Interlock on step blocked "weeping", now facing issues...

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Old 05-13-19, 01:59 PM
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Interlock on step blocked "weeping", now facing issues...

Hey folks!

13 year old house, and about 12 years ago I had interlock put on the steps. The top step is a concrete slab and the brick you see on the walls went flush to the slab (pic attached).

Unfortunately, the interlock company didn't really consider the weeping, or didn't think it would be an issue, and as you can see from the attached picture, there's some issues (see staining in pic). Over the winter I have some stress cracks in the mortar that follow the pattern of the staining -- up to 1/4" in worst cases. It all settled back to be mostly "hairline" now.

I've had a trusted/known/reputable local masonry company come in, and their quote is to remove the pavers along the edge, remove the bottom 2-3 rows of wall brick and put in blocks, redo the weeping and wrap. Basically -- move the brick above the paver grade and parge it around to make it all look like foundation. Ditto to remove the brick around door base and put a decorative concrete block there. All for the low price of $9k (Ontario canada pricing).

I'm struggling with the price, it's about double what I was expecting for a job like this. They're saying this is a multi person job for several days I'm also really surprised this isn't a more common issue and wondering if there's some simpler solution. Maybe lifting those pavers on the edge and cutting in a "drain tile" line along the edge or something along those lines. Again, I'm in a temp extreme environment -- winters go to -20 (0f) for extended periods, and summers well into the 30's (100f) fwiw.

Any thoughts?
 
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Old 05-13-19, 03:21 PM
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I'm not convinced you actually have a problem caused by blocked weeping holes. In the vast majority of cases nothing ever comes out of the weeping holes. It's just a very easy to do "just in case" sort of thing. Also, don't forget that the cavity behind the brick is continuous or should be. Water can find a way out through the exposed weeping holes.

Where is the cracking you describe? Is it in the wall or in your pavers?

If concerned about water being trapped behind the brick what's on the other side of the brick? If it's crawl space I would crawl to that area. Water accumulating behind the brick would almost certainly leave a visible trace on the wood framing behind.
 
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Old 05-14-19, 01:38 AM
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up to 1/4" in worst cases. It all settled back to be mostly "hairline" now.
the cracks, is this in the wall bricks that your describing?

If they grow in the winter then settle back to hairline something is causing them to expand, is it the steps/patio!
 
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Old 05-14-19, 07:14 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. Here's some more pics to help diagnose:

* Line -- shows the extend of the crack;
* Crack/Crack2 -- shows the width of the crack at it's worst (a very cold day in Feb after a few days of wet snow);
* Crack3 - The same crack as it is today, in reasonable warm (50-60 degree f) weather;
* found -- shows the foundation (late 2005) -- the front porch is the part of the foundation behind the 5020, garage is obvious;
* entry-pre - shows the slab and garage wall up
* entry-dur - shows as they're laying brick, so the wrap is up
* entry-post - shows after the fact.

So basically behind the wall that's cracking (mortar lines, not brick) is wrap, plywood, 2x6 and garage on other side. the garage on the other side is gyprocked -- there's absolutely no sign of issues of moisture, the foundation is solid and dry, it's all great on that garage side.
 
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Old 05-14-19, 08:29 AM
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When the cracks are at their largest do you notice that the brickwork is bowing outwards?

I can't tell from the photos. Were the porch and it's footer added after the foundation and basement walls for the main house? Or, is the porch the boxed in area in your foundation photo?

After seeing your latest pictures I'm a bit confused how you are having this problem. There appears to be a proper brick ledge on the foundation to support that wall of brick so settling or foundation movement shouldn't be an issue. And, that area is protected under a roof so you shouldn't have water getting behind the brick other than condensation.
 
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Old 05-14-19, 09:34 AM
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There is no bowing that I'm aware of.

The porch is in the boxed area in the foundation photo, the box behind the number 5020 is the porch step slab.

As I noted, I've read on some forums, and the masonry company I had inspect has said, that interlock pavers against brick like this is a big no-no. It blocks the weeping holes and prevents "breathing" of the brick. That brick like this always needs to be above grade, ideally even 18". The area just becomes wet and has no real way to dry itself out over winter freeze/thaw cycles.

It's hard to ignore that the crack lines are pretty much in line with the bricks that appear to be moisture laden. Also worth noting is the interlock company that did my place did a lot of my neighbourhood. As I walk around other places where they've put interlock on top step -- I see similar staining issues. On houses that just brick the steps, but not the top slab -- no issues that I've seen.
 
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Old 05-14-19, 10:37 AM
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So how are the pavers mounted to the slab?
 
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Old 05-14-19, 12:38 PM
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Glued along the edges, rest are just set with sand between joints as normal.
 
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Old 05-14-19, 12:43 PM
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Something is moving. I wonder if the pavers are expanding when it freezes and pushing sideways on the brick. That's why I was asking if you noticed if the cracked area was bowing in winter. Bowing out might mean water is trapped behind the brick. Bowing inward could be the pavers pushing against the brick.
 
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Old 05-14-19, 04:49 PM
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Is this correct,

Flat cement was poured and brick work is set on top of cement then pavers set on top of slab?

Any kind of expansion joint where the pavers meet the brick?
 
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Old 05-14-19, 05:12 PM
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Are there ANY cracks at all on the front of the garage?
 
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Old 05-15-19, 05:38 AM
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Hey folks, thanks for all the feedback.

Indeed, there is crack in the foundation (pic attached), doesn't go all the way up but still there (see attachment). This is roughly in line with the first step down on the stairs on the other side. I have always scanned that area for issues, but am only now noticing there's some white residue. So I'm thinking that in freeze-thaw cycles (especially if I have to salt), water is getting onto the sill under the brick around that first step -- and has even found a way through.

I'm having a structural engineer come in to investigate the crack to make sure that fixing the brick/water issues outside will fix the expansion issues.

Thanks again for all the feedback and poking, not sure I would have got as far into this without yall's pushing to "there has to be more than this than wet bricks and blocked weep holes".
 
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Old 05-15-19, 06:08 AM
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If the foundation is cracked, that is the source of the crack in the bricks. And if you put salt on the pavers, all that saltiness is now in the sand and is wicking into the bricks wherever it's wet. The weep hole can suck moisture in just as well as they wick it out.

and by front of the garage, I meant the side with the garage doors.
 
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Old 05-15-19, 06:42 AM
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Sorry, I forgot to include the picture. You'll see why I'm still not entirely convinced the crack is the cause -- but that's why I'll get an expert in person to investigate.
 
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