Rebuilding old cinder block pump house
Hi everyone, very new to this forum and wanted to get everyone’s thought on a project I plan on working on this summer.
On our family farm, sits an old pump house or pump tower, not sure on the age but I would guess it to have been built somewhere between 1900-1920’s. About ¾ of the ways up is a poured cement pad on two to three I-beams which at one time would have housed the large water holding tank which in turn gravity provided pressure to the house.
Need to measure it but I would estimate the size around 14’ x 14’ and around 25’ high.
It was last repaired in in the 1950’s (way before my time), but what they did was patch up the outside corners with regular concrete and also inside they poured a cove of concrete in two corners up to the concrete slab. They also patched up some minor mortar cracks. All appear to be done with concrete. Will attach pictures I have on hand right now and will attach more later of the areas that need repair. Luckily there is no lean, buckling, or horizontal shears.
My plan this summer:
- tear and put a new roof on, re-frame the door, and reframe the small openings on sides
-repair both minor and major cracks
- somehow shore up or brace the wall from the inside.
-finally once completed apply a sealer and cross my fingers that my repairs will last for another 60 years.
For the masonary side here are my thoughts:
-hairline cracks – moisten with water and apply grout of of Portland cement and water
-minor cracks – will undercut with cold chisel, will prime the area with a direct mixture of Portland cement and water or if need be with only water, fill in with concrete (1 part Portland cement and 2 ½ parts sand)
-major cracks along mortar (can see them in pictures)- will clean out and chisel where need be, will prime the area with a direct mixture of Portland cement and water or if need be with only water, fill in with concrete (one part Portland cement, two parts sand, and three parts gravel)
-for any holes and corner areas will go same route as major cracks. Might have to get creative and come up with some sort of plywood form to keep everything smooth and looking good.
- for the inside bracing I have several thoughts, one is to pour concrete coves in the corners by making a form that sits diagnonally across the corners and fillip up with concrete and reinforced with rebar/chicken wire (see attached sketch). The other idea is to create colums against all four sides.
Have all the necessary tools and material readily available (cement mixer, tractor w/ bucket, scaffolding, etc.)
Curious on everyones thoughts about tackling this.