Winterizing: filling the gap

The new part of the house was added on in the mid-70’s or so. I still remember bits and pieces of the construction, including the pouring of concrete for the steps at the main entry.

After all these decades, it’s to be expected that those heavy steps would slowly sink, creating a gap.

A fairly large one.

This is how it looked yesterday evening. the mats had even started to get pushed under the stucco a bit.

The spray foam I was using lists an ideal temperature range of 15-23C.

It was about 3C when I did that – and I had waited for things to warm up!

As you can see, it was still pretty damp, too.

But, it is what it is. I just want something that will last until more extensive work can be done, which may be quite a few years from now.

At this end, you can see the gap is a couple of inches, and that there is a piece of wood at the base of the stucco. The stairs used to be flush with that wood.

At this end, not only has the concrete sunk further, but the wood has broken off, leaving a gap of almost 5 inches, as the end.

The spray foam I got was specifically for filling large gaps, and this is why!

I swept away as much debris from the gap as I could. Then, when I thought I was done, I swept some more. Then swept again. There was no way I could do a proper scrubbing under there in our current conditions (this really should have been done in the summer – but not during the heat wave!), and nothing I could do about the damp.

Ah, well. It’ll be better than nothing!

I’ve never used spray foam before, so figuring out how to set up the trigger and nozzle was the first challenge. Not because it was confusing; it was actually pretty straight forward. However, when nothing happened, I had no way of knowing what I might have done wrong. The instructions were pretty vague.

It turned out that the trigger just needing to be pressed really, really hard to get gone. Once it started, it wasn’t as difficult.

The other challenge was all those very curious cats!

Thankfully, they weren’t too curious about the foam; just the noise I was making while spraying it.

Filling the gap at the narrow end was pretty straightforward.

Filling the gap at the wide end was not so easy. I ended up treating it as if I were piping icing on a cake, to fill in the space.

I pretty much emptied the can.

After this, I left to get my daughter from work, so no pictures until this morning.

You can see how the foam continued to expand as it cured.

You see that smooth looking part that’s about 8-10 inches, to the right of the door?

That’s what it’s all supposed to look like. Not messy, like the rest of it is. 😀

The wider portions of the gap seem to have filled quite well. It’s really messy, with lots of gaps at the surface, but the space under the stucco is filled. It would have expanded down, between the concrete steps and the basement wall, as well – I made sure to get the foam all the way to the back of the gap, which is what took up most of the can! So there is actually quite a bit more foam here than is visible.

At some point, weather willing, I’ll go back and trim it more flush with the wall.

So this is now done.

It’s not going to make a whole lot of difference as far as keeping things warmer, but if means less frost developing under the door, I’m happy with it.

The Re-Farmer

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