October 04, 2010

I can do this!!!

Yesterday I finally faced a project that I have been putting off.  I was a little intimidated about this project:  tuckpointing.  Yes, I finally faced my fear.  I dug down about 1 foot below the foundation of our house, dug out the loose and crumbly mortar, cleaned it out and then mixed up the mortar.  I was told that when you mixed up the mortar it should be the consistency of cookie dough. I was wondering if they meant chocolate chip or sugar cookie dough.  I had borrowed some masonry tools as I didn't want to purchase them.  I took the mortar and pushed it into the cracks. It's funny what you can do when you need to improvise.  I ended up using an old spoon to help push the mortar into those cracks to get it packed in there, then I smoothed it out best I could.  You are not supposed to get mortar on the face of the bricks so I had to be careful not to get the mortar goop, as I called it, on the face of the bricks and if I did I had to wipe it off right away with a rag.

I just had to tuckpoint the bottom four rows.

I should have taken a before picture but I don't want to remember what it looked like.  There are a few other spots that can wait until next year.  This was the worst and it needed to be done before winter.  Now I need to do the same thing to the inside brick walls of the basement.  Not the entire basement, just one wall needs to be looked at and mortar applied where needed. 

Bottom line, it was easy but time consuming.  Why was I afraid?  I didn't want to know how bad it was below the surface.  That was pretty silly but sometimes we want to hide our heads in the sand and not face things. 

It took about 2 hours to dig down around that small portion of the foundation, clean out the old mortar and make sure it was dust free and dry.  Then it took a while to mix the mortar and apply it.  This was messy, but it was the fun part too.

So, I learned a lesson.  Don't put off those projects that seem intimidating.  You can do it and best of all when you step back and see a job well done, you know that you can push on and do other projects too.

Today I finish scraping the fence and then tomorrow I finally get to do the fun part, paint it.  Hopefully I can keep the dog away from the fence otherwise we will have a black lab with yellow stripes.


Maureen said...

Well done to you, that looks like the kind of job i would hand over to " the man of the house" Bet you can,t wait to see the end to the fence, more photos please.

Moderate Means said...

Way to go!!! I'm like Maureen - my husband would have been given that chore!

Martha said...

My husband wasn't interested and I had studied up on it (thank you DIY website) and thought I would rather do this than what he was working on - busting up some concrete steps that needed replaced.