Shao Ping and I have spent the last few days shifting furniture and preparing the home for repairs. The carpet on the first floor was ripped up yesterday and the old pine floors were sanded. We were intrigued to see that the original pine floorboards had once been polished. They were quite a different colour to the pine floorboards in the rear of our house. We thought given the shifting of furniture and everything else that has been happening we might as well use this opportunity to go back to the original pine floors on the upper floor of our home.
They hammered the nails down with a hammer and punch and filled each hole and crack with putty. The sanding then begun and later that afternoon that was followed with the first application of tung oil.
My wife and I have been staying in the spare room at our neighbour’s home. Tomorrow the floor specialists will apply another coat of tung oil. We will not be able to walk on the floors till Friday.
I will probably not be able to make a decent post till this weekend. Following this work I will clean up some more out the back of our property. Part of the garden in the top part of our yard was washed down to the southern boundary and made quite a mess and with all the rains new weeds have sprung up. We lost two trees and a stormwater pipe was broken in our backyard.
With the drought for so long we were really in need of rain but to get nearly three inches of rain in one hour was probably too generous. That was back in December and now that we are on holidays we can really get stuck into tidying things up around the garden and in the garage.
Our backyard looked like a little creek during the storm and when the water came up around the piers and the main slab on which the ground floor was built and then entered the ground floor of our home from within the structure it was all a little too much there for a while. Given that the ground floor was tiled and there was concrete in the garage no damage was sustained although four holes were drilled in the southern brick wall of our garage with a masonry drill to assist with the run-off of the water.
We have to get an engineer to have a look at the place to make sure that there was no hidden erosion beneath the property. I have no idea how that will be verified. Cracks have appeared in the concrete floor of our garage. The water came up through tiny gaps between the walls and floor in the laundry and around the edges of the tiled floors of the study as well as the walls of the garage. It was a strange sight. The water bubbled up like small water fountains. Perhaps the clay on which the houses in our street were built is not that deep and we are in fact just above solid sandstone and the water table just rose to the surface as the huge amounts of water could not get away quick enough.
The study where I kept my books and LP records is no longer and that will be shifted upstairs to our living room once the flooring is finished. Not too sure how to use the free space downstairs now. We quickly moved all of the threatened books, CDs and records upstairs as the water rose during the deluge. Two neighbours came into help. That day one neighbour brought in lunch for us and that evening three separate neighbours brought my wife and I some dinner. We have an excellent neighbourhood. Priceless neighbours.
Some furniture including bookshelves, filing cabinets and a desk got wet but that was dried out. One old cupboard will have to go. How we use this downstairs space will have to change. Who knows when the next time a rain event like this will happen?
The bureau of meteorology said the storm was an one in twenty year event but given our peculiar weather of recent years and the impact of global warming on the climate I am not sure about that figure. We had a major storm in 1998. I will never forget. 17th August. Two low depressions settled above the Illawarra and it rained non-stop for almost 24 hours. They called that a storm an one in three hundred year weather event. We ripped up the carpet downstairs, sealed the floors and tiled everything after that. A new stormwater drainage system keeps the water out. It worked fine this time but what do you do when the water finds its way in via your construction piers underneath the upper floor of your home home and from beneath the concrete slab of your garage? We are built on a slight slope.
So during the next few days the blog will be a little quiet. As I mentioned we are staying with our neighbours during the work on our home as we wait for the tung oil to dry and do ist wonder with the pine flooring. Tonight we are having dinner with my sister and her family so I thought I would jump on their computer and write this note.