The last post left me standing by a pile of setting concrete watching the cement truck’s tail lights disappear while thinking, “Maybe a little research isn’t such a bad idea”.
Time and Tide and Concrete
Unlike some concrete, which is self leveling, this stuff just sat there hardening in a lump. Grabbing a shovel and jumping in to the floor area, I started to distribute the concrete as best I could.
Concrete is Very Heavy
I ended up standing in the stuff so I could reach the mounds with my long handled shovel. The truck driver had said that it was corrosive and will eat away at your boots so I should try to stay out of it.
Hint: If someone with years of experience gives you some advice – take it.
He was right. Though my boots were OK after a quick rinse in the lake, I found that some concrete liquid had leaked in and had caused a mild burn on the top of my foot. I hadn’t noticed as I frantically tried to flatten out the uncooperative mountain of sand and gravel that was threatening to remain an art installation instead of a floor.
I quickly fashioned a straight edge out of some of the left-over foundation framing boards and proceeded to attempt to level out the floor. Starting from the lake side, I dragged the 20 some foot straight edge over a few inches of concrete toward the road side and drove a large nail into the wooden form to hold the straight edge in place. Then I ran over to the other side and dragged the straight edge up a few inches, putting a nail in to hold the board in place. This continued for quite some time, pushing the mud forward and up. Every foot or so, I had to wade in and shovel the build-up further ahead.
This running back and forth, nailing and shoveling was incredibly exhausting and so boring that I will not even attempt to describe it.
The outcome was that the new floor sloped upwards as I got closer to the road side of the property. It looked like a gentle wave frozen in time. Unlike the smooth polished garage floors you usually see, this one bore an uncanny resemblance to a cheese grater.
This was not the look I was going for but as the concrete had become hard enough to walk on and I had no float for smoothing the surface and no real idea of how to work with concrete, I let solidifying slabs lie.
I rationalized that the rise in the floor would help keep water out and the rough surface would provide traction.
Information is Good
In hindsight, I should have done more research about working with this material. We had books on almost every other aspect of the construction.
In futuresight, the internet would have been invaluable but unfortunately we were a few years away from the ubiquitous access we enjoy today.
Next time… The Garage Package
If you purchased the last posts dog clothing to tease your kids, they could tease you back with this apocalypse wear for your pooch…