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In this section we advise you, and provide assistance to others on various industry topics.

We need an engineers opionion.

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01 Mar 2014 @ 18:01:26 pm
Neill and MArg
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We had a leak under the bathroom vanity slab which burst. We have tiles that have lifted. When opening the area we found a 300mm hole under the slab. When we put a tape measure in the tape goes in over 2m deep and came out full of mud. We have 3 cracks in the concrete floor under the tiles and a crack in the wall. Three contractors have advised we have an engineer to advise but our insurance co said they will only pay. R2900 towards the damages. The quotes we have had have been R44,000.00 R25,000 for underpinning the foundations. The insurance co says an engineer will cost R17,000.00. We have requested an engineer from them and they said they will send a contractor they use. This contractor also agreed that an engineers opinion is advisable. Our insurance co is saying that the damage can not be from water. They say never in history has water lifted tiles. It is now nearly 3 weeks. I think they are waiting for all the water to dry up so that there is no water evidence. We have been with this insurance co for 25yrs with an average monthly payment of + - R1000.00. What are we paying for if they wont take responsibility for the damage.
They said they will pay R2900, our excess is R1060. If we except the R2900 we will loose out no claim bonus of R3000.00 WHAT A JOKE. Who cares. We are not insuring the building to get a no claim bonus, we are insuring it for when we have a problem like we have.
We are living with our furniture covered on the veranda, have our washing done at my parents and flushing the toilet with a bucket, and living on concrete floors. We can not start doing repairs, because if the problem is fixed there will be no evidence to fight the insurance co.
Neill & MArg
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01 Mar 2014 @ 20:06:05 pm
BrianB
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Marg are you talking about the householders insurance ?

I would take the issue to the oumbudsman if they don't come to the party

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01 Mar 2014 @ 20:07:33 pm
virge
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Hi Neil & MArg,
Shop around and get yourself advice from a structural civil engineer with very good knowledge in foundations. The foundation is the most important part of the house. Forget about 17000 rand, if the foundation is not right you might loose the whole house, you will loose a lot more. On Monday start to do something don't wait. Yes the water pressure can do a lot of damage, can lift your house not only a slab. The clowns from the insurance company are just a bunch of idiots, they employ under qualified staff just to save on wages, and again their aim is not to pay for any claim if possible. Threaten to take them to court, that you had advice from a structural engineer. You can phone me on 0119630510 for more info.
I migrated from Romania 22 years ago and I have a master's degree in civil engineering and BSC in electrical engineering, here I did only electrical engineering work.
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01 Mar 2014 @ 20:08:57 pm
BrianB
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PS sorry to hear of the problem you have. But I would get an engineer to give you advice. 

All insurance companies will try everything to put the blame elsewhere. 

What insurance company is this ?

Post the details on hellopeter as well

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01 Mar 2014 @ 21:07:37 pm
Anonymous

Hi Neil and Marge so sorry to hear about such bad luck.

Who is you insurer?  Water CAN AND WILL  lift tiles. I am with ABSA for my structural and Auto & Gen for household and vehicles,  never experienced such rotten issues with any of these two.

Thats a lot of damage.

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01 Mar 2014 @ 22:40:51 pm
HM
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What is important is to get an independant Civil Engineer from a reputable firm to advise you and who will be willing to take the matter to court on your behalf. I have a feeling this is where this will end up.

Strongs Neill and Marge. 

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02 Mar 2014 @ 04:38:28 am
DR DRAKE GP not a Doctor nor a GP
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Sorry to hear this.

Obviously the damage needs attention.

You need to determine the exact cause of the damage, which may or may not be water. If you lived in Carletonville, you would understand what I am trying to say. Then you must see if that type of damage is covered in the insurance.

 Unfortunately, the onus is on you to prove the cause. If you are covered, you may be able to recover your costs.

Sorry to say, you will probably need legal advice n addition to the engineer

DR DRAKE GP

not a Doctor nor a GP
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02 Mar 2014 @ 06:48:48 am
Anonymous

Hi

Very sorry to hear your problem but I am not sure I understand correctly.

Is this hole (presumably not coverd by concrete) in the foundation or is it in the floor itself ?

The floor concrete is usually 75 mm thick and  repairing/filling the hole is not a problem.

