The farm house

The farm house

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Merry Christmas From The Rickety Ladder Farm

A couple of days ago, well before the snow but before a rain, I decided to repair a small "indoor waterfall" in the barn. You see, the barn was not used for keeping livestock by the last few owners. Consequently, a few rodents and such have destroyed a few areas, in particular a section where the roofs meet and the water now comes in. It drips and also slides down a wall making everything wet, rotting and turns icy. Not a great environment for livestock. It's also the escape route for the barn-cat :also access for a predator grrr...
Here are a few photos of what the barn looked like before I decided I could do something with it. Also known as BC-before critters.

Above the window in this last photo to the left(blocked by the tree) is where the problem is. Now, what I thought I could do to repair this was use some spray insulation foam. It works well in cracks and crevices because it expands to fill the spaces. I read the label. Very flammable and explosive- good thing I don't smoke but nobody should smoke in a barn anyway. I inspected the area and decided I needed to get a ladder sigh..Off I go, get the ladder and prop it up and realize that the drainage ditch is more elevated at the wall than the rest of the floor making for a yet another wonky ladder episode and of course nobody's around. This is of course taking place inside the barn with sheep watching and a few stray chickens that go out from next door ogling, to them, what seems like a bunch of perches neatly put together upon which I am climbing.

Protective clothing and goggles were also recommended on the label. Well, I had my chore coat on and a pair of gloves, my glasses to see what the what. I make the rickety climb and started spraying. It works very well in the small places. So far so good. Now, there's a huge gap and I can see the metal from the roof. I start to spray. As the foam expands, it gets heavy. It does not have anything to support it from underneath so it starts to drop. Crud. Once I am done with the can, I scoop up what has fallen and it is still expanding.I decide to put it into an empty feed bag as I suspect no animal should be eating that!

So, nowhere on the label does it say that when wet, this substance becomes on of the world's best adhesives!!! While trying to put the fallen foam into the feed bag, the gloves are coated with this yellow goop. Also the cuff and bottom part of the sleeve is coated and it is not coming off....I take feed bag to garbage can. See the yongest is walking down the laneway from the school bus. He nods. I then go to utility sink in the house and scrub this stuff off. By now my hands are coated and slick and my fingers are sticking together. Not cool. I have knitting to do, baking, laundry etc...Oh my! This stuff is horrid. I yell at youngest "google how to removespay foam insulation". Apparently, nothing works. Well, a recommendation was acetone which I had on hand in the form of nail polish remover. Further down in the suggested solvents were paint thinner and a few other stinky things but they were not successful according to other victims.

I can tolerate the smell of the nail polish remover. I quickly run upstairs to the bathroom and use it right away. Youngest creeps up to see how I'm making out, trying to stifle a chuckle or two. What the acetone did was slough away a bit and made it less sticky. For days,I've been picking the stuff off my fingers very much the same way we did as youngsters peeling off the white Lepage's glue that we would put on finger tips and pull off looking at our fingerprints. This "stuff" however is more diligent and I still have some on a few fingers.

End result is the leak has slowed but not to where I want it to be. Plan B- whatever that is short of redoing a section of roof....

So such a long post to say, "Don't do what I did and why".

Have a Merry Christmas folks. Hopefully I will be back after the holiday to write about something much less dramatic!

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