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  • Writer's pictureDesertsage Seals


Today we're going to drop in on the crawl space conversion job and see how the guys are doing. In this blog we're going to discuss:

  • Why are we spraying shotcrete over random areas of brick?

  • What are the dimensions of a new footer going in beneath an existing footer?

  • After pouring A section footers, how soon can we move on to pour the B section footers?

  • Tool review: Razorback Shovels, Hatachi Hammer Drill

Why are we spraying shotcrete over random areas of brick?

Red brick was used for foundation construction in the early 1900's. As these foundation walls age the mortar joints and red brick both deteriorate. We spray shotcrete in and around these areas where red brick is exposed to encase them where they're at and prevent further deterioration as we excavate underneath the existing foundation. Some of these areas will crumble and fall right out if we don't take this very important step. Once the old red bricks are encased, we can dowel right in and tie the old foundation together with the newer, stronger foundation.

What are the dimensions of a new footer going in beneath an existing footer?

The footer extends two feet out from the new foundation wall, just beneath where the new floor will be placed. The footer is 8 to 10 inches thick. The new foundation wall going up to meet with the old footer is approximately 4 inches thick. These are the dimensions that are called out by the engineer within the building plans and then communicated amongst the managers and workers on the project at every stage. There's very little, if anything, that's done on these projects without planning, communicating and inspecting as we go.

After pouring A section footers, how soon can we move on to pour the B section footers?

Approximately two days after the first section of footers are poured, we're able to move on and excavate the following sections that could not previously be excavated because the areas of untouched soil were still supporting the foundation while other sections were opened up and unsupported. When those initial sections are poured (or in this case, sprayed), the workers can then begin to excavate and form the following sections and place the reinforcement. It will take at least a couple of days to do this, so the concrete will have had ample time to set. When all sections of new footer and foundation wall are installed, excavation will be complete and we will begin grading for the new floor.

Tool Review: Hatachi Hammer Drill

When I started to do a review on this tool I did not know that it was going to fall apart when I picked it up! Kind of funny, actually. Back at the office Gold explains some of the trouble he's had with this particular hammer drill.

The dig bit or shovel bit will not hold in place and falls out every time someone picks it up. We have not been able to get hold of the parts we need in order to fix the tool and nor can we find a reliable repair service that is willing to work on this particular brand.

Gold goes on to explain that the hassle of not being able to get a tool repaired when a repair is needed would cause him to not recommend this tool. Other tools, he says, such as Makita, although they may not be your favorite at first, have a good repair services and are available when you need them.

In summary, a good tool should not only be a good tool but also have replacement parts and service readily available when that service is needed. We would not recommend this Hitachi hammer drill.

Tool Review: Razorback Shovels

Today's review on the Razorback shovel is coming directly from one of our top guys in the field. JC is not only a lead man on the job, he is unmatched when it comes down to some good old fashioned digging! He uses Razorback shovels for their durability and long life.

JC prefers to use short handled shovels because it can be difficult to work with a long handled shovel when you're in a tight squeeze and trying to dig. The short handled shovel allows for more range of motion while working inside of small, enclosed areas.

The spade shovel is good for moving loose dirt, but JC prefers the missile shovel for stabbing and breaking apart compacted earth. It can be used in place of a pick axe and, in many awkward and uncomfortable digging situations, can do what a pick axe cannot!

By this review we can confirm that the Razorback shovels are not flimsy, they uphold the test of time and we would recommend this tool to anybody.

See the full video below and don't forget to support your local small business by subscribing to this channel!

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