Even if you have cracks in the floor concrete these can be simply repaired but if they are big cracks (more than 2 -3 mm wide and going right throgh the concrete)then something drastic has to be done. I they are small and only on the surface (which I suspect) or thereabouts, fill them and carry on living.....

Also,. it depends on the age of your place. .

Please note that cracks are occuring in floors and walls all the times., some you see and some you don't see.

To me it will appear that from your description, the floor was not cast completely and a hole was left and covered by tiles (I am not quite sure how this could have happened).

It is also not clear where the water was/is coming from (is it ground water which rose up throughthe hole  in the floor concrete?)

Without looking at this floor , it is impossible to form a valid opinion and therefore I would propose that you contact the MASTER BUILDERS ASSOCIAION and ask them for an opinion, they also send out engineers, if neccessary.

That is a cost you cannot get around unless you have a friend or aquaintance who could advise you further.

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02 Mar 2014 @ 06:53:30 am
Anonymous

Insurances will generally NOT PAY if the damage is/was caused by rising ground water or by subsistance, they will pay when the damage occurs throug burst pipes, rain storms , flooding, etc., even accidental damage.

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02 Mar 2014 @ 10:14:27 am
Darren
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We have had a similar issue with Standard bank, the thing I learnt is to persevere, we had a problem with the roof, In the end I asked for an independant assesor to come in. The bank approved assessor tried to claim structural problems and I said that the building was built according to municipal approved plans and that if there was a problem all of this should have been highlighted then. People forget that is what councils job is to oversee.

Anyway the point is that keep pushing them, the other thing is they dont have pay for the cause but they do have to pay for damage surrounding ie tiling etc.I would even take this up with your short term insurance broker if you have one

my claim was paid out 4 days ago from Aug/Sept
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02 Mar 2014 @ 15:21:34 pm
Neill and MArg
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Unfortunately I can not use the advanced button it does not work and if I try to post on the gallery I have the same problem or I would post photo's.
We had a vanity basin that was set in a concrete beam in the bathroom. The front of the bathroom slab was enclosed with brick and plaster. The house is slip level. One story in the front of the house and double story in the back. The top floor of the double story and the single floor are on the same level. The pipe must have been leaking for a long time and we only saw evidence of this when we heard a shewwwwwwwww sound. Previous to this we had tiles lifting and if tapping the tiles they sounded hollow. We did know why. When we lifted the tiles this is when we found the cracks. The area where the hole is under the foundation between split level under the basin area. If I could post photos it would be easier to explain.
As it is nearly a month now we are demanding an answer for the insurance company tomorrow. After that we will contact consumer advise.
Neill & MArg
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02 Mar 2014 @ 15:51:50 pm
Ph . . . .t
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MArg, so sorry to read from your problems. You had some sound advice - ombudsman, second opinion from structural engineer, stay on their case, give them hell. Best of luck.

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02 Mar 2014 @ 16:19:19 pm
Neill and MArg
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Never heard of "ombudsman". If I don't get any satisfaction in the next day or two I will contact them. Thanks everyone.
Neill & MArg
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02 Mar 2014 @ 18:53:35 pm
Japie
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I am really sorry to read/hear about your problem, and i am sure that there are many resources to assist you solving your problem
BUTT
This is a caravanning and outdoor forum not a everyday gribe and problem solving forum.
I do sympathize with Neil and Marg in solving there problem but take it to the right forum
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02 Mar 2014 @ 21:34:06 pm
Neill and MArg
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Oh dear, it is pick on Neill and MArg. We are aware that this is an caravan and camping forum, but sometimes the people we have made friends with do support each other with other matters. I am sure you will find this to be true after you have participated more on the forum. When someone has had a partner in hospital or someone sick the members have all ways supported them. The members on this forum have always support each other when someone has had a problem or something else other than camping they want to share.

I take this opportunity to thank everyone who have given us support and advice.
Neill & MArg
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02 Mar 2014 @ 21:48:25 pm
Anonymous

With all due respect Japie,  this is after all the general chat section where we advice and seek advice.

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03 Mar 2014 @ 06:21:23 am
Butts
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Neill & MArg.   You have not upset anyone except Japie.  I believe the majority of Forum readers would like to help with advice if we knew what to say wrt your problem. 

