Thursday, July 7, 2011

It Never Ends

It occurred to me that none of the pictures from the 29th showed both white walls.  There they are, though not with the floor repainted.

That got finished up last Thursday and Friday.  Ended up repainting about a quarter of the laundry room floor, so the enamel table can go back and stay back, not to mention the new brine tank.

(Here's a highly-instructive progress shot of the corner where the water softener used to be.  No more red and gray.  [Please disregard the smudges from the camera lens: it needs cleaned.])

To my massive annoyance, between the first and second coats of pale green floor paint, I noticed that iron water stains in the mortar were showing through here and there on my nice, clean new paint job.  Tackled them with a spray can of aluminum paint (as much as I hate to put anything nonbreatheable on my basement walls).  Of course that meant another round of primer and paint.  Of course.

It's taken care of now, so as soon as my friend's son gets back from vacation, he should be coming over and maybe we'll make some progress towards actually getting the water treatment equipment installed.

However.  However.  It's true, I spent Sunday through Tuesday in the garden, back and front, putting in the last of this season's annuals (yes, they are the last!  Haven't I said so!?).  But I've been going up and down my basement stairs past a very disgusting and grotty brick foundation wall, and I've been poking at that wall here and there, and chipping loose paint off that wall, and I've been thinking how awful that wall looks in comparison to the Two White Walls in the laundry room.  And yesterday I said to myself, "To hell with it.  Something has to be done!"

After scraping, before scrubbing
Scraped as much old paint off it as I could persuade to flake off.  I regret to say that was a great deal. Usual scrub-down with TSP and bleach, then another scrub-down with DampRid.  Dirty, dirty, dirty.

Primed it this evening, along with six brick courses of the wall perpendicular to it, which also looked a little grungy at the foot.  (Not doing that whole wall now.  Too much junk to move.  Too much junk that presently can't be moved.)  Looks a lot better with just the primer on, but I can't be surprised if this wall should need a spritz or two from the aluminum paint can as well.

I've sometimes thought that if and when I sell this house I'd refer prospective buyers to this blog to show them what I've done to the place.  And I wish I had nothing but a bone-dry basement to report.  A local dry-basement expert told me a few years ago that my biggest problem is humid air and not water infiltration, and what I need is to keep running the dehumidifier.  The fact that I had mildew stains on the perpendicular wall supports this position, since it's an inside wall-- my workshop is on the other side.  Still, I'd be a lot more complacent on the basement waterproofing subject if I could get all the brick joints repointed. I mean, it couldn't hurt.

One thing I know for sure is that the two places where the actual bricks show signs of water damage, they're  right under the outdoor water faucets-- or in the case of the backyard tap, where it used to be before the POs-1 built the screened-in deck.  Think of nearly 100 years of leaky hoses and insufficiently-closed spigots . . .  And at least the brick in question was hard and not spalling when I painted it.  I sure don't have any standing water anywhere.

I'm going on faith that the POs' can of gray floor paint is still good.
Anyway, as before, I'll gave the primer a day or two to dry, since I really had to glop it into the joints.  I've got a big nasty teacher certification exam coming up next Friday the 15th and another one on the 22nd.  So no telling how soon I'll get the paint on.  On the other hand, considering that I'm not exactly feeling encouraged about my prospects of passing, I may get the Pearly White on the basement stair wall just to know I've accomplished something.