When you own a home, you often find yourself doing things where, afterward, you’re breathing a sigh of relief because it didn’t burn down. Or blow up. Or collapse on top of you.
That last scenario really applied today. It turns out that it was something of a miracle that the carport has stood for more than two decades without toppling.
I know I’ve said before that Lawrence is relatively unflappable. He takes everything in stride. Most of the time, he doesn’t even react to what he sees before him. Not so today. His face said a lot. I instantly knew we had trouble. “Well, this is not good,” quoth Lawrence. “It’s definitely not good.” Those aren’t words you hear from Lawrence, especially when they accompany a look that drives home that point 10 times over.
Turns out that the idiots who built the carport not only didn’t bother to put in a post or any kind of fill in the columns, THEY DIDN’T PUT ANYTHING UNDERNEATH them either. As a result, the columns have gradually just started sinking into the ground.
Did I mention that these are load-bearing supports, as in they’re holding up the entire roof structure of the carport? It’s no wonder then that the carport has been sloooooooowly sinking into the driveway. We’re just d*mn lucky it has been at such a slow rate and didn’t just fall down! I’m still marveling that the storms of 2006 didn’t bring it down!
After today though that is a moot point. While we were regularly challenged by brief downpours, we managed to get the worst of the job over with. Unfortunately, we didn’t finish. Because of weather – and because after Wednesday I won’t get Lawrence back again until sometime in November – this means I’m going to have to take a day off work to wrap this up. I can’t risk having snow on the ground for this kind of a job!
While the driveway slopes, note how severely the roofline sags. This is as we were getting started today.
That’s Lawrence shoring up our temporary supports. While it wasn’t the safest arrangement and I admit I was a little nervous about it, believe it or not this silly rigged get-up was 100 times better than how that end of the carport had been being held in place!
Take a look at the roofline now. It’s looking better already after we’d managed to remove 15 gallons of dirt, rock and asphalt from the hole where the column sat. The first 10 using only hand shovels!
Here’s the column back in place – with a concrete slab and 3 bags of concrete mix to hold it in place. While the rain was a nuisance it did help us out on this one little thing: it filled the hole allowing us to mix the concrete without dragging the hose over!
On Tuesday, we’ll need to tackle the second column and the driveway edge. That column shouldn’t be nearly as bad as we’ve already stopped the sag. We just need to shore it up now with some concrete to ensure that it doesn’t continue to sink.