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Old 07-10-2007, 04:17 PM   #1
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


I have more trouble with this subject and here it rears it's ugly head again. First I've been trying to figure out what product I need to use to skim coat the spalling on my basement walls now it's the exterior of my house.

The problem is (I just discovered) that where they put in my gas meter (not that long ago it appears but this is a new to me house so I don't know) they broke the parging or whatever it is that covers the foundation (poured concrete?). This is an 75 year old house so who knows. Anyway it's crumbling in that area now. While investigating this I noticed there is a big gap between what is the foundation and a slab that was poured for a porch... parging gone from there too. My fear is that is where some now dearly departed mice entered last fall so I want that filled with something mouse proof.

So, I want to fill the gap and fix the coating so it all looks smooth and nice. Am I looking at two different products? As I understand it, parging is a process vs being a product so I don't know if I am looking for a cement or mortar or what. I can't say I've actually shopped for any of this so if someone could give me a clue what I should be looking for I'd sure appreciate it.

I guess I am wondering too (given what I know about that spalling issue in the basement) is do I have to use some sort of adhesive before parging on those exterior walls or to get it matched up to the existing stuff (which has been painted)?

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Old 07-10-2007, 07:23 PM   #2
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


Can you post a photo?

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Old 07-10-2007, 08:35 PM   #3
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


Sure, here is how it looks today. The first picture is the gap between the house and porch (foundation and slab). The other two are by the gas meter which is actually right beside the gap (really they are only a foot or so apart). You can see I'm actually dealing with a foundation with a lot of rock in it (it's the same inside where it is spalling) but I need to fix the area that has broken away so the house doesn't look like it's falling down.
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Am I parging or cementing or what?-hole-1.jpg   Am I parging or cementing or what?-hole2.jpg   Am I parging or cementing or what?-hole3.jpg  
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:48 AM   #4
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


bump in hopes of getting some info
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Old 07-16-2007, 09:57 AM   #5
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


I'd fill in the large open gaps with a concrete mix if the gaps are larger then 1/2". A sand mix if less then 1/2".
Is the white material on the foundation cement that is painted or white stucco? The material looks like a fine grained masonary product, probably a mortar mix. I would go to the local mason supply place with the pictures for their advice. It looks to me that you could use a mortar mix to fix it. If you buy the premixed bags you might want to add a little more cement to it. It sticks better. Some companies seem to be a little stingy with the cement portion of the mix.
To keep this advice in perspective, my concrete experience is limited to filling holes for deck supports and the like.
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Old 07-16-2007, 04:45 PM   #6
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


Thanks for the advice. I have no idea what that parging is made of. It is painted whatever it is. There are big chips of it on the ground, maybe if I take one to the store they can tell me? If it is mortar is that the same mortar that I may already have a bag of for tiling my bathroom?

I'm wondering if there is something I can inject into that gap (or if I should given it's just a gap between slab and foundation and maybe there is supposed to be room for expansion?). Mostly it's to keep the mice out as I followed it to the basement where the stairway was cut when they added the porch and for sure that is a perfect path for the little creeps.

Also, I found a bag of something in the basement left by previous owner. I have no idea how old it is but I suspect they were trying to patch the basement with it. I bet it's 3 years old. Somewhere in my memory banks it seems to me I heard that cement and such has a best before date or has to be used within a certain time after opening. Is this true? Would that bag be only fit for tossing now?
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:23 PM   #7
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty View Post

I guess I am wondering too (given what I know about that spalling issue in the basement) is do I have to use some sort of adhesive before parging on those exterior walls or to get it matched up to the existing stuff (which has been painted)?

Did you have a "spalling" problem inside the basement as well?

You should be able to use a mortar mix to fix the problems on the outside wall. Clean the area from any loose pieces before applying the mortar mix. Read the label and it should give you the best results. You could apply adhesive or bonding agents to help the mortar adhere to the sections.
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:37 PM   #8
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


Yes, the basement has spalling which has yet to be fixed. I just bought the house last year but I suspect it happened decades ago and was just left (house built 1930). It's been a problem because there are no trades available around here and I have had a hard time finding out just what to fix it with (posted twice here but no one knew).

What type of adhesive are we talking about? Any particular names/brands or can I use a glue like Weldbond?
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:42 PM   #9
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


Can you post photos of the interior spalling?
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Old 07-16-2007, 09:14 PM   #10
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


Sure. Here they are. The first one is probably 2' tall (to give you an idea of scale), the second is more like 4' tall X 8' wide and probably would need filling to more than 2" deep in places. Just for thoroughness sake, also an area that spalled and was painted over as I am not sure if it needs to be treated any differently. I'd say probably 40% of the basement wall surface need a skim coat of something to even them out again. Also here's a picture of that bag of stuff I found.

