What is a Zavalinki??…. by Dale

Upon our arrival in Khabarovsk we met with our host. She had a list ready for us of suggested projects needing to be done at the Samuel House, a shelter for children. One of the needs listed was repair of the zavalinki.  We asked what is a zavalinki? Well it was determined there was no translation for it. So we decided a visit to the house was in order to learn more about the zavalinki.


It is a flashing device connected to the foundation. It is supposed to divert rain and add insulation at the base of the house. It looks much like a small roofed storage area 2 feet tall by 1 foot deep.  When it was new it probably worked quite well. But when the roofing (which covered it) eventually failed the contraption became a perimeter sponge holding water that would freeze in winter. So much for insulation!  This particular unit was in such bad disrepair the only logical solution was its complete removal.



After the initial removal of all old materials the cement needed to be repaired or replaced and a water drainage system put in place. An addition had to be reinforced also so it would not fall. The cement wall was crumbling at its base and water had seeped in for a long time. The problem here was not insulation but water infiltrating into areas that needed to stay dry. Some Insulation was needed to be put in place at the wooden addition to stop the winter winds that were whipping under it also.


It was a project that required a lot of muscle power.  We still can find those things called muscles but they don’t seem to work the way the used to! We could sure use some helpers on this project we whispered. Ask and Ye shall receive.  We had several volunteers who offered to help.  With their aid (and many loads of sand and gravel) we started. Holes were dug and pipes were laid to get the water away from the house. The tar paper covered zavalinki was discarded in favor of a white painted metal flashing to divert the rain. I now call it a metalinki.  It looks nothing like the original and is not in danger of failing for a long long time.


There is a moral to this story. The house represents our Christian life. If we do not have the correct foundation the house will not stand. It will eventually fall. And great will be the fall of it.


PS….. if anyone in the U.S. needs their zavalinki repaired…………………



Posted in: Blog, Construction, Russia on July 19th by Fruit of the Vine

1 Comment

  • Comment by Tina Winger — July 26, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

    I love your zavalinki story, Dale! The analogy to our Christian life is so true, too. As Christians, we need a Rockalinki!

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.