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denvercraftsman 08-27-2012 11:33 AM

My brick foundation has been parged... on the inside
I have a brick foundation on a hundred year old house in Denver. Soft brick, lime mortar. At some point, I'm guessing the 50's from a paper I found stuffing a hole, the foundation was parged below grade on the inside with what must be portland cement, because its really hard.

I've read through the forums, and have learned of the problems with this "waterproofing" technique. So on the one hand, it sounds like the parging should be removed, as it is preventing the brick from breathing, ruining the brick, and its likely delaminate and fail anyway.

On the other hand, I have a lot of other stuff to do, and a strong believer of "if it aint broke, don't fix it". The parging looks fantastic. Its solid, not crumbling, and shows no signs of water leakage. I chipped off about a square foot to see if the brick underneath was rotten, but it looked solid, and the mortar too. And I learned the parging is REALLY hard to get off without damaging the brick. It is still stuck really well to the brick.

So what to do? Denver is pretty dry, is there any chance that this out-dated waterproofing technique is actually working OK? Its lasted ~60 years. Or am I just avoiding work? (And to be fair, I don't really know if I can even get the parging off without damaging a lot of brick.)

joecaption 08-27-2012 11:38 AM

I'd leave it alone.

gregzoll 08-27-2012 12:22 PM

Leave it alone. Parging was used to help create a finished look, both inside and outside on foundation walls. You can take the handle end of a screw driver and tap along to make sure it is solid and not loose.

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