Time has worn away details that once made these rooms complete. Still, bits of evidence tell us people devised ways to make their homes comfortable, durable, and suitable for changing circumstances.
Rooms were added as families grew or storage needs increased. Some rooms in Walnut Canyon show a surprising degree of remodeling at various times suggesting generations of reuse.
Regular replastering of outside walls kept moisture out and walls sound.
Inside walls were plastered too, making the room well sealed and a bit brighter. Notice the smoke-blackened wall inside this room, perhaps from warming fires. But fire was also used to fumigate and to harden the clay.
Layers of clay turned uneven bedrock ledges into smooth level room floors. As floors wore, new layers were simply applied over old. The clay floors have all eroded in these rooms.
Look at the overhang above you. With this particular room block, rain and snowmelt dripped off the rock and fell on or near the front walls. After the surface plaster eroded, water seeped into the walls and eroded the mortar between stones.
We don't know if the residents devised a way to redirect water away from the walls but you can see our solution. The "worm-like" features fixed to the rock create new driplines further out from the wall, which reduces direct erosion.
Artificial silicone driplines are an inexpensive and non-damaging preservation technique.
The front walls of these rooms have received extensive repairs over the years. No original mortar remains; all that you see here, including fingerprints, is modern.