I also believe that it if one has a problem with the topic, then give it a pass.    In my short experience on this website and its Forums ( or is a Fora - wat sê die Engelse vriende?) I have seen a variety of requests for advice and/or assistance.  In your case, you have turned to what I see as a body of friends that may have had experience in solving your type of problem or who can give advice of where to turn to.

We live in a dolomite area.  Every time it rains and we watch the water damming up, we hope that it does not drain into a sinkhole.  Hoping your problem is less serious than what it sounds like.

Regards

 

 

 

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03 Mar 2014 @ 06:24:30 am
DR DRAKE GP not a Doctor nor a GP
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Agree with Butts - here we become one BIG family!

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03 Mar 2014 @ 07:45:13 am
Ph . . . .t
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MArg, give no attention to that remark. If we cannot ask our best "friends and family" for advice here, I would rather not be part of the forum at all.

The ombudsman is like a person.organization looking after the interests of the man on the street, whether you have problem with insurance claim, medical, car dealer or whatever.

In your policy document  (home owners insurance), normally close to the back on the contract, the telephone number of the Ombudsman for Short Term Insurance MUST be displayed.

If you cannot find it, gooi me an e-mail to fppretorius@gmail.com, I will mail it to you. You still might have my e-mail address on you computer??

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03 Mar 2014 @ 08:24:49 am
Kurt
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Japie, as jy nie iets positief het om te sÍ oor n onderwerp, slaan hom oor. Dis soos tv kyk. Kyk jy na programme waarvan jy nie hou nie?
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03 Mar 2014 @ 09:10:14 am
BrianB
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Agree with Butts - here we become one BIG family!

 

Plus 1 

Marg ask anything you want we will always try assist Cool

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03 Mar 2014 @ 09:48:04 am
AndrewPhilip (sadly leaving SA)
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Japie has been a member for 3 years, and the 1st anyone hears from him is to slap someone down???

Japie, perhaps you could point out a community based forum specialising in civil engineering and/or insurance claims, that deals with issues in laymans terms??? Did'nt think so.

Sorry Marg, I have no relevant info to add, but I hope you come right. That hole sounds like a headache no-one needs!

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03 Mar 2014 @ 09:49:55 am
Neill and MArg
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Thanks guys. We have decided to appoint an engineer of our own and then take it from there. I tried to connect the hosepipe to the washing machine that is on the veranda. It could only happen to me the bucket leaked all over the place. Neill then took the swimming pool pipe and put the outlet in it. It came out. I just lost it.
Grrrrrrrrr. I then came to my senses and said I will not let a flooded veranda get the better of me. Decided to go for swim with a beer and let the washing finish. The veranda was wet and could not get any wetter. Can not wait for the 4th April. We are going with our church to camp at Pennington. It can not come quicker.
Neill & MArg
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03 Mar 2014 @ 12:55:43 pm
SOREN ZN
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Hi Neill and MArg,

I hope it goes well for you. This forum is like facebook, but for the mature peapleWink. Keep on as we are. Err does rugby have anything to do with campingSmile.

Rgds, Ole.

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03 Mar 2014 @ 15:39:13 pm
Anonymous

Neil and Marg,  your photos about your hobbies came on very nicely,  that worked fine,  have you changed your browser / hardware since then?  My reason for asking is i also battle to upload photos,  some will actually popup twice in the same reply (look under " hulp met alarm").

Another reason i am interested to follow your topuc is:  In the mid 1980s i lived at Taaibos and the house we had was build on concrete pylons. If you sat down at one end of the house, you could actually see the otherside of the house. I remember nailing some "ogies draad" to the wall and ground as my daughter at the time was just over a year old and we we worried that she could fall into that empty cavity below the house. 

From what i gather here your problem is very differend from what we had some years ago when my shower leaked,  and the tiles came off as a result. ABSA insurance covered our damage."as a result" but the plumbing i had to cover.

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03 Mar 2014 @ 19:46:12 pm
Deuce
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I normally don't give my 2c unless I have something of value to add... However -
Japie, my blood boils. If you don't like the thread don't read it. As you may have noticed by the strong response against your comment, it was not appreciated. Caravanning and camping is the common denominator of those that use forum. Other topics come up and are discussed by people with common interests.

