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Discussion Starter #1
Southern Calif - I wrote an earlier post regarding this problem. This wall was built in the mid 1960's in a housing tract. A portion of the wall between my next door neighbor and me has raised itself over an inch because of roots from his Tecoma plant. So now we have loose everything. It is a 6 ft wall with 4" cinder block interlocking into 8" pilasters. There is 12' of block between the pilasters. I am guesssng about 72 pieces of block. I am assuming there is no rebar in the 4" block if the wall was able to lift up from the roots. I can see rebar sticking out of the top of the pilasters. I don't even know if I can find 4" blocks the same color as the originals because they are faded.
How hard is it to dismantle a block wall that is already loose in many places in this 12 foot span without breaking the existing block? None of the blocks are cracked yet. I am retired and in no hurry as far as getting the job done fast so I just wanted to know if it can be done,what tools to use. I have to go from top to the problem row about 6 rows down to remove roots. Can the old mortar be removed easy enough off the existing blocks once they are taken down? I was thinking about putting some rebar into the original footing which will require some drilling.
Even if I wanted too I can't even put my dirt and plants back because these roots will just start growing again once they find the moisture from watering. This is all the responsibility of the idiot I call my neighbor but if we bring in a contractor he will put in whatever color wall he can find and I would like to keep it the same. I don't know if I can get that lucky and not break blocks taking them down. Any thoughts?
 

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You may be able to remove the blocks if you do it carefully, as I had said before in the other thread, use a soft faced mallet or a dead-blow hammer using plywood to spread out the energy from the blows.

The mortar may or may not chip off easily depending on how they did the mix. You just have to do it.

You will never be able to find new brick in the same faded color as the old but that should not stop the project.

If the roots are lifting the footing of the wall the problem will always exist,

Andy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
roots lifting wall

Thanks Andy, How wide should the plywood be when hitting with a soft mallet? The width of the cinder block or from vertical mortar joint to vertical mortar joint on each block? There are about 57 blocks (some are half blocks) that need to be removed. The footing is not involved in the problem. It is the between 2nd row and 3rd row above the footing. The roots are between 2 and 3. I thought I would try to keep them in order so if they can be cleaned off someone can just re mortar them after removing roots.I might as well try because something has to go there in its place.I dont think I could put rebar in the existing footing because I don't know if I can reach it being the problem starts at the top of the 2nd row.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
10-9-11 update - I started dismantling wall today

I am having pretty good luck taking the old wall apart and have not broke any of the 20 I took off so far. I have 37 more to go. How clean do the old blocks need to be to remortar? I am chipping off 98%of the mortar so it will be new mortar against a slight film/layer of dried old mortar. That is not a problem when it comes to adhering is it? Or do they need to be cleaner?The vertical joints seem easier to remove old mortar than the horizontal portions. That wall is so loose an earthquake would bring it down. Any input would be great as far as if I am doing it right regarding the cleaning off of the old mortar or anything else. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Should I buy premix mortar?

I have 60 - 4" cinder blocks and 10 - 4" half blocks. Do I just buy premix bags of mortar mix for this small amount of work? And also with pilasters at each end of this wall I am rebuilding do I start at either end. One end is where the 4 backyards come together and then the next portion is the wall being built towards the front of the house separating my next door neighbor and myself.
 
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