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Old 08-26-2012, 03:01 PM   #1
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Concrete and Brick Repairs


I am new to these forums and also new to the concept of DIY. So, please let me know if I missed out on providing any details.

I need some guidance on DIY concrete and brick repairs including regular maintenance. I am in North East (Washington DC) - so weather can be extreme (during winter or summer). Home is about 8 years old.

1) Minor cracks in the joints between brick veneer and concrete foundation around the exterior of basement windows close to the ground. Please see the first picture in the link below. My understanding is that these are expected around the joints due to concrete settling overtime. Should I caulk these cracks or apply a patch of mortar (or do something else)? If caulking is recommended , what type of caulk (brand, type) I should use that can be available at regular big box stores (HD, Lowes etc.)?

2) My front door porch steps are bricks. They are attached to a concrete block (which is the last step). Please see pictures 2, 3 & 4 in the link below. There was about an inch gap where brick steps meet the last concrete block/step. I assumed the gap occurred over time (I bought house couple of years back) due to concrete settling (concrete block likely settled and pulled away from brick steps). From my research on the internet, I filled this gap (5 ft long, 6 inch deep, 1 inch wide) with polyurethane foam and then patched it over with "Red Devil" concrete caulk (as you can see in the picture). The color of the caulk doesn't quite match with the concrete; but I am hoping it will stop the moisture from getting in. Did I do this right or is this going to be temporary and should I consider something permanent in the next go?

3) In the brick steps (as mentioned in 2), there are few places where mortar is missing. I also noticed step pattern in the cracks that starts on the top and bottom of the second step. Please see pictures in the link below. For now, I filled the gaps with "Red Devil" concrete caulk. However, I do not believe this is a long term fix. In fact, I am seriously considering removing the caulk from the gaps and re-pointing the bricks with mortar mix. I am considering "Rapid Set Mortar Mix" from HD. Please advise if this is the correct approach.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1038409...65042040776050

Your advise and guidance is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Last edited by spidercharm; 08-26-2012 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:11 PM   #2
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Concrete and Brick Repairs


Almost all those repairs should have been done by tuck pointing (Google it)not caulking.
There was suppost to be an expantion gap between the slab and the brick.
The slab moves at a differant rate then the stoop does. Anything you try to fill that with will just crack over time. The walkway was suppost to be pored so it sloped away from the stoop.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:26 PM   #3
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Concrete and Brick Repairs


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Almost all those repairs should have been done by tuck pointing (Google it)not caulking.
There was suppost to be an expantion gap between the slab and the brick.
The slab moves at a differant rate then the stoop does. Anything you try to fill that with will just crack over time. The walkway was suppost to be pored so it sloped away from the stoop.
Thanks for your response. Can you please elaborate more? Are you referring to problem 3) for tuckpointing?

Sorry for posting three different problems in one post. But, please note that 1) is entirely another issue related to cracks around basement windows. I haven't done anything on this yet.

Last edited by spidercharm; 08-26-2012 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:34 PM   #4
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Concrete and Brick Repairs


The ones around the basement windows most likly were caused by the brick not being misted down before the morter was applyed so it sucked out the moisture in the morter before it dryed.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
The ones around the basement windows most likly were caused by the brick not being misted down before the morter was applyed so it sucked out the moisture in the morter before it dryed.
Note that the cracks around the windows is due to joint between concrete and brick veneer. Any thoughts on what should I do for filling these cracks? Caulk it (which one)? Patch it with mortar? Something else?

Last edited by spidercharm; 08-26-2012 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:48 PM   #6
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Concrete and Brick Repairs


I never use caulking for morter repairs. It going to stick out as you have seen.
It gets cut out with a 4-1/2" grinder and a diamond wheel to a depth of 1/2".
It's best to use a morter bag to but the morter in (looks like a pastery bag)
Then it gets struck with a special tool to match the joints you have now.
Your going to have to go to Lowes or HD and look for one. Just a curvered tool with a rib sticking out to make that shape.
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
I never use caulking for morter repairs. It going to stick out as you have seen.
It gets cut out with a 4-1/2" grinder and a diamond wheel to a depth of 1/2".
It's best to use a morter bag to but the morter in (looks like a pastery bag)
Then it gets struck with a special tool to match the joints you have now.
Your going to have to go to Lowes or HD and look for one. Just a curvered tool with a rib sticking out to make that shape.
I believe you are talking about the brick steps.

How about the basement windows? Note that the cracks around the windows is due to joint between concrete and brick veneer (not between the bricks). Any thoughts on what should I do for filling these cracks? Caulk it (which one)? Patch it with mortar? Something else?

Appreciate the help!!

Last edited by spidercharm; 08-26-2012 at 09:22 PM.
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