Terrific Broth

The life of two scientists, creating a small home, in big mountains

Search results: "patch it all" (Page 1 of 10)

Patch It All UP

If you’ve been follow along, you would know that the exterior of our house has been our recent focus. Getting a house winter ready and the foundation protected is a lot of work. That includes making sure that our roof and gutter are in good order, the foundation is sealed and has good drainage, and all the windows and exterior doors have no leaks. Unfortunately, this house we inherited do not meet any of these requirements. When we moved in, we found that the weather stripping on our exterior doors were peeling, the foundation was surrounded by weeds, flower beds, and patios with wrong slopes, and the 20-year old  roof was on buying time.

During the last three months (already?), we have changed our front and back storm doors, gotten rid of the front flower bed and weeds around the foundation, corrected the sloping issues of the front and back porch, and finally last week, finished grading around the house ! With our roof and gutter replacement in process, we are soooo close to the finish line of getting our house winter-ready!

This week, Slav gathered supplies and started tackling the last item on our to-do list: repairing the foundation cracks and getting the exterior of the house sealed. It took him four entire days to finish sealing everything – I was surprised that how much sealant this house drank up and how many different types of sealant he had to use for the job. These are just a sample of a subset of the product he had used:

IMG_8257

1. Sealing exterior holes with the Sikaflex mortar fix

Among the hundreds and thousands pounds of stuff we removed from our ranch during our first month here, there was the satellite dish on the roof. Slav and I are never TV people. In fact, our only TV is currently used by Slav as a monitor. After the dish removal, we were left with many wires running along the house:

IMG_7761

IMG_7773

IMG_7771

These wires entered nearly every room in the house:

IMG_7682

IMG_7767

Slav removed all the wires:

IMG_7972

IMG_7975

IMG_7967

IMG_7969

IMG_7970

And we were left with many holes on our brick like this:

IMG_7774

IMG_7977

Slav cleaned them with a wire brush and filled them with a mortar sealant from Sikaflex:

IMG_8017

This product drys to a color that is really close to our mortar. It might look a bit lighter in the pictures, but it is because that our mortar was dirty and old. We are planning to power-wash the house (it is fun to use the power washer again!) and the sealant will completely blend in. For now, the fix looks really natural and hardly noticeable:

IMG_8214

2. Fixing the foundation cracks with concrete epoxy and DAP concrete sealant

The most serious problem we had on our foundation is the corner cracks. Slav cleaned them and glued the falling corner back on with this concrete epoxy and smoothed the gaps with the DAP concrete sealant.

IMG_7764

IMG_8573

IMG_8198

IMG_8568

IMG_8211

He also went around the entire foundation and patched all the vertical cracks using the same DAP concrete sealant:

IMG_8205

IMG_8207

IMG_8208

3. Sealing horizontal gaps/cracks with the Loctite non-sag sealant

We also see gaps where the exterior bricks meet the foundation. Since those gaps are horizontal, Slav opted for a non-sag sealant from Loctite:

IMG_8585

It dries really fast so he filled these gaps in two steps. This is after the first fill:

IMG_8580

And this is after the second fill. You can see that it became very smooth. I took this picture when the sealant was still drying. After it completely dried, it also blended in our mortal really well.

IMG_8581

4. Seal drive way cracks with the Loctite self-leveling sealant

Moving down to our drive way, there are small cracks running down the control joints.

IMG_8560

To seal them, Slav used a different product that self-levels. When he first applied it, it looked quite messy. But after 10 minutes or so, all the extra sealant sunk down into the joints and started to look pretty neat:

IMG_8561

And after a few hours, the sealant looked like this:

IMG_8569

Pretty cool, right? It dries very slowly so gravity can do its job of leveling the sealant.

Slav used this product on all the controlled joints in our concrete drive way, path and back patio:

IMG_8563

IMG_8562

IMG_8204

IMG_8612

The self-leviling product is also very good at handling small cracks:

IMG_8565

IMG_8567

However, it is definitely not dog-friendly:

IMG_8604

Charlie laid down on one of the joints Slav had just filled and caught quite a big line of sealant on his fur! It dried so hard by the end of the day and we had to cut some of the fur off. 🙁

Slav covered the joints to prevent little paws from stepping into them:

IMG_8605

5. Seal garage wall gap with concrete cement patcher

Last, there is a pretty significant gap between the old walkway and the southern side of the house:

IMG_8203

IMG_8609

The gap is so big that it would be really expensive and time-consuming to fill with any regular sealant. So Slav decided to use a concrete mix and basically just level the pathway with fast-set concrete.

Cleaning and patching around the house in hot sun is a lot of work – it took Slav a full week and it was so tedious. But it is necessary and we now have peace of mind knowing that our house is water-tight! If you still remember our big to-do list, I am happy to report that we also get the roof done this week! I will be back next week to show you the process, so stay tuned, my friends!

 

Finally, Painting

IMG_2337

The drywall patch is finally finished! Boy, it ain’t easy. It requires not only fair amount of patience and attention to detail, but also skill and experience. This is Slav’s first time doing drywall. Although being a fast learner with good common sense, he spent weeks conquering the steep learning curve.

IMG_2377

The work has been painfully messy and slow. But now it is over, Slav said that he is confident to do it much faster with better result next time. We have lots of drywall work coming up in the basement which I was thinking about hiring out. But Slav insisted on doing it himself. What a trooper!

