New Winter Tyres for the Audi A6

With all the crazy winter snow we're having, i decided to treat the Audi to some winter tyres.

The Pirelli P-Zeros that it had on the OEM 19inch Le-Mans alloy wheels, were useless in the snow and even with the 4WD Quattro, i was still left slipping and sliding and scrabbling for grip.

So here they are, a full set of 18inch "Hankook Winter I*Cept Evos" on a set of Diamond SC7 wheels.
I opted for these wheels as the 7 twin spoke design looks pretty similar to the OEM Audi wheels so many wont notice i've swapped to winter wheels.

Lots have people have said I'm crazy for spending a large chunk of money on a set of winter wheels and tyres, but over in Europe, its law in many countries to have winter tyres on the car  in winter and summer tyres in summer. Also, whats the point in having a 4x4 car in the snow with summer tyres?

 As you can see from the picture, the tread on the winter tyres is much chunkier and better designed for gripping on cold snowy roads.
What you cant see from the photo is that winter tyres have a higher silica content which means the rubber in the tyres stays pliable at much lower temperatures compared to summer tyres.
When summer tyres go had and lose grip, winter tyres stay soft proving more grip on cold wet roads.

In fact winter tyres are best whenever the temperature drops below 7degrees, which in the UK is quite a few months of the year!!

Sawed my Thumb Nail in Half!!

Yes thats right folks, i put a saw right through my left thumbnail!!
I was up in the loft, sawing some wood for my loft boarding project when the saw slipped and went right across my left thumbnail - outch!!!

Blood EVERYWHERE!! and my nail was cut in half and hanging off...

The photo was taken after i got the bleeding to stop and after i'd pushed the two halves of the nail back together...

I made a big, comedy bandage from cotton wool and insulation tape and went back up into the loft to get more work done.

Concrete Sectional Garage Condensation Problem

Last year I decided to replace my pair of old dilapidated concrete/asbestos pre-fab garages with one nice new double garage.

I looked into the cost of a brick built garage and got so many ridiculous quotes from greedy builders, that i decided a new sectional concrete garage was the best way to proceed. Not only was a concrete garage significantly cheaper than a brick garage, it was also a lot less mess. Also, as a proper brick built garage would take a few weeks to build, whereas the sectional concrete garage could be erected in a single day!

I eventually settled for a concrete garage from Leofric.  Leofric have been around for ages, and the sales guy was good and not pushy. Leofric also offered some really nice options like extra wide rear security door to fit my motorbike through, and Horman garage door on the front. All in all, im very pleased with my Leofric concrete garage!

The downside of all concrete sectional garages (not just Leofric garages) is condensation. I knew this when i placed my order, but decided that the money saved (compared to the cost of a brick built garage) could be spent on lining and insulating the concrete garage to prevent condensation and make it a nice place to be.

Condensation visible on garage roof panel
Condensation in garages forms when warm air meets a cold surface. The moisture in the air condensates onto the cold surface, and will eventually drip off onto whatever is below. In the bad old days of sectional concrete garages, this meant that in the winter, the warmer air inside the garage would condensate on the cold metal roof, and eventually drip down onto your car, tools, bikes etc - kind of like its raining inside!!

To help tackle the problem of indoor rain, Leofric, and most other pre-fab garage companies now coat the inside of the metal roof with an "Anti Drip" coating. This is basically just a layer of fury material glued to the underside of the roof that traps the condensation and prevents it dripping off. It doesn't prevent condensation, it simply traps the moisture resulting in a cold, wet roof.

Damp Wall panels from Condensation
In fact its not just the metal roofs of concrete garages that suffer from condensation, that walls can also get cold enough to allow condensation to form, and since there is no Anti-Drip coating on the walls, the moisture runs down the walls and forms puddles on the floor below - not great!
You can see in the picture to the right, the three inner panels look darker that the outer panels. the darker colour is due to condensation forming on the

So, since condensation only forms on cold surfaces, the only way to prevent condensation from forming, is to remove all of the cold surfaces! sounds simple right?? well, its more tricky than you might think...

Many people have tried just sticking loft insulation to the roof and walls of concrete garages and boarding over it. The problem with this approach is that if there is any gap between the cold surface and the insulation, warm air can get trapped, causing even more condensation! you then end up with soggy insulation, and a real soggy mess... Worst still is that many people board over the insulation, so they dont see the condensation.. the problem is hidden, but its not gone away. with time the boarding will get wet, and they will find themselves having to redo everything from scratch.

My solution to the problem of condensation on concrete garage roofs and walls is Spray Foam. By spraying expanding polyurethane foam directly onto the inside of the roof and walls, an insulation layer is formed, meaning that there will be no surfaces cold enough for condensation to form! I can then board over the walls and ceiling to hide the uneven foam surface.

The only downside of my plan is that spray foam is not cheap, its messy, and I'll have to wait for the weather to be warmer before I can apply it to my garage roof and walls.... hurry up summer!!!