Well, I am glad that is over. This concrete pour turned out to be the one that tried to get away. I should have know something was up when the Municipal inspector raised concerns last Friday, that it was not going to be smooth sailing.
It started on Monday when the Geotech was too busy to speak with me even though the pour had been scheduled for Tuesday 8:30 AM.
Then at noon on Monday, Lafarge called and cancelled my concrete siting supply shortage, which I take to mean that they had a more important client needing lots of concrete and I was bumped. I can accept this but it was still a PITA as I had to rebook both the placers and the pumper truck to both of their displeasure. So, we re-booked for 3 PM today as placers were not available yesterday.
Then on Tuesday I still had not heard from Geotech and started to get nervous. Turns out I was right to be, as they were pretty upset with me that I had parts of my site that were still excavated after a year. We finally talked on Wednesday and they confirmed that most of the inspectors concerns were not a problem but that they had issues with the fact that the north wall of the excavation supported by the mass concrete blocks had not been back-filled yet. This was a big surprise as I have seen those mass blocks support retaining walls on a permanent basis. There was various discussions as to how to expedite backfill, but the pressing issue of the walk-up stair foundation pour was fine and I could proceed.
With an extra day yesterday, I started to work on the remainder of backfill activities at the front of the garage. This involved sorting through a pile of rocks mixed with some fill by the side of the road. My original intent was to have this trucked away, but since my Craigslist add for rocks has received a lot of interest, and no new soil has been delivered yet by Diamond, I tackled the pile and was able to extract about 12-16 yards of of usable backfill soil out of it. This allowed me to raise the partially filled in garage east and south wall an additional 2.5 – 3 ft by noon today.
Then just before 2 PM, I got another call from Lafarge that they were going to be an hour late (at least they did not cancel!).
At 3:45 we started pumping. At about 4:00 we stopped pumping, not because we were finished, but because of a blow out.
While I had done a great job forming the field of the wall, my support of both outside corners was woefully inadequate, and the NW corner had opened up. The placers caught it fairly quickly, but not before more than 1/3 of a meter had puked out of the now split open form work.
The first waler (horizontal 2×4) you see in the photo above is about 12″ above the bottom footing. This was a mess!
SO I spent the next 40 minutes re-bracing the two form corners (other side had started to split as well) before the guys could start pumping again. And then while they finished placing the concrete, I started to bucket the spilled concrete up a ladder back into the forms. I got about four 5 gal pails worth replaced before we did an inventory of what was left in the pump hopper and estimated that we would have enough to fill all of the wall.
I had ordered an extra .75 Metres, but there is typically 1/2 Metre that is left in bottom of pump truck that cannot be pumped up. So I only had 1/4 Meter spare and more than that had spilled out. But somehow we thankfully made it, because it would have killed me to have to bucket all that concrete up a ladder to he top of the 10′ wall.
But I did need to deal with all this spilled concrete. It would prevent the removal of the forms, would block the drainage path down to the gravel around the perimeter of the wall, and had pinned some ROXUL I had stored in that location to the point I was unsure I was going to be able to extract. So I did shovel it all away from the foundation and off the footing into a wider area that was just going to get back filled anyway. This took just over an hour and had me gasping by the end.
But as the placer commented, if a day finishes with the task complete and mistakes rectified, then no harm no foul.
Tomorrow will be a much needed day off. I am out of soil, cannot strip the forms till Monday, and quite frankly – just do not feel like working.
With the light day I had yesterday, I did manage however to right a blog entry Mould – The Black Scourge (And how to eradicate it) regarding my experiences with mould in the basement and my successful efforts to remove all traces. Enjoy!
Thanks for visiting.
“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.”
—Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Spanish Artist
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
—George Eliot [Mary Ann Evans] (1819-1880) Novelist, Editor