IMG_2372

IMG_2380

While Slav was on repeat of mudding and sanding like an energized bunny, I was busy waving paint brushes. The past weekend was devoted to painting all the trims snow white.

The front door interior trim:

IMG_2311

Bedroom door trim:

IMG_2321

Back to back trims in our small hallway:

IMG_2323

And closet trims:

IMG_2332

IMG_2334

All the interior trims around doors and closets got three coats of Behr Ultra Pure White in semi-gloss. I cleaned, patched, and sanded all the trims with 80 and 220-grit sand paper prior to painting. This job gave me the perfect excuse for my dream random orbit sander: the Bosch ROS20VSC. It costs ~$60 and is the perfect sweetener for a tedious job of this size.

IMG_2346

In order to finish painting all the trims, we had to first complete the trim project for Slav’s closet. After reversing the office closet to face the bedroom, we did not put the door jambs and trims back on for weeks.

IMG_1558

Poor guys has to use his closet (left) for a couple months like this:

IMG_1098

With door jamb and header missing, and trims absent:

IMG_1561

IMG_1560

We saved the door jamb, header, and trims when we demo-ed the office closet. So I cleaned, patched, and sanded them:

IMG_1566

IMG_1572

And made they look like new with some paint:

IMG_1573

I nailed the door jamb onto the opening, followed by the header. All parts fit like a glove, indicating that we did an excellent job framing the opening. 🙂

IMG_1592

IMG_1593

IMG_1595

Nailing on the trims completed the look.

IMG_1596

It felt like a big change to go from this:

IMG_1562

To this:

IMG_1598

Three coats of semi-gloss trim paint gave the trims a big face lift.

IMG_2365

Now we just need to paint the inside of the closets before we can put our clothes back!

While painting the trims, I also gave all the wood window stools a few coats of fresh paint. We keep plants in clay pots on them and glossy paint shall protect the wood from moisture.

IMG_2297

The window stools were pretty beaten from years of use:

IMG_2214

But with new paint – they look pretty good!

The living room window stool:

IMG_2304

Office window stool:

IMG_2325

Kitchen window stool:

IMG_2356

The bright white color reflects light and gives the green plants a perfect backdrop.

IMG_2301

Late last year, I painted all the wood doors white with some leftover white paint we had in hand. The paint is in flat finish, which did not stand the test of time on doors. I will be re-painting all the interior doors with the same Semi-gloss white this weekend, which should be a big upgrade.

IMG_2361

It will be above 70-degree this weekend, which means I can work on our beloved back patio again. With some podcast and Spring air, painting is not that big of a pain. Despite being the solo painter in the house, I do not particularly enjoy painting. But painting usually means we are close to the finishing line, so I enjoy being at the painting stage.

I’ve been binging on a podcast called “The history of English” and almost at the end of it. With all five doors, 900 sq ft of ceiling, and three rooms of walls to work on, I need to find something new to get through the month of May. Any recommendations?

Spring, Dry Wall, and Allegies

Spring is finally here in the ranch house. In what seems to be overnight, our crab apple tree put out thousand of flowers:

IMG_2185

The weather is still too cold to plant vegetable gardens, but it is warm enough for perennials:

IMG_2150

IMG_2155

I selected these sweet white flowers for the spot under the crab apple tree, and paired with them with some color:

IMG_2157

We also planted rosemary and lavender around the mailbox.

IMG_2093

The plants might be small, but I trust them to fill in nicely with refreshing aroma and green foliage in a few years:

IMG_2088

Just to remind you, this is the same spot last year when we moved in:

IMG_6456

We removed all the weeds and transplanted roses from the front flower bed.

IMG_6457

And one of these roses survived. Its new leaves just peeked out of the mulch.

IMG_2091

Our indoor plants are also all happy and growing well:

IMG_2112

IMG_2115

IMG_2123

IMG_2012

I am propagating some succulents I brought back from Southern California, hoping to use them as ground cover someday.

IMG_2009

IMG_2105

IMG_2109

Spring also means allergy. And I am hit. Flu-like symptoms kept me down, and drywall work inside does not help either.

IMG_2173

It has been over a month since we hung the drywall. So it is nice to finally get them finished. However, the actual work sucks. It is so slow and messy, and because this is Slav’s first time doing drywall, it is slower and messier. I wish we had hired it out – but with just a few seams no professional will take such a small job.

IMG_2170

IMG_2169

We would have had all the drywall patches finished it by now, but Slav found black stuff in our drywall compound and it turned out to be mold. Yes, the drywall compound we bought from the local Home Depot is contaminated with mold. 🙁 So instead of having the walls ready to paint, we are chipping and sanding everything off (with masks) and restart.

I have to admit, when Slav told me that he had to restart, I lost it. It has been two weeks since the mudding and sanding started, and now we are back to the starting line. To pick myself up in the midst of this conundrum, I started choosing paint colors.

IMG_2127

IMG_2128

The living room and office will stay white, just a brighter white. Our bedroom is more closed off from rest of the space. I am thinking about want to use a subtle pink color here:

IMG_2132

I like the slightly purple/lavender one on the top. We have lots of grey and a blue painting in the bedroom and this color speaks to them. It also looks good in the closet:

IMG_2140

All the trims will go Ultra Pure White. I am 99% sure that we will use SW’s Extra White in all the ceilings and rest of the walls. Now we just need these damn drywall to be finished.

I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. I just need to see it.

Page 1 of 10

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

:)