Brick to Roof Home - Foundation Repair

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Old 01-17-10, 04:43 AM
R
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Brick to Roof Home - Foundation Repair

Hey all;

I've got a home that's over 100yrs of age. The original structure had a dirt floor - about 40% of the home today. The additional rooms had a dugout basement added. I can only guess that the additions were done in stages based on the concrete - coloring, pour, etc... boards are still stuck in some of the concrete in places.

The home is dual bricked & I've got one side of the house that has 'bowed' near the bottom. It's enough that it's obvious to look at. I'm wondering how I fix this.

I've had a few masons come in and they've explained that they can fix it but it would be costly, cheaper to rebuild the entire wall I'm told. I'm okay with that. However, what I'm really wondering is if I can strip the outer layer off, install bracing / studding & then insulate & add vinyl siding? Someone mentioned that I should contact a civic engineering firm and have them determine the load-bearing for these walls?

It was also mentioned that the bowing (or the outer layer of brick coming away from the inner layer) could be due to freeze / thaw activity which may indicate that the mortar / pointing (if ever done) was not done with the proper mortar? I'm aware that today's mortar may be too heavy & cause this type of activity when used in conjunction with older, softer, more porus brick?

I know absolutely nothing, aside from what I read online, about masonry so I'm appreciative of any constructive suggestions anyone may have.

At this point my plan is to hire an engineering firm to do the investigation & if that pans out the next step will be to hire a contractor to install supports / siding.

Thanks a bunch,

C
 
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Old 01-17-10, 09:30 AM
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Without actually seeing the job I'll try to help you out here briefly as best I can . You have an 8" wall ( 2 tiers ) of brick, Whether or not it's tied in with a header course you did not say . There are different bonds used in Masonry work . American bond was used frequently years ago for solid masonry walls which is 5 stretchers and a header , this ties in both tiers and makes a good solid wall . They could be and probably are load bearing . If you take off the exterior brick , that leaves you with a 4" wall supporting the load . You should look into this approach a little deeper before you start ripping things down . You mentioned that it's just one wall bowed near the bottom . If noticeable , but not too serious , depending on the wall construction you may be able to repair this area without major costs . I doubt very much that the mortar has anything to do with the bowing of the wall . Considering where you live , in Canada you do have a freezing and thawing situation which could be the problem here . 100 years ago they used a lime mortar which is softer than what we use today . However some architects are going back to the lime base . If you decide to patch this , try to stick with the lime base as type N or S will have a different shade . Bin there , done it . A weathered or struck joint is what they used back then for jointing the brickwork . Try to match existing. One more item if you choose this route is the brick. In replacing the brick wall , the only new brick that I know of to match a 100 year old home would be a John Price which I know is available in Canada . The name is stamped in the frog of the brick ( J Price ) . To patch using old reclaims try to get a used exterior brick . On most homes back then they used a softer brick for the interior and have never been exposed to weather. They will deteriorate and crumble with your conditions . A real qualified journeyman in your area should know all this and be able to help you out . An engineering firm could be quite expensive for this scope of work . You've taken on quite a project
 
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