brick foundation crumbling


  #1  
Old 09-13-06, 08:48 PM
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brick foundation crumbling

We recently purchased an old brick home (1903). (We are in Iowa) The first 2' of brick exposed from the ground is crumbling? It is very soft - to the point that you can easily gouge it with a screwdriver. Also, in the basement, the previous owner applied what looks to be a masonry mix/thin patch/stucco to the bricks. This is cracking off and revealing quite a bit of a white powdery substance along the mortar joints. I would like to finish off the basement - maybe remove all of the stucco stuff from the inside and paint the bricks.

1. What needs to be done to the exterior bricks to prevent them from crumbling further? I was thinking about using a thin patch cement to stucco over it to seal it up..

2. What is this white stuff (calcification?) and what can I do about it?

3. Any ideas about getting the Stucco stuff off of the interior brick without doing too much damage (to the house or myself)

4. Once cleaned up, will painting the interior of the brick hurt anything?

Thanks
 
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Old 09-13-06, 09:21 PM
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brick foundation crumbling

Exactly what is your basement built of?

Are you concerned with the interior or the exterior? The interior and exterior conditions are very different.

Very few basements were built using brick (clay brick). Is the the brick a veneer ("coating") or is the foundation built from block (concrete) or from poured concrete?

Based on the age, it may be some sort of local brick unless there was some later modifications.

Dick
 
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Old 09-15-06, 07:59 PM
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The foundation (and house) is built with clay brick. I am told that it was locally made.

I am concerned with the best way to preserve and or repair both the crumbling condition outside and the "calcification" condition inside at the mortar joints.

What can I do to further prevent or slow down the decay of the exterior exposed bricks? (and make it look halfway nice)

What needs to be done about the "calcification" issue?

Thanks
 
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Old 11-18-07, 04:43 PM
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Brick Foundation Crumbling

Originally Posted by handyandyia
We recently purchased an old brick home (1903). (We are in Iowa) The first 2' of brick exposed from the ground is crumbling? It is very soft - to the point that you can easily gouge it with a screwdriver. Also, in the basement, the previous owner applied what looks to be a masonry mix/thin patch/stucco to the bricks. This is cracking off and revealing quite a bit of a white powdery substance along the mortar joints. I would like to finish off the basement - maybe remove all of the stucco stuff from the inside and paint the bricks.

1. What needs to be done to the exterior bricks to prevent them from crumbling further? I was thinking about using a thin patch cement to stucco over it to seal it up..

2. What is this white stuff (calcification?) and what can I do about it?

3. Any ideas about getting the Stucco stuff off of the interior brick without doing too much damage (to the house or myself)

4. Once cleaned up, will painting the interior of the brick hurt anything?

Thanks
I moved into a house with red brick and the mortor was like white powder. Much of the morter was gone. I used a product called surewall. I was told that it can only be purchased at Gerholds in Columbus Nebraska. It took me many hours but I saved my basement and I used the same product on the outside of the foundation.
 
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Old 11-18-07, 06:10 PM
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The mortar used in your house appears to be lime mortar. It can be replaced at minimal cost and effort. Using "modern" techniques and materials will most likely cause the rapid deterioration of your foundation.
 
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Old 11-19-07, 06:28 AM
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,,, sounds as if you've,,,

got some serious structural problems if the brick're crumbling,,, many houses of that period were built w/brick footers & walls,,, if it were mine, i'd get a hands-on eyeball evaluation.

the white powder sounds like lime salts (efflorescence) leaching out of the mortar,,, i wouldn't be covering anything up til this question's answered as to the stability of the foundation system.

we've done several historic restorations & its fairly straight-forward work once you know the scope of work & the extend of the damage.
 
 

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