Monday, May 6, 2013

This Is The Part I Hate

Doing a little updating here at home.  I am changing out some things in the kitchen, we are preparing to have  either laminate or wood flooring put in the living room, entry and hallway, and new tile in the bedrooms and kitchen.   Before doing that we need to fix some cracks in the walls.

Cement houses have their benefits.   The big one is fire, it just doesn't happen very often.  Things inside may catch fire and if it doesn't get too hot the block is not affected, you repaint and you're ready.  Because the threat of fire is so low, we don't fear having bars on the windows unlike in stick built homes.   Did you know that there is a robbery in the U.S. every 15 seconds.   We don't have as much of that because if you can't break the lock on the door the only other way to get in is with a sledge hammer (mazo) to break through a wall.  Just hope nobody hears you.   That has been done before though, trust me.

Out here where we live is pretty much farm land and the ground is very soft.  Also an aquifer runs below us which also affects the stability.   We have some cracks in the walls in the entry way and the bedroom that need to be fixed.  What a mess.  They take a chisel and small sledge hammer and knock it out.  Then they insert reebar (varilla) in the walls with staples (grapas).   After, this area is filled in with solid cement, left to dry and then plastered over.   The house can move all it wants but the cracks won't reappear.  Having this done will keep from damaging the new flooring.

Here is a picture of why I don't like cement houses.   You can see there is no insulation.  Sure, you could inject foam in the walls, pour in cement between the holes in the block, and of course there are newer types of block that have thermal properties.    Very few homes use any of that.   You can even cover the outside of the house with foam panels and then cement over them.   Our roof is mostly styrofoam though.  First they make a lattice of cement beams and then fill the openings with foam blocks.  Cement is poured over the top, waterproofing, and then the clay tiles.   The roof helps quite a bit to keep in the cool or the heat, the walls suck.   That is the downside of a cement house.

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