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jlawrence42 06-12-2007 08:26 PM

Patch repair a spring house wall?
My family owns property with a small house with water fed by a natural spring. The spring was protected about 30 years ago with a spring house made with concrete walls, probably about 2 inches thick. This year I discovered that one of the concrete walls has partially crumbled. leaving an opening of roughly 1 foot by 2 feet. The rest of the wall is still more or less intact, although I assume it will eventually need to be replaced.

I will be going up there this weekend and I would like to close it back up to protect the water supply from outside contamination such as animals. Can someone give me some advice as to how I should go about a quick repair of this concrete wall? I have very limited experience with masonry but I'm game to learn. (Sorry no digital pictures this time but I will be happy to post them after....)


Square Eye 06-13-2007 06:33 PM

2 pc of plywood, to make a form for each side,
wire, as in steel bailing wire,
a pound of 16d framing nails,
a section of 1/2"cpvc pipe.

Cut the pipe in lengths to match the thickness of the wall.
Hold 1 piece of plywood up over the hole and trace an outline of the hole on it. Top edge flush with the top of the wall!
Stack the two pieces together with the top edges flush.
Drill 1/4 to 1/2" holes in the area of the hole you traced about 8" to a foot apart. Make sure a couple of the holes are close to the traced line and near the ends.

The fun part:
Add up the distance between the face of the plywood, the wall thickness and the other piece of plywood.
Cut pieces of wire 3 times that long, fold it in equal halves. You will need to make one of these for every hole you drilled.
Hold the plywood up on it's edges and push the loop end of a piece of wire through a hole in one piece of plywood, through a piece of pipe and out through the matching hole in the other piece of plywood slip a nail through the loop and with another nail, twist the wire together on the other side and push a nail through the wire and use it to tighten the sides together. Just do a few, a couple at the bottom and one at the top.
Slip the whole thing over the wall and install the rest of the wire and pipes with nails to hold it together. There's your form, fill it with bag mix and cut the wires the next day, pry the plywood off and fill the pipes with caulking or mortar..

You may have to improvise or get a helper if there is a roof over the top of the wall:)

Good luck with it!

jlawrence42 06-14-2007 10:02 AM

Oops, it does have a roof!
Thanks for your reply, Square Eye. I wish I'd mentioned the fact that it does have a roof over the existing wall. This seems like it will substantially complicate things. Should I build the forms so they are a few inches below the roof, creating a wall that goes up most of the way? How should I deal with this complication? :confused:

Square Eye 06-14-2007 05:25 PM

Make the form about 3 to 4 inches short on the side that you will be pouring the concrete in. Then on that last bit of concrete, mix it almost dry.. You should be able to form it with your hands or a trowell well enough in those last few inches, If you mix it dry enough, the slump will be sufficient for the concrete to stay put, if not, you'll have to work with it until it sets.

jlawrence42 06-18-2007 08:30 PM

Job completed - Thanks Square Eye!
4 Attachment(s)
Finished the job late Saturday afternoon. I built the forms more or less as you recommended, although I decided not to use the PVC pipe, since I ended up pulling out the outer form to make it easier to pour in the concrete. I left the forms in place since I had to leave mid-day on Sunday. I'll go back next week to take them off. I have attached the pictures from before and after.

Thanks again for your help. I've got a big bathroom remodeling project coming up this summer so I hope your forum will be able to help again - my wife wants me to build a shower. Yikes!

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