Ok, its been a while since my last entry, but we are now on the cusp of beginning our renovation that has been in the design stages for some time, and we are now ready to appoint a builder, this is when the fun stuff of building begins and I hope you will want to share in our journey.

Since undertaking a soil investigation a few months ago and finding out that the soil around our house is to the point of saturation, I have been planning to inspect the storm water drainage around the house. I began by checking where the downpipe locations were and then checking where the water was to go, once it went down the downpipe. I found that on our house there was only one functional downpipe out of three, the rest of the water would either come out of the (rusted) holes in the guttering and the others in the non-existent downpipes and straight onto the ground and then under the house and around the footings.

This would not be a real problem if we lived in a low reactive soil area or if we lived near the beach, but in Yarraville our soil is considered highly reactive, which means that when water is added to it, it swells and alternatively when water/moisture is removed it shrinks. So you can imagine that when its dry, the soil around our house shrinks the footings consolidate and when it rains the soil swells and causes movement, this is what causes all of the cracking in our beloved houses and homes.

To minimize the effects of movement created by varying moisture contents of the soil, it is important, particularly in highly reactive areas to keep the moisture content of the soil surrounding the house at a constant level, this is either by adding the correct amount of moisture consistently or by keeping the soil around the house as dry as possible. Given that we are in a drought, I have chosen the latter which means that we have to get the water away from the ground around the footings. In my next entry I will go into how we managed to do that and share with you the joys we had in doing it over an extended weekend.