Friday, August 20, 2010

Bansfield Benefice Hall Project - Work begins!

Report by Michael McEvoy.

Roof Space:
Inspection; insulation temporary removal and clean

Monday afternoon - Mike Chester and I removed the fibreglass insulation from the loft space prior to the woodworm treatment. Most of the roof timbers have been affected by woodworm although we found them to be still sound. One area needing attention is that in the southeast corner where one vertical support that connects the ceiling to the roof joists is missing and the ceiling is flexing. Cracks in the ceiling are visible from the ground floor . The construction of the roof does appear to be of a rather ‘basic’ construction and I feel that a few more ‘supports’ in the roof space would be advisable to give extra strength and rigidity. This should be simple to remedy with the insertion of timber supports attached to the existing joists with metal braces at each end.

The roof beneath the slates has been insulated with a bitumen like covering and there was no sign of any movement in the rafters, nor could we identify any sagging which is evident on the front elevation to the east. Work was probably carried out on the roof in the last thirty or forty years.

In the east and west gables considerable ‘straw’ was removed – presumably from the accumulation of birds nests over several years. All of this was removed and parts of the floor swept where possible. Around twelve sacks of rubbish were removed and has been burnt. It would appear that in the past that the roof was thatched as shown by small coils of hazel, string and pieces of wood that I have seen in my own loft.

Several Victorian small bibles/prayer books were found – although in poor condition.

Woodworm was identified as a problem in the floor and a conversation with the conservation Officer explained that until the Victorian period floors were commonly constructed with a puddled clay base with the bearers laid over, then the floor covering. This was also the normal method for lining and waterproofing ponds.

Work to remove the floor begins at 8.30 a.m. on Monday when I will be present, and at intervals during the day to check on progress.

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