Brick Mortar Repair – How to Repair Cracked Brick Mortar Joints

Here is a quick video on brick mortar repair. Because I used pre-mixed mortar, the process was very easy and could be done by anyone.

Brick Mortar Repair Supplies

Tips on the Mortar Repair Process

The thing I learned about this is that the SimpleSet mortar requires a large amount of time to set properly. I came back to the project about 12 hours after application and the mortar was not solid when I touched it.

Brick Mortar Repair - The Original Crack in the Wall
The Original Crack in the Wall

So I just waited another day before doing the next layer of thin set.

Brick Mortar Repair - First Layer of Mortar Repair
After wrapping up the first layer of mortar

When working with the sponge, I find that it’s best to have almost no water content in the sponge. Basically, I want to wring out the sponge as much as humanly possible before using the sponge to texturize the area that I filled with mortar.

Brick Mortar Repair - Second Layer of Mortar Repair
Applying the second layer of mortar to the wall.

Overall, I believe this is a great solution to a cracked mortar wall like this.

I hope this helped. If you have any details or suggestions to help others, please let us know in the comment section below.

Brick Mortar Repair - The Repaired Wall
The Repaired Wall

The Solar System Has Arrived

Updated September 12th, 2017

Essentially, we have this plus an extra panel:

Estimated El Dorado Solar System

But I’m not 100% confident about that. Also, I’m not sure if I recomend this solar system yet.

It seems to be working fine for small loads at this time but I can’t say for certain that I think it’s a great system.

Basically, I don’t know anyone who knows about solar so I just had to buy stuff and plug it together. We’re still parked under a tree so we haven’t had the chance to give it a great test.

It’s working fine for lights, charging power tool batteries and fans. If we try to run the refrigerator on solar AC power right now, I find the system can’t keep up.

But again, we’re parked under a tree in the forest. If we were parked in a place that doesn’t have shadows from trees or clouds (ideally a empty Nevada desert), I bet we would have dramatically better results.

Solar power is really cool when it works. I’ve got battery powered tools and I can charge all of them using my solar kit. I’m cutting wood and drilling holes and cutting metal with solar power nowadays. It’s kinda awesome.

School Bus to Tiny Home – Flooring and Floor Insulation

If you’re reading this, I’m in the process of designing the flooring system. So my notes and ideas are shown in real time in this blog.

Once I commit to a strategy and implement it, this blog will explain of the floor’s design and the implementation process.

Later, once we spend more time in the home, I’ll share my results here. Thank you for reading.

To Remove Existing School Bus Floor or Not to Remove

From the looks of our existing floor, it seems like we might not need to take it out. I can’t see any places where the flooring is in terrible condition.

school bus tiny home conversion floor removal1

school bus tiny home conversion floor removal2

school bus tiny home conversion floor removal3

That said, we’re building something that we want to last for at least 100 years. I can’t make the assumption that everything is fine under there. We’ve decided to take the existing flooring out so that we can seal the existing metal floor with anti-rust paint and rebuild a bulletproof strategy for going forward.

Rust Proofing the Existing School Bus Metal Floor

I’m going to experiment with bondo and epoxy to plug any existing holes in the floor. We want to the bus to be water tight. All the holes made to secure seats will need to be sealed in a bulletproof manner.

Once the floors are all sealed up, we will be using Rust-Oleum 7792 Gloss White paint  to seal the metal school bus floor.

The paint we will use to seal the floor

Flooring Insulation and Finishing

Choosing School Bus Conversion Insulation

We would like this bus to be rated to live in Lake Tahoe in the winter so we are going with the upper range of Zone 5 as recommended by the US Department of Energy (DOE).

School Bus Conversion Insulation Guide
US Department of Energy Insulation Guide – We will build for Zone 5

This means the following insulation ratings for our walls, floor and ceiling if we’re to spend much of our time in the Lake Tahoe area:

  • Floor – (R25 to R30)
  • Ceiling – (R49 to R60)
  • Walls – (R15)

So it turns out that in order for us to get that DOE rated insulation, we will need to extend the roof of the bus. To get simple R15 insulation, the best thing I could find is 3 1/2″ inches deep which is too little insulation in too thick of a space.

I couldn’t find any R50 insulation that is 2 inches or less in thickness. Indeed, we would need another foot in the roof to get close to the reccomendations suggested by the DOE. This doesn’t seem prudent to me.

Also, the DEO is writing these requirements for relatively large homes. The heating expense of this bus will be a fraction of what a normal house would require.

School Bus Roofing Space

School Bus Roofing Space2

The Plan for the Ceiling Insulation

We are very lucky with our bus. The existing insulation is in excellent condition. There isn’t a drop of mold on any of the main parts. The biggest weakness to the existing insulation is that it doesn’t fill the roof cavities entirely.

To solve that, I plan to buy some spray insulation to fill the gaps left from the regular insulation. I’m exploring the following products:

* This spray foam could be used on the bottom of the bus as well as the product brags that it adheres to metal

Floor Material Design

We don’t want to build up with floor height much as there is limited vertical space in the bus. That said, the bus needs to be as comfortable as possible. Here is how I see the plan for floor materials:

  • Vinyl Plank Flooring (1/16″ – 5/16″) – Floor & Ceiling
  • Plywood (3/4″)
  • 1.5″ Insulation (link) + Framing (2×4 s are actually 1.5″ thick)
  • Existing School Bus Steel Painted with Rust-Oleum

I Hope You Found This Useful

Please let me know any thoughts or comments you have in using the links below. I’m done on the computer for the day, it’s time to go out and remove the rest of that floor in the bus.