DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Bricks, Masonry and Concrete > foundation crumbling




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Old 08-17-2010, 09:20 PM  
itsreallyconc
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we buy xylene, roller covers, & latex ext paint from sher-wms but that's about it,,, they don't any acceptable mtls to use in either decorative conc surfacing OR conc reprs imo,,, the avg h/o may be impressed but we're not.

stopped in to buy some 844 tints to color our methyl-methacrylate reinfored sealer,,, the 1st 4 clerks had no idea so i had to wait for mike, the manager, to mix 'em,,, so much for making work for youth

ps = think dick's a pe as i recall,,, his $.02 are worth 10 of mine 'cept i'm older there's likely to be conflicting advice 'bout lotsa stuff as many of us work w/differing mtls/methods


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Old 08-18-2010, 06:08 AM  
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there's likely to be conflicting advice 'bout lotsa stuff as many of us work w/differing mtls/methods
Which really doesn't help me figure out what to do. I've read up on stucco some... turns out, it too becomes damaged over time and requires repair. So is the advantage that the stucco sacrifices itself for the health of the wall that it's covering? Also, applying stucco seems like something best left to a professional... which I cannot afford. I guess I will just have to leave my scraped walls look ugly until I can find a solution to believe in.


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Old 08-23-2010, 09:32 AM  
Christee095
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I recently had a 110-year-old BRICK foundation stuccoed instead of tuck-pointed. I had a professional do it. It seems to me that when you are getting cracks in your foundation, no matter how small, it might be worth your while to save up and pay a professional to at least repair the cracks. Then you probably can paint it with epoxy or latex paint, though I think the stucco adds some minimal structural support as well as cosmetic appeal. As others have said, you need to solve the problem before you worry about the appearance. I live in Iowa and a cold/hot climate like ours inevitably causes expansion and contraction stress and after 60 years, your house is experiencing that. I would also look at drainage, as was suggested. Look at the gutters and any water that stands after a had rain or snow that sits along the foundation to melt in the spring and other thaw cycles. I may have missed it, but is this a masonry-type layer (like stucco) over a cinder block foundation? If so, how does the foundation look?

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Old 08-23-2010, 10:17 AM  
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I recently had a 110-year-old BRICK foundation stuccoed instead of tuck-pointed. I had a professional do it. It seems to me that when you are getting cracks in your foundation, no matter how small, it might be worth your while to save up and pay a professional to at least repair the cracks. Then you probably can paint it with epoxy or latex paint, though I think the stucco adds some minimal structural support as well as cosmetic appeal. As others have said, you need to solve the problem before you worry about the appearance. I live in Iowa and a cold/hot climate like ours inevitably causes expansion and contraction stress and after 60 years, your house is experiencing that. I would also look at drainage, as was suggested. Look at the gutters and any water that stands after a had rain or snow that sits along the foundation to melt in the spring and other thaw cycles. I may have missed it, but is this a masonry-type layer (like stucco) over a cinder block foundation? If so, how does the foundation look?
Thanks, Christee. I am pretty sure I mentioned it already, but if I haven't I bought the place a year ago and have installed drains since. The downspouts on two corners are connected to a french drain that goes out into the yard. It did it myself, but I am sure it meets any professional standards. I also just added another drain this summer to the front to take that water away from the house to the street. The spalling occurred before installing much improved drainage, so I am sure that I have knocked out most if not all of the moisture problem.

I am not one to pay someone to do what I can do myself, so hiring a pro is not on the agenda. I did, however, get some advice from some pros. I live near an older, established college with many old buildings on it's campus. I asked the maintenance department about what they do to repair block wall and talked to the head guy about it. Since I lived so close, he drove me over to my house to look at it. I mentioned stucco and he said not to bother with it because it can hold moisture too. He said they usually paint newer block, but with an older foundation wall like mine, he said to definitely use something called chem-seal, which is a concrete-based paint. I have talked to several more professionals about it and they all concurred that is great stuff that will hold up for a really long time. Perfect! I now had the solution that I was looking for.

So to update where I am today, over the weekend I dug out a 1'-2' trench around perimeter of the foundation wall, because I am applying the chem-seal below ground level. I knocked off loose paint, and brushed a gel stripper over all the paint and let is settle overnight (stays wet up to 24 hours). Today, I have been scraping/grinding off whatever paint I can. There is some that won't come off, but a couple different people told me that whatever won't come off with stripper and a wire brush won't lift up the chem-seal either. I imagine it will take a couple days to get everything cleaned up and fill in the cracks with hydraulic cement before enough before I apply the chem-seal. I will try to take some pics of the progress.
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:13 PM  
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I finished up the project a couple months ago. Here's what I did:

-I dug out around the foundation wall
-stripped off as much paint as I could with gel stripper and abrasives
-cleaned/prepped the wall
-applied a coat of Chem-seal
...dried over night...
-applied second coat.

