Friday, February 17, 2006

Who knew?

Christmas day we had a leaky basement this year. After some mild panic attacks on our part it turned out not to be too serious. It was caused by the downspout outside not being properly connected to move water away from the house, combined with buckets of rain that were falling and a tonne of snow melting and a patch that a previous owner had applied and was starting to fail.

We didn't worry about it much, but my parents provided us with "some anti water leak cement stuff" to fix it up. Being that this week I'm between jobs (and REALLY looking forward to starting new one Monday) I've decided to cross a few things off my list, and repairing the previous owner's patch in our leaky basement is one of them.

Now, those who know me know that I'm not a girlie girl. I have no fear of getting dirty or operating power tools, or in this case mixing some cement compound. I built a bird house when I was 5 with my dad, and I was the one operating the jigsaw. So, last night while Dave was at work I decided to tackle the patch job.

I swiftly and almost effortlessly broke up the old patch with a hammer, taking layers of paint with it. (ok I'll admit it was even a bit cathartic!) After sweeping it clean I went upstairs to mix the cement.

Now the can says to get it to a "putty like consistency" and I did just that. There were no lumps in sight and it was perfect putty. I brought it downstairs, ready to pour it, and thought "hmm I should get some more of the peeling paint away so it has a better chance to bond to the floor surface. I ran, full tilt upstairs to grab the wire brush and came back down, brushed the paint in a couple of spots and went to pour the cement. All of this took less than a minute.

I turned the container upside down, only to discover my "perfect putty" was perfectly solid.

A few swear words and a great deal of elbow grease later and I had at least the top part of the container back to putty consistency, even though it was much lumpier this time, and the bottom was solid as a rock. I poured it over the area, and smoothed it with my putty knife.

So can anyone tell me why I, an allegedly smart person (two degrees, relatively handy with the repairs) didn't think to consider "cement = gets hard really fast"? Seriously!

Oh well, it looks good for now, and I'll probably put another patch on top to be sure it's well covered and won't surprise us again.


DebbieDoesLife said...

You are definately NOT a girley girl. You are way tougher than I am. And, who knew the putty would not be putty in just a minute. Do the instructions say "do not turn your back on this stuff or it will harden in a snap?"

Heather said...

Nope, the instructions never said "it will harden in 30 seconds, ha ha, moron!" but apparently it does. Oh well, as long as it does the trick for now (and I get a nice massage for my achey arm trying to stir the stupid solid crap it became) I'm happy.