One side of the basement was left as it was built - brick with stucco face 1/2 walls, wood walls above. the other half of the basement was "finished" to create the appearance of a living space, but there is far too much damp to really live in it.
|View of the finished side of the basement before we began, note the warped wallboard form the flood|
In an attempt to maintain the secure nature of the basement -- in-other-words to keep out the creepy critters -- we worked on 8-foot sections at a time. First we removed the wallboard, repaired the masonry and wood foundation walls, repaired any rot/damage to the inside support walls (the wood that holds the drywall up - whats it really called ??) and added in critter bait and borax dust to kill of some bugs. One ingenious thing I dreamed up was that we put down a polystyrene brick molding to raise the drywall off the floor 2 inches -- for those days when there is a little water seepage into the basement the drywall wont get wet -- then replaced the wallboard on top of the brick molding with damp-proof drywall laid horizontally so we can remove the lower section of there is another flood without tearing up the upper part of the wall.
So here are some photos of the repair process - see the earlier post for masonry repairs.
ALSO - our big fireplace/ash pit discovery.
|Here the rotted wood along the floor has been cut out.|
|The wood is removed, but we still have to cut out that nail to slide in the new replacement wood.|
|New wood and the white brick mold in place - the drywall sits on top of that chunky molding and is raised above the damp floor to keep it dry.|
|Discovering the fire place or ash pit behind insulation and wallboard. Originally this would have all been exposed.|
|An annoying sideways view of the fireplace area showing both the top and bottom openings. From what evidence we found, these were both always opened. There if wood floor at the top of this section separating it from the room above.|
|The bottom part of the fireplace foundation. I think this may have originally been an ash pit where burned ash remains were collected from the 2 fireplaces above.|
|Sweeping 110 years of fallen mortar dust and ashes out of the top section of the fireplace|
|The top and bottom sections of the fireplace are connected by a hole, this is not a fallen brick, either.|
|OK, call me crazy for taking a picture of this, but here's a 100 year old un-struck (?) match, dang.|