Saturday, November 25, 2006

Window Box Repair

When you own an old house that suffered from years of benign neglect, there are a 1001 small little projects to fill your afternoons. For a long time I've had my eye on my front window box. During the winter there has always been a strong, cold, unexplainable breeze that enters through the interior wood trim on the bottom of my big front window. I suspected some type of hole.

Most of these little projects seem deceptively small. But when you get involved in them, they suck up an amazing amount of time. In order to look at the bottom of the window box, I needed to remove all of the dirt currently in it. Once that was done, I hauled my dry vac up from the basement and removed most of the remaining dirt. Sure enough, the stucco had deteriorated at the bottom of the box. You could actually see the wire mesh that originally formed the "lathe" for the stucco brown coat. The rest of the box's interior was in surprisingly good shape.

So, I went out to my garage and mixed some patch cement. Patching the missing stucco took a larger amount of patch than I thought it would and I ended up making a few trips back to the garage for more cement. I experimented a bit with a drier and a runnier mix. Looking at the patch today, I think the drier mix worked better.

I'm toying with the idea of putting a 6" strip of roof membrane patch down on that joint so water will be forced back into the box and out one of the drains on the bottom. Hopefully, this is one of those jobs that only need to be done once.

I usually fill my front box with spruce tips for the winter. But, that would mean hauling in new dirt for the box and I just don't have it in me these days. So between my yard of dirt, my empty window box, and the sections were I have pulled down the aluminum house is looking a more than a little bleak right now. I almost feel a little sorry for those realtors trying to sell houses on our block :-) Maybe I can figure out how to use styrofoam for a base for the spruce tips......

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