Sunday, January 29, 2017
This is the basement floor, behind the stairs. Or what's left of that section, anyway. The tool you see to the right of the green bucket is a rotohammer. Eric used it to demolish the slab there so that he can pour a footer to hold the columns that will support the next part of the house re-do.
He drilled holes first into the slab to see how deep it was. If the slab was 10 inches deep, it'd be OK. The third test hole was only 8 inches and not where we expected it to be shallower. He drilled a couple more just to see and noticed that the ground felt odd under the holes, so we decided he'd better go ahead and pull it all out. Because there is nothing more fun than smashing 10 cubic feet of concrete. Yowza.
Yes, it was a pain, but then we'd never have to wonder or worry if we made a mistake.
We rented the rotohammer and as he crushed the concrete, it went powdery. Bad sign. Bad concrete. We are so lucky that the 3rd hole was weird. If we'd left it as is and built the columns on top of this slab, there may have been problems later down the road and seriously who wants to deal with that after all the weight is on it? Not. Us.
Turns out that the slab was indeed only about 4 inches deep, but poured over a bed of field stones. Some of those babies were pretty big. And it would never have been solid enough to support the beams. This was really hard work, but worth it in the end. Better a couple extra days of hard work than 30 years of watching a crack form under the columns that support your house..
The good news is that part of the demo is done. He'll have to pretty up the hole and then pour a whole lot of concrete next, but he will be able to use the columns he wanted to use, plus reinforce with rebar, etc. and we will know it's constructed right for the weight it will be supporting.