Crumbling brick wall

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mikefra24

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Hello. First time posting and first time to site, but unfortunately I feel I may only be a taker and not so much a contributer...I have done a fair bit of home projects, but most have been a one time only type thing and not nearly enough to offer advice- sorry.

A friend has asked me what I could do to improve the 'look' of the crumbling bricks at each corner of her detached garage. I could easily make something to cover it up- but my concern is that the bricks will continue to crumble unless something is done there? Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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CallMeVilla

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Wish I knew where you live. This looks like damage from freeze-thaw caused by having your brick too low to the ground. Water wicks up into the brink then freezes. This kills the brick. If you simply chip out and replace the brick, you will not fix the problem of water wicking.

People who live in cold climates will know more . . .
 

mikefra24

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Hi- thanks for ur response! You are right, I live in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada-eh!) and the winters can get pretty cold!! - I don't think this brick us structural at all...
 

BridgeMan

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Looks like frreeze-thaw damage on bricks that weren't intended for severe weather conditions. A practical repair would consist of removing the damaged members, forming and pouring concrete collars, offset from the brick face and with a sloped top. Using air-entrained concrete, of course.
 

nealtw

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This is what happens when real brick is cheaper that the fake stuff, but there was no break ledge so set it on the driveway.
 

mikefra24

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Having never done any kind if masonry, how difficult would 'pouring and forming' of concrete collars be? The lady who owns the house is a widow, and not wanting to spend too much- but she is also tired of covering up those spots with flower boxes-lol
 

nealtw

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The site below will show you what a brick ledge should be. The ledge is there to carry the weight of the brick. Yours is supported by the morter to the wall and hopefully he installed brick ties to the wood structure. It should have been built with a gap behind it with weep holes at the bottom above grade so water could get out. Installing a concrete ledge may just move the problem up to the next brick. Waite for more suggestions before you go for it.


http://www.google.ca/search?q=brick+ledge&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=0YgFUPWKIsXY2AXsvaygBQ&ved=0CEwQsAQ&biw=1016&bih=523
 

CallMeVilla

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This picture tells you all you need to know about the wall construction as it SHOULD have been done. You have to examine the damaged wall to see if this was the construction -- my guess is they did not.

If not, I suspect you could pour a collar at the bottom using 2x6 material to elevate the base. Then, you could remove brick high enough to install flashing, making sure you have building paper behind it. The, reinstall bricks back down to the collar. Your goal to to shed water and re-seal the brick so the freeze-thaw does not kill it again.

This is why I live in Southern California. :D

brick-detail.jpg
 

nealtw

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Water enters the brick from two places, we can see in two places where water has wicked up on the concrete walls beside the bricks and as brick is a darker colour, it will get warmer in the sun and wicks up more moisture. So I don't think just adding concrete under this will help, never mind that the concrete deck can move too.
The brick itself can absorb moisture from rain and needs a place to drain.
This lady isn't moving so a flipper fix isn't in order.
 

mikefra24

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Thanks for the input everybody, but I'm still confused as to the best/easiest way to fix this up...
 

nealtw

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My first thought was to remove it and redo it correctly. I was hoping someone could come up with a plan to support it and get the water out from behind it and not set it back on the driveway deck. Hopefully some better ideas will come along.
 

CallMeVilla

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Well, Mike . . . you might have to get some help. The damaged brick has to be removed up to a point where you have solid material. (Make both sides of the garage the same ehight for aesthetic reasons) You should have flashing on the wall behind the new brick. Use galvanized flashing and nail or screws.

The form for a collar can be made of 2x6 material (minimum) or 1" plywood if you go higher than 6" . . . Since you have a small area, I'm not worried about blowing out your form. Tieing the collar into the garage IS important so it doesn't fall off, of course. :) Bridgeman says slope the top and he is very right . . . you want rain water to rolloff the ledge.

Get a handyman to help you with this . . . it is NOT a 1st timer project.
 

mikefra24

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Wow- this site is great!! I can't believe how quick and helpful the feed back is!!

Before I posted I did do some research and thought that water was the culprit. I should have mentioned(sorry) that the driveway does slope away from the garage, but (can't really see in the pics) before this slope, it slopes slightly back into these two areas- should that be addressed somehow first? Also when discussing the overall problem with the homeowner- she stated that she would be happy with just some kind of panel (flashing) like the two squares at the corners
Of the door. I thought this would be possible, but thought that I would have to seal the bottom layer of bricks to avoid further crumbling.- does this sound like a viable option?
 

BridgeMan

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Concrete collars still get my vote for the most practical (but quite aesthetic) solution to the problem. Particularly since you mentioned the reverse pitch on the driveway, which will continue to funnel melting snow/road salt grime up against whatever is located at grade level. Properly-built concrete collars (using air-entrained concrete), and sealed with a quality concrete sealer, will minimize the likelihood of any future damage. Weep holes can be installed in brick mortar joints above new flashing, to help nealtw sleep at night. Making the collars at least 4" thick, and at least 4 courses high, will provide the best barrier against future damage. If it were mine, I'd use form liners to depict fractured stone faces to really dress things up and make it look like original construction.

This is not a job for someone who's never formed/poured concrete before, so be advised in advance. Would be a piece of cake for an experienced concrete person, as well as a skilled amateur like myself.
 

inspectorD

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This is a common issue up here. The brick is a facade and not at all structural to the building, just itself attached to a wall.
Looks like the brick is absorbing plenty of water since it was installed on the driveway. Installing anything on the driveway to hold this up, is going to result in damage as the driveway moves and is in no way structural.
The best way for this little job in my Opinion?

Remove the damaged 2 courses at the bottom. My best guess is the mortar from the bricks is attached to the concrete foundation behind it, and there is no flashing or weep screed for drainage.
Install a peice of angle iron under the brick for support, and build a box from some vinyl boards with some pressure treated to attach to the building underneath it. If it gets wet, no big deal, and it can move with the freeze thaw of the ground without cracking again because it is able to flex.

Good luck.
 

mikefra24

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Thanks for everyone's help!! I'll discus the options with the homeowner and see what route she wants to take...
 

CallMeVilla

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Another optional idea from InspectorD . . . However, would angle iron be prone to rust? Wouldn't aluminum or galvanized be more weather resistant? Just askin'
 
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