Hi everyone, it’s Cho again! This is the third post in a series of home renovation and remodeling projects that I’m documenting for your reading pleasure! Today’s post is related to the same water intrusion issues that we faced a few weeks ago. This also means we have to once again do miserable handy work in the outdoors. I bet you didn’t know I hated being outside did you? The only activities I like doing outdoors are running, hiking and laying next to a pool. Am I missing out on anything actually exciting about the outdoors?
In order to give you readers at home some context for today’s post, let’s start with what Youtubers and Twitch Broadcasters like me call “storytime”. Eric and I often try to set aside time for date night somewhat often at nice restaurants in Columbus. On 3 separate occasions, we were unable to dine at this fancy modern Mexican place called Nada. The first two occasions are unimportant, but the 3rd time we went there was the most dramatic. We had finally sat down and ordered drinks. The time was here: we were going to experience this much anticipated restaurant for the first time! I could almost taste the mojito with fresh mint in my mouth. Then, Eric gets a phone call that our neighbor’s chimney has fallen onto our house!! We rushed home immediately to see the severe damage to our concrete sidewalk and the side of our house! If you’re interested, ask us in the comments how we dealt with the gigantic hole in our 3rd floor entertainment room. However, this post will be purely in regards to the concrete issue.
Whether it’s an “act of God” (this is what the insurance company said in regards to the chimney) or water intrusion, over a long period of time, you might have to repair and refill the cracks in your concrete. When it comes to homeownership, there are a lot of trade-offs you must consider. In this case, we decided to pay a large sum of money to get the sidewalk on the side of the house repaired by contractors. Even though our backyard concrete needed it as well due to water intrusion, we decided to patch those ourselves to save money for more pressing issues. The estimated time for patchwork was 4 hours. Spoiler alert, we took 6 fucking hours in one day and spent several more hours later until it was completed. Eric says we would have gotten done earlier if he weren’t teaching me everything while I complained. I wish you all could see my eyes roll to the back of my head.
First thing’s first, we have to get rid of all the extra material that we don’t need around the basement door. We began by breaking up all of the loose mortar, which is simply like glue for bricks! We also scraped off the loose caulk in between the basement door frame and the brick support beneath. Caulk is a polymer sealant used to fill gaps; and it’s ALSO similar to glue in my simple-minded head. We eventually got around to also getting up the loose concrete between the cracks. This all took several hours. My complaints about the weather were non-stop. Naturally, I asked Eric how much he would need to pay someone to do something like this. I’m always doing the math in my head to see if I can convince him to just pay someone else. He said around $75/hour. I’ll let you all know when I get my $550 for 6 hours. No, I didn’t do the math wrong. The $100 is “temperature tax”.
Then came the “fun part”: filling the cracks! We used mortar repair for the mortar cracks and concrete crack repair for the concrete. Yes, those are ridiculously simple names for these products, but I digress. There was a learning curve to using the caulk gun to squeeze the product out, but I finally got the hang of it. I felt like I was decorating cakes, but there was nothing appealing about this gray frosting. The filling process took several more hours, because we needed to fill everything with sand first. We did this because using sand would allow the glue-like material to dry quicker and more efficiently. After filling the concrete with sand, I continued decorating them with the caulk gun.
The sun’s heat began to wane which meant that my mood would rise but also that I had used my entire day out in the yard. This is why I’m behind on reading up on Big Brother! We eventually got around to caulking the gaps between the basement door and the house. This happened days later, because I chose to stay up until 5am two nights in a row, thus not waking up to finish caulking before work and then I refused to work outside after 8pm due to mosquitos. I’m sure Eric can complain about me in the comment section for my lack of work ethic…!
As always, if you want to see a more complete album of photos of our recent project, click here to see them all! Included in the photos will be a picture of our cute dog, Nina! Questions for the comment section: Have you had to do a project like this before? If so, how did yours turn out? Do you have some hard limits that prevent you from doing projects? For me, it’s mosquitos, what’s your HARD NO? Lastly, have you ever had an issue with a neighbor that caused massive damage to your property? Let us know in the comments! p.s. We ended up eventually going to Nada on the 4th try, and it has become one of our favorite downtown Columbus restaurants!