This very old adobe garage developed a large crack in the adobe wall due to not having a proper roof over hang over it’s many years standing. It was turned into an office and studio in Chimayo, New Mexico and held up fairly well over the years, but if the crack was not tended to sooner than later the entire building would shift to a degree as to cause more damage which might not be possible to repair.
We were brought into this project to provide some cosmetic upgrades but dealing with this structural issue was the concern of everyone involved. Having worked upon adobe renovations and reconstruction in the past, and having worked with earthen structures for many years, it was not an issue we could not solve. It actually was quite simple from Carolyn’s perspective.
After literally probing into the crack at it’s deepest point (finding multiple snake skins) to see if the damage did in fact go all the way into the interior walls was a first choice. It did only to a minor degree which was better news than had the blocks broken the support line all the way into the interior walls.
The charge therefore was to simply fill in the holes both inside and out with a very strong, sand heavy cob repair which to those who might not know, is a sculptural mud made of sand, straw and clay based soil. Due to needing to go quite thick, adding a good amount of chopped straw was also needed in the mix. However the sand content was the most vital aspect of the mix, since strengthening the walls was imperative.
Additional images in this gallery show the “after” effects of the cob repair.