Part I, cont. – The Log.
So now that you’re up to speed with how a floating home’s foundation (or float) is built, let us continue with the story.
As you already know, there was a huge log sticking out of the water on one end of the house. This disLOGment (har), plus the careless manner in which the house was moved out of the slip for dredging, also shifted a bunch of foam blocks around, causing many to get compacted one on top of the other. In order to save money, we decided to remove as many of these foam blocks ourselves as we could from the inside. (The alternative would be to have the diver/log repair guy remove them from the outside, which would cost $100 per block.) We had to open up the floor, so Jared cut one channel down the whole length of the house.
Let me add that I dreaded this part of the float project. I dreaded it a lot.
My area of expertise is English—I took honors English classes throughout middle and high school. However, having had mostly P.E. teachers as Math teachers in high school, my current knowledge of Mathematics doesn’t even include Algebra. Therefore, my dread was partly due to my lack of mathematics; I had no idea of the amount of pressure contained in those compacted foam blocks, and how high they’d jump once freed. Would they shoot out like a rocket? Would they hit the ceiling? Well, we soon found out, and the pressure is high—high enough for those bastards to pop out a few feet in the air. In one day, Jared and his brother were able to remove 11 blocks. At first, Jared used the chainsaw to cut them out, which was a mess. We ended up buying a pool skimmer to gather all the Styrofoam pellets inside the channel, and floating around the house outside. But then we noticed that a large part of one of the floor joists was completely rotten, so Jared removed the rotted portion, which widened the channel a bit. Jared and his brother were then able to remove the rest of the blocks whole. To help make the job easier, they cut the ends of two two-by-four boards to a point, jammed them into the blocks, and then used these boards as levers to dislodge the blocks. The fact that the joist was rotted was bad, but the fact that the blocks were removed intact means that they would be reusable when the diver/log repair guy repositioned them in their proper place, rather than having to pay for new ones.
Coming home from work and seeing the river inside my house when I walked through the door was, to say the least, a challenge. Sometimes you could even see fish swimming around. Getting a beer out of the fridge was an acrobatic feat trying to step on the joists and avoiding stepping in water instead. Once Jared was done for the day, he’d cover up the channel with plywood. This project went on for about six months, and that was only on one side of the house…