Wednesday, January 2, 2008

January 2, 2008

Today we ventured out to the Castro to do a a primary check of the adobe bricks to see how they are faring this winter. Our main concern was water wicking up from the ground and penetrating the brick as well as water pooled on top of the bricks infiltrating the pallet covers. We uncovered a sampling of bricks and found that our method of covering them with plastic pallet covers is mostly working to keep the bricks dry! The overall condition of the bricks was excellent with a few displaying a small amount of moisture/condensation on the tops of the bricks (see photo 2). One brick had some wicking at the bottom and was soft enough that with a strong force (Randy's thumb) an indentation was made into the brick (see photo 3). That condition only appeared on one brick and overall the base of the bricks appear to be withstanding the rain and moisture (see photo 4).

One issue we noted was that the large rubber bands used to secure the tops of the pallet covers are snapping due to UV exposure. The bands that have broken will be replaced with twine and thus the twine vs. rubber bands experiment has been answered. For use outdoors, twine endures much better than the large rubber bands.

A big storm is approaching tomorrow and our next steps are to clear away any branches that have fallen on or near the bricks. We also plan to clear the weeds growing around the base of the pallets. This should ensure our bricks are protected for the remaining winter months. -JK

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