I wish I took a pic of the same area that I posted earlier in this thread, but you can get the idea of how it would look (the wall is already dirty from hose water splashing up mud on it some weeks later):



The chem-seal stuff is really good stuff, but could only find it as a specialized masonry shop. I asked the clerk if he had used it himself, and he said that he painted the front of the loading dock that he was standing on with chem-seal. Honestly, it didn't look too great... some of it was peeling here and there. I asked how long ago... at least 25 years ago he said. Impressive! I was sold.

As a cement-based paint, it mixes as such, with a bag of dry material added to water to make a paste. (I mixed it with a drill-bit stirrer, like for drywall mud and such). You also use a special brush with really big, thick bristles (nylon, I think). I is actually pretty easy to apply. It fills in cracks really nice too. I even let some harden a bit and used it as putty to fill in some larger gaps, so I'm curious to see how that will look come spring after some good freezing/thawing. And that is the best part of it... as cement, it allows transmission of moisture and does not trap it. Bingo!

I searched long and hard to find the solution to my foundation wall problem, and I think I have found the answer. Of course you do need to eliminate the source of the water that is causing damage/spalling, but once you do, this is the way to go. I cannot believe how little is mentioned about this sort of dilemma on the internet, so I hope this thread can serve as an aid to those who are having the same problem that I encountered.

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Old 06-11-2013, 11:19 PM  
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Experiencing something similar. I dig as far down around the perimeter as I can or to a cpl inches below where I don't see the spalling anymore. I've been knocking off the excess loose concrete with anything hard enough, a tire iron, hammer whatever. Then scrape off excess loose rocks/concrete with a stiff wire brush. Brush off with a little hand broom. Then wet the area with some water. I didn't use mortar but some hydraulic cement (Quickrete) mixed it up until in was kinda soupy (it sets up VERY VERY quickly) I found making it soupier give me a little extra time to work with it. I use a trowel and something to catch it from falling and smooth it (I have no idea what its called, I'm new to this whole repair thing). Take a wet sponge and smooth it out. So far so good. Only issue is it a little uneven (probably from me not evenly applying the concrete) but its up there and looks much better than the large chunks and jaggedness of the crumbling. I'm going to follow up with some waterproof paint. It was also recommend I get an interior drainage system. Hope this helps!

I see you post is kind of old what did you wind up doing?

spalling-repair.jpg  
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:42 PM  
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Looks good ,but I wouldn't paint it with a sealer. As the outside of the foundation isn't waterproof it will absorb water, and wick to the inside, but in the summer the wicking will be drawn to the outside and want to come out thru your repair, if you seal it you can expect trouble. There are paints for concrete that are like house wrap, they stop water but still allow vapour out.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:49 PM  
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Originally Posted by ladychichevy View Post
Experiencing something similar. I dig as far down around the perimeter as I can or to a cpl inches below where I don't see the spalling anymore. I've been knocking off the excess loose concrete with anything hard enough, a tire iron, hammer whatever. Then scrape off excess loose rocks/concrete with a stiff wire brush. Brush off with a little hand broom. Then wet the area with some water. I didn't use mortar but some hydraulic cement (Quickrete) mixed it up until in was kinda soupy (it sets up VERY VERY quickly) I found making it soupier give me a little extra time to work with it. I use a trowel and something to catch it from falling and smooth it (I have no idea what its called, I'm new to this whole repair thing). Take a wet sponge and smooth it out. So far so good. Only issue is it a little uneven (probably from me not evenly applying the concrete) but its up there and looks much better than the large chunks and jaggedness of the crumbling. I'm going to follow up with some waterproof paint. It was also recommend I get an interior drainage system. Hope this helps!

I see you post is kind of old what did you wind up doing?
Hey, that looks pretty good!

I ended up using something called "Chem-seal"... it is a concrete-based paint that breathes. I was told that water-proof paints trap moisture in the foundation brick, which is what causes spalling. With Chem-seal, it allows the moisture to enter and leave freely during the thawing/freezing process. It basically binds with the brick. I really haven't had any new spalling/cracking in the past couple years except for a couple places where I just loaded on the Chem-seal to fill the spalling instead of filling with hydraulic cement first like I should have... last summer I filled in some very large cracks around my back porch with hydraulic cement and it has not faltered a bit since. Good stuff.

I built a large French drain on one side of my house (on the North side that has a tendency to stay wet and shaded) and another drain in the front... I think getting the water to go far enough away from the foundation is the first and most important step to avoiding water damage to the foundation. The topical applications seem more for esthetics in that regard. If you can get away with it, no paint at all seems like the best option.

Thanks for the post.


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