You may have noticed in your three years of membership that there are different topic headings. One of them is FAQ and GENERAL CHAT. That is what this falls under. If you don't like it, hard luck ! - there are other forums out there which love to get fussy about content. Join them or hang out here with a better attitude.

PS: Neil and Marg. So sorry to read about your hassles. Keep us posted.
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03 Mar 2014 @ 19:54:03 pm
Ph . . . .t
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OK people, let's leave it at that, and let the person be, as well as his remarks. It is the general feeling here that it was not appropriate, and it was so expressed, but PLEASE, let's not go scalp-hunting any further. 

Said person can apologise, or not, but in keeping on with it is not going to bring MArg closer to any solution!!!!

Sorry for this post, but I really feel that we are not going to gain anything by this.

Ek hebt gesegt!!!! what I feel!!!!

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04 Mar 2014 @ 16:05:40 pm
Neill and MArg
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Just letting you know, we got our own engineer. The engineer assessed the damage and discovered that there was a huge void where the water had created a path. He said we were right in being concerned and said we discovered this just in time before the weight of the upper story caused a major problem.
He said we need to get it fixed like yesterday.
Neill & MArg
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04 Mar 2014 @ 17:34:00 pm
Errol
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Glad to hear you getting somewhere. But where is the water coming from? You mentioned swimming pool earlier on. Gosh hope its not from the pool!

December 2014 Camp
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05 Mar 2014 @ 20:20:50 pm
BrianB
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Thanks for the update Marg keep us posted 

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05 Mar 2014 @ 20:28:23 pm
Anonymous

Thanks for the update Marg keep us posted 

Agree.

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06 Mar 2014 @ 15:01:18 pm
Greybeard
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Hi Guys. A bit of a long winded response but it may help:

1. A "void" in soil is invariably caused by a water leak which slowly leeches out the silty soil (fines). All "sink holes" are caused this way. To avoid this, periodically switch off all taps around the house and make sure that the water meter is not registering any flow.

Once the water ingress has been stopped, you will have to determine the stability of the soil and a soilcrete or high slump concrete can be used to fill the void. You MUST get approval from the insurance company for the repair before it is done as if there is a problem later, they will reject your claim.

2.The short term insurance ombudsman contact is ValerieMngadi on valerie@osti.co.za. Unfortunately, she only acts as a mediator between the insurance and the complaintant and does not get involved in resolving a technical matter. For this you would have to take legal council.

3.It is reasonable that you may be able to claim on the basis that the leak was undetectable owing to being under concrete - make sure that you can prove that your water usage per month over the past couple of years has been constant and not risen in the past short term.

4.The moment that you accept any payment from any insurance company you are deemed to have accepted their ruling and no further payment for this issue will ever be entertained. Be careful that they do not merely pay the amount the feel directly into your account.

5.It has been my experience that insurance companies currently automatically reject your claim but with threats and perserverence, you may occassionally get a fair compensation.

Good luck.

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06 Mar 2014 @ 16:02:59 pm
Neill and MArg
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Thank you for your advice. The engineer says the damage is water damage. Once we receive his official report we will have something to fight with. We have told the insurance co we do not except their assessment.
Neill & MArg
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06 Mar 2014 @ 16:38:06 pm
Anonymous

Good luck Neil and Marg. Hopefully they will see their error in judgment.

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14 Mar 2014 @ 14:52:41 pm
Back Packer
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Hi Neil and Marge. Hope its going better at this time or are you still having a junior war with the insurance?

"Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."
-James Baldwin-
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14 Mar 2014 @ 19:41:22 pm
Ph . . . .t
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MArg, please, do give us an update on all the "happenings" !!!! concerning the outcome of engineer's report, insurance's response, the whole story, and if you  can "colour" it with photos, even better!!!

