Spalled Foundation Repair?

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  #1  
Old 02-13-03, 02:28 PM
magister
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Spalled/Spalling Foundation Repair?

As some of you may know, we bought a fixer-upper last fall and now that I've got things operational, I'm now hard at work researching/scheduling/prioritizing the projects and am preparing a couple of shopping lists to best take advantage of the discount coupons from the home improvement centers.

In a couple of spots within my crawlspace, the foundation has spalled or is spalling whichever is the proper term; Or at least after searching this forum and consulting my concrete books, that's the word that I come up with.

Basically, the outer (inner) layer of the 50+ year old, formed concrete foundation is flaked or is flaking exposing the aggregate underneath; The remaining foundation is solid and though I haven't truly measured, I'd be surprised if there's more than 1 1/2" loss in the most troubled spot with most of the damage being about 1/2" thick, so plenty of foundation thickness remains.

Now for the qualifiers; Although I haven't yet looked at every square inch of my foundation, I have looked at more than 90% and we're really only talking a couple of relatively small areas which probably add-up to about twenty feet, if you were to lay them end to end.

I know they were caused by water running down the face; Steps have been taken to prevent run-off from ever doing it again and more steps are planned; But, it's not going to rain for another three months, so right this second I can only believe that because I'm following accepted procedures and applying logic, the water problem is being resolved but if that doesn't prove to be the case, additional methods will be applied.

And now, back to our program;

The information I have gathered about spalling seems to suggest that I should brush out the loose concrete, possibly going back over the area with a wire brush to make certain that I've got it all and my first question is that I ask for verification of the brushing and an idea of how thorough I should be; Plus I'd like to ask, whether or not I should rinse the area after it has been brushed, or should I avoid applying any unnecessary water?

And that brings me to my main question; It appears from what I've gathered that after I've cleaned the area, I should follow the same procedures as stuccoing except using cement; Cover the area with wire mesh or metal lath; Trowel on an undercoat; Let it set and then, trowel on a finish coat. Is this correct? How long should I let it set after the first coat? Is there a minimum and a maximum amount of time? Is there any other method that would provide better support?

I've seen mention or have read about several different chemical or special solutions; I've seen mention of using an epoxy as an undercoat; I've read about chemical treatments that as far as I can tell, only seal out moisture, but in the desert moisture isn't a real problem unless it's raining; I assume that in my situation, I should probably stick with type S, but I can also understand the logic behind epoxy; Any opinions or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks in Advance;
R

PS) I realize that some folks initial reaction would be to consult a professional, but I'm about as qualified as any of the local handymen who work with cement; I know the cause; I can see there's plenty of support left and other than the spalling and some cracked stucco in the area where the water got in, there's no apparent structural damage.

Of course, as I'm cleaning my foundation with a whisk broom, if there's any tell-tale or cautionary signs I should look for that should prompt further questions or possibly cause me to need to pay a structural engineer for the almost full-day it'll take them to travel between the city and my home, plus mileage of course, I'd apprciate it if someone would give me a heads-up. But right this minute, I don't know why they'd tell me anything, I don't already know...
 

Last edited by magister; 02-13-03 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 02-13-03, 11:09 PM
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Is this a poured concrete foundation or block, stone with stucco over it?
 
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Old 02-13-03, 11:38 PM
magister
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It's a three-foot tall, poured foundation which is mostly underground on top of a footing with a single-story, stucco-covered cement block house on it;
 

Last edited by magister; 02-14-03 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 02-13-03, 11:50 PM
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Clean out the areas as you described getting rid of any loose debri, patch the areas with "portland" cement and sand, 1 part cement 2 parts sand, make a cement paste just using cement and water brush this on first to get a better bond, then patch with the cement, 2 Coats or more on the deep areas. I would guess a steel trowel will blend it in with whats there now.
Type S is a masonry cement mainly used for cementing blocks and bricks together
 
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Old 02-14-03, 01:56 AM
magister
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Thanks Frank; I don't know where you came from, but you are a terrific asset to this forum and I sincerely hope you stick around.
 
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Old 02-25-03, 07:29 AM
blowrie
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Cosmetic Foundation Repair

Thanks.....what is "portland" cement?
 
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Old 02-26-03, 10:27 AM
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Portland is a type of cement, it is the most common, it is used in concrete trucks.
 
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Old 02-26-03, 01:52 PM
magister
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