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As I mentioned I’m working on a couple of places to get them ready for new tenants, and most if it involves minor repairs and painting.

The one I’m hoping to get ready first is half of a concrete block duplex built when Harry Truman was President. It has a lot of thermal mass, so if you get it to a temperature it will hold that temperature with minimal expenditures of energy, but getting it to the comfort zone takes a while if it has been unoccupied.

The electrical is finished and it looks like the shower is no longer dripping, so it is time for the painting. The new water-based paints are much safer and easier to use that the oil-based paints, but controlling humidity is important. Lately we have had very high humidity with fog every night. The walls in the duplex are dripping which makes attempting to paint a waste of effort. The leak in the shower and washing the walls increased the problem, so things have been slowed considerably.

The individual who wants to rent the place and his friends have been helping with the cleaning, but they are unclear on several minor concepts – like gravity. I tell them that the new carpet and flooring will be the last things done because you work from the top and go down so you don’t have to be as careful about painting, and dripping isn’t as big a problem. They keep wanting to do something about the floors.

Today I walked in and there was a bloody pressure washer in the center of the living room. It hadn’t been used, but the fact that they even brought it in, shows a mindset that is out of sync with reality. If they had turned it on inside, not only would the place be soaked, every electrical socket would probably had to have been replaced, as well as some of the wiring. They apparently thought that they could speed things up with the pressure washer, not understanding why they are only used outside.

If killing them wouldn’t generate so much paperwork …


1 cookiejill { 11.26.10 at 10:30 pm }

remind me not to rent from you! 😉

2 Bryan { 11.26.10 at 10:59 pm }

I don’t rent them, I just get to repair them when my Mother wants something done quickly.

3 fallenmonk { 11.27.10 at 9:52 am }

I don’t know if you have considered a water proofing paint but Behr makes a good one. http://www.behr.com/dsm-ext/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=0f56771eb42cb110VgnVCM1000006b0910acRCRD&vgnextchannel=8632f11390a59110VgnVCM1000006b0910acRCRD&vgnextfmt=default

It works both above and below grade.

4 oldwhitelady { 11.27.10 at 9:59 am }

Wow! It sounds like you keep busy. Funny that the tenants don’t understand how things go. Even I know that the carpet should go on after the stuff above is finished. There are things like paint spatters.

5 Jack K., the Grumpy Forester { 11.27.10 at 5:42 pm }

…well, Bryan, at least if you say “the heck with the paperwork”, at least you’ll have a pressure washer to clean up afterwards…

6 Bryan { 11.27.10 at 10:04 pm }

In general, when you are told that someone once worked as a painter, you assume they understand the requirements of painting, including surface preparation. Apparently they were only familiar with painting new construction, which is a lot easier to do and requires a lot less information.

There are a number of good waterproof paints that we use down here, Fallenmonk, but I’m trying to get the water out of the concrete first to avoid mildew and mold. This unit is very shaded and doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight to kill it.

Splatters, OWL? Anyone can deal with splatters. I’m talking about kicking over a gallon can, stepping in the roller tray, paint containers springing leaks, handles breaking… I have seen that and more over the years, which is why the carpet is last.

I would never do it inside, Jack, that would really slow things up cleaning up after a forensic team, and blood is nearly impossible to really get out of anything.

7 Kryten42 { 11.27.10 at 10:35 pm }

I feel your pain Bryan! Truly! Been there… yadda! 🙂

Just goes to prove m8… common sense is completely lost on most people. And a little thought, definitely goes a long way with most people (it generally packs it’s little bags and heads to Disneyland)! And yeah, there is nothing worse than clueless people trying to be *helpful*! Yup! Been there… 😈

Well, it proves that your anger management regimen is working m8! Congrat’s! 😀

8 Steve Bates { 11.27.10 at 10:54 pm }

“Bryan is a bloke but he’s the exception who proves the rule!” – D. Duff

In this idiom, “proves” = “probes” … the exception probes the rule, i.e., tests the rule, establishes the validity of the rule in the face of an apparent counterexample. Such apparent exceptions always turn out in fact not to be exceptions.

This bit of English semantic trivia is brought to you free of charge, and is worth what you paid for it.

9 hipparchia { 11.27.10 at 11:42 pm }

… and blood is nearly impossible to really get out of anything.

and if you buy enough hydrogen peroxide to do the job right, you get put on somebody’s terrorist watch list.

that’s one of the few black marls against my new abode, it’s not concrete block. i love love love living in a concrete block house.

10 Bryan { 11.27.10 at 11:48 pm }

My anger management regimen is being sorely tested, Kryten.

I don’t like to talk down to people and treat them like they are children, but I expect them to ask if they are unsure of things. The only “stupid question” is the one that isn’t asked when someone doesn’t understand. Actually I should have expected problems, because the one “friend” that I know can do the job, and do it really well, has been absent from the process. I suspect that he got fed up and quit trying to work with the others.

