Ionel Catanescu

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since Feb 23, 2011
Timisoara, Romania, 45N, 21E, Z6-7
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Recent posts by Ionel Catanescu

Hi Jackie.

As you said, some water will get there from usual rains but it's nothing to worry much.
It's the 1 or 2 times a year when there are major storms that i'm trying to single out.
Pictures will have to wait as i'm not in that phase yet.

John, true for the maintenance.
I'm just trying to avoid some of it if i can or make it less often.
A possibility would be to make the bottom plaster layer a little thicker.
Either way, as i was told, the secret is in the plaster.
A good lime material is essential - and, at least over here, it means i'll have to slake it myself.
Bagged hydrated lime is garbage.
2 years ago
Kris, Jay C does not visit these forums since about 2 years ago.
Neither does Bill Bradbury nor Terry Ruth, both which had some solid building background, natural or conventional.
Needless to say, there are a some of us with many questions unanswered and some even unasked ...

3 years ago
Maybe i should explain better.

There will be a pavement outside the house.
One of it,s roles is to divert water away from the foundation.
However, it's a pretty hard surface and under hard windy rain water will hit it and bounce back onto the foundation wall or even on the sill area.
Overhangs i have a little more than 3ft (1m).
Honestly, in this scenario, only 3 times as much overhang will completely protect.
But this is impractical and rain does not always fall perpendicular to the ground.

It's for these rare ocasions that i consider my options.
3 years ago
Hi everyone.

I'm wondering about the best way to protect the sill area on a SB house.
Since the foundation wall on which the SB rests upon is not very tall (50cm / 20"), there will be some splashing from the area around the building to the wall itself.
The foundation part is well protected but the sill area of the SB wall is making me a little uneasy.

I have locally available heavy duty aluminum window sill that i want to install at the joint between foundation and wood sill plates.
I can then come with the render to meet this area as in the attached drawing.

Now, i have 2 thoughts:
1. Lime render should be done in such a way that it won't crack in this region
2. Careful detailing should be done to stop water ingress

Another thought : if the lime render should stop above the sill mounting heel or come down and rest upon it.
If above, i'll have to put extra flashing behind it to stop water ingress.
If it will come down, it may crack as it's a different material even if i use some reinforcing/ backing mesh.

Thoughts, experiences, something else ?
3 years ago
Regarding the influence of soil type, i'll put some info of my own.

Brett is right when he says that soil type has a large influence on foundation type.
Most problems (but not all) come from water.
If there's a sandy soil that drain fast, you don't need to care much about the water problem as there's not a lot of clay and the excess water will just drain away.
Of course you have to care about the sand being structural but that's a different problem.

But if you have clay or heavy clay, things are different.
Even if you go below frost line, clay will swell a lot if water gets to it.
If you have a gravel trench / stone foundation, water will flow thru to the bottom clay and cause problems.
In this scenario you need the ditch or the entire footprint set at an angle to drain any water to a lower spot.
If you're on a hill, it's simple, but if you're on flat land and if maybe water tables are high ... you have problems.

That's why concrete has a lot of appeal for modern homo impatiens.
People don't have to think and leave out the attention to details.
Basically, concrete is a soil replacement that's not sensitive to seasonal change.
Since it  replaces the excavated soil, water can't (usually) get easily underneath to cause havoc.
But if you have a rubble trench, that's exactly what's going to happen.

Loved the wood building replica on the shake table.
I wish more people in the "norming" business would care ...
3 years ago
Thanks Brett for the info.

Maybe it's my cultural heritage or way of thinking but i can't gen anything out of the SMACNA website ...
Google also did not help ...
3 years ago
In this area i think there's just one ant type : ordinary type.

Yesterday i've dug a trench for a foundation, 80cm (32") deep in heavy clay and found many ants hanging out at the bottom ...
I don't know, the last thing i need is for the wife to come and bang a big cooking pan against my head when she gets overrun by ants (she dislikes crawling insects with an ancestral visceral passion) just because i wasn't cautious from the beginning.

F1 ?
3 years ago

1. The house is not built yet, i'm at the foundation stage atm.
I can design the system for 1/200 ratio.
Can you give a link that explains what "zones, exposures, and roofing systems require different ratios" means ?
I figured i would have to have a custom built metal ridge vent since what's available readily doesn't fit the purpose.

2. Got it. If you have any info on how to build a proper ridge vent for a metal roof please put it here.

3. Well, the membrane here has no other purpose except to act as a "backup" roof.
If something happens to the metal roof (punctured, etc), water/snow will get in.
If there's a membrane in place it will stop here and drain outside.

So the whole thing with any membrane in this scenario is that it's a backup roof.
I can think of pros and cons for having one.
3 years ago
Hi everyone.

I'm doing work on my house foundation and can't help notice there are some small holes inside the perimeter, holes for ants to get in and out of the ground.

Now, since i plan on having an earthen floor of sorts, this leaves me a little worried.

The plan is to have a layer about 15-20cm (6-8") of tamped crushed stone followed by some form of insulation and the earthen floor.

While the tamped crushed stone will protect from rodent ingress, it will do little against the ants.

A plastic sheet will get punctured during installation so not very helpful.
A layer of clay won't stop the ants.

Maybe if i stabilize the base soil with some lime it will help.

People around here just pour a concrete slab and be done. I resent this for many reasons.

Ideas, experiences, anything ?
3 years ago
I don't know if my location is very relevant ...

As i said in the beginning, i bought a kumquat in a pot from the supermarket.
It most probably came from Italy ...

I placed it in a larger pot where i added some local soil plus some store bought one.
After some time i sensed some wonderful fragrance from this pot and i thought the kumquat had flowered ...
But no, it was this suspect.

Now, i use this same soil mix to repot  hundreds of other plants and no perfumed flowers arose till now so i think this "clover" came from the original pot.
That means most probably it came from the mediterranean area which made me suspect  trifolium alexandrinum.
3 years ago