Thursday, August 7, 2008

MAKING MUD PIES - OR, TIME TO FIX THOSE WALLS

As many of you know, we live in a strawbale home with lots of straw and mud plastered walls. When we added on to the original casita, my wonderful new studio had an exterior wall as one of the now interior walls. That wall had suffered quite a bit of weather damage. Some mud had fallen off and there was straw showing through along with chicken wire and bale string. Here is a before picture of part of the damaged wall. You can see I have already added new plaster on the left.
This requires making mud pies and this is my trusty bucket of mud. The repair work took approximately 15 buckets of dirt and went on over 3 days. Progress slowed when we had several days of rain. It is really hard to sift wet soggy dirt. I sifted dirt to remove the stones and twigs, added water and mixed thoroughly with my hands. It was warm and squishy and loads of fun! Then, it was a simple matter of smearing the mud on the walls with my hands. In those places where there was no existing base, ( in the doorway which used to be an exterior window) Roy added roofing felt as a moisture barrier and then covered the areas with either chicken wire or diamond lath. What an improvement! No more straw sticking out! Some of the mud plaster is still wet but I wanted to show you the pictures right away.
So, if you don't have any walls to cover with mud, you should at least make mud pies. Go do it!!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks great! Do you have trouble with mice? I have a friend that has tons and says that everyone has them and there is nothing you can do. I disagree and the mice carry diseases Hummm Cheers Dee

judemowris said...

Not a problem with mice if you caulk the roof line and plaster all the way to the ground. You do have to be diligent in sealing around pipes. You have to be smarter than the mice:)