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14 Mar 2014 @ 21:32:05 pm
Neill and MArg
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Hi Frans, Thanks for asking. The engineer confirmed our suspicions. We have had the voids under the foundations and the floor slab pumped in with concrete. 9cubic M of concrete) We have removed all the tiles and had fine mesh steel grates concreted in over the cracks in the floor slab. All the repairs are been done under the supervision of an engineer. The plumber and the builder have finished their side and now we are in the process of retiling. 60sqM in the lounge kitchen and bar area. (Neill has just finished his bar and had to remove the lot, and it is all standing outside on the veranda with the rest of the house) The veranda is another 55sqM and the bathroom walls 30sqM. Up to date we have spent R56,800.00. We have taken photo's of every step of the whole process. Next week we are resending all the costs and the engineers report to the insurance co. If we get no joy from them again we will have to pull out the big guns.
Unfortunately for some reason I can not post anything under advance only basic, therefore I can not post photo's.
Neill & MArg
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14 Mar 2014 @ 22:05:50 pm
Anonymous

Thanks for keeping us updated Marg, realy hoping you come right with the insurance.

Pitty you cant get pictures posted I am very keen to see not only the final product,  but slso Neil's bar, the last we saw was with the supports still on it.

 

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15 Mar 2014 @ 06:07:02 am
Ph . . . .t
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MArg, thanks for sharing. I understand about photos, and also with insurance sh*t still to be sorted out, Stand strong, and do remember he Ombudsman should you have trouble from insurance, Keep all invoices, receipts and reports in safe place!!!!\

Do go and enjoy the Pennington camp, you all need it!!!!

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15 Mar 2014 @ 17:41:21 pm
Neill and MArg
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Just tried Good Chrome.
Neill & MArg
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15 Mar 2014 @ 17:47:58 pm
Anonymous

All i can say is "sterkte". 

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15 Mar 2014 @ 18:43:57 pm
BrianB
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Marg thanks for the photos. From the one photo looks like you could have made a wine cellar down there Wink

Did you find the source of the water?

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15 Mar 2014 @ 19:58:52 pm
Ph . . . .t
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MArg, thanks for showing us/sharing, all I can say, is - sterkte!!!!

Brian, before MArg and Neill bought the place, it must have  belonged to Osama Bin Laden!!!!! was his SA hidaway!!!

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15 Mar 2014 @ 19:59:13 pm
Neill and MArg
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Hi Brian, yes thank goodness. The pipes have been replaced. It was a main water pipe that feed water to the bathroom. We just uncovered the furniture because we could smell a terrible stink and discovered that the top draw of the freezer had not been emptied and after six weeks it was really ripe. The smell was so bad even little Marshall vomited.
Neill & MArg
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15 Mar 2014 @ 20:09:33 pm
Kurt
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Neill and Marg, it looks like it never going to end, every day something new. Yes, and now to get the smell out of the freezer. Put peases of coal in the freezer. It worked for us. At this stage it is not your biggest worry. Good luck

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16 Mar 2014 @ 12:51:03 pm
Neill and MArg
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Kurt, thanks for the advice. Will charcoal or briquettes work. I have washed the freezer drawer with everything I can think of and it still stinks.
Neill & MArg
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16 Mar 2014 @ 13:21:24 pm
Ph . . . .t
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MArg, wash fridge with strong mixture of Milton, then wash it with strong mixture of vanilla essence, should do the trick, You can also leave a container with vanilla essence 50% mix with water in the fridge for day or so. I think best thing will be to leave the fridge door open as well

The pieces of coal that Kurt is mentioning, is actually coal or anthracite? spelling, you can try charcoal or briquettes as well. 

Many, many years ago my mom used to put a piece of coal in the fridge permanently.

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16 Mar 2014 @ 23:22:54 pm
Kurt
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Hallo Marg. We have not tried charcoal or brickets. After 20years we stil keep a piece in the fridge. It realy helps to keep the smells away. We also did what Frans said, by washing with vanilla essance. The thing is, that the smell does not go away overnight.

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17 Mar 2014 @ 06:36:49 am
Back Packer
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Wow the pics look hectic, thanks for the update. Realy hope all gets sorted soon .

"Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."
-James Baldwin-
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29 Mar 2014 @ 21:11:50 pm
Anonymous

Neil and Marge,  how are things progressing there?  being thinking of you guys all day. Hope to hear some good news 

God bless.

Johann

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30 Mar 2014 @ 07:00:19 am
Neill and MArg
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HI Johann, Our news is good, the job is now complete. That is the building repair side. Now Neill has to put back all the bits and pieces. Will try to post photo's and update later. We are just getting ready for church.
Neill & MArg
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