Friday, 4 May 2012

Bales and horrible weather!

Now I'm normally one for being bright and optimistic, and I more often than not see the silver lining in each cloud that comes our way.

However we've had rather a few too many clouds come our way and they've dumped large volumes of water on us and have been driven by strong winds. It has unfortunately had an impact, not only on our lovely bale walls but on morale as a whole.

It is difficult to assess the damage accurately at this time, mainly because there is very little information out there to tell us what constitutes a problem and what doesn't. It appears from what little I can find in books and on the web that surface moisture on the bales can be expected to dry out, but there comes a point where the bale starts to rot before they can dry. This is the vagary I'm battling with.

The repercussions of the damage range therefore from 'let them dry out and all will be fine' to 'we need to remove some large sections of the walls and replace them with dry bales'. The risk of hoping they will dry of course is that they may not do so, and will start to rot inside the walls

Testing Moisture Content

So I've tried to help myself a little here and I have borrowed a moisture meter from Tino, and built a basic probe to extend the reading point into the bale. By doing this and checking a known dry bale, and a known wet one we have a relative indication of the ingress depth, and monitoring for a few days will tell us if the bales are drying at all.

I am also taking heart from a story of a self-builder in Brittany who, after building two bungalows on the cliffs (i.e extremely exposed) his Lime render which had not yet fully carbonised, allowed storm driven rain into the bale walls to the extent that damp was showing on the internal plaster, and they started to smell of rot He took a risk and clad the outer of the wall and after 4 months his bale walls had dried to a satisfactory level, the smell of rot had gone, and his walls were subsequently fit for their purpose.
Given that we intend to clad anyway, and ours do not smell of rot.....!

Slow Week

This week has been slow due to the decision to halt baling for a while to assess things, but also we seem to have had a bout of sickness and many of us have spent at least one day in bed. It's probably no bad thing, as I'm sure  it will help us recover from the stresses and the strains!

Next week will be a better week!
Here is a photo of the house with the sun shining!

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I really do think you have all managed amazingly with the build considering the weather we have had so far during 2012 here in the Westcountry. Great effort! Well done. Jo Harold x :)


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