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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

We moved into this house last fall and now that we're getting outside I've noticed along part of the bottom exterior it has started to crack/chip away.

Above this area is a deck and I suspect this chipping of the brick has been an ongoing issue building up prior to us moving in.

I'm wondering if the reason this is happening is because the landscaping stones we're installed too high? They are slightly above the flat foundation wall and instead touching up against the red brick. Note the screen door area is coming out of a walk out basement.

Is this a minor issue I can fix myself or a major foundation issue I should be concerned about and check with professionals? Any insight would be appreciated thanks!
 

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Code says the grade is at least 6" below the top of the foundation. You have that problem all the way around the house, or just at the patio ?

I expect what you are seeing there is snow hits/accumulates a bit against the foundation, bricks soak up the moisture (bricks/mortar are porous), it freezes at night, expanding and popping off the top of the brick.

As mentioned, you should have weep holes on the bottom course of bricks. They should never be covered.

Is there another course of bricks below what we are seeing, or is that the sill plate ?


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. I've included 2 additional pictures to give a better picture of what the layout is.

I don't know 100% why there is a step down before entering into the house but I believe it must be tied to the pool drainage system somehow. I have seen moisture in the brick just off to the right of the sliding door (close to where that light is actually which is concerning). I have checked inside the basement (unfinished) and found behind the pink insulation it was a bit damp, I have also seen signs of water on the floor once since we moved in, right in the same area as where the brick was wet on the exterior.

I was planning to finish the basement this summer but need to get this issue resolved first. Any thought on what I could do?

SPS-1 - that is the lowest brick in the picture, no bricks below that.

Neal - I agree with you about the whole area being level with the step out, I'm just not sure how to do that with a pool already installed! haha
 

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retired framer
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You have that lower section at the door, I would rework that so it was 4 ft wide like a sidewalk to the end of the house. That would expose the bottom of the brick and allow it to drain. Then maybe you can find some replacement brick.
 

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MEASURE ONCE, CUT TWICE
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Pretty simple really. Just lower the pool 18" to where it's supposed to be.


For those that missed it.

Weep holes appear on the 8th course up. The bricks are on a brick ledge. I wonder if they used solid mortar behind the lower courses. This helps to keep water out.


I like Neal's idea of exposing the foundation to get the bricks off the ground, but basement leaking is a huge issue now.
How old is the house? Is it time for new weeping tiles and membrane?
 

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retired framer
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Thanks Neal that makes a lot of sense appreciate the helpful comments!
At the very least you need some kind of trench even 3 or 4 inches wide for the water to come out of the brick.
The drain at the door should be connected to the perimeter drain down around the footing of the house.
 

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Brick spalling is common and can be thought of as nuisance than house structural issue. You could keep some of the water off the area by checking the deck connection to the house as well as adding under joist drainage. And build a loose pt platform over the recess so it is not a step anymore.
Spalling is certainly a sign of too much water and may be a sign of other basement water issues but depends on how you look at it. BSMT slab feel damp, example.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Guys - for some reason I wasn't getting notifications so I didn't realize more folks had replied to my thread.

Appreciate all the feedback and yes while I can't lower the pool 18" (thanks pugsy haha) I'm going to move forward with a small trench as well as adding under joist drainage.

The good news is I believe by making some adjustments to a gazebo that was on the top deck, I have seen zero signs of any further water in the basement (even after several really heavy rain falls), where I did some damp drywall in the basement several months ago it is completely dry now.

I'm not sure if the door drain is connected to the perimeter drain (hoping it is!), is there any way to confirm this without breaking things to pieces? :)

I like the idea of adding a platform as well to avoid the step down, really great ideas all around thank you very much.
 
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