Protecting below Grade Brick/French Drain?


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Old 10-13-11, 10:52 AM
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Protecting below Grade Brick/French Drain?

My house is fairly old (ca. 1930) and has at least one row of bricks sub grade over a concrete slab foundation. How can I protect the bricks that are sub grade without regrading the area? Will a shallow French drain below the bricks work? There is a basement but I would not be willing to undertake a project down to the footing level.

Thanks everyone.
 
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Old 10-13-11, 11:32 AM
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How is there a basement if it's on a slab? Do the bricks look damaged? Is water entering the basement?
 
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Old 10-13-11, 02:29 PM
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Pulpo, sorry I used the wrong terminology. The basement walls are concrete topped with brick. Generally, seepage only happens when the gutters get clogged. However, judging from interior stains, water does seem to enter in the area of the sub grade brick layer. Is repointing enough or do I need to protect these below grade bricks somehow? Thanks.
 
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Old 10-13-11, 05:24 PM
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I worked on alot of waterproofing jobs. We used to dig to the footing & seal the entire foundation, with a membrane. You said that you didn't want to do that. You said that you didn't want to regrade either but the ground has to slope away from the house. Re-pointing the brick will only work if you are 100% sure that it's the only entry point. All entry points must be sealed. The membrane works best.
 
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Old 10-17-11, 12:11 AM
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Well said, pulpo.

It's one thing to use a howitzer on a mosquito, but an entirely different matter when using a BB gun on an elephant. Meaning the problem needs to be addressed with the appropriate tools and methods.

Oh, and while you're at it, keep the gutters clean, and add some extensions to the down spouts.
 
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Old 10-17-11, 06:42 PM
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Try a couple easy things first.

Diagnosing a home issue is like diagnosing a patient...no point in going into heart surgery before we try a few simple remedies first.

Personally, if it were my home, I would dig down to the top of the foundation wall, fill the weep holes in the mortar between the bricks, and waterproof (with a liquid waterproofing material) from the concrete up to grade. Then I would put new weep holes above grade in the mortar joints.

You should have a minimum of 6" of fall in grade for the first 10' around your entire home. If not, your problems will most likely persist. And by all means, don't let the gutters clog...and make sure your downspouts deposit water at least 10' away from the foundation.
 
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Old 11-09-11, 05:02 PM
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Armchair, there are no noticeable weeps as far as I can see. This is an older house (1930ish). Yeah, there is no need for trench warfare at this point. A simpler solution will likely do the job for now. I like the waterproofing idea but would weep holes still come into play on older construction? If so, what is the simplest manner by which to add them? Thanks!
 
 

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