A brick foundation generally consists of 3 parallel courses of brick with special interweaving courses call bonds keeping the wall together. Often the wall will sit on a footing of several courses of brick laid directly on the substrate somewhat wider than the foundation. This footing will often step narrower with each course.

bowed brick The only solution for a bowed or buckled brick foundation wall is to rebuild the affected area.

Brick Foundation Problems

1. Waterproofing

A brick foundation in good structural condition can be waterproofed from the outside by having DryBasements do an Exterior Excavation. At the same time the drain or weeping tile will be replaced. Unlike other types of foundations, brick foundations can not be waterproofed from the inside. As for ongoing maintainence, even painting the interior walls is not recommended as brick continues to expand as it ages.

2. Bowed or Buckling

Bowing or buckling of the wall is an indication of structural failure. It could be the result of soil pressure against a wall, lateral loading from construction vehicles driving to close to the house, frost pressure due to lack of heat or excess insulation or both, or another undetermined problem. The fact is, once the process starts, it will not self-heal, it is better to address it immediately. The longer the process continues the bigger the job it will be to correct it. The only proper remedy is to rebuild the affected area with new bricks and mortar or if the damage is widespread rebuild the wall with poured concrete concrete block. Additionally, the underlying problem and cause of the bowing wall will need to be corrected.

Brick History

The making of bricks for construction predates many written records. It is well documented that the Ancient Egyptians enslaved people such as the Israelites for making bricks used in building an empire. Early bricks were mud or clay baked in the sun. North American brick making dates to the early 1600's with the remains of a brick kiln from the 1630's being found in Colonial USA.

3. Weeping Tile

Depending on the age of your house and the type of soil around your house, you will likely find weeping or drain tile around you house. For an explanation and history of weeping tile, please read our BLOG. Over time, weeping tile will become plugged with soil or roots. As a temporary measure, it may be possible to flush out the tile and allow it to pass water until sediment blocks it up again. Root obstructions may be able to be removed using a sewer machine but this also is a temporary fix. Trees need water and the weeping tile around your house is an excellent source. There are really two options, replace the weeping tile or abandon the weeping tile.

4. Window Wells

Any time a window, air vent, or chimney etc., are located below grade a well of some sort is required. A window well is a shaped piece of corrugated galvanized steel, built on-site wood or concrete or a custom prefab designer well. A basic galvanized well may seem like a simple item with simple installation. If that were true, fixing window wells would not feature so prominently in Ltd.'s business. Improper sizing, placement, installation, drain structure are some of the problems remedied on a regular basis by Visit our Window Well page for more information.

5. Sewer Backup

Whether connected to the municipal sanitary sewer alone or to both storm and sanitary sewers, your home could be susceptible to a backup. Checkout our Basement Isolation section to learn how you can protect your most valuable asset.