Any help/info is sure appreciated.
Attached Thumbnails
Am I parging or cementing or what?-spall1.jpg   Am I parging or cementing or what?-spall3.jpg   Am I parging or cementing or what?-spall2.jpg   Am I parging or cementing or what?-spall4.jpg  

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Old 07-16-2007, 11:07 PM   #11
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


How long have you owned the house?
Were the interior basement walls like this when you purchased the home?

The bag appears to be a cement mix. Cement is usually used to fill larger gaps due to the stone (aggregate) in the mix.


When you go to purchase the mortar there should be some bonding agent that should be next to the mortar bags. Read the mortar mix bag and you should find the proper instructions for mixing and applying. Lightly mist the area with water prior to applying the mortar. This keeps the dry area from drawing the moisture out of the newly applied mortar mix.





http://www.quikrete.com/ProductLines/Products-Home.asp





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Old 07-16-2007, 11:42 PM   #12
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


Dusty said:
"There are big chips of it on the ground, maybe if I take one to the store they can tell me? If it is mortar is that the same mortar that I may already have a bag of for tiling my bathroom?"

If the big chips are the coating over the foundation, yes you can take it with you. The mortar from the bath is thinset for setting tile. Not for use in skim coating the foundation walls. The concrete mix in the bag could be used to fill the mouse gap if it's still in powder form. If it's lumpy inside, dump it. Mix it to a fairly thick consistancy or it will just run out of the gap. Sort of like peanut butter thick. Wet the existing concrete next to the gap well before you start filling the voids. Wait a minute or two and then fill the gaps.
Redline has a point. Was this the way the foundation was when you purchased the house? That sort of damage is usually water related. Make sure your gutters are clean and the leaders empty away from the house at least 4-5 feet. Next time it rains check to see if there is water pooling next to the house. Regrade if necessary.
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Old 07-17-2007, 02:33 AM   #13
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


Yes the house was like this when I bought it last year. It actually scared the folks who had put in an offer before me so I got the house for a good price. It really doesn't bother me all that much because I owned a house just like this one on the next block for a dozen years and that house and all the houses around here (all built 1930) are like this. That is why I am quite sure the damage occurred decades ago. Most people just had someone come in and skim coat with something or other and all has been fine and that was what I planned to do. Silly me just assumed there would be trades available but alas the economy here is really really hot, huge labour shortages, all trades have their pick of jobs and they aren't picking diddly little houses like mine when they can take on new builds or better. I'm doing a lot more DIY than I planned on I can tell you (hence me having tile mortar on hand which is going to be another new experience). I really didn't plan on having all this mortar, cement, concrete, parging, patching stuff on my learning curve but such is life if I want it done (so it doesn't scare any more buyers should I want to sell).

As far as water, nothing really except one incident this spring which was a record downpour that actually washed away some foundations a few districts over. I had a couple of small puddles and I am pretty sure I know where they came from (eg. they cut the foundation to add some stairs and you can actually see dirt they cut down so far). Other than that, nothing when the snow melted (which is often when it happens here) or during any other rainstorms. My gutters do need cleaning as whoever put the roof on two years or so ago dropped their garbage into the gutters. It's on my list of things to do. The swales seem to be intact.

I have heard a theory that sometimes this happens because someone put the wrong paint (one that doesn't breath) on the walls. That means normal moisture that would wick through and evaporate builds up and the concrete breaks down or something. I don't know if that is true or not but it's one theory. Another is that these houses were all built with a basement bedroom and sometimes other rooms or walls were added. Mine has no rooms at all but you can see by the floor they were there. To me it looks like there may have been a fire down there and all the walls were torn down. Maybe there were panels or something and when they got taken out they ripped part of the foundation with them. Again, only a theory.

Some day when I feel brave I may actually get a home inspector over here to check some things. There was no way while buying with the way things were selling here last year it would cost you the house to put conditions on it (and boy did some folks get stung). So I had to go with my experience with my last house like this and so far, so good. It's just doing some of this cosmetic stuff now that things like plumbing and electrical are done (at least I could find some pros for that thank heavens).

Anyway, I am so glad to get some advice and that site with some info because I just haven't been able to get very far in my googling to really understand what I should be looking for. There is info on repairing horizontal surfaces but not vertical. I'm also really leary of hitting the big box stores as the staff there sometimes are not very well informed and I really didn't know where else to go. Knowing there are mason suppliers (see I wasn't even sure it whether I was looking for a mason or a drywaller supply place before) means I at least have a direction to head.

Last edited by Dusty; 07-17-2007 at 02:39 AM.
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:39 PM   #14
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


you should use weldbond mixed 3 to 1 with water , and then apply with a paint brush over area to be covered.It wouldn't hurt to mix some in with your mortar mix as well! then after applying mortar mix to wall dab lightly with a grouting sponge or alike as mortar sets appx 20 to 30 minutes to desired texture.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:03 AM   #15
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Am I parging or cementing or what?


Thanks for the info. I still have to tackle the basement spalling...not liking that idea at all which is why it's still waiting I guess.

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