Monday 18 June 2012

Gutters at Last

 Two of our longest standing story lines draw naturally to a conclusion. Mum's Fiat Panda has to be re-presented to Carrick on Shannon's NCT (Car Testing) station for it's re-test, resplendent in new front tyres and lower wishbones at silly o'clock on the 13th. Unlucky for some, but not for us today, as the car passes easily and we come away with the required multi coloured slip of paper to go in the third pocket of our windscreen stickers making us finally legal on that car, at last, displaying, as required by Law, proof of insurance, road tax and NCT test.
 On the same day we are hoping that the apron concreting guys will also show up and finish the concreting but the Ready-Mix boys are unable to deliver, so we must wait till tomorrow. However, out of the blue Gutters O'Grady phone. These guys priced the job up yonks ago and then vanished. It feels like about 6 weeks but might be less. Sparks was still around when they came, measured up and explained the method of producing formed aluminium profiles. Nobody uses plastic guttering lengths or cast iron any more unless they are made of money. We agreed the price and then waited for the call. And waited. And waited.
 Then they take us by surprise by phoning on the morning of the NCT test and asking whether they can come and do the job that same day. Of course they can. especially now there is no new wet concrete for them to put their ladders in by mistake.

2 guys arrive, the boss and an Eastern European lad named Denis. In 6 hours from about 11:30 to 17:30 they whizz round whipping off the old brittle and broken metal gutters and pulling out or breaking off the old supports. They make new gutter lengths using a fascinating machine in the back of the lorry. The machine holds a reel of sheet aluminium about 18 inches wide but feeds it through a forming machine which bends it into gutter shapes. These lengths slowly emerge from the back of the lorry and the 2nd man just supports the weight of the free end and walks away from the lorry till the first guy gets the length he needs and stops the machine to guillotine the end off. Ends are crimped on with pliers and sealed with mastic. The shape includes the brackets inside the gutter trough, which will be fixed to the fascias with special fixing screw/nail things.

It is quite funny to see, in side view, the man apparently pulling a length of gutter way too long to have been in the lorry, out of its back. Sparks tells us it looks even more bizarre when the machine is in a short vehicle like a Transit van.

So, the boys fit all the horizontals and then run all the down-pipes to direct all our storm water into the drain gulleys and so, under the new yard, to the dug-out ditch below the house. Next time it rains we all enjoy watching the water being directed 'properly' and hearing it gurgle down the drains. We enjoy even more that it is no longer pouring off roof ends and down walls, filling window boxes to overflowing and water-falling past windows. There seems to be a lot less making puddle in the yard, too!

That's more like it!

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