A plague on anyone who will go to great effort to leave a job half done! Especially upon whoever originally did the cement render on our second water tank!
Last year our second water tank blew out one night and dumped its load down the back yard. Definitely a concern when you rely on what you can store from rainfall only. Granted we have a lot of rainfall here but the bulk of it drops over the wet season and our winters are usually quite dry. So the tank was a problem.
When I had a look inside I was appalled to find the tank had failed simply because someone had been too half arsed to do the rendering properly in the first place. For those uninitiated in the art of rendering water tanks, when a corrugated iron tank nears the end of its years and is ready to rust out it is common practise to render the inside of the tank with a layer of cement. In essence this creates a concrete water tank by using the previous tank as a form. Done properly the concrete should be reinforced with wire mesh and at least seventy-five millimetres thick, whereas I found this tank had no reinforcing and less than twenty millimetres of concrete. Frankly someone had well and truly wasted their time and caused me a lot of work and heartache.
So with good weather predicted I peeled the old lid off the tank and cleaned it out, purchased a tonne of mortar sand, a roll of wire mesh, ten bags of cement and a bottle of brickies mortar fat. I then erected a bipod made from bush poles so I could lift and swing buckets of render into the tank and strung a tarp to keep the sun off and prevent the render from drying too quickly. I was ready to go.
Load the mixer. Three cement, eight sand, a cap full of 'fat and a half bucket of water. Let it work till it is smooth and sticky. Pour into a bucket and set the next batch in motion. Hook the bucket to the pulley and then climb up the ladder and over the lip onto the stool inside and down into the tank where it is cool and echoes with every movement. Pull the rope to raise the bucket of render and gently pull it down into the tank. Work around the inside wall from floor to top. Scooping with the trowel and wiping on with the float. Repeat all throughout the day until the coat is done. Clean up tools and then drink beer. Stiff back and hands, stiff crackly clothing and socks.
Three days later and the job is nearing completion. I hurt in places that I was previously unaware I owned and my hands are in tatters. I am dreaming of rendering water tanks in my sleep.
But it will be worth it because I will leave the job done properly. I will also have added a new skill to my repertoire. So in a way I suppose it is worth it. I suppose what really annoys me is that someone went to all of this work some time back but stopped half way instead of seeing it out to do a proper job.
"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."