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.
The only solution for a bowed or buckled brick foundation wall is to rebuild the affected area.
Brick Foundation Problems
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.
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 DryBasements.com
Ltd.'s business. Improper sizing, placement,
installation, drain structure are some of
the problems remedied on a regular basis
by DryBasements.com. 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.