Old House Pedestal Cracking!! Help! - Concrete, Stone & Masonry - Page 2 - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 06-21-2013, 07:45 PM   #16
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Old House pedestal cracking!! Help!


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Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
This is only a guess from your photos and info, but I'd assume those weren't meant to be collars, but were actually poured before the brick as a post base. I'm sure they mixed that concrete by hand, so throwing some loose fill in the middle of the concrete seemed like a good idea at the time.......
So are you saying you think they were poured around the concrete block and the brick that goes around was stacked on top and built up and then the stone cap railing sides or whatever they are were put on top?

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Old 06-21-2013, 07:52 PM   #17
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Old House pedestal cracking!! Help!


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It seems like it has an imperfect ledge that sits on the cmu. This makes me think it was poured in place. That makes more sense to me because it seems unlikely that they would pour it and then try to fit it around.

I am not a concrete guy, I am probably in over my head on this to a degree, but I am fairly handy and will try about anything.

So, the question is, what should I do?

I will admit I had to look up the term "cmu"
I'm not a concrete guy either- used to do foundation work- but that was years ago.
I'd take gregzoll's approach he stated earlier. Remove the collar, clean all the surfaces and pour it back- add what rebar pinning you can.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:46 PM   #18
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Old House pedestal cracking!! Help!


I'd wonder about that 'poured in place' notion. Note the empty cavities visible in the blocks below. If these were poured in a molds placed there wouldn't there be concrete from them down into those cavities? Or was something placed atop them that's since rotted? Hard to tell from the pictures, but it does look like there might have been some other masonry material in there behind the collar. That would've say over the blocks and then collar may well have been poured around it.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:56 PM   #19
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I'd wonder about that 'poured in place' notion. Note the empty cavities visible in the blocks below. If these were poured in a molds placed there wouldn't there be concrete from them down into those cavities? Or was something placed atop them that's since rotted? Hard to tell from the pictures, but it does look like there might have been some other masonry material in there behind the collar. That would've say over the blocks and then collar may well have been poured around it.
Thats a really good point about the cavity being pretty clean, BUT I can look down and see that there are a few rows deep of block, so I suppose it is possible that whatever fell into that block just fell a few more rows deep and it wasn't enough to fill up the depth of the hole so that I could see the excess.

If that makes sense... thats a really good point that you bring up. I am going to have to get down inside there with a light and really look for signs.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:04 PM   #20
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Old House pedestal cracking!! Help!


I wouldn't worry about what's already in the holes. At least not as it concerns this work. You'd just want to make sure whatever you're doing up top isn't going to have an issue with it.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:21 PM   #21
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There was two ways of doing this. One was with a pre-cast ring, the other would have been placing the ring at the base, after the bricks were built up for the column. The ring was formed by using Masonite, which would allow for a formed ring.

You can do the same thing with a cut down Sono tube today. If you want the old look like the previous ring, you are going to have to take a part of it to a local concrete yard that has a lab, that can give you the correct mix of Portland, Sand, Lime, etc. to recreate it.

They could even mix you a bag of the exact mix you need, and give you the other goods you need to do the job. Even check with Mason's around Chicago that deal with old buildings. There are more than you can count on both hands and toes, that deal with this stuff all day long, and could help you out on how to do it to last. Plus they can check all mortar joints for any deteriorating sections, that need to be tuck-pointed.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:42 PM   #22
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Old House pedestal cracking!! Help!


Those rings were cast in place, there was no precast in the 1920's,but the mystery to me is what's holding the ring off the sidewalk a 1/2 inch and why, something in the construction process failed,and caused the ring to crack on that side,and from the pic's it looks like the bricks are only sitting on the edge of the ring.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:02 PM   #23
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Those rings were cast in place, there was no precast in the 1920's,but the mystery to me is what's holding the ring off the sidewalk a 1/2 inch and why, something in the construction process failed,and caused the ring to crack on that side,and from the pic's it looks like the bricks are only sitting on the edge of the ring.
I'm sure they had precast in 1920- but you're right, not in this application. I think they're cast in place and the reason for the gap is that the slab has settled. It is even cracked at the base of the first riser.
I bet if you took the cap off you would discover what supports the bricks- but of course you don't want to do that!
Clean out the debris in the core the best you can, reform a ring and pour it.
It can't be too structural or the whole thing would be crumbling
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:54 PM   #24
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Those rings were cast in place, there was no precast in the 1920's,but the mystery to me is what's holding the ring off the sidewalk a 1/2 inch and why, something in the construction process failed,and caused the ring to crack on that side,and from the pic's it looks like the bricks are only sitting on the edge of the ring.
Umm, Precast has been around since the day Cement was created. Most structures that have been around for over 300 years, have a lot of precast in them. Matter of fact, most castles dating back to the 14th Century, that are still standing, have a lot of Precast in them.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:09 AM   #25
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Get a Sonotube and cut down to the size you need, to form the collar, to pour the concrete in. I would build a frame of 2x4's around that planter, with eight foot 2x4 braces to hold the box placed around it, so that it does not move, while you are doing this work. Also the other problem is, can you tell if there is anything underneath that pedestal supporting it from the bottom, as a footer?
Can you expand on this a little bit? I don't quite follow the frame set up that you are describing.

Are you saying to frame the Sonotube in place to keep it from moving during the pour?

Would you suggest a footer of some sort?

I might have to dig in to the ground a little more to let you know if I see evidence of anything used as a footer. It rained quite a bit here yesterday, so I will try to let it dry out a bit today before I dig. I am trying to be pretty clean about this whole process.

Where are you located in Central Illinois? I am originally from down there.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:11 AM   #26
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Old House pedestal cracking!! Help!


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Umm, Precast has been around since the day Cement was created. Most structures that have been around for over 300 years, have a lot of precast in them. Matter of fact, most castles dating back to the 14th Century, that are still standing, have a lot of Precast in them.


Yes your right,it's been around forever,what i meant was for this particular application,everything for residential housing was done on site,even if they had to improvise at times.
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Old 06-22-2013, 01:12 PM   #27
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Old House pedestal cracking!! Help!


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Yes your right,it's been around forever,what i meant was for this particular application,everything for residential housing was done on site,even if they had to improvise at times.
Even that application has been around since the Brownstone boom in NYC, Chicago.
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Old 06-22-2013, 01:16 PM   #28
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Oldhouseguy, you would frame around that pillar with 2x4's as a box at the top and bottom, then four vertical 2x4 to hold the two boxes in place.

Then take one 8' 2x4 attached to the top right, then attached to a stake driven in the ground. Same goes for the front left along the sidewalk.

This way it supports that column from any further movement. As for the Sonotube, you would get one the size of the diameter of the ring at the base, cut as high as the ring, before it slopes.
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:03 PM   #29
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Old House pedestal cracking!! Help!


And as greg mentions, when you recreate the collar make sure the top of it has enough slope to encourage water to slough off of it. Otherwise when it snows you'd be setting it up to have meltwater pool up and work it's way down in there, leading to more cracks when everything freezes back up again.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:41 PM   #30
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Ok thanks everyone for your input.

I think I know how to do it now!

I am going to consider all of these comments and figure out when to start!

Thanks again!

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