Removing mortar(?) from retaining wall?

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Old 06-07-14, 11:00 AM
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Removing mortar(?) from retaining wall?

Hi all

This is my first time on the site and forums so I apologize if I post incorrectly.

I am attempting to fix a retaining wall outside my house because some of the mortar has been chipping off (I assume from water). Parts of it easily flaked off (probably not a good thing), but the stuff above a certain line will barely budge. (I attached a picture...hopefully...so you can see what I mean.)

Any thoughts on how to remove the top parts? Do I need to? Could I fix just the bottom portion?

Thanks for your help!
 
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Old 06-08-14, 04:21 AM
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So, did someone put a skim coat of mortar over painted CMU (cement blocks)?

Whether or not you need to remove the mortar from the top section depends on what you want to do with the wall? Do you want it all to be plain/clean block or do you want it all skim coated with mortar?

The mortar can be removed from the top section with a chisel, masonry hammer or a rotary hammer set to hammer with a chisel bit. The bottom can be pressure washed to remove all the paint then it can be coated with new mortar.
 
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Old 06-08-14, 04:30 AM
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just fix the btm like dane said there's an old hungarian proverb that says ' if it ain't broke, don't fix it ! ' them hungarians were awesome, eh ?
 
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Old 06-08-14, 05:43 AM
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Thanks Dane and stadry

That's what it looks like to me. Someone painted over the cement blocks then added a coat of mortar to get a smooth look. Ideally, I'd like to put some sort of flat stone fašade on the wall to give it a better look. So it looks like I could redo the bottom to even it out then add the stone over it?

Thanks again! Love reading the posts on this site. I'll try to add pictures once it is all done.
 
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Old 06-08-14, 08:53 AM
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I've done a lot of stone veneer and it can look really nice. It's a lot of work though. Not technically difficult but any time you're dealing with stone and cement everything is heavy. If you are seriously considering doing stone I would thoroughly go over the mortar on the top section to insure that any loose mortar is removed and to roughen the surface to help new adhere better.
 
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