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Deepa 09-16-2013 10:10 AM

Crumbling Brick, Need Advice
3 Attachment(s)

First off, I'm glad I found this site, great info here! I've done a search and read a few threads but wasn't able to find a definitive answer to my question, here goes...

I've got a 37 year old house in Toronto with some brick veneer in pretty sad shape. We bought this house about 6 months ago and basically gutted the interior, I'm now turning my attention to the exterior before the snow flies. Below the front porch (concrete slab) we have and area that the PO decided to parge and fill in the drip channel while he was at it. Needless to say, that didn't last long and the parging had begun to flake and crack so I removed it all and was faced with the mess in the first two pictures below. I've already decided to apply granite stone to the area to match the retaining wall, again, see the attachment.

My question is, how can I prepare this surface for the stone? More specifically, do I have to fill/level/smooth this area before I apply my wire mesh and scratch coat? Can I use a Type S cement? Or is there something better out there? How to allow the wall to 'breathe' so that I can avoid this issue in the future?

Thanks in advance.

Tscarborough 09-18-2013 12:20 PM

I am not a cold weather guy, but I can tell you that freeze-thaw is what has killed those brick. You need to tuck it up clean, and then you can attach the stone directly to the brick. You also need a high quality sealer on the stone and mortar to keep the water out of it.

mowpar 09-22-2013 09:52 AM

Where is the concrete footer? If there is no footer, put one in.

wkearney99 09-22-2013 12:18 PM

Before the snow? When's that... like next week? :)

Granite? Those blocks on the wall below look more like just concrete.

Me, I'm wondering whether that brick is in bad enough shape to even continue to hold UP the porch (and I assume a roof above). It'd be a darned shame to put all the time and money into a veneer only to have the bricks behind it fail.

Then there's the problem of there not being enough overhang above to keep the water from dripping down onto your veneer, getting behind it and popping it off the wall during the coming winter freeze/thaw cycles.

Me, I'd call in a brick/masonry contractor and get quotes on replacing the brick. During which you may get a better in-person assessment of just how bad a shape that whole porch is in because of this.

mowpar 09-22-2013 03:06 PM

These stones will not adhere to a wire mesh scratch. You would need manufactured fake stone for that. And as mentioned drip edge would be non-existant. It would be an easy job to knock up the brick, and replace with pictured stone

jomama45 09-22-2013 08:53 PM

I would first investigate in the existing hole (where the canned foam is present) to ensure that there is block back-up behind the brick. If there's not, the brick can't easily be removed. If there is, I'd suggest removing the brick completely and starting over with those stone. You can technically adhere the stone right over the brick, but as others have mentioned, it will leave very little to no reveal on the overhang, which will result in failure again down the road. Not to mention, adhering heavy natural thin veneer to rotten brick is asking for trouble.......

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