Sunday, August 2, 2009

Starting along the Fence

2 August 2009

Worked for a couple of hours this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday. Despite the August heat, this work was in the afternoon both days. I'm starting to work back along the fence. If I keep up this pace, I think I could be back to the corner by the end of the month.

The digging is fairly unremarkable. I dig out a section and pull the dirt back into the area where I've already dug it out. As I do that, I separate out the roots and the rocks from the dirt. The rocks go in the wheelbarrow and are taken around to the driveway to, eventually, be gotten rid of. The roots go in a plastic trash can to be recycled by the City (into mulch). The dirt gets shoveled up on the pile to the left in the photo, filling in the area that I've dug out already. As the volume of material that was there is decreased by the rocks and roots, I get more space to work in.

The above photo shows the type of soil I'm digging in. There is a top layer of maybe four inches of brown dirt. This is good soil that we have brought in over the past 20 years. Then there is maybe 2 inches of "sandy loam" as it was called -- a lighter colored dirt that the builder brought in. Underneath that is 3 to 4 inches of native soil -- a combination of dark dirt and light colored limestone rocks. So the top layer has roots that need to be removed; the bottom layer has rocks that need to be removed. In the process, all the dirt that is left is mixed up, along with leaves and such, and then thrown on the pile. It should settle down as the organic material (leaves) decompose, and the soil compacts.

At the same time, on Sunday morning, I took advantage of the lower temperatures and added more insulation to the attic, over the kitchen area -- probably mostly over the utility room. I rolled out another 9 inches of fiberglass roll insulation. Should be R30. This was four packs of 15 inch wide, 25 foot long rolls of insulation. This should take it to about R90 total. The blue Styrofoam are left-over ventilation pieces and the shiny foil is an old water heater blanket. These are left over from other projects, and shouldn't hurt, might help.

My plan at this point is to get a home energy audit, since there is almost no place left to over-insulate in the attic and I'm not sure what else I can do.