Front Brick wall settling, Bricks setting on porch the problem?

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Old 03-29-15, 08:24 PM
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Front Brick wall settling, Bricks setting on porch the problem?

Sorry! For the long explanation, just trying to give all the details.

I’m having a problem with the lower front bricks on my house where I have a porch, it appears some of the bricks are settling (dropping) a few of the mortar joints have separated by about 1/8” to 1/4” or so and the limestone window ledge is also loose because of this dropping or movement.

My house is about 9 years old. The brick walls this is happening to surround my front porch which is approx 6’ deep (house [email protected] the East side of the porch) to end of the porch (West) and is 18’ wide (North end at garage wall to South end @ house wall). I have poured foundation walls with a brick ledge for the front brick and there are not any problems on the rest of the front of the house, this is just a problem with the porch area.

This is what I think my problem is. The builder had my front porch concrete slab poured before the brick was installed. Unfortunately I assumed there wouldn’t be any problem with the brick setting on the porch which has all 4 sides on a foundation (10’ basement walls on S & E and 4’ or ?’ for the North garage side and West street facing side). I assume maybe the sand and dirt fill under the porch may have moved or raised and lowered the porch off the foundation a little because of freezing and thawing or maybe water just laid up against the bottom mortar joint resting on the porch and it has deteriorated (doesn’t look that bad). The area in front of the porch gets a lot of water from roof run off.

I think I have a few options that maybe can fix this. The first is to remove the porch pad and redo the brick down to the brick ledge (if brick ledge is put on the outside wall of the basement (which is the inside wall of the porch). Pour a new porch and let it float or tie it to the house with re-rod?

The second option is to leave the porch slab and remove 2- 3 rows of bricks on all 3 sides and install angle iron on the house wall about ˝” above the porch slab and let the bricks set on the angle iron. Would this work? Would attaching the angle iron every 16” be okay?

The third option is to have the porch slab raised by one of the places that pumps mud under the porch pad.

I've called a 2 tuck-pointing contractors and they never showed up, a basement contractor looked at it and I told him of idea #2 and he wanted me to hire an engineer to approve it, I told him he wouldn't have to warranty it, just do it and I’d take the responsibility if it failed again.

I guess what is the correct way to fix this ? any idea’s would be appreciated.

Thank You! for reading through this long post.
 
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Old 03-30-15, 04:46 AM
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Welcome to the forums Randy!

Could you post a few pics so we could have a better idea of what you are dealing with?
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html

Have you put a level on the porch slab [various places] to determine how much it has sunk?
 
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Old 03-30-15, 07:28 PM
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marksr - Thanks! for replying [I] tried to add a few pictures here to show the porch but it failed so I've copied a lot of pictures to dropbox here's the link you may need to copy and paste it.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/knvbmga7h...UYWTg9MPa?dl=0

I have blue tape above and below the gaps so you can see the pattern of movement. I have most of them named to explain where on the porch the picture is showing. I hope it's not confusing from trying to show and explain everything.

I don't have a quality level but I took some pics and it looks like the biggest slope is slopping towards the north end. East (house) to west (end of porch) doesn't look too bad but, since I don't know how level it was originally maybe the front has raised(or by hose lowered) and leveled out a little. However something is going on for the bricks to drop so much on the house front especially windows and doors.

Thanks! again for replying. let me know if you need anymore info.
Randy
 
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Old 03-31-15, 04:24 PM
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IMO the bricks should never have been laid on top of the slab. But the problem would go back to the footing that the slab is laid on top of, assuming there is one along that back side. Looks to me like the pad has dipped (sunk) and is just taking the lower bricks with it.
 
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Old 03-31-15, 08:14 PM
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XSleeper,
Thanks! for the reply, I appreciate it.
Yes, the back side footing is 10' below ground, I thought if the footing sank I would have some other structure problems showing up. I've checked my basement wall no cracks or anything and the interior wall is fine, just the exterior bricks. I'm wondering if there was fill that was just a little above the basement wall height or maybe they put plywood down and poured on top of it and it's settled in the back corners.

The more I look at it I will probably decide to remove the porch slab and add brick down to the brick ledge and pour a new slab. It won't be easy trying to take the slab out and support the wall & bricks.
My other option of removing a few rows of bricks and adding a piece of angle iron to set the bricks a little off of the porch may not work, the bottom bricks are already cut in half (or more)so if I need to raise it a 1/2" there won't be much of a brick on the bottom.

Thanks!
Randy
 
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Old 04-01-15, 03:54 PM
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Just a thought, but since you're in IA, a location where it could freeze hard, is it possible that the pad was backfilled with soil that is expanding (raising the pad and brick off the foundation) and then falling when the frost goes out? You would probably need to examine the pad perimeter (underneath any overhang) to see if there has ever been any uplift. If the frost has gone out, it's probably sunk already. Or maybe if you have noticed those gaps change with the seasons it would tell you something.

Foundation should have been wider so that the brick could sit on the inner half of the foundation, independent of the pad, which would sit on the outer half of the foundation, with an expansion joint and sealant in between.
 
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Old 04-01-15, 08:49 PM
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XSleeper,

I agree I think it has expanded and fell. I contacted the brick company about purchasing some additional bricks and have some names of some brick layers, hopefully I can get a couple of them to come over and confirm what I think needs to be done or make a suggestion.
I'll probably take out the pad and support the brick and hire them to install the new brick from the foundation up and then pour a new pad with the expansion joint and sealant you mention.
Thanks!
Randy
 
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