Cement and Apple Pie

On Friday, Bob and Julie headed in to Chicago to help us work on the basement. With the powerwashing complete, our next step was to skim sections of the basement walls that needed some concrete/repair. Here, Liz and Bob are checking out the requirements for each bag (1.25 gallons of water per bag).

A view of the wall, with sections of the skim coating that have fallen away over time. Our job: to patch up any section that exposed brick.

Liz and Bob, working with the concrete mixer. Once more, I cannot emphasize enough how lucky we are that Bob has all these tools, and that we are able to use them for our home. Our own concrete mixer!

The first batch of concrete was a little rough. We added the 1.25 gallons of water first, and then dumped in the concrete… but this ended up causing a few large clumps inside the mixer. What ended up happening was a rather “soupy” mixture for us to work with.

Liz, working on applying a first coat.

The wall, filled in.

The process involved wetting the brick initially with a brush, then applying the cement. Then trying to smooth out the cement. All four of us fell into a good rhythm where we were helping one another out.


There definitely was a lot of trial and error. I found myself trying to figure out what things were supposed to look like, and wasn’t sure how well I was doing. But by the end of the night, I had a better sense of what I needed to be doing – both in terms of applying the cement, and then smoothing it out.

After going through two bags and finishing a good third of the basement, we adjourned upstairs for some beer and apple pie (which Julie had baked in Frankfort, prior to coming over). A pretty great way to end the evening, and start the weekend!

Powerwashing the Basement
Pouring Cement in the Back Basement
Apple Pies in Frankfort, 2015

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