Wednesday, June 5, 2013

How to repair a large hole in a concrete block

    Our cat recently made a loud 3:00am  announcement. She proudly left the gift of a dead mouse on our hallway floor. I needed to find how these little guys were getting in. In my inspection I  found some trouble where the water pipe enters the house in the corner of the basement.
Evidence: there was a dead mouse in the pile of dirt that had poured in 
  A previous owner had left me the opportunity to make a repair. I will fill this hole with concrete. First I had to do something to hold the dirt back. I decided to fabricate a piece of sheet metal to block the dirt.I made a form out of posterboard and then copied it on to a piece of sheet metal cut from an old VCR cover. (see, VCRs are still good for something). This had to fit over the water pipe, so I made a cut-out for that.

    I put the sheet metal in place. Now the dirt was blocked, so I had some room to work with.




    Next, I found a piece of plywood to use as a concrete form and braced it up against the hole with 2 x 4s.
I again had to make a cut-out to fit over the water pipe. The form would be done in three pieces so the concrete could be added in stages.

                   

     With the form in place, it's time to mix some concrete. I figured I would need about 5 lbs at a time so I mixed up this small batch in a pail. I use a scale to to weigh the concrete and the water. When I get it just right, I just keep mixing exactly the same ratio. I like the metric system. For every gram of concrete I added .097 grams of water. Now that may be over doing the precision, but I gotta be me.


    I did this in stages. Next I braced a second plywood form above the first and filled in with another batch of concrete.


   I filled the rest of the hole through this small opening until the concrete was oozing right out and then braced in the last plywood form.


   I let this cure up for a day and removed the forms to give it some air to cure. The concrete direction call for five day to completely cure the concrete.

 
  No mouse, or dirt for that matter, is coming through here. I will pretty up the surface imperfections with some quick-crete.




         

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