Efflorescence in our cellar

Since moving in I’ve noticed a strange white fur growing on the walls and floor of the cellar. Originally I just figured it was mould caused by the damp in the cellar and ignored it, but yesterday I went into the cellar and noticed it’d grown all over the solid stone table that’s down there. It wasn’t on it the day before, somehow it’d just magically sprung up overnight.

Having lived in mouldy houses before, I’ve never encountered the stuff just appearing overnight. A bit of Googling told me that it was something called efflorescence, a deposit of minerals and salts that leech out of stone and masonry that is damp. It makes sense I suppose, brickwork can’t go mouldy it grows slime and moss instead.

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Welcome to the freezer

My house is so cold! It’s one of those red-brick victorian terraced houses that had no insulation because it wasn’t invented back then. Also, with a fire place in each room who needs insulation? Just chuck another log on.

Only this is 2008 and all the fireplaces have been bricked up, which is a shame. There is central heating and it does work, in every room except the front room, the kitchen and my bedroom – conveniently the three largest rooms in the house. Well I lie, the heating works fine, it’s just not enough to heat the rooms effectively and I think it’s down to the crap insulation.

I have a thermometer in my bedroom, the highest it gets up to is 16c and that’s during the day when the heating isn’t on! At night it drops to about 10c, with 6c being the lowest recorded (ever slept in your fridge?).

After coming home today I found a letter from the landlord saying they want to arrange a house inspection at some point. In anticipation of this I have done some tidying up. While picking up some random stuff from my bedroom floor I noticed this behind my chest of drawers…

Isn’t that nice! For the curious, here’s a closeup…

Needless to say the heating has been cranked up some more and the timer altered to run for longer. There’s also a fan heater whirring away up there now in an attempt to dry the room out. I think I’m on a losing battle though, what with the space under the house containing a large pool of water…