Combustion, ‘bustion, what’s your function?

In the 127 years the Church Sweet Home structure has existed, it’s been heated with wood, coal, fuel oil and now natural gas.

We unearthed evidence of these various heating methods during demolition including coal dust in the furnace room and repaired holes in the floor of the sanctuary that had once conveyed vents.

furnace room before
Here’s how the furnace room looked when we bought the church.

When we bought the church, two nearly new gas-forced-air furnaces nestled in the basement furnace room. It was impossible to walk around inside the room because enormous ducts hung from the ceiling. The ducts had to be big in order to heat a church sanctuary for services in the hour after someone turned on the furnaces; we kept the furnaces but we would eventually have all the ducts rearranged to accommodate our living needs. And oh, it was not clean. Surely the 12-by-15-foot room had been carefully swept when the building was being used as a church, but when we got to it, the building had been mostly empty for 16 months. The spiders had a heyday in there.

One warm December day, early in the demolition process, Tyler donned his Tyvek suit, a respirator and safety goggles, and he power-washed the entire basement, including that furnace room which once in its history had a coal chute.

That helped a lot. After the ductwork was replaced, Tyler moved a few shelving units in there and used the room for storage of various tools and out-of-service household items. This, and the furnaces—the highest function for a furnace room.

But my go-big-or-go-home husband wasn’t satisfied with that. Have I mentioned he’s a first-born Virgo, a bit of a perfectionist?

A couple of weeks ago, he moved everything out of the furnace room and power-washed it again (because just sweeping wasn’t enough). The furnace room was the last area of the basement that required a coat of Drylok masonry waterproofing paint. We think we’ve finally licked the basement water problem, and the paint was the last piece of the puzzle, insuring no seepage through the walls. Better to begin with clean walls, right? And once clean, how about smooth? Tyler applied hydraulic cement in all the cracks.

After he painted two coats of Drylok on the walls, he applied a coat of 1-part epoxy paint to the floor. This man knows how to cut in a paint line.

furnace room after
Here’s the furnace room now, soon to be refilled with miscellaneous items that require storage.

Wowsers! As with all things, it’s a wonder what a difference a little paint can make. The furnace room now looks like new construction, which it most definitely isn’t. I almost feel like decorating around the furnaces and turning it into a bedroom. Which I most definitely won’t. But it’s that nice.

Here’s to elbow grease and paint.

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Today’s headline is a derivation of a Saturday morning Schoolhouse Rock video: Conjunction Junction. “Conjuction Junction, what’s your function? Hookin’ up words and phrases and clauses.”

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