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cheeky 02-13-2008 09:12 AM

brick in basement window
3 Attachment(s)
Hi there everybody!

I've spent some time getting tips through other people's posts and now it's time for me to ask a question of my own.

I bought my first house this past Aug. I've got a permit to renovate the basement into an apartment. The biggest part of the job is the kitchen.

I need to brick in a window in this room. This is the first winter for me here, and I've discovered that there is a problem with ice collection on part of the roof. When it thaws, it drains right into this basement window because it has a little inverted sill about two inches deep to collect the water. I have another big window in the room, and the fact that a range hood has to be mounted in front of this leaking window, suggests to me that the best thing to do would be to brick it in. I've posted some pics.

Should I try to brick it in with concrete blocks? I understand that it needs to be above freezing for the mortar to set. If there happened to be a day that was warm enough, there would still be the torrents of water from the ice melting.

Should I try anyways? or is there something I can do temporarily until spring and then brick it in from the outside and still be able to finish the inside of the kitchen now.

It's going to hold up everything. I can't move-on until I have the final plumbing and electrical inspection with the insulation and vapour barrier up.

Any advice would be sooo great!!!

glennjanie 02-13-2008 01:44 PM

Welcome Cheeky:
It is possible to build a polyethelene 'tent' over the window on the outside so you can have a place to work and share some heat from the house. Make the tent big enough and you could even include a kerosene heater in it (make sure you provide for some fresh air for the fire).
With it enclosed, you could tear the old window out and brick it in just like you want it. You can use the face bricks if you have them, buy concrete bricks, or use concrete blocks. It would be easier to tie the work in with face bricks so that it would not even show.

cheeky 02-13-2008 03:40 PM

Hey Thanks Glenn
I'm going to have to try. Otherwise it will have wait til spring. It's been up to 20 below (in celcius) but will going up on Thurs and Friday. It will be snowing , but if I do a good job on the tent it should work. I don;t know if you can tell by the pics, but the ice comes all the way down the side of the wall beside the window. (also going into the soffats, and then on the floor into the my main floor kitchen). Maybe if I make a little dam out of wood and seal it with something onto the walkway it will stop the water from coming in the basement window while I work.


mudmixer 02-13-2008 04:16 PM

cheeky -

Do not confuse air temperature with the temperature of the materials. Masonry can be laid in -20C if the sand, cement and water are warm and the wall is protected after construction. That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cold weather masonry construction.

If you build something with mortar, protect it from freezing for a few days.

kok328 02-13-2008 05:16 PM

Bricking up a window is such a shame and brick/block is no guarantee against water infiltration. Is it possible to install some flashing of sort to keep the water from coming in?

cheeky 02-13-2008 06:01 PM

I do hate to brick in the window but this spot is also the only place the stove can go. Building code says the stove has to have a range hood, so it will hang in front of the window.

The window also extends about 4 inches below grade and it's facing a paved driveway, so putting drainage in would be a big deal. I could fill in the 4 inches below grade and put in a smaller window but between that and the hood range I'd end up with about 4 inches of visible window.

I did just put a 2'x2' egress window in this room so it has good light. The view from the dubious window, is my car tire in the driveway. The cost to keep it is high compared to the benefits. I'm terrified that I'd put in the new window, drywall , insulate and plug in the stove and have to rip it all out after the first thaw. (or fry the stove ....or the cook!).

Still... I'm open to any suggestions.

cheeky 02-13-2008 06:07 PM

Thanks Mudmixer!

I'll make sure by Friday morning everythig will all be toasty.

cheeky 03-10-2008 12:29 PM

Update of window brick in
Hi there everybody

Just wanted to update this post with the course of action I took in the end.

I bricked in the window using 4x8 concrete bricks so that my skill saw would saw right through them with a mortar blade. They were not quite flush with the outside wall so that in spring I can parge it. I painted the inside with tar to stop any seepage so that I could carry on with my renovations to the room. In spring I can parge the outside. Then I made a makeshift lean-to around it outside and put a small electric heater in it for two days spraying lightly with water while the mortar set.

So far so good. Yesterday we had a ton of snow and today it's melting like crazy and NO LEAKS!!!

Thanks for your advice!

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