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Are you cold and miserable

Are you cold and miserable

Its raining cats and dogs today, grey skies, cold and miserable. One of those days when you have to motivate yourself to go out.

coimbra, stone house,damp wall, cold house,mold,,Are you cold and miserable,Portugal. castelo construction,
Are you cold and miserable

Although it is late November it is not cold enough to have the wood stove or central heating on until around 4 pm. (I live in a properly insulated and heated home)

I recently met a couple who have lived here in central Portugal just under three years the other day they both said they had never been so cold in their lives as their first year in Portugal this is something we hear often from people that we meet socially. So why is it so common?.

I believe that there is often a blindness or mental block (I don’t know what to call it) when it comes to home buyers thinking about, heating, cooling and ventilation.

It could be because most people have only visited Portugal in summer when it’s hot and sunny all day especially July and August up until the first half of September. Cold and Portugal just doesn’t seem to equate.

Take the Coimbra area where I live as an example. Coimbra, situated in central Portugal, enjoys a climate cooler than Lisbon and, is normally warmer than Porto. Temperatures here are mild with warm summers. The area within 10Km of the coast is mildest and as you head further east to locations like Arganil, Castanheira de Pera and Serta you get a little more rain than Coimbra.

One thing that is worth knowing if you are house hunting. Those villages strung out in lines along hillsides are built there for a reason. They are usually at low cloud level because the rely on the early morning fog/mist/rain to help water their crops. Old villages in Portugal are always located next to a natural water supply because that’s house people lived. Growing things on their land that the family could eat and sell.

Enough about the weather let’s take a look at why your home is so cold.

The average Portuguese home is as well protected from drafts as your home in the UK if you left the back door wide open all winter. Coupled with the fact that very few homes are insulated at all, have draughty single glazed windows and doors and a heating system that is totally inadequate.
The lack of insulation, dramatic daily temperature changes during the day, high humidity drafts poor heating systems it’s a recipe for months of misery.
We understand how to make an old house warm and a new house as warm as you would expect. Contact Kelvin by email kelvin@casteloconstruction.com and tell us about your problem.

This site has very detailed information on Portuguese weather.
https://www.climatestotravel.com/climate/portugal

In fact, annual precipitation amounts to 1,450 mm (57 inches) in Braga, and 1,100 millimetres (45 in) in Porto, while it drops to around 900 mm (35 in) in Coimbra, to 700 mm (27.5 in) in Lisbon, and to about 500 mm (20 in) in Algarve. The rainiest season is winter.
Winter, from December to February, is mild on the coast, even in the northern part, since the average temperature in January goes from 9 °C (48 °F) in Porto, to 11 °C (52 °F) in Lisbon, to 12 °C (53.5 °F) in Faro.

In winter, there are periods of good weather, because the Azores Anticyclone can move over the country even in this season, but there are also waves of bad weather, with rain and wind. Sometimes, gale force winds may blow from the ocean, especially in the north.
The position of the country, overlooking the ocean, provides good shelter from cold winds and night frosts, which in fact are very rare and not intense: the coldest records along the coast are around -1/-2 °C (28/30 °F).

Many people dream of buying a property next to a lake or river in rural Portugal. castelo construction

Rain pouring into homes

Rain pouring into their home

 

The winter is on its way at last and we are suffering rain pouring into homes, storm force winds and heavy rain with occasional hailstones so it won’t be long before we receive calls from people who say they have rain pouring into their homes.

 

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Rain pouring into their home

We all rest easy here in Portugal during the long spring and summer month. Our motivation is to find shade not think about rain and hour home flooding or leaking.

That’s why it’s a shock to the system when it actually happens.

Rains pouring into their home where does it come from

 

The roof,

Adjoining buildings

Under the external doors

Through the window frames

Through the floor

These are the most likely problem areas –

Missing or broken roof tiles, Bent or rusted through roof flashings, Blocked gutters, and downpipes. Miss aligner roof tiles due to the roof timbers sagging.

Adjoining buildings – usually, it’s down to bent or rusted through flashings between the two houses, it could also be caused by an internal rainwater pipe built into the wall.

Under the external doors – Portuguese doors rarely incorporate a thresh system and use a piece of stone or marble. The wind can simply blow the water under the door. You can install a thresh by simply cutting the door and installing one underneath.

Through the window frames – The window frames in Portuguese houses and apartments are fitted with a damp proof course around them like they are in the UK. They rely on a thin bead of silicon sealer the keep out the rain. Trouble is these silicon joints are often applied to damp stone or render so don’t stick properly. You may have to cut them out and reapply silicon on a warm dry day.

Through the floor – This is usually the most problematic area. We are used to damp floors here in old houses and some more recent builds!. The floor will not have had a damp proof course installed so when there is a sudden downpour rain from outside cam come under the house and appear in pools on your ground floors. This problem can be treated but it is very disruptive and costly. Insist on a damp proof membrane being installed.

 

info@casteloconstruction.com

Doors through stone house walls

Doors through stone house walls

You have found the ideal property in Portugal; perhaps it’s a traditional stone built house with lots of character but not much interior light.

It could be for instance that you want to gain access a nice area of the garden without going around the house or your plans for remodeling the interior space require a new entrance door through stone house walls.

Doors through stone house walls, Houseinpenela,
Doors through stone house walls

How do you do it, can it actually be done, what are the potential problems.

Castelo Construction has been carrying out this type of structural work for many years and with very good results. You can have a normal width door or even patio style doors knocked through your brick or stone walls even if they are over a meter thick.

 

How do you do it?

With a great deal of care and experience. This may sound obvious but taking a section out of the structural walls of a building can be very dangerous because of falling stones and debris. The work is usually done with three people.

Can it actually be done?

Because you are altering the structure of a home it is very important to make sure in advance that it can be achieved. It is not a case of trying a location and seeing what happens next. Our craftsmen understand the stresses and building methods that they have to deal with which requires years of experience.

Doors through stone house walls,penelahouse
patio doors through stone house walls

What are the potential problems?

If the stone walls of house have an uneven amount of stress they can buckle and collapse if a hole is cut in the side of them.

Remember the stones in old houses are only held together with mud. You can experience the effect of cutting a large hole in a house by cutting a hole in a cardboard box.  You will see that it immediately becomes unstable.

Which is why we use our many years of experience a great deal of care and tried a trusted techniques to support the house while the work is being carried out.

It is important to understand how dangerous this kind of work can be. In the UK last year  11% of workers suffered serious injury from falling objects.

“demolition sites pose particular dangers”

 https://www.injurylawyer.com/blog/construction-worker-deaths-and-demolition-hazards-prompt-osha-news-release/

 To discuss your building in Portugal contact info@casteloconstruction.com

Doors through stone house walls,Doors through brick house walls
Doors through house walls