One of the fun aspects of this house is the numerous ways wind can enter the building. This is particularly prevalent at the moment, with the wind being just a little bit on the strong side of blowy.
We have, for some time, had a draft in the hallway but never really understood why. The door is shut securely. The letterbox has those little brushes in it that make it hard to deliver floppy post but also keep the wind out. We should be a sealed unit.
And yet cold wind cuts through like a sharpened knife, threatening to take your legs off at the knees. This was especially noticeable when we had no door on the front room while we were painting it.
So I set to exploring. I felt like those people you see in movies that are trapped underground but can feel a breeze from somewhere, stopping just short of lighting a candle to see where the smoke goes or if it would blow out. Although I think, based on personal experience, that our draft could have sliced a candle in two.
It turns out – and this isn’t actually that surprising when I stop to think about it – that the plastic boards around the front door aren’t actually sealed. They’re just in place. So any wind that makes it through the stone – via, say, the huge air brick under the front window – is channelled through a narrow gap between the doorframe and the plastic beading and shoots up the stairs like a frost spell from a wizard’s hand.
Sometimes this house really does beggar belief.
And by sometimes I, of course, mean all the pissing time.
So here’s the thing. Can I seal it while it’s windy? Sealant takes time to go off. If I seal it while it’s windy, and the wind blows in it will, in theory, blow the sealant away from doing the sealing that I have asked it very nicely to do. Because, again, that would be the sort of stunt this place would pull – you seal it up nicely, go about your business, return to the hallway to find sealant blown all over the floors and walls and the wind whistling merrily through the gap.
Also, is there any conceivable way I can fill the gap around the hinge side without having to remove the door (because you know that sucker won’t go back on properly if I even so much as think about doing that…).
Sometimes it really bugs me that my dad died and I can’t ask him to do these things. I’m crap at DIY and am basically learning as I go, and after the Matthew debacle we don’t trust anyone to come and do anything…
It’ll be summer soon though, right. Less wind. More warm. I can probably hang on until autumn before I have to do anything about it. Maybe I’ll do that.
If we ever sell this house, no-one can ever read this blog.