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We have stalactites in our walls!

Category: Barn Conversion Journal December 23rd, 2007 by mbc

Rather strangely, I’ve we’ve discovered stalactites in our walls.

oak beam

Whilst the photograph is not that clear, that downward dribble to the right of the centre of the picture is a lime stalactite that has formed within the south facing wall of the barn. Whilst the wall is not very damp at the surface, internally it is quite wet and obviously sometimes runs with water. Whilst lime is supposed to breathe, this amount of moisture would take colossal lungs to exhale! That aspect of the building has been recently (over the last 10 years) repointed with what I thought was lime mortar so this comes as something of a blow and an unexpected piece of work. On close inspection the pointing is cracked, even rotten in places and some of the smaller joints have not been pointed at all. All in all it seems a bit of a botched job with plenty of opportunities for rain to get into the wall – that wall is pretty exposed and likely to suffer driving rain over the winter.

We’ll need to hack out the mortar and repoint the wall in an attempt to remedy the problem. We can officially claim this to be Hiccup #1

If you enjoyed that post, then read these…

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After #2… Land drains around the unpaved parts of the barn
Following on from my post about lots of befores that comprised of pictures of locations before I started work on them I’ve been getting on to some afters, here…

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4 Responses

  1. Building Progress ~ December 2007, week 3 and 4 | my barn conversion Says:

    […] We have stalactites in our walls! by mbc on December 23rd, 2007 […]

  2. Building Progress ~ to middle of October 2008 | my barn conversion Says:

    […] as it looked – in fact the higher up the wall you went the worse it looked. I even managed to find stalactites-in-our-walls – which was nice. The wall is pretty exposed to the valley and gets all that wonderful rain thrown […]

  3. Whitewashing update 2010 | my barn conversion Says:

    […] do about the leaky, south facing gable end wall. After finding it was ‘infested’ with stalactites and stalagmites, I considered whitewashing the wall, then eventually it was bag-pointed and whitewashed. The […]

  4. Lime pointing ~ before pictures | my barn conversion Says:

    […] Unfortunately, despite originally thinking that the pointing was good and sound having been recently repointed with what we thought was a lime based mortar, the repointing had actually been done with a cement based mortar that had cracked over time and so let in a lot of water. That end of the building catches the worst of the weather as it blows in along the valley and so is exposed to plenty of rain year round. So much water had worked it way in and dribbled down inside the wall that we had stalactites in our walls. […]

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