Thursday, January 15, 2009

days of destruction

Fernando and Regís got right to work yesterday demolishing walls and columns that had cracked due simply to life at the beach. Salt, moisture . . . not construction's best friends. First they shatter the concrete that has gotten "soft" due to the moisture. You can see the rebar beneath.

Next Fernando paints the exposed rebar and surrounding concrete and brick with some magic potion called fin salitre or "end of salt." Ha! In your dreams. It is supposed to act as a barrier to further salt/moisture. After that dries he slaps one layer of cement on the post, lets it dry, slaps up a second layer, etc., until he has it the same size as the original pillar. Then he puts a wooden frame around the pillar, held in place by big pieces of rebar cut and bent to exactly the size of the pillar. That dries, he removes the frame, and there you have it.

The area around the door to the upstairs half-bath was badly cracked and at first we thought the entire door frame was going to have to be replaced. But after it was all chipped away we could see that the damage was only on one side.

That little blue door to the right is the closet for the water heater - all 40 liters worth. This morning Fernando had it all patched up. The paint swatch to the left of the wooden door is the new and final color for that wall. Click on the photo to enlarge. It's really not as "neon" as it looks!

The next step will be to smooth a layer of fine white cement over all the gray stuff. After that dries, it will be time to begin the actual painting, probably next week some time. We hope to have the whole project done by the end of the month. This house is about to celebrate its 20th birthday and given its history ~ survivor of three earthquakes, including the big one in 2003, and the day-in-day-out assault of salt air ~ it's in pretty good shape. But diligent maintenance is the watchword. You can walk through town and see houses that have been allowed to fall into unsalvageable disrepair and have ultimately been abandoned. They are just too far gone.

Last night was the weekly gathering of the Cuyutlán Ladies Chisme and Domino Society. I won at my table. My take will buy me a couple of beers at Dago's.

5 days until 1/20/2009: End of an Error


At 7:36 PM, Blogger mary ann said...

Great photos ~ chisme is one of my favorite words and is the subject line of many emails at home and work.


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