IMG_3075

IMG_3075
Virginia Network
Image by Rev Billy, The Church of Earthalujah & The Stop Sh
9/27/10 — During the Appalachia Rising gathering in Washington DC, Rainforest Action Network, Reverend Billy and the Life After Shopping Choir, and Earth Quakers performed a ‘bring the mountain back to PNC Bank’ action to ask PNC to stop supporting MTR. PNC Bank is currently the largest funder of mountaintop removal coal extraction in the US. The bank locked it’s doors and the legal team negotiated for only 4 of the group to face arrest. Hundreds of Appalachians, coal field workers, and activists were later arrested outside the White House. — photo by BRENNAN CAVANAUGH

stairs, back – 52 – hole in concrete wall big enough to stick head in (20110614) (IMG_3075)

stairs, back – 52 – hole in concrete wall big enough to stick head in (20110614) (IMG_3075)
Virginia Insurance
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
Very troublesome, though, is this hole in the concrete. This is where most of the water drains and does its wear-and-tear. How the hell do you patch something like this? You can stick your whole head in the hole!

One thing not mentioned by the insurance companies was these wobbly wooden steps. The concrete had eroded away around the nails that held these to the wall. One of the vertical support boards was rotting away. Things didn’t quite line up. They were getting downright dangerous, rocking with each step. I feared they would completely collapse! To me, this is the one valid thing that truly had to be fixed — and it wasn’t even on the insurance companies’ lists!

So I replaced the rotting board with another board from my attic, which I had found somewhere years ago. It was rotting, too, but I flipped it so the rotting side was on top. I left the extra part up there as sacrificial material and/or something to hang something on. For less than the cost of a singleboard, we used a TON of wood filler (which you can see–the yellow stuff on the unpainted brown wood) on all the rotting parts of the wood. Nailage was doubled on most of the boards. I bought concrete nails at Home Depot (THEY ARE AWESOME) and re-nailed the vertical support boards to the concrete well. I used a caulking gun full of Liquid Nails behind the vertical support boards, as an additional kludgey hold should the nails get loose later. Then we painted it all. The stairs have no wobble and are like new! Only one board doesn’t look so hot — the top-most board has split horizontally into 2 separate boards, as this is where the water trickles down during storms — probably due to me deliberately changing the water flow to go down these steps many years ago; see recent flooding video at www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/6166790798/ … But since each sub-board is properly nailed, it doesn’t matter that it split. It’s just like using 2 smaller pieces of wood. I was so positive we’d have to replace these stairs 5-10 years ago! Now I think they very well may last ’til 2020! We’ll see!

At the bottom of this board you can kind of see the Liquid Nails — it’s painted, and looks kind of like frosting. Some was needed down here. Wanted as much stickage as possible, nail or otherwise.

Liquid Nails, cinder blocks, concrete, concrete hole, concrete wall, house maintenance, stairs.
after painting. close-up.

side yard, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

June 14, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

BACKSTORY: While dealing with Farmers insurance & Progressive/Homesite insurance’sdropping our policy for us having peeling window sill paint (among other things), we had to do a bunch of house repairs. We dealt with these stairs while doing the other repairs. This is the part of the project where I hammered Carolyn’s fingernail, turning it black for about 4 months. BTW — kudzu can climb these stairs in less than a week.