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The floor project continued

The new floor of the main room has been ready and in use for several weeks now. But that doesn't mean that the project is already fully completed, as a whole bunch of minor tasks have been waiting to be done. So I have been slowly working on those minor tasks.

Instead of lacquer I've decided to treat the floor with linseed oil. It doesn't form a foil nor a layer on top of the timber, but just gets absorbed into the pores of the wood. Once the timber is fully saturated with oil, dirt and moisture can't get in, so that makes the floor to better endure the wear of daily use. But to make the floor saturated with oil one treatment isn't enough, it usually takes three or four treatments, with enough time in between the treatments to allow the oil to get absorbed into the wood. So, for the first treatment I used linseed oil as such. For the second treatment I wanted to apply a pigment to make the floor something like sand brown in colour. I bought a box of raw sienna, mixed it with the oil and applied onto the floor. It took about a week until the second treatment got fully absorbed. Hehe, I'd guess this is one of the reasons people have switched to using more modern lacquers and such, for they dry quick. But I'm not in hurry, I quite like things taking time they take. I don't have previous experience with mixing a simple oil paint like this, but seems like I didn't ruin it completely =) I think the time for third treatment will be sometime towards the end of the year. (There's a picture showing the coloured floor and a piece of untreated plank for comparison).

Well, when renovating the floor I just dumped a lot of removed materials out of the windows. Since then there has been a heap of concrete rubble waiting under one window, and a heap of removed soil under another window. With a spade and a wheelbarrow I've been transporting away the heap of removed soil. I've taken it to my garden, to be mixed with compost to make fertile soil. And then the heap of concrete rubble. I've taken pieces of concrete onto my driveway, as there are worn spots which collect rainwater, making the driveway muddy. A good road is always at least a bit higher than the surrounding terrain, to help it to stay dry. Too much moisture and a dirt road won't hold the weight of a vehicle. So, to elevate the deteriorated parts of the driveway I first applied a layer of concrete rubble, and then another layer of soil to cover the concrete. For that I removed a layer of soil next to the west wall of the house. Next to the north wall there remains a lot of soil which needs to be removed.

North of the house there is a mild but constant slope upwards. And when I bought the house the soil was at the level of the lower part of the northern wall (see a simple diagram below). That meant that a lot of rainwater had been running down the slope, getting absorbed into the structures of the house. So no wonder parts of the northern wall were almost completely rotten, just like half of the smaller room floor. For a quick remedy I dug a ditch next to the northern wall - that was about eight years ago. Since then I've been thinking that some day I need to remove more soil, as I think that around a house there needs to be at least two metres radius where the surface of the soil is lower than the lowest part of the building. That way the soil moisture won't flood into the bottom of the house. In my previous post I mentioned mystery moisture accumulating in the sand bank under the newly renovated kitchen sink. Now, I think that moisture is exactly because of the terrain elevation to the north of the house. After all the rain the soil has been soaked with water, and the natural flow of soil water has been driving moisture into the northern side of my floor structure. So I seriously need to remove more and more soil from the northern side of the house. (Again, this is the kind of a work most people would nowadays use an excavator - but I prefer a spade and a wheelbarrow. Sure, it is slower, but it gives me some natural exercise so that I don't need to go to a gym.)

So this is where I'm at today. I have a few additional things planned for later, but more of them in the posts to come. We have had the first sub-freezing days, and I can already feel that the new floor helps to maintain a higher indoor temperature.

tags: 
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homesteading
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Comments

I like the diagram.

Hehe, I hope it makes sense. I hand drew the picture, and only after scanning and resizing did I realize that it would've been better had I used a thicker line for text.

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