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Anyone employed as a mason or contractor?

August 24th, 2006, 09:09 PM
We are having a foundation issue, that may have sparked into three issues..
And now we have a foundation crack through the 8" block wall..
I know no matter what happens we will need a mason to put it back together again, but I was looking for a second opinion to see if I/ we (dad and I have been going at this) are right about what is going on..

The contractor we had do work for us last year who's a friend of my dad's seems to be avoiding us.. I wonder if he's afraid we'll blame him for this issue somehow being part of the last one, though that's not the case..

And currently I just want an educated opinion on what's happening, I don't want someone in here yet to fix it.. So I'm not ready to be mason shopping yet, lol.

Anyone happen to have the skills to hook a girl up?

Dog Dancer
August 25th, 2006, 02:40 PM
If you had posted a bit more info I may have been able to help. I work in the masonry field (we actually run a brick training centre). Unfortunately I'm not going to have access to the web until Sept. 5, but if you put a bit more info into a post (even before later today) I can have one of the guys read it and give you an opinion. We're in BC though so I can't offer to send anyone over (I also live with a bricklayer - go figure huh...) So I'll look in before we leave work today and see if you've updated me, otherwise it won't be for a week.

Sorry I can't help you really at this point.

Have you tried calling any masonry association out there for a verbal over the phone, we get that all the time here? Good luck.

Bet you didn't think anyone would answer did you???

August 25th, 2006, 10:23 PM
I actually didn't figure anyone would answer, lol.

Sorry I got back so so late.. Working on installing a ceiling fan where there was no electrical, while relaying the entire patio of patio stones.. While dealing with this foundation issue..

The guy who I thought was avoiding is coming tomorrow to look.. So hopefully I'll have something to go on..

But, anyone else's opinion would be highly appreciated..

I live in a house that was built in 67 or 68.. 8" concrete block foundation. At the south east corner of the house in the east wall there's a small crack in the pardging about 8 inches long, running along a mortar joint.. there's a matching crack in the south wall that runs 20" was when I stopped digging so far.. also in the pardging. there's no evidence of brick shifting though. I've pulled the insulation of the inside of that basement wall, and the longer crack is through the block about 16" long, the other crack seems to be just in the pardging.

The worse issue is similar on the south west corner of the house. In the south wall here's a crack down the mortar joint, it's 3 feet long so far, and we are still digging it out. There's an opposing crack on the west wall.. It's the same depth, the cracks are slowly coming to the corner though like it's breaking out. The south wall crack in the mortar joint is all the way through the concrete block, the other one seems to be in the pardging thus far but it's only my guess, it's more hairline still.

We had to rip the drywall, vapour barrier, tar paper and fiberglass off the corner in the basement, there's evidence of water dmage, but the crack isn't on the inside.. It's 40 inches over from the window outside.. the basement ends at like 37.5".. so the crack is in between the block.. but then why is the basement wet..

We also have found that all the rows in that corner but 2 are made up of broken blocks the mason apparently salvaged.. I was wondering if that might add to a structural issue..

There's a window on the main floor over a basement window about 40" over from this worst crack, and from the last row of bricks up, the bricks are cracking in a zigzag pattern up the brick layers, I can see 8 rows worth so far. the bottom row is slowly moving out onto two different planes..

So.. my questions.. If they are answerable..

Is using broken blocks in a corner where structural integrity is an issue maybe contributing to this mess?

Is the weight of the window over top of a double basement window a secondary issue causing the bricks to crack out, or is it related to the corner cracking out?

Does it sound like the footing is cracked under this corner?

And if both rear corners of the house are doing this, is it related?

Suggestions on how you go about fixing this mess? I'd like a better heads up before I have to start calling people, but this is way more hardcore than what I usually can fix.. We were thinking about pulling out the window, cutting it larger to remove roughly the weight of 330 pounds of brick.. or putting in double french doors which would decrease the load more than that, and strengthening the lintel..

And so far think that we need a mason to cut out the corner that is the worst and replace all the block as far as this issue goes down, which I think would mean removing all the broken blocks used in original construction..

The less badly damaged corner we only just discovered and aren't sure what we should be doing about that..

Two years ago they had a basement leak and found that it was a hairline fracture in the foundation all the way to the weeping tile.. It was excavated by someone they paid, patched and a drainage hose put in.. thing is buddy didn't level the ground right, and water's still running to that side of the house.. which is like 8ish feet away from the crack in the corner of the west side.. The dirt is now slightly above the brick which I know is a no no.. So is water coming in between the pardging and brick and maybe things aren't so dire there?

I am so so sorry for a novel.. If there's anything I can try to clear up, I'd love to try, I'll go snap some pics of how bad this is now.. to try to make this easier..

I appreciate anything you could tell me though..

Currently dark out and rainy.. So I'll snap pics in the morning.

Southwest wall before I knew how bad things were just to help the orientation..

Dog Dancer
September 8th, 2006, 06:03 PM
Hi Mafiaprincess, I have had one of my guys look at your msg and please know this is strictly a personal opinion without having seen the problem, and certainly not advice that should or could replace that of having a certified tradesman look at the problem in person. One person's small crack is another persons gaping hole.

He says it sounds like it would be an idea to replace the majority if not all of the block structure after the reason for the settling (most likely the cause of the cracks) has been found and dealt with otherwise the repairs will be short lived.

If you are pulling out a window and making it larger, make sure the wall is not a load bearing wall otherwise it should be engineered and designed properly otherwise you could have problems with the roof above it sagging dramatically.

The leaks are probably the result of water getting through cracks in the croncrete slab or masonry or both. If you want to find out where the leaks are coming from use a bottle of food colouring and trace the water back. Pour it around where you think the leaks are coming from and look for the trail.

Based on the age of the house waterproofing would probably be non-existant.

Possibly an application of blue skin or another waterproof coating could be placed along the outside after it is dug out and thoroughly cleaned and dried, that would at least stop the water and further errosion, but settling will still be an issue.

So you will most likely need to get your bricklayer in - but you should ask them for proof of trade qualification/certification. He says it sounds like it could be some extensive damage and we wish you luck.

I hope your fellow showed up and gave you some advice. Sorry it took so long to get back to you, as I said we were off for a full week and this week at work has been crazy busy.