Friday, June 13, 2014

Day 66-68: Prepping Foundation for Waterproofing

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

It's been a long three days of working on the house. Wednesday through Friday I headed up there after work and worked until past dark. I'm getting a pretty good workout in each day.

One of the things left over after a basement is finished is form ties. These are metal pieces that protrude out of the concrete on each side about two inches. Their purpose is the hold the forms in place while curing. The need to be removed once the foundation is cured. This is done by whacking them a few good blows with a hammer. I got to where I could do it in one blow. The kids, Mandy, Steve and Kim all helped. This was one of the funner things we've done so far. All the kids could be involved, and there's something satisfying about hitting things with a hammer and making them break. It took us about 45 minute to do the whole house.

We had a lot of rain over last weekend and early this week. It filled up our basement and excavation with water and caused some of the walls of the excavation to cave in, depositing dirt (which turned to mud) on top of our footings. We had hoped to apply the waterproofing this week, but it needs to be applied to a clean, dry foundation, so we had to put it off a couple of days and spend those evenings cleaning up the footings.

The east and west sides of the house were the most buried. The east side had anywhere from six inches to one foot of mud on the footings. That doesn't sound like a lot until you have to haul it out. Since our house is in Clay County, the mud of course is clay mud, which tends to stick to the shovel, hoe, or whatever tool you're trying to use to get it out. I started out by shoveling it and flinging it up and out of the foundation (about 10' deep). This worked until I ran out of steam and the shovel was too heavy from being caked with mud. Then I hoed it out towards each end of the footing. This seamed to work the best. Steve, Kim, Mandy and the kids all helped at various points in the process.

The west side was also buried, but was much drier overall. Kim helped and got half of it cleared out for me. The other half was, instead of a soupy mud, more of the clumpy mud/dirt combo. I tried several methods to get it out, but eventually found that throwing the dirt clods and mud clumps out by hand was the most efficient. It took me about 2 hours worth of flinging to get it cleared out. Reminded me of the monkeys that fling poo. That was me.

Once I had most of the mud out I was left with a mud/water mess along the top of the footing. The footing needed to be dry and clean. I used the a leaf blower to blow out any standing water. Then I used a broom and a hoe to clear out most of the mud. There was still a film of mud left that just wouldn't dry out. So I hopped onto Amazon and ordered a 400,000 BTU propane torch. This torch sounded like a jet engine and was HOT. I used it to dry off the footings and it took about one hour and a tank of propane.

Daily StatsHours Worked
All Time685485306.5$13,496.75
Summary of 6/13/2014
Work Done Today
Cleared mud off foundation, dried out using propane torch
Materials Used Today
400,000 BTU propane torch
Who Helped Today
Steve, Kim, Mandy, Reed, Emmy, Abby, Will
Contractors On Site

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