Cool in the morning but rapidly warming. Some small chance of rain, or overcast. Overcast would be welcome as we will be in the sun otherwise. It got up to 99F in the shade yesterday and well over 100F in the sun. Where we were. Working. In the sun. The hot sun.
Moved a ton of dirt yesterday. Had to reduce the height of the front yard by about a foot and a half to correct slope and water issues. Over time, or just through poor design, the yard had become raised, and about half sloped toward the house. This contributed to the foundation issues and needed to be corrected.
While digging we found landscape drain lines, sprinkler pipe, the copper gas pipe, and a small diameter plastic pipe we can’t identify. What we did NOT find was the outflow from the septic tank. By all logical layouts we should have found it while trenching. Maybe we’ll find it today when we dig the big hole for the new tanks. We also found random lengths of steel angle iron, some rebar, and various other chunks of metal.
The biggest issue was massive root balls from some long dead trees or bushes. They were co-joined and huge, one spanning about 8 ft by 5 ft, and a good foot thick. They were just under the soil and had to be removed. We ended up nibbling away from the edges to get enough cut loose that the big machine could pry up the rest. Took most of the effort of the day.
Some construction notes for the DIYer. Sand is not just sand. Sand has very specific characteristics, some of which are suitable for construction use, some not. Fluffy soft sand is not suitable for fill under anything. It will not compact or lock together, it will squish and slide out from under any load. You want “sharp” sand for something like that. You do not need a vapor barrier under an outdoor slab. Rebar is engineered and shaped to do its job. Smooth hot rolled “pencil” rod is not. They are not interchangeable. Random lengths of angle iron have no place in a concrete slab. Wire reinforcing panel works only when properly embedded into the concrete. If you can’ t use “chairs”, then use a hook to pull it up into the mix and don’t walk on it after that. Finally, if your original patio slab sank 6 inches, simply putting another 6 inches of concrete on top of it won’t solve the underlying problem and may make it worse.
And people, if you are going to use bare copper tube with flare nuts as buried gas pipe, DO NOT make a SPLICE with flare nuts and a short iron pipe nipple and then BURY THAT.
More hole digging is on the agenda for today. As is running gas pipe.
Stacking up the knowledge. Stacking up the skills. Stack some of each.