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Old 05-21-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
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Concrete Deck Repair (BIG JOB)


Help! My concrete deck needs a major overhaul!

The deck is 12'x29' and is supported by cinder blocks sitting on a footing. I am unsure how it connects to the house. I do not know how thick the top concrete layer is or if it has rebar or wire mesh reinforcement.

Under the concrete is backfill (rocks and dirt etc). The top concrete layer is not sloped away from the house which traps water and freezing has damaged the concrete. The previous owner skim coated it before he sold the house.

To add to the problem, one of the cinder block walls is pushing outwards due to freezing or hydrostatic pressure of the back fill pushing on it.

So, I've already mentally prepared myself for a major job here so Im not looking for a "quick fix" as I plan on staying in the house for a while. I would like to remove the concrete top and the brick perimeter and rebuild the cinder block wall. I will then have a concrete contractor come in and recap it with the proper grade and drip edge all the way around, and then add aluminum railing around the perimeter.

I am very handy with mechanical things, but I dont have any experience in masonry work at all. What tools would be best to tackle this job? Any pointers would be helpful!

1) What would be the best way to remove the concrete cap? Jack hammer, concrete saw, or expanding concrete demolition agent?

2) What would be the best way to remove the brick surround? I would like to keep the brick for another part of my house. Concrete saw & air chisel?













Last edited by vector006; 05-22-2013 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:06 PM   #2
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Concrete Deck Repair (BIG JOB)


suggest you 1st have some cores taken & tested to see if its worth saving other than as a base for an unbonded overlay,,, where's this monster deck located ( that's why your location's IMPORTANT ! ),,, probably damage is from salt OR non-air-entrained concrete ?

why bother w/rebar UNLESS its at least 4 1/2" thick,,, wire mesh is largely a waste of time & $$, too,,, hopefully, it does NOT connect to the house,,,

dimensions would help, too,,, it doesn't look that big from the pics - 600sf ?

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Old 05-21-2013, 09:58 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. The deck is 12' x 29' (interior dimensions). I've had a couple contractors look at it and the reputable ones tell me it needs to come down to do it right. If we add a layer of concrete to the exiting surface, the minimum thickness they recommended was 2". When you factor in the slope required for drainage, the concrete will be flush with the door threshold (not good in the winter).

I dont see any expansion joint between the house and the deck which worries me. I hope it's just the skim coat that makes it look attached.

The quote I got was:

2700+tax for labor
1850+tax for demolition
1462+tax for concrete ($150 per yard concrete)

I want to try and save some cost by doing the demolition and set-up the forms so the contractor just needs to pour and add stairs. Not sure if this should be left to the pro's. I have access to a medium size backhoe, and can rent the necessary demolition tools.

Last edited by vector006; 05-21-2013 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:05 AM   #4
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Here's a picture of the wall that's been compromised. Its amazing how much force the back fill is exerting on the wall to bust through the cinder block and brick I removed a couple bricks to see what was going on inside...

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Old 05-22-2013, 11:40 AM   #5
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Are you sure the brick on the back wall of the house aren't bearing on the porch? If so, you've got an even bigger job ahead of you.

As for the brick removal, I'd start with removing a loose cap, and continue under them with a 36" prybar until they're all off. You may want to save/sell those caps, they look like they're in decent shape and appear to be Indiana bedford material. Once the caps are off, I'd suggest renting/buying a small SDS plus rotary hammer with a 2" wide chisel. Start at the jambs at the steps, use the rotary horizontally, and the brick should pop out pretty quickly.

The concrete is a whole 'nother animal. Take a close look at the joint at the house and let us know what you find........
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:12 PM   #6
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Is your heart really stuck on a solid concrete deck, up here in Canada? It seems to me that for that kind of money you could have a 'traditional' - even fancy - deck without the structural considerations a slab entails to say nothing of the brick work and drainage issues.

I know it "looks" nice, but still...
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:56 PM   #7
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Go rent yourself the biggest jack hammer available. I hardwood deck would look real nice. I case you start to wonder, no their are no tricks to breaking up concrete.
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:12 PM   #8
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I just sold this place a few months ago..that commerical grade concrete deck was definitely a selling feature. Expensive, but gorgeous if done correctly
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:31 PM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback! Yes, I was considering doing a composite deck instead, although I would still need to demolish this one. I was hoping that concrete would be a no hassle durable deck, goes to show how important doing it right the first time is.

Anyone know the best method to remove and save the brick so I can use it on an addition I am putting on later this year? I briefly searched youtube but didnt find many good videos on how to do this.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vector006 View Post
Thanks for the feedback! Yes, I was considering doing a composite deck instead, although I would still need to demolish this one. I was hoping that concrete would be a no hassle durable deck, goes to show how important doing it right the first time is.

Anyone know the best method to remove and save the brick so I can use it on an addition I am putting on later this year? I briefly searched youtube but didnt find many good videos on how to do this.
Um, yes....................
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
Um, yes....................
Ooops. Sorry I missed that... duh

Ok, here's what it looks like with the cap removed:



I will take your suggestion and start brick removal this weekend and will report back.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:36 AM   #12
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You can save those bricks if you have access to slave labor. Otherwise it is hardly worth the trouble.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:20 PM   #13
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Are there places out there that match brick? The house was built in 1970, but the brick appears to be pretty common on alot of houses in the area. Would a brick restoration place be the right place to start? Sorry I'm a total noob when it comes to masonry.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:07 PM   #14
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Finding those brick will be like looking for a needle in a haystack. If you have any room outside to store some (or all) of them, I would certainly do so if you think you may possibly need some of them in the future. You're going to need a brick hammer and wide masonry chisel at a minimum, but I'd still recommend looking into buying or renting a small SDS hammer drill with "chisel only" feature to remove the brick and the mortar from them.

Have you verified that the back wall of brick on the house does or doesn't bear on the patio yet??
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:24 AM   #15
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Yeah, i figured it would be tough to find a match. It looks like the patio bricks are a slightly different shade than the bricks on the house which suggests to me that the patio was installed after the house was built. Hopefully this means it is not tied into the house. I will find out this weekend.

I ended up buying this SDS from harbor freight onsale for 89.99 + 20% off coupon from HotRod magazine. Cant go wrong for that price! Bought two chissels for 12.99 along with it. I will post updates later this weekend!


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