This too will pass, but I had hoped that it wouldn’t remind me so much of a kidney stone in the passage.

In the law, Steve, it is generally understood that if an exception is stated, that establishes the existence of a rule for all other circumstances. For example “No Parking on Sunday” indicates that you can park on all other days. IOW, the rule is “you can park here, except on Sunday”.

11 Bryan { 11.27.10 at 11:54 pm }

Gallon water jugs are a pretty good substitute for concrete as a source of thermal mass, and useful during emergencies, if you have the room to store them, Hipparchia.

This is concrete with the old, hard tile asphalted to the slab, so it would require a flood of peroxide to get it out of the cracks.

12 Steve Bates { 11.28.10 at 5:29 pm }

Sigh. A lack of at least minimal scholarly interest in the idioms of one’s own native language… yours and mine, David; we were both born to it, though clearly you owned it first… shows not so much lack of effort as lack of curiosity. And that is the core of conservatism: lack of curiosity.

David, I recommend a dose of Steven Pinker’s work… if you’re the least bit curious. He’s at Harvard; are they conservative enough to suit you?

13 Steve Bates { 11.28.10 at 5:33 pm }

Bryan, occasionally I run across an individual who thinks a pressure washer is the solution to all surface-related problems, no matter what, no matter where. I always ask them please to point the damned thing somewhere far, far away from me.

14 paintedjaguar { 11.28.10 at 8:20 pm }

Kids today with their wacky pressure washers, huh Steve? Now when I was their age, we had sandblasters

15 Badtux { 11.28.10 at 9:47 pm }

Painted, we *still* have sandblasters. We merely use them to do surface prep on cars today, not interiors :twisted:.

What, you thought big boys would give up their old toys just ’cause a new one got invented? ;).

Regarding the dolt who believes you can just slap paint onto concrete block the way you can onto drywall, those of us with a clue know that if you do so, you end up with blistered peeling paint. Concrete block is an unforgiving surface to paint, sigh…

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

16 Bryan { 11.28.10 at 9:52 pm }

Steve, they are alright for washing the exterior of houses to remove mold, or for getting rid of paint on driveways. but in the wrong hands they just tear things up.

I’ve watched a few people lose hard to replace parts using sandblasters, PJ. They were looking for a short-cut while painting metal. I admit that they ended up with a lot less metal to paint. 😉

17 Bryan { 11.28.10 at 9:58 pm }

You’re right about block. Badtux, as anyone who has ever lived in one of the old houses along the Coast knows. If it isn’t dry and warm, there is no point in trying. It also requires a better grade of paint than drywall.

18 Badtux { 11.28.10 at 10:07 pm }

I owned a block house in South Scottsdale, Bryan. So I learned about block and paint quite well, just didn’t have to deal with humidity.

Regarding sandblasting, nowdays for restoring cars they use walnut shells or glass beads, depending on what they’re blasting. Reduces the casualty rate from sharp sand eating holes right through critical pieces and chewing up bearings, heh. One of these days I’m going to do a complete frame-off restoration of an old vehicle. Of course, given how long I intend to keep my Jeep (which is the last of the classic Jeep line with the 1964-vintage AMC straight 6), that vehicle may well be my own Jeep :).

— Badtux the Handy Penguin

19 Badtux { 11.29.10 at 9:50 am }

BTW, one thing I do recall from a friend who had some block houses in Louisiana is that the only way to get the humidity down inside during winter is to get the heat up inside by turning up the furnace to “blast”. It takes a while, but eventually the walls *do* heat up enough to stop condensing. This assuming you have a vented furnace (or electric furnace) and not a ventless heater, one of whose combustion byproducts is, err, water vapor (oops!).

20 Ame { 11.29.10 at 5:03 pm }

You might want to rent or buy a cellar extractor, or get a really good dehumidifier. In my experience placing the unit in a room and closing the door and running the unit for 24 hours then moving the unit to the next room running it for 24 hours, until all the rooms are done. Close the door in each room as it has it’s turn, the start over and do all the rooms again. After the initial drying event 🙂 more moisture will come to the surface. Sometimes it takes 3 or more drying sessions before it stops sweating. I’d do all the caulking before starting so moisture doesn’t continue to leak into the house.

21 Bryan { 11.29.10 at 9:23 pm }

Badtux, it has an oversized heat pump for HVAC, and that vents outside. I have a couple of oil-filled radiators and an oscillating ceramic heater to speed things up, as soon as the power comes on. I was hoping for today, but maybe tomorrow.

Ame, the moisture is from internal sources, plumbing, which have been stopped, but it maxed out the humidity inside the duplex. If it dries out, we can move forward.

I have plenty of small AC units that would do the job, if it were warmer, and if the power company would show up. Now I’ll do it with heat.