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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Alterior motives!

There was a real reason that I started repairing walls in the basement. Actually there are several. One being that I bought 3 bags of lime a few weeks back and need to slake them or use them up within 6 months. I have now used up one bag and slaked another leaving just one bag to occupy space on the kitchen floor. The second reason was to see if the walls were easily repaired because I need to install the tankless water heater and it would be easier to repair the wall BEFORE installing the heater than after. So here are two more basement pictures. The previously repaired long wall section after a coat of whitewash. Drum roll please.........

And the wall that the water heater gets mounted to.

This is a limestone exterior wall and it doesn't suck the moisture out of the plaster like the brick. So drying time is much longer on this wall. Especially with cold temperatures. It has a large opening on the upper left side where a window was inserted to make effective use of a hole made in the wall for the chimney of a coal furnace. This hole is why the water heater will go here, so that it can be readily vented. Ultimately I will have to move the water heater to another location about 15 feet further down the same wall. I can't do this until after the fire escape in the back of the property is removed though and an old window opening becomes accessable for venting. It currently has a slab of concrete in front of it making the ground surface too high for the vent to achieve 12 inches of clearance from the ground. If I leave the water heater in the initial location it won't pass inspection due to the fact that the vent opening is within 4 feet of one of the dining room windows that we will probably never open. If any building inspectors are reading this, my compromise is to put blocks or wedges on the sash channels so the window can't be opened. We also plan to build a deck off the back of the house so the water heater will have to be moved because we can't vent it in that location with a deck. It seems like many things around here, I have to do a job to have the necessities then re-do the job after removing the object that prevents me from doing the job right the first time.

As you can see in the photo there were two holes in this wall. I suspect they were used for hiding the "stash" when druggies lived here. I have kept the holes but tidied them up considerably. The round hole has a piece of pipe in it and I suspect it was a water line to the back yard or the old outdoor laundry. I have kept the opening in case we need to run a new line to the well area outside. The larger hole may have been made to run a water or gas line but no pipe is present. My arm extends about 2 feet into this void. I don't know what to do with it. My thought was to make a lockable door behind which I can stash my jester hats and that very small cask of Amontillado that you readers feel that I should buy!


At 10/25/2006 7:31 AM, Blogger Ms. P in Jackson said...

Nice work! The wall looks great.

At 10/25/2006 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is really inspiring. you're reminding me of mole and ratty in wind in the willows. it looks fabulous, and thanks for the instructions.

At 1/14/2017 9:18 AM, Blogger Walt Walden said...

I was wondering how your white wash has held up for the last 10 years. Is it flaking off? Any mold? I wanted to present the whitewashing as an option for a customer.

At 1/14/2017 12:16 PM, Blogger Gary said...

The whitewash has held up quite well. Some has flaked off on walls that get damp and dis colored walls eventually become dis colored again over time. The inside walls still look great though. I think whitewash had to be reapplied every ten years or so anyway. Plastering the walls definately cut down on the amount of water coming into the basement. We still get some damp spots but no puddles.


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