Two months ago, where I live on the Surf Coast of Victoria, Australia, we experienced 3 days of wet Melbourne pouring rain, amplified. Not only was I sick from outdoor moulds but I knew the house was getting wet, if not water damaged: We were lucky, After Geelong’s (apparent) one-in-one hundred storm, our house took in water while only at slab, hardwood frame and roof stage. A lot of rain likely went into the slab. Concrete sucks up like a sponge. Luckily it was already cured, which makes a massive difference. After drying it out during a week of lucky, Ganesh-inspired hot weather. We were at the plumbing stage with KLM plumbing, and, thankfully, the house was kept clean of saw dust and other debris by them. After watching the weather over a two week period while the place dried out, we then wrapped the whole building.
It’s a Wrap
We wrapped the house with Kingspan Aluminium Foil the day before. And, the next day, even though I was sick from the day before, we wrapped the upper half of the Build an Allergy-Free, Eco-Friendly House project in plastic.
We used heavy-duty plastic, the type which is purpose built as a water barrier to go under a concrete slab, I think our carpenter, Damien suggested this. It works. With thousands of staples holding it on to the frame, it’s keeping wet weather out of our house. The bricks will be going up soon, fingers crossed, Ganesha blessed, the Boral bricks will not be any bloody later than this. (Boral Bricks were supposed to be here by xmas so that the bottom half could’ve been finished by now. Alright, let’s not ‘should’ all over ourselves, now shall we?
However, it was an ass of a job: the fumes from the plastic, holding roll after roll near my face and body, during hot weather is not something I’ll ever do again! I have a list of handy tradespeople who I know I can call and find at least one of them to do that job. Actually, Dan did ask our carpenter, Damien from Pristine Carpentry if he would do it but we decided to wait the weather out, wrapping at the perfect time: right before the next rainfall. (It had three weeks to dry out. We tried to wrap a part of it for a few rainy days as well but were yet to develop a technique that was safe. We worked out a way where, with someone else holding the roles from the inside, Dan could hang out on the outside and staple the plastic to the exterior of the house.)
We finished just as rain fell. We copped only a 1 ml of rain. And our house is now protected from water damage.
I can rest easy now, knowing the house won’t get wet. My Dan has always been my hero but after this effort, he was just so great, as was I for even holding up to it. He took the next day off work to look after me; and had another day off to take me for a blood test, one that had been previously put on ice, and needed to have two seperate tests run on it from two departments in the same building, it had to be retaken because the laboratories in those two departments wouldn’t run two tests on a singular vial of blood. So off I was to the clinic again: this the day of wrapping with plastic! Just the car visit and the pathology visit would have knocked me flat for the day anyway.
But no, I insist on standing on the upper floor of a building without walls or balcony railings in hot windy heat, drying my eyes and innards and making myself so nauseous, I had to wonder what the Hell we were actually doing out there like that. Him hanging out of windows; me ready to grab him by the back of his shorts.
So glad that day is over.
Both jobs, the Kingspan Building Wrap (I have a detailed post about this process coming up along with some video footage of the process) and the Plastic Wrap (and a post of this abominable task) wrecking me. It just flattened me into bed for 3 days after. I’ve lost my tolerance and can notice my my health is impacted on via lawnmower fumes and washing powders etc. I just feel more sensitive. My head aches deep inside. However, I know that if I rest in my foil lined palace with the air filters running, this will pass. At least I can type and use my brain, which is always a bloody plus!
The following make great pictures for my up-and-coming book: Freedom: an allergy-free, eco-friendly house. [link to cover on iTunes coming up] but for now, here they are at The Labyrinth blog:
The Steps to Building an Eco-Friendly, Allergy-Free house
The Steps to Building an Eco-Friendly, Allergy-Free house and the tradespeople and companies we used (So far we have been really lucky with the team of people who we’ve found to help us build a low-toxic house.):
Design your house. We used Quin Wyatt, eco-Designer, and new beforehand, via testing with a doctor, what to avoid using before hand, plus, and apart from the actual style and design (the look), we knew exactly what we wanted: allergy-wise
Find your workers (yes I have a post: How to Find or Organise Fragrance Free Workers [post coming up]
How to Test Building Products and Products for your own or someone else’s Suitability [post coming up]
How to Apply to Council so that it passes through quickly [post coming up]
A fully, well-cured Concrete Slab, solid as a Rock from D&C Fear Concreting
Low-toxic Pluming installed by a fragrance-free plumbing team: KLM Plumbing
Choosing Fittings for the bathroom, kitchen and laundry: @Reece Plumbing
Choose your internal Building structure: We went with Hardwood from Calco [Post coming up]
Build a frame: we went with Damien and his team from Pristine Carpentry [Post coming up]
Choose a roof style, find a roofer [post coming up] , which are often, but not always a plumbing and roofing job (because plumbers and roofers often do both); We have the maddest Japanese style roof, which we are over the moon about, installed by Yeo Roofing and designed by Quin Wyatt, eco-draftsperson.
Kingspan Building wrap: FOR WRAPPING HOUSES THIS TIME
Virtual House Tour: using Sun Study Designs made by Quin our eco-draftsperson [up-and-coming post]