View Full Version : Caulking is required maintenance

01-05-2014, 05:47 PM
All, we have to maintain the caulking! Even at our National Parks!

The Condition Assessment Project at Mesa Verde National Park began in 1996. To date, 230 of the recorded 600 cliff dwellings have been assessed. Under this program, standing walls in the alcoves are assessed for damage from such effects as water, fire, structural instability, and rodents. Recommendations are then made that will help reduce or reverse those adverse effects.

http://www.nps.gov/meve/historyculture/images/cassessment_liz_556.jpgLeft: Archeologist Liz Francisco documents a hand and toe hold trail that leads to an upper alcove at Double House. Right: Archeologist Liz Francisco working in the upper ledge of Kodak House.
NPS Photo

Types of Threats to Standing Architecture
The focus of Condition Assessment is to determine what factors threaten cliff dwelling sites that contain standing architecture. Water from runoff is the most serious threat to walls as it speeds erosion at wall foundations and within joints. Left alone, such erosion can result in the collapse of entire structures. Other threats include rodent burrowing and structural weaknesses such as cracking and leaning.
If these types of problems are found, then recommendations are made for additional documentation and/or stabilization treatments which will help to preserve the archeological integrity of the sites. Often the most severe water runoff problems can be reduced by installing a bead of silicone caulk along the cliff face which directs water away from archeological features.

01-05-2014, 11:01 PM
Mesa Verde is absolutely amazing! We were there in 2011 and would really like to get back. Have friends in Cortez, CO so have a great place to park.

01-06-2014, 12:32 AM
Interesting about the silicon caulk. I found it incredibly fascinating while looking at these graineries at Nankoweep Creek in the Grand Canyon. It was a vigorous hike from the river for a few of us brave souls, to get to them. You can clearly see the mortar used in building them. The graineries were supposedly built in locations with minimal moisture, erosion, and rodent infestation. You can see from the 1st photo (Center of photo- 3 little windows at the base of the Red Limestone cliff) how inaccessible they are. I suppose this is how they have survived time.

01-06-2014, 10:33 AM
We went to Mesa Verde back in August of 2010 . . . awesome place to visit!

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We plan on going back there in the next year or so.

As for the caulking . . . our old travel trailer (1978 Coachman Cadet 24', which is what we had on this trip) was a caulking nightmare!

It had so much water damage on the inside when we bought it . . . mostly around the front window and the front wall area that the wood paneling was very soft and brittle.

And the roof . . . well, that is a whole other topic thread in itself!

Anyway, every time I thought I had a leak figured out . . . another one would pop up!

But we made the best of it for the years we had it, and while I wouldn't trade our new Heartland away for anything, I do miss our old Coachman in some ways.

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The shot at the sand dunes was on that same trip to Mesa Verde, the shot in the mountains was two weeks later up Taylor Canyon north of Gunnison, Colorado, which we discovered on our trip two weeks before!