May 17, 2013

What happened here?

furniture piled up

covered furnitureWhat happened here?

What's this?

Heavy spring cleaning?

Floor polishing?

Did you have a flood?


Are you moving?

Read on and weep...

covered furniture
One morning I was sitting at my desk, listlessly flipping through the newspaper as I drank my coffee, waiting for that magic caffeine jolt, when El Jefe said, "So, I was thinking, why don't you go visit Steve and Laura in San Pedro?"

My fingers stopped in mid-air. I paused, lifted my head to look at him, narrowing my eyes suspiciously: "What happened?" I knew there was a reason for this and it couldn't be good.

"I was just thinking that you haven't seen them in a long time," he said with a smile.


ceramic popped up
He paused for a second, and then obviously realizing that he couldn't keep me from finding out, even if I immediately went upstairs to pack, which I wasn't going to do. "The floor in the hallway lifted up. We're going to have to take out all the tile and bust the concrete beneath it."

"The hallway?"
"Yep, and the breakfast area, too."
"I knew the breakfast area was loose, but the hallway?! It was fine yesterday!"

He tries to protect me from these sorts of things. Oh, well. We have now removed and replaced close to half of the ceramic in the house and I'm resigned to sooner or later having to remove, bust out the floors, replace the tile in the entire house.

Thankfully, El Jefe has the system down pat now. He's figured out how to maintain the dust level to the absolute minimum which I really appreciate. The areas to be worked on are wet down each night so we get mud instead of dust. The reason that the concrete floors have to be busted out is explained in another article. It's just too painful to talk about again. These photos should suffice.

busting out concrete floor
The boxes were to stop the rubble
from flying everywhere

busting concrete floor
We filled 3 or 4 of those boxes with concrete rubble

Even after replacing the laundry room with a new, different tile to preserve the precious few tiles for those that get broken during the removal process, our supply of 'extras' is dangerously low again. The tile we used is no longer available. If the tiles continue to lift up, someday soon we'll be faced with either using an unmatched tile (oh, the horror of that thought!) or busting out a whole room somewhere and replacing it with a different tile to use the old ones as replacements in other rooms (another pretty horrifying thought).

I've written about this before, so if you want to share my pain, check out these articles. Don't miss the video so you can share what I listen to eight hours a days for days on end while the concrete floor is being busted out and the reason why J suggested a 'vacation' for me.

The day my floor exploded

Exploding floor, part 2

removing tile long hallway
I discovered that I didn't write about our other floor eruptions. There was the 2012 episode, when most of the loooong front hallway popped up. Here is a photo from that time.

The year before was when the laundry room floor, parts of the hallway, and the guest bath lifted, I was too sad to write about it or take photos that time, but every year gets a little easier.

busted out ceramic tile
Right in the middle of the house
where we had to walk through it 10 times a day

busted out ceramic tile bath hallway
Bust too deep and you have to pour
new concrete and wait for it to dry

collateral damage, busting out tiles
Collateral damage

wet concrete for less dust, removing ceramic tile
Some tiles just wouldn't come out...
probably next year!

The job is done for now so I can write about it without sniffling. It only took about three weeks. Walls have been dusted and everything is moved back to its proper place. This time, the worker got the concrete busting done pretty fast, but he broke four tiles, chipped several others, and the tile installer broke another one. We don't sweep our floors here - we shovel them!

We don't sweep; we shovel

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