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Showing posts from January, 2014

Fixing the Basement Walls - Finishing the West Wall and Starting the North

After a few days off from the basement, it's time to get back at it.  When last we met, I had just turned the corner onto the west wall, and finished off painting the south wall so I could move all the stuff around to make room for the next wall.  So this is a shot of the west wall.  I think it's an interesting shot because it really shows the kind of change that's happening.
And here's a shot looking the other way, also an interesting picture (at least to me!) The concrete went up pretty quickly on the west wall, maybe I'm getting the hang of it. And that left the first part of the north wall.  That's all cleaned up and just waiting for the cement.  If you look closely at the bottom of this picture you can just make out the pile of loose concrete that was removed. With a little extra time I also went ahead and sanded the stairs.  By the way...when sanding - ALWAYS wear a mask.  Somehow I didn't notice that I didn't have mine on, and after about 20 minu…

Fixing the Basement Walls - Slow minor Progress

Tonight just did a little painting.  I'm really starting to like the look.  Of course the worst is yet to come - the laundry room.  But for now, I'll just enjoy the progress!
Here's another shot: And while I'm at it...a BIG lesson learned - it takes a LOT of cement to fix these walls, and LOTS of Drylok paint!  Buy BIG!

Hunchback of Notre Dame - Ya' gotta have some fun too!

All work and no play makes... As I pointed out some time ago, one of my hobbies is painting and assembling plastic models.  I don't have a lot of places to share something like that, so I figured posting them on here might be kinda fun.  Besides, they are built at 173!  So here's a series on ol' Quasimodo...
Now that I have a good camera, one of my goals is to photo these guys in better light and all...one day!

Fixing the Basement Walls - Getting Bogged Down

The initial progress in this project was fairly rapid, but being done "in no time" really was a pipe dream that I really never did buy into.  It is going pretty well, but the last couple days have really been tediously slow.  I ran into a pretty big hole that I almost missed, and that has taken several applications to build up, but it's almost there:
One final coat should do the trick!  Now that I look at it, it kind of looks like a map of Russia.  Well, maybe a little.  Anyway, so today was more mudding, a little on the west wall and some of the east wall, and of course "the cave" as I'm beginning to think of that giant hole.  I really want to move on, but until the south wall is completely done, there just isn't anywhere to move anything else.  One thing that did help a little was that last night was trash night, so we hauled some stuff out.  And as luck would have it, the pickers came by and took a bunch of the stuff as we were hauling!  Ever since m…

Fixing the Basement Walls - things're gettin' crazy up in here!

Good grief!  I guess the subtitle of this post is a little over-stating things, I mean really - isn't a phrase like that usually reserved for parties, clubbing, etc?  Well, this isn't exactly a party, but it is exciting to start seeing the plan come together!  Friday evening saw a little more progress...
I got all the loose stuff scraped off and did all the cleaning, vacuuming, wire brushing and re-vacuuming.  But what I didn't do - and should have, was I didn't brush on the bonding agent.  So when I went to get the cement going on Saturday morning, I had to brush the stuff on which only takes a couple minutes, but then you have to wait a couple hours before applying cement.  I had to figure out something to do while I waited. Because I'm moving everything away from the walls (obviously) to the center of the basement, I'm running out of space.  So while waiting for the bonding agent to get tacky, I decided to put the first coat of paint on the south wall.  The …

Fixing the Basement Walls - Part 3

It's Thursday night and I haven't done anything in the basement since Sunday afternoon.  Not that that's particularly surprising, but I really wanted to keep rolling on the walls.  Ah but you know - that whole work thing sometimes gets in the way!
I have a before pic!  I know I have a few here and there, but I still haven't gotten great at it.  But this time there is, and I almost wish there wasn't.  I wonder if anyone else's shop ends up like this.  I clear the bench, get into another project, and in no time at all - the bench is a mess again.  So here's a before pic...messy bench and all.
Tonight no cement was applied, but the hardest part of the project is done - for this wall anyway.  But before I could knock down all the loose concrete, I had to move stuff around.  Funny note - when I went to move the work bench, I forgot that it was actually anchored to the wall!  After heaving and yanking, tugging and pulling - it finally dawned on me!  Four screws l…

Fixing the Basement Walls - Part 2

So I feel like I got a good start on Saturday...figured out the steps to take, products to use and began perfecting working on my technique.  One thing I did discover was that the cement mix didn't go as far as I thought it would.  I went through a 20 pound pail for just that one stretch of one wall.  Lowes doesn't carry the 50 pound bag, so I'm going to have to search that out.

On Sunday I picked up where I left off:

The next section looked like this:

After scraping, brushing, vacuuming, dusting, vacuuming and dusting again, applying bonding agent, and waiting, more cement finally went up.

And so, another shot of the progress:

Not bad for the first weekend of work.  Now that I have at least a general idea of what to do, I'm hoping to pick up the pace a little.  Sure like to get this one done before spring!

Fixing the Basement Walls - Part I

And we're back at it!  After the last post, we kinda took a break which ended up extending through the holidays, so I don't think a single thing has really been done since October!  Be that as it may - it's time to get back at it!  Before I do though, I really hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season!

Okay, so here's the back story...A neighbor's grandfather built all the houses in the neighborhood, so I have a pretty good link to the history of ol' 173.  Turns out that when 173 was built way back in 1927 or '28 (I always forget which) the builder used river water from the Hudson to mix the concrete.  Now, in my limited knowledge of such things, I would never have thought something like that would matter.  Turns out it does. Apparently, the bacteria in the water has, over the years, caused problems with the poured concrete foundations in the neighborhood.  173 is no exception.  A couple years ago the foundation began to start flaking a little here…