Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Will they…. Won’t they!

Well, would the spray foam contractor arrive?  10.30am came and went with no sign of them.  Jan started to get very cynical but then at 11.00 a white van arrived.
There were two of them and when they first started asking me about the job I thought they were from eastern Europe.  OK, I’m attempting to get used to the various accents and I’m also slightly deaf. Smile Eventually I realised they were English and had driven 4 hours from Doncaster leaving at 7.00am.
They did a quick inspection of the existing insulation  in Waiouru before telling me the foam had been very poorly applied with numerous areas needing removal.  I was somewhat disappointed as I’d already removed some poorly applied foam.  If I’d known how to identify the remaining substandard foam I could have also removed that prior to their arrival.  We set to it and ripped out the remaining substandard foam.  The technique is to gently tap the foam with your knuckle.  If it make a “ringing” sound it’s OK.  A “soft thud” means it hasn’t correctly adhered to the steel.  If it hasn’t adhered to the steel then a layer of condensation will build up between the foam and the steel.  Eventually this will rust and the spray foam will fall away.

I’ve always been of the belief that Ben Harp personally applied the spray foam to the boats he built.  I base this on a comment from Tim Tyler that Ben had asked him (Tim) if he (Ben) could spray foam the shell after ours whilst it was at Tim’s premises.  Also, our surveyor had seen spray foam equipment in Ben’s container.  Today I did a more detailed search of the online records at Companies House where I found this……..

Name & Registered Office:
ST16 3FZ

Company No. 06754708

The same address as Ben Harp Narrowboat Builders
The company status: Dissolved 13/07/2010 (NO ACCOUNTS FILED)

So; another failed Ben Harp company which he has walked away from leaving behind a mess.  I suspect he’s just as incompetent a spray foam applicator as he is boat builder.

[Back to today’s work]

My standard of masking the timber battens was acceptable so the contractors started applying the foam.  I was warned there would be a significant amount of foam to be cut back after they had finished.  This was because the existing foam was unevenly applied.  They also wanted to ensure all the steel was adequately covered.

Do not adjust the colour on your screen!  Yes, some of the foam is actually purple.  It’s a new type of foam and the remains of the last job were still in the lines. 
We now have a 2” layer of foam on the walls and ceiling.  The contractors showed me how to cut it back using a 26” cross cut timber saw and then left for Doncaster facing another 4 hour journey.  Four hours may not seem much when driving empty roads in Australia but it’s somewhat more of an ordeal on busy UK roads.

Before they left, the guys advised me to cut back the foam as quickly as I could.  The longer I left it; the harder it would be to cut.  I immediately started by first stripping all the masking tape off the battens.  Then I commenced the cutting back using the saw.  By 5.00pm I had cut back one side above the gunwale line.  I estimate this is about a 5th of the work completed.  Tomorrow I intend to finish all the walls.  At this stage my plan is to leave the ceiling until the floor has been laid.  The ceiling will be the most difficult part of the job and having a level floor will make the task easier.  I’ll also be closer to the ceiling.

So I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow!


Ian said...

The landlady of my local pub was from Doncaster. With her accent, no matter what the subject, it always sounded like she was about to tell you the most hilarious joke you'd ever heard! Doncastrians are just naturally comedic, I think. I smile everytime I hear the accent now. :-)

Glad your wait is over at last! I guess while you're trimming the foam tomorrow, you'll be getting Jan to finish off the blacking? Ian.

Tom and Jan said...

Jan has the very important job of feeding me freshly baked bread and cakes :-)

Davidss said...

Just for clarity, were these the contractors you had been waiting for, or were they a replacement / alternative contractor?

They seem to have had some plus points.

Tom and Jan said...

They were alternative spray foam contractors. The first contractor didn't arrive because he was hospitalised. Andy then arranged for Webster's to do the job. I believe we were quite fortunate as they are based in Doncaster and frequently insulate shells for Wilson-Tyler.