DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Bricks, Masonry and Concrete > Wedge Crack at corner of exposed foundation

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Old 02-10-2012, 06:09 AM  
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If you look at it, that crack was there when they installed the brick, wiggle that piece, is it even loose? Or someone has already done some repairs and did a really good job of matching the mortar.
Don't loss any sleep over this. Take some more pictures of the connection at the wall and foundation...and get the water issue fixed.

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Old 02-10-2012, 10:15 AM  
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If in fact this was caused by moistrue and frost wouldn't you leave this so water could get out in the future.

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Old 02-11-2012, 12:05 AM  
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Moisture accumulation and freeze-thaw action only made the problem worse, and didn't necessarily cause the initial cracking. Other forces are at work, as I referenced earlier. And, no, just allowing things to remain "as is" is not a practical remedy. Freeze-thaw damage always becomes more pronounced when dirt works its way into a crack, which tends to hold onto moisture and enabling it to expand in volume (and displace things) when frozen. The spalled corner will continue to displace, to the point of completely breaking free. At that point, a proper repair becomes more complicated, and definitely requires more of an effort, if done correctly.

Going on half a century, I've monitored and administered (under DOT and private consultant contracts) concrete repairs of several hundred structures, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, that often started with shallow, "non-structural" cracks that no one ever thought were serious enough to do anything about. The photo in my avatar is one such structure, which will likely cost its owner several million $$$ to either properly repair or completely replace.

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Old 02-11-2012, 01:17 AM  
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Thanks everyone for your replies. This site has been invaluable. I will probably go ahead and do a patch job and cover it with Portland this weekend (if it warms up enough). Then I will watch it periodically. All other corners of the house are fine. The only other section that shows any wear is the foundation around the garage (not above basement) has some mortar that has worn away. I will check if the piece is loose in the morning. For some reason there appears to be weep holes in the concrete foundation low to the ground (in fact almost covered by mulch) but not the brick veneer itself which as you all suggested probably contributed to this. How hard would it be to add these? Or is it worth it? It's not the first corner my "custom" homebuilder cut in building my home.
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:34 AM  
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The spots that look like holes lower in the concrete will be where the ties were in the forms when they pored concrete.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:35 AM  
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In my opinion, it is unfortunate the the man running a equipment to backfill hit the corner and knocked off a little piece. Patching concrete is difficult, especially on an exposed corner near ground level.

The brick veneer was laid much later after the house was squared up and framed. You can see the foundation was not precisely square, as evidenced by the slight overhang. Poured walls tend to be a little problematic as the forms shift during pouring as opposed to concrete block that are laid continuously with a level as construction proceeds.

The slight overhang of the brick is not a problem since it is within the overhang tolerance and is less than the amount allowed for architectural corbelling. The lack of weeps is not a major problem since buildings have been built without them for decades. Trying to add weeps after the lack may be counter-productive since the wall system may not have been built to use the concept.

It is not a structural problem since that are only supports a small amount of the brick veneer dead load and not any of the real structure or a durability problem, but is a minor cosmetic concern.


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