Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Cement Day

Cement Day came and went around here. We were racing against the weather last Thursday, the rain was slated to come in the afternoon and the concrete mixer arrived at 11am. The concrete pumper set up this long hose contraption from his truck out to the site in the backyard (hooray for no wheelbarrows filled with cement this time!). The cement mixer poured directly into the pumper truck which then shoots the cement through the hose, really cool!! This first picture shows the cement hose, the drain rock and the rebar grid all ready to get filled up with cement. When it pumped out it looked like frosting and made a really weird squicky sound. I didn't take any pics of the process as I was in full on helping mode ready to smooth and squash the cement into place. About 20 minutes later the pumper was done, the mixer was gone and we were left to level out the whole thing. Between Zach, Marc and I we did it, but it was hard going. Zach got to miss part of school (just PE class no biggie) so he was pretty stoked. No one fell in this time (pshew), and we only cut ourselves on the sharp edges of rebar a few zillion times. Just as we finished smooothing everything the rain began to dump.We were not happy because the rain drops would uncover the smoothed over concrete leaving a rough rocky surface, so we gathered up all the tarps we could find and strung them up while the rain poured steadily. It seemed to work pretty well, once it let up we got to see how the surface looks, not too bad! But the concrete took forever to cure and harden. Much longer than usual due to the cold and wet conditions. Luckily it is better for it to cure in this manner, so it all worked out okay.
It took so long to really harden that we were still able to sign our names later that evening which Alex was happy about.
What a lot of work, but now it is mostly done, and we saved several thousands doing it ourselves. The deck above it will be a whole 'nother project of course, but no more mud pit in the backyard for the first time ever, this winter, hooray!

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