Do you remember the time I told you that I had to do some concrete cutting at the back of our house? If not, you can read the post where I describe the process I undertook here. Basically, the person who built this house poured the concrete pool deck right up against the pine board and batten siding. I’m guessing things have been this way since the house was builtin the 90s. When we first moved here, I took one look at the situation and knew it shouldn’t be like that and I knew I had to fix it. Finding the motivation to do such a thing was the challenge. I finally found that motivation this summer and cut the concrete about a foot and a half away from the house. I’ve got some photos of that in that post I linked to above.
To make a long story short, since I cut the concrete away from the house, I was able to use the opening in the foundation to shovel sand into the basement, which filled it up. Since that basement encapsulation project was recently completed, I thought it would be wise to fill the trench I dug out back so one of us didn’t fall into it over the winter. These things happen. Besides one of us breaking a leg, my primary concern was rot. The concrete pool deck and fill sand underneath it was right up against the house before I dug it away. In back of the siding was the band joist, which, as you can imagine, would be a real pain to replace if it was too far gone. So needless to say, I was nervous about what I’d find after I cut away the rotted pine siding.
I used my circular saw set to a specific height to cut a straight line across the siding. Take a look. I’m impressed that this part of the project came out so nicely.
Looks pretty good, right? When I cut that siding away, I couldn’t believe the the joist was still in such good shape. I will tell you that the material that was up against the siding rarely saw water from rain. We have a rather large overhang from the roof above, so that may have saved the wood. Still, with all the moisture that comes from the ground, burying wood siding with a band joist behind it is never a good idea.
The challenge I was faced with was how to keep any further moisture that emanated from the sand I was about to use to fill the area with away from the lumber under the house. I decided to go with a 30 foot long, 16 inch high piece of aluminum flashing. I figured that if I nail that right up against the house, moisture won’t be able to penetrate it an the wood would stay dry. So, I picked up a nice 50 foot roll of flashing and did my best to make things straight.
As you can see, I’ve got some good overlap with the flashing. It covers the entire band joist and part of the foundation.
To make things look nice, I screwed up a few 2×4 pieces of pressure treated lumber and then stained it dark brown to match the house.
And yesterday, I ordered and had delivered ten yards of stone dust. If you don’t know what stone dust is, it’s a coarse sand that packs really well. It’s actually the byproduct of crushed stone and it’s perfect for driveways and is oftentimes used as a base under concrete and blacktop. Since we have a gravel driveway that needs topping and since that gravel is terrible in the winter when in conjunction with a snowblower, I decided to top the driveway with this stone dust. First though, I needed to fill in the trench. I woke up at about 6am today and did a bunch of shoveling. The trench has been filled. Check it out.
You should have seen me out there packing the sand down, layer by layer, by walking on top of it in really small steps. Too funny. Anyway, I got the job done. Now all I need to do is a bit of caulking and then nail up a piece of batten to run along the top of the 2x4s. There’s a gap left behind from my cutting. I’ll do that when I get around to it. It’s not critical, such as filling in a dangerous trench was.
I’ve got about seven yards of stone dust leftover for the driveway. I’ll take my time to spread that out. I think I’ll order 18 more yards next summer for the rest of the driveway. I enjoy having sand on hand. I think I’ve become addicted to shoveling. It’s actually quite peaceful and it gives me something to chew on if I get bored.
Thanks for reading!