Oops. This picture below was post-disaster in the cellar, you have to imagine it with a builder upside down clinging to his ladders after the two joists had collapsed ๐Ÿ™‚

Panic reigned so it’s a good job there was a calm woman on site who’d seen it all before ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sad enough to love damp and rotten timber from my years spent running a building preservation company so out came the dpc membrane, Marcin picked up the new joist ends and hangers, and it was all repaired in no time. Not all of the joists had to be replaced, under the living room they were sound so all the joist sockets were cleaned, the ceiling cut back in the cellar to allow good ventilation and the timber ends injected with a ProBor 50 protective paste. Next job!

Below image is of the newly joist ends wrapped in dpc membrane and fixed with joist hangers to a new cross joist. I love this stuff #timbergeek ๐Ÿ™‚

The..... joist has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooooraaaaay etc etc

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