Saturday, July 29, 2017

New Concrete

Thursday July 27th.

The cement company arrived at 8 AM and started removing the old concrete drive and front porch.

Shortly afterward, Rich showed up and together we looked over the work in the basement. Everything was completed as planned. He said he would be back Monday morning with the Warranty paperwork and for the final payment.

It wasn't long and the entire drive and porch was re-located to the concrete recycling plant a mile away.

The crew had a 15 minute break after the removal of the old concrete until the delivery of new concrete arrived. The porch was the first to be poured.

After the front porch was poured, the delivery continued at a rapid pace toward the garage and the rear of the house. The crew worked rapidly to keep up.

By 4 PM the entire drive and porch was removed and replaced with new concrete. 

Tomorrow a crew will arrive to saw cut the joints and remove the forms. 

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Almost Completed

Rich, the owner of Calculus Foundations arrived around noon on Wednesday and gave the order to the crew that this job must be completed TODAY! The crew was not happy as they had to wait almost 3 hours for the inspector to approve the application of material on the outside of the basement wall and the new drain installed at the footer.
Preparation for "tuck pointing" the brick.
Not only on two sides of the house did area's of the brick need some mortar joints repaired, but also on the garage.

There were also 2 "bubblers" needing installed at the downspouts to direct the rainwater away from the new concrete.
Installation of one of two "Bubblers"
The one above, installed at the rear of the house, was easy to put in. But the one at the front of the house was very hard. Because of the huge Maple tree just 30 feet away, there were many roots that needed to be cut for the trench.

The end of the day on Wednesday left just an hours worth of work in the basement that needed to be done. Rich told me he would have Les come back tomorrow to finish, but all the outside work is completed.

Tomorrow the cement company will arrive early to replace the porch and drive way.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Basement Wall Moved

I stepped back and watched as most people never get a chance to witness this.

The first step was to take the weight of the home off of the sill plate (basement wall). Floor jacks were used, a total of 4, each one adjusted carefully one at a time.
The house made it's "normal" cracking noises as each jack added pressure pushing up. Visually you couldn't see it moving up ever so slightly. I was told that it is raised less than a sixteenth of an inch, just enough to take the weight off of the basement wall.

Then the 12-ton bottle jacks were placed between the wall steel beams and the tempory "backer beams" that were later removed. 

Each jack was given a couple pumps of their handles. He watched the wall intensively as it slowly moved making a popping noise several times. 

It only took a half hour and the wall had moved 1 1/4" to nearly perfectly level straight up and down. 
The insulation Dad inserted 30 years ago once again was visible.

It was amazing hearing the wall make those noises as it was moved back to its original position. Almost like thanking us for straightening it.
Beam perfectly level vertically. 
Afterward, the house was slowly lowered back down onto the sill plate. The floor jacks removed along with the backer beams. Then 2X12 framing was installed with lag bolts around the beams at the tops. The bottom of the beams were bolted into the foundation of the house. No possible way they could ever move.

Next on the list of things to do was outside. Installing the new drain pipe next to the foundation and attaching it to the drainage system. 

Then came patching the cracks on the wall with a special cement, then coating the entire wall with tar. 
Tar being applied.
Next, the heavy plastic sheeting was applied and stuck to the tar. 

That about completed a days work for the crew. They told me they would return tomorrow.

After the house was put under such movement, I took a close look upstairs to see if the drywall showed any signs of the movement by cracking. None was found. I'm pleased with the outcome so far. 

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Equipment Breakdown

Day 3 of the work being done on Dad's house didn't go as planned. By late morning the front end loader blew a hydraulic fitting.
Looking close under the front end loader is a pan catching the hydraulic fluid.
That didn't stop the crew. The operator of the front end loader continued with working in the trench and sweeping up the driveway, the operator of the excavator moved into the basement where he started getting the beams ready for installation. 

The small beams are temporary and used as a backer for the jacks that will push the larger beams. When the wall is moved back verticle, the large beams will be permanently installed. The smaller beams will be removed. 

Meanwhile, Les uses a grinder to put the finishing touches on the patches that he made to the cracks in the other walls. 

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dad's Home Repairs Start

A couple years ago Dad said he needed to get his basement wall fixed. I mentioned to him back then that to fix the basement wall they would have to remove the entire drive. He said he didn't think he could take all that, and would be stressed out about it. I assured him the wall was still safe, the home was not in danger of caving in, and that he should not worry about it.
The worst crack which is on the driveway side.
Now that he has moved out of his house and into an apartment, we have started to inquire about what has to be done to the house to sell it. We were told the Electrical Service needed updating, which has been done. The basement walls must be fixed, and the concrete drive should be replaced. Bids from 6 contractors were received and I chose Calculus Foundations to proceed with the repairs.

