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Mud hut damage repair advice needed.

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Hi. We have a mud hut in Herts that has been used to hold community events/ workshops in for about 10 years.  Recently I arrived to find holes made in the wall  ( as seen in the photos ☹️).  Does any one have advice on how best repair this damage?  ( I am new to such building work. I tried using mud on the smaller hole, but not surprisingly it cracked when it dried ).  Many thanks if you can help!



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That's some intentional-looking damage :/. People rather than animals?


I've seen one video where voids in a straw bale wall were filled in with expanding foam, but I don't know that it's wise. You'd want them filling with *something* though?


Stuff straw in tightly, mesh over it again and then render over, perhaps? Is it lime render on the outside? If it feels like mud then it's probably actually a clay render, and you'd be quite lucky to have earth you dug from the ground next to the hut match it ^^. I've done a little bit of clay plastering onto straw, and it went on easily, but the detail escapes me right now.


Poking at books, I found https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clay-Lime-Renders-Plasters-Paints/dp/0857842692 - I haven't read it, but will do so this week. I've got some lime rendering to do soon anyway.

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Posted (edited)

Open up and hack out a bale. Of course it's not as easy as that, and you might have to resort to 'flakes' (the 'sections' which appear when you split a bale, but in order to carry render, even with the help of the mesh, it needs to be really firm. Don't know how it was built but even if it was not ratchet-strapped it has had the weight of a roof on it, so if you take out a (compressed) bale the replacement bale will be too tall. Experimentation is the order of the day (and yes, I have had to do it. The 'wrangling' may make a bit of a mess of your render...


Assume you or your group have 'Building With Straw Bales' (in UK) by Barbara Jones? Not much on repair but a great 'primer'. 


https://strawbale.com/repairing-water-damaged-bales/ (not a UK site but looks OK the few words I read on repairs)

Edited by Redbeard
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Take a lesson from the Afghans: pile more mud (or whatever you want to use / have available) on top of the damage. 

Where is your local bulk clay supply - and is it suitable for building? Next to our house we have an old clay 'quarry' It was used to supply clay for the local canal (100 meters away). You could do worse than find out  which quarries supplied clay from for the local canals. 



Got me interested now......

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1 hour ago, ToughButterCup said:

Take a lesson from the Afghans

Where the median age is 17, compared to the world median of 30.

Or are you thinking about the hounds living in kennels.

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