Yesterday while I was away at work Chris worked on the mud job for our front porch. Yes, that might sound really strange because most of the time you associate "mud job" with your bathroom shower floor and tiles will be going on top of it. But for us, this meant working on our front porch. We will also have to do a mud job when we FINALLY get to the back bathroom, so this was good practice for him.
If you remember, I had scraped and cleaned the porch, so it was looking like this
Now it's starting to look a lot better.
First up, Chris used this bonding agent (like last time) over the existing porch so that when he laid down the mortar of the mud job it helped the mortar adhere to the existing bed
Then he used this tape to wrap around the drainpipe where the mud job would hit so that it would protect the downspout
And then it was time to get started. He mixed up the mortar and began setting it in
The most important thing when you do a mug job (well, at least when it's outside on your porch, because inside in your shower floor properly waterproofing is right up there too) is making sure you pitch everything properly. You never want the water to just sit on top of the bricks, or to run up against your house and sit next to your foundation, you always want it to run away from your house so that it drains out into your yard.
In our porch that was a tall order because we only have one 3 foot wide opening and 2 weird nooks
Chris had to make sure that these two areas pitched into the main porch area and then that the main porch area pitched into the front of the yard to carry all the water off of the porch. Kind of a difficult task.
But just like when we laid down the pavers for our patio, he used two metal rods, put the mud in between and then used the level to get the pitch correct. He used a wood float to really press all the mortar into place and condense it down so that there were no air gaps
Then when the two rods had the pitch right and he pressed the mortar down with the float, he'd slide the level over all the mud to flatten it all out and make it even. Usually the level would carry away some mortar, or there might be gaps, so he'd slap down some more mortar where it was needed and either slide the level over it all again or fine tune it in smaller areas with just the float
And then it was just a matter of repeating the process over and over again in small increments to make sure the pitch was always correct. After every small area was done he'd set the level on top to make sure the area he just did had the correct pitch, then he'd use a longer level over larger areas to make sure the entire pitch was still correct
The consistency of the mortar is also very important
You want it to be wet enough to hold its shape.
At the end, all Chris had to do was finish it off where the water will run off into the yard
He used a 2x8 to press up against the edge to make sure that it was a nice clean line. You can put a release oil on it if you're worried that it will stick when you take it off, but you don't really need to (and we didn't)
And then it was done!
And it looks ready for me to paint those steps :)
It's important to give everything at least 24 hours to cure before you walk around on it or do any work around it, so although I could probably get by with painting the steps by not walking around on the new mud job, I'll wait till this afternoon to get started
I can't wait to get the stairs painted and Chris will work on laying the bricks in the rest of the porch area this weekend while I'm working at the A's. And I may or may not have purchased a little A's welcome gnome to stick at the top of the stairs... :)