Thursday was the start date. A crew showed up to start working on the cracks on the basement walls.
They started working on the cracks on 3 walls. The wall that needs the most work is along the driveway side but that wall has to be pushed back verticle first.
The cracks had the paint ground off then an epoxy product applied with plastic injector fittings attached along the cracks. The fittings are used to pump under high pressure the product that seals the wall cracks. 

Friday, July 21. Day 2:
Two crews arrived around 9 AM. The crew that was here yesterday went into the basement to start sealing the cracks. 
While they worked on the cracks on 3 of the walls, a crew outside was busy unloading the heavy equipment. 

The basement wall on the driveway side is severely cracked and has started to move inward. The plan is to remove the driveway, dig down to the drain tile, replace the drain tile, push the basement wall back to its original vertical position and reinforce the wall with steel beams, water seal the outside area of the wall, fill void with pea stone, then remove the remaining drive and replace with new concrete. 

It was originally planned to remove the entire drive along the house first. But the weather forecast is for rain arriving Saturday and Sunday and they didn't want a muddy mess on Monday. So it was determined to first cut the concrete and partially remove the concrete today.
Cutting the concrete prior to removal.

When the strip of concrete drive next to the house was removed, he started removing the sticky clay down to the drain tile. 
Sticky clay removed.
At the days end a heavy tarp was placed over the opening where the clay was removed and yellow caution tape strung around the area. Plus one piece of heavy equipment was positioned at one end of the area, the other piece of heavy equipment placed at the other end of the opening. Hopefully, no one will be nosey and fall into the area along the basement wall.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ken's 1st. Visit

Dad has been in his new apartment now for 5 weeks, and Brother Ken has not seen him or his new apartment as of yet.
Ken asked me last Monday if I would take him to see Dad this week. He chose Friday as a good day to go, asked if we could have dinner with him and then suggested we keep it a surprise to Dad.

Dad's dinner time is at 6 PM. We arrived at 5 PM and stopped at the main office to purchase our dinner tickets. Afterward, we headed toward his apartment but noticed on the way to his apartment that he was sitting outside the dining room waiting for it to open.

When Dad first saw us, a huge smile came to his face. He immediately came over to see us. Ken wanted to shake his hand but Dad had his left hand extended and Ken had his right hand on his oxygen tank.
Ken & Dad embrace each other.
As we had almost an hour before the dining room would be open, Dad wanted to show Ken his apartment. (The photo above shows the hall we walk down to get to Dads apartment). 
Unlocking his door, which Dad has trouble doing at times.

Upon entering Dad started showing Ken around the apartment. Ken was really impressed at how nice it was and told Dad several times how much he liked it, and that he was glad he was here instead of his house. 
Showing Ken around his apartment.

After the tour, we sat in the living room and had great conversations. Dad asking Ken how he is feeling, telling us how he is "starting to get used to his new home" and how he alerted the office of a tenant that was having trouble breathing. 

Around 5:50 PM we left the apartment to make the short walk to the dining room. The three of us were directed to the "reserved table" that is used for visitors. There we enjoyed a delicious meal of salad, onion soup, fish, potatoes, and a generous portion of butter pecan ice cream for dessert. 

Ken mentioned several times through the dinner that he "had to stop and catch his breath". I could tell he was having trouble breathing and that he was tiring out rapidly. 

After dinner, I asked Ken if he wanted to go back to the apartment, or head on home. He said he was getting tired and was ready to go back home.

Dad walked us out, through the entry doors of the complex, and waved us a good by as we drove away. My thoughts were, "I only hope this won't be the last time Ken has dinner with Dad". About that time Ken said, "Let's do this again, I really enjoyed this visit with Dad." 

As long as Ken is able, I will be here for him to take him anywhere he wishes.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Annual Bike Parade

As the story goes, Grandpa granted his Granddaughter's special wish some 20 plus years ago.
One a 4th. of July family gathering, granddaughter asked if they could go on a bike parade. Grandpa with his soft heart for his grandchildren had them start to decorate their bikes up with flags and balloons. He, not having a bike, decorated his riding mower.

Off they went around the block. Grandpa riding his mower down the middle of the street with his grandkids following him on their bikes.

Fast forward now to today. The yearly parades have grown larger through the years. An antique firetruck with the Mayor would always be behind the original grandkids leading the parade. This year we missed the firetruck as it had mechanical problems and didn't make it. The Mayor had a cast on her leg and couldn't walk the route, so she stayed back at the start/finish area waiting for the participants to return.

 We had some of the best seats for viewing the parade, as it goes right past our home!

Looking down the street we could see the parade forming. 

Not having the Antique Fire Truck with the Mayor riding and waving leading the parade,  the US Naval Sea Cadets stepped up to lead the parade. This was their first year of attending our neighborhood parade. A welcome site for sure! 

People dress up for the parade in all sorts of attire. Some ride bikes, push baby carriages
or walk along with their pets.

Everyone had a wonderful time, be it the parade participants or the parade viewers. Following the parade, the burgers and dogs were put on the grill. Along with the regular fixens, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch on the deck in perfect weather. Another memory made.