November 28, 2006

Fixing a Hole

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:00 am by dgcombs

“”I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wandering where it will go I’m filling the cracks that ran though the door and kept my mind from wandering where it will go And it really doesn’t matter if I’m wrong I’m right where I belong”” the Beatles
Yes, we’re fixing a hole at the ol’ homestead. Downstairs in the once family room, once Coley and Demian’s bedroom, then Demian’s bedroom and future bedroom for Katie, we had a crack in the foundation. Hooooo-boy did that rain ever drop in on us unexpectedly often in the middle of the night. It was a quiet leak, I’ll give it that. So Linda took off all the sheet rock and other building materials. She and Katie went at it with a Makita hammer drill widened it ever so slightly. As you can see, it runs the full length of the wall.
So Katie made an extra effort (well, it *was* going to be *her* room) and dug a hole outside to make sure we’d get to it on both the outside and the inside. She dug down quite a bit and exclaimed, “”why there’s just *SAND* under our house!”” And then quieter, “”Oh, it’s SUPPOSED to be that way. Good!””

After the two of them gave it the old college try, I took a crack at it. Using a 3/8″” bit and 1/2″” bit, I finally got through to the outside from the inside and inside from the outside. It was slow going, particularly since the repair guides say you have to drill a dovetail into the concrete wall. R-i-i-i-i-g-h-t. Apparently the guy who writes that stuff has never sat down in the cold damp recently dug dirt leaning over into a hole with a $200 hammer drill between his leges and tried to drill a dovetail hole in a concrete wall! But we got as close as we could with the tools at our disposal. And it wasn’t just a joint effort of Katie, Linda and me. We all gave a little of our selves to make this crack give up the ghost. Speaking of which, some of our tools gave up the ghost as well! The drill bits that didn’t make it and the chuck key that no longer has enough oomph to crank down on the chuck. Not pictured here is the Chuck who had decided to take a break…
We got a bucket of Hydraulic cement over at Home Depot. The mixing instructions say four parts cement to one part water. Well, that’s almost solid. So we went slightly thinner. Hmmmmmm… we finished the cement before we finished filling the crack. So we had to go over to Home Depot ONE MORE TIME (I think there should be a rule about that, you *never* go to Home Depot for the last time, do you?). But oh, no! They were out of the “”small”” buckets of hydraulic cement. All they had were the “”large”” buckets. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll find _something_ to do with the left over cement later. We have now filled it with hydraulic cement and are keeping our fingers crossed!And *that’s* how I spent my birthday. Next year, I’m going out for ice cream!

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