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Old 08-10-2009, 09:59 AM   #1
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what product for cracks in cinder block mortar?


I have an old garage with some cracks in the cinder block mortar. It's about 85 years old. Went to HD and bought a bag of mortar mix (quikrete)..Not sure if this the best stuff to use. Pictures are attached. Thanks for any advice. MJ
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:16 AM   #2
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That structure has seen some movement! Can we assume that the cracks have been there for a long time and are not growing/changing? If they're still moving then you need to fix the underlying settlement or water problem that caused them in the first place.

I have real concerns about the settlement over that basement window...Not good. Your blocks are serving as a lintel (header) to support the structure above. Nothing's supporting that lintel now that it has a huge crack at the end. No way to fix that with applied products. It would need to be reinforced or re-built.

Mortar mix would work if you're just trying to make it look good. But it isn't ideal. It won't get all the way into the crack.

Ideally you'd inject a crack filler or epoxy into the crack that will also help deal with water infiltration and will restore some strength to the joint.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
That structure has seen some movement! Can we assume that the cracks have been there for a long time and are not growing/changing? If they're still moving then you need to fix the underlying settlement or water problem that caused them in the first place.

I have real concerns about the settlement over that basement window...Not good. Your blocks are serving as a lintel (header) to support the structure above. Nothing's supporting that lintel now that it has a huge crack at the end. No way to fix that with applied products. It would need to be reinforced or re-built.

Mortar mix would work if you're just trying to make it look good. But it isn't ideal. It won't get all the way into the crack.

Ideally you'd inject a crack filler or epoxy into the crack that will also help deal with water infiltration and will restore some strength to the joint.
Thanks your help. It's actually a deattached garage and it's basically cinder blocks, two windows on each side and a roof. Not a basement..It has to be close to 90 years old and it has definitely moved. In the 2 years I've been here, the cracks have not expanded. Initially, the home inspector pointed it out and said it should be repaired but was not an immediate danger. There is loft with a beam going across that I use for storage but nothing extremely heavy sits in that space. I'll try to post some more pictures so you can see the full structure. Thanks.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:45 PM   #4
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Just to clarify, there is no way this garage is 90 years old...I was thinking about my house. I'm not so sure but it has the tongue and grove planks for a roof and and old beams. I've had various people look at it and everyone seems to think it's fine and to just fill it with something that will bond. I seriously think it'll be standing long after I'm gone. thanks for anymore insight on this.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:26 PM   #5
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You can get some acrylic mortar repair in a $4 caulk tube at the box stores. It works fine and is sanded gray in texture/color. It will remain flexible and doesn't offer any strength to the joint. Epoxy is probably the only way to regain any strength but you're talking some big bucks and a lot more effort.
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:14 PM   #6
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if that ol' garage's still standing & strong enough, i'd stuff closed-cell backer rod in the crks & seal w/100% silicone sealant - NOTHING ELSE,,, just be sure to ' tool ' the sealant onto the sides of the block & keep the thickness 3/8" or less,,, if you do want to ck for movement, plaster the crk w/patching plaster after the silicone's cured.

to regain any strength w/epoxy's too costly - better to replace the blocks impo.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post
if that ol' garage's still standing & strong enough, i'd stuff closed-cell backer rod in the crks & seal w/100% silicone sealant - NOTHING ELSE,,, just be sure to ' tool ' the sealant onto the sides of the block & keep the thickness 3/8" or less,,, if you do want to ck for movement, plaster the crk w/patching plaster after the silicone's cured.

to regain any strength w/epoxy's too costly - better to replace the blocks impo.
thanks for the advice on this. How costly is epoxy? It's only a few cracks. I've read about it and it seems like a process. Probably wouldn't attempt it myself. The backer rod idea seems ideal for what I could do. So basically I'd stuff witht the backer rod and tool in the sealant onto the sides. What to you mean by keeping the thickness 3/8 or less? I'm not sure I understand that part. Should I leave a little space in the joint? Thanks.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:34 AM   #8
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1st, impo, epoxy's NOT the mtl for this repair as its inflexibility's well-known,,, it MAY hold to the block but forces're likely to crk the block near the repair,,, unless you can eliminate those forces, why bother making more crks ? ? ? btw, our stuff costs about $75 gal & we buy it in 5gal jugs

silicone's best performance is the ratio of 2 widths : 1 thickness ( sealant depth ),,, look on dow-corning for the correct shape factor,,, the sealant won't adhere to the backer rod,,, this is correct ! ! !
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post
1st, impo, epoxy's NOT the mtl for this repair as its inflexibility's well-known,,, it MAY hold to the block but forces're likely to crk the block near the repair,,, unless you can eliminate those forces, why bother making more crks ? ? ? btw, our stuff costs about $75 gal & we buy it in 5gal jugs

silicone's best performance is the ratio of 2 widths : 1 thickness ( sealant depth ),,, look on dow-corning for the correct shape factor,,, the sealant won't adhere to the backer rod,,, this is correct ! ! !
Thanks for this information. I'm sorry for the questions but this is new to me. I'm not too sharp with the technical aspects of construction but feel like I can get this done right. Let me know if I have this right: Stuff racks with backer rod, and tool 100 silicone around the inside of the block keeping the thickness of the silicone approx 3/8 inch or less. Next, use the patching plaster to cover up when silicone cures to check for movement. Thanks again for the help. I appreciate it.
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