Over the past few days, we have had some nice, sunny, weather. Over the next couple days, we'll continue to have nice weather that is considerably warmer than what we've had recently. This is a very welcome change as we understand more of what we need to do in order to get the walls dry. Most importantly, we need constant heat inside the house to dry out the wet plaster that will probably take months to dry completely. However, the more heat we can get in the house now will lower the humidity and decrease the chance of mold and/or possible problematic areas in the walls. If we don't keep the heat up and the weather gets cold again on the outside, we are taking a high risk of having issues with the straw inside the walls. By the end of next week, we will have the heating system installed in the house and then we will be able to control the inside temperature much better. In the meantime, we will need to artificially keep the inside extra warm in the inside during the day and night so we are currently making extra efforts to ensure this happens. And, yes, the warm/sunny weather outside will help dry the walls from that side, as well. Thank you, Mother Nature!!! We really appreciate it!!
(above) This is the same area that we took (and posted) a picture of two days ago. After drying the area out with a hair dryer, we smoothed out the surface, added the wood stripping to the side of the door frame and added the necessary caulking to the area between door frame and plaster. We hope this gives support and strength to this area of the wall. We will be doing one more coat on the outside next year and this may be one of the areas that needs to have some extra work on it next summer before the final plaster is applied.
(above) Here is a picture of the horigotatsu area being built. the middle open area will be a table that your feet can go under (and also get warm in winter months). The outer edge will be tatami mat seating. The mat towards the circular window will have a method to raise it and retrieve things we'll store there. The front side of the raised structure will have sliding doors for us to retrieve other things stored in this space. Finally, the table in the middle will also be able to lay flat and become a sleeping surface for guests.
Now...after taking the above picture, we could really see a section of the wall that needs drying. It's amazing how some things are not visible to the naked eye, but when you take a picture, it comes out. We are focusing a small heater on this corner of the house to see if we can get it warmed up.
(above) We had leftover ceiling material (bamboo reed mat) from the 2nd floor so we added it to the wall here that leads to the ofuro (bath) room....and also another door that leads outside (where we will eventually add an outside, rotenburo, bath).