Whilst we were happy that the new roof was keeping the cottage dry inside, we had concerns about some damaged siding and we made that one of our first priorities to sort out before the winter arrived.
It seems the damage to the siding was caused when the tree fell on the roof. There didn’t seem to be signs of water damage in that area inside the cottage, but we couldn’t really see what was going on behind the drywall and didn’t think it was a good idea to leave it until the following year to sort out.
Thankfully we found some extra siding under the cottage. I don’t think we would have be able to match it if we had to buy new siding, so we were extremely pleased to find some that had been left over and kept. It took some time to fix because we had to remove the corner cover strip to get access to replace the damaged area.
Thankfully the job went well and you can barely see where the damage was. Unfortunately we didn’t get to sort out the damage under the eaves. That looked to be a much more complex problem to fix and we hoped that it was fairly watertight there with the roof mostly protecting it. We checked to make sure it wasn’t an opening that critters could find their way into and then decided that was a job that could slide further down the list.
You might also notice that we hung a wasp decoy to try and discourage any rebuilding of a hive at that end of the cottage. There seemed to be some interest in that area while we were working on it. We hoped that the “paper lantern” would fool them and as we didn’t have any return the following year I guess it did its job.
There is a fair amount of room under the cottage. It is a crawl space, but a good place to store spare siding and drywall or other things you don’t want hanging around in the cottage. It is open to outside, so it isn’t a substitute for a shed, but when you have no shed it is the best option we have. We keep our extra wood shavings for the “solids” bucket under the cottage, but I must admit I have put them so that I don’t have to venture too far into the creepy depths. I am not sure how many spiders might have made their home under there and I don’t really like the idea of any encounters with them. Now it must be said that the outhouse seems to have cornered the market in housing spiders, but to me under the cottage looks like it might be a spider’s idea of prime real-estate.
There is evidence that someone set up home here and perhaps it explains why there does seem to be a lack of spider population under the cottage. However, now it is vacant there is no telling what might be lurking under there and just waiting to pounce!
So is the cottage now watertight? One night we had a huge storm while we were staying there. After the storm we could hear a dripping sound at the end of the cottage. Our hearts sank as we were convinced that we had a leak. We hunted high and low. Everything seemed dry inside, but we could still hear the dripping. We finally traced it to the downpipes from the guttering. The guttering was full of pine needles and the drip, drip was the water making its way through the needles and into the downspouts. Yet again we reshuffled our list and cleaning out the guttering and later installing gutter guards became a job we turned our attention to. I think we can safely say that the cottage is now watertight!