Will repointing plug leaks?


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Old 01-25-08, 03:02 PM
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Will repointing plug leaks?

My brick wall is leaking. My house is brick veneer on 4" block, built in the '30s. I have a leaky gutter that is causing water to run down the front of the house. I will fix the gutter, but it has made me realize that my house isn't waterproof. When I look up between the rim joist and the exterior wall from the unfinished basement, I can see water dripping off on the globs of mortar near the bottom of the tar paper. I can also see water coming through fine cracks in the exposed block in the basement wall. I recreated the leaking by spraying the lower half of the wall with a hose, so I know the water isn't getting into the wall up by the gutter.

There are some small gaps in the exterior mortar, and there are some things bolted to the house, like shutters and a small porch roof over the front door. I don't think I've ever had this problem anywhere else on the house...just under the leaky gutter.

Should repointing the brick make the wall virtually waterproof, or will this always be an issue in heavy rains? I can't imagine that the new mortar would make a perfect seal with the existing mortar, would it?

Also, will my house look spotty since the new mortar probably won't exactly match the old stuff?

Thanks!
 
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Old 01-25-08, 06:25 PM
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Masonry veneer walls are never waterproof, nor are they designed to be. There should be an airspace and flashing/ weeps to allow water to exit the wall, and if there are not, then there is not a lot you can do.

Repointing can prevent water (not moisture) from penetrating the wall, and should be sealed after.
 
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Old 01-26-08, 08:28 AM
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Thanks for the reply. It sounds like repointing might keep running water from finding its way into the wall. I'm all for letting the wall system breathe...just not leak.

There is an air gap between the block and brick. I just wish the water were running down that gap into my french drain. Instead, it's finding a bridge to the block half of the wall, and then running down the interior of the basement wall.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 01-26-08, 08:51 AM
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lilfos,

You can learn about how your brick veneer walls should be constructed and how their drainage plane should function here:

http://www.masonpro.com/EnglishGuide.pdf
 
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Old 01-27-08, 03:32 PM
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Heh...I wish. Some tar paper behind the furring strips on the 1st and 2nd floor is the extent of moisture management in this home. Where ducts, joists, or outlets were needed, the builder just busted out the blocks or built the wall around them. Rows of sleepers keep the veneer attached to the block and provide several hundred paths from the exterior surface to the interior surface. Alas, this is how they built houses around here in the '30s.
 
 

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