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Observatory Carpet Repair

Posted: 27 March 2013

Tuesday, 26 March 2013, dawned with cloudy skies. With no rain in the forecast for at least a week, I decided it would be a good day to make some repairs to the outdoor carpet at the observatory. After over three years of entering and leaving the observatory, the carpet in front the door was very worn:


There was also a corner flap covering the concrete slab that was loose:


Although I didn't really know what I was doing, I figured I could attempt the repairs by having watched the original carpet installation in 2009. I had previously purchased the carpet adhesive and repair tools at Home Depot. I had a lot of carpet left over from the original installation. I first brought everything I thought I would need to the observatory pad:


Next, I cut around the area to be removed. The worn carpet section was then easily lifted away from the concrete slab. I used a portable vacuum cleaner (which I had initially forgotten to bring) to clean the concrete before applying new adhesive:


Using the removed carpet section as a template, I cut out a new section:


I then proceeded to apply the adhesive to the concrete using the trowel. Once that was done, I placed the new carpet section and applied some pressure (by stepping on a board placed on the carpet). I then applied the adhesive to the concrete under the corner flap. Getting the flap to stick was more difficult; it kept wanting to open up. Using the board, I held it in place for about 10 minutes until it stopped coming loose.

So, how did I do? This the corner flap:


And this is the repaired observatory door area:


Total time to do the repairs, including set up and clean up, was about 2 hours.

Of course, I really won't know how well I did with the repairs until after the first rain. Curing time is 24-48 hours and I will be checking the repairs frequently over the next couple of days. My first check was five hours after the repairs. The door section was OK; the corner flap had slightly opened but a little pressure to close it seemed to work. I rechecked the flap three hours later and there was still some movement. I braced some small concrete blocks against the carpet which hopefully will allow it stay put.

The sky remained cloudy that night, so no observing.

Comments are welcome; use the Comments section below, or you can Email Me. Thanks.

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