Mar 20, 2011

Cracks are Whack.

Finally some signs of winter's end. It's a late winter for C-town this year. Coldest temperatures in March in over 100 years. I feel I've earned by 'Winter' badge this year. But with melting comes water. And water seems to love all areas of our house.

I swear, Prairie House shows off when anyone comes to visit. Inevitably a critical element of the house has failed; ie toilet has broken, something has flooded or or fallen off; when it's been completely problem-free to that point.

My mom came to visit this weekend from the coast and as I was setting up her bed in the rec room, I noticed that the carpet near the north wall was damp. Eeeeffffff. My first instinct was to figure out a way to not tell hubby. It would stress him out - I could run out and rent an industrial heater, move all the furniture by myself. My mom assured me that was not a wise move and made me call him. He was calm. I was wrong. Sometimes that happens.

He got home and quickly assessed that it was one of the large cracks in on the north wall that we had put o
ff sealing so we could fix something else that had neglected maintenance for the past 10 + years.

Crack in basement we have been tracking since we moved in.

As an aside, our neighbours house was built the same year and our neighbour is religious about maintenance. The difference between our house and his is shocking. Cracked stucco, poorly preforming windows, yellowed and chipping paint, etc. etc. etc. etc vs. none of that next door. It will take some time for us to just take care of past maintenance issues, let alone tackle things we'd actually like to do. Like El Pinko. Sigh.

This weekend's El Pinko fund went into emergency basement crack seals. Unfortunately for us, the crack was behind the tongue and groove wooden panelling in the basement. Hubby traipsed upstairs with hammer in hand like a doctor delivering bad news. "I'm afraid we're going to have to operate" (read: remove wall panelling to reveal the crack and pull up the brand newcarpeting"). I told him he couldn't touch a thing before he had an experts opinion, and within the hour, he was in the rec room removing wall panelling in the back corner of the room.

I may actually have hubby guest post the procedure because I was too traumatized to even go down there. He did try his best to minimize the damage to the panels but it's so dry in Calgary
that much of the wood just splintered. The exposed crack ran from the window down to the corner of the house. And enough water was leaking in with the recent melting of the glaciers in our yard that it had soaked through the carpet underlay and carpet.

Wee little meddlesome crack - bottom left corner of basement

We hired Calgary-based HBD Basement Foundation Protection who were great. They showed up on time the next day (we were triaged - this company doesn't usually work Saturdays) and had the crack in the rec room and a large crack in the basement filled and repaired within a few hours.

Hubby has filled in for me on the photo comments....

Grant, our "crack" crack repairman drilling injection holes at an angle to connect with the void inside the foundation.

After drilling, one way valves (aka. grease nipples [LP - hee hee]) were plugged into each hole to injection port for the resin.

I forget the name of this compound but it was applied over the crack to help keep the resin in the wall during activation and expansion.

The magic resin is then pumped into the crack using an air powered gun. This is when things get messy.

Once injected, the resin expands and can weep out through any hole, void, or space connected to the visible crack. Kinda like the character "pizza the hut" from the movie Spaceballs. sorry, it's the only comparison I could make..........and this is why Laura doesn't let me write in her blog. :-)

The End - nothing pretty about the 'after'

Now the big issue after the repair. What can we possibly do with this corner now that the wall panels are irreparable?



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