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severe spalling 1978 house ...?

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Tahlequah, Oklahoma
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[#1] Posted: 10/12/2009 - 5:57:14 PM
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Hmm... Randomly around entire house, how can this be fixed? W/o re bricking it, is there a sealant that could help? What caused? so many questions.. haven't seen it this bad on a 1978 house..

Not sure how to write this up either..

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How ya like that flashing patch job? =)





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The tan is paint just fyi
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I have about 10 more pictures of this if yall want I'll share


I was asked, "Is it structurally sufficient still?" how do i answer that? Is it structurally sufficient to hold itself up?

Also jsut FYI, I found no weep holes, but there were holes drilled every 2 foot or so about 5 or 6 courses up with a half inch drill.. (1978 house)

John Hancock
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severe spalling 1978 house ...?
[#2] Posted: 10/12/2009 - 6:01:44 PM
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The bricks are spalling. Commonly caused by moisture int he brick freezing and breaking the brick.

If the brick is a veneer, then the structural strength is usually not a concern. If it is a true masonry building, then structural strength becomes more of an issue.

The real problem is to stop the moisture from gettting into the lower courses and freezing. Lack of weep holes and poor flashing are the two most common reasons. You indicated the house has both problems.

Bruce Ramsey
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severe spalling 1978 house ...?
[#3] Posted: 10/12/2009 - 6:15:16 PM
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The primary problem - the bricks are crap. In an attempt to replicate the look of old, weathered hand-made bricks, they severely under-fired them in the kiln. They didn't even get a hard skin that was easy to achieve with wood fires used for real handmade bricks for many hundreds of years.

Even if they were installed with all the correct details now required, they still would have failed by 30 years. As a veneer, it may not be a structural failure now, but a failure of the exterior cladding. I don't think there's any sealer or other easy fix that will do anything for that mess.

Bill Kibbel, Historic & Commercial Building Inspections - Old House Resources
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severe spalling 1978 house ...?
[#4] Posted: 10/12/2009 - 6:24:31 PM
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Thanks to both of you, no its a stud house with stretcher block stem wall, the brick veneer is attached to the stem wall with those brick nailer straps, cant think of thier name at this moment sorry.. Theres lots of "settlement"cracks in the bricks but very few in the stem wall and none are in the same location of the bricks, I personally think theres insufficient footing. The house is also a simple rectangle shape, 2 gables and 2 pitches except for a header for the chimney (heard yall call them saddles I believe) since chimney is about 40-50" wide... The only flashing on house is the drip edge under shingles and the flashing around chimney which looks pretty rough, although no moisture stains in attic (visible) or around fireplace mantle area inside house.

Thanks again for all the help and support as I'm still new..,
Matt

John Hancock
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severe spalling 1978 house ...?
[#5] Posted: 10/12/2009 - 6:25:00 PM
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I see that style of brick from that period and a little earlier occasionally. Almost always, the same spalling issues are present. That type of brick appears to be rather "flaky", leading to greater water penetration. I would have to disagree that it is due to a lack of flashing and weep holes, however, since the damage occurs from the outside. It is due to freeze/thaw damage due to splash back and water absorption from the exterior.

As for cures, I have seen people clean it off and stucco over the outside of it. I have never gone back later to see how effective this is. My general recommendation is to clean it carefully, and apply a breathable water resistant sealer. If the damage is severe enough, however, the more porous interior of the brick is exposed, and it's all downhill from there. If that's the case, I recommend replacement of the brick in the affected areas. Typically, this is worst for the first 2 feet or so above grade and the portions of the chimney with the most severe exposure.

Kevin

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severe spalling 1978 house ...?
[#6] Posted: 10/13/2009 - 06:40:07 AM
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By any chance used brick?

I'm told some old used brick never was fired for exposure to weather, from days when walls were "multi-wythe".

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severe spalling 1978 house ...?
[#7] Posted: 10/13/2009 - 07:35:03 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by Jim Baird

By any chance used brick?

I'm told some old used brick never was fired for exposure to weather, from days when walls were "multi-wythe".


I dont know, its either a fairly good (asthetic wise) replica or is old maybe used or stored before use. The brick has the little trails like some one just "bumped" a router against it to create little paths similar to the wormholes in cyprus

John Hancock
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severe spalling 1978 house ...?
[#8] Posted: 10/13/2009 - 08:29:58 AM
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I agree, the brick was not proper for the weather zone. I see it fairly frequently here and I am quite a bit south of you. Freeze and thaw cycles make it crumble at any areas exposed to moisture.
There is not a good fix that I can think of short of covering it up with stucco or some other siding.
When I get a question like that (structural soundness) I try to explain that the brick (veneer) does not hold the house up, it just keeps base balls and such from going through the wall and looks pretty. The pretty part is up to the client's taste.

Jim Luttrall
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severe spalling 1978 house ...?
[#9] Posted: 10/13/2009 - 12:32:06 PM
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Don't underestimate the effect that incompatible mortar will have in this mess.


Kurt in Chicago

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severe spalling 1978 house ...?
[#10] Posted: 10/14/2009 - 07:11:27 AM
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I think that Kurt's nailed it.

The moisture is supposed to wick through mortar not the soft brick. That's why masons do tuck pointing.

Most of Chicago's 2 - 3 - 6- and 12 flats where built with a soft common brick that I believe was fired on the south side. The common brick was used on the sides and the back of the building to save money.

With these buildings going condo one of the first things they do is have the masonry walls tuck pointed. If the mason uses the wrong mortar (I believe without the proper amount of lime) the moisture is forced through the brick and not the joint.

This condition makes for a very expensive repair.

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severe spalling 1978 house ...?
[#11] Posted: 10/14/2009 - 11:48:17 AM
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More like Fullerton @ Narragansett out at Brickyards.......

Point (not tuckpoint) crap/soft brick with hard mortars, and this is what you get; brick faces calving off.

In the old stuff, every mortar joint was an expansion joint in addition to being how moisture migrated in and out of the building.


Kurt in Chicago

"If I smell it, it goes in the report".............Phillip Smith...2012


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severe spalling 1978 house ...?
[#12] Posted: 10/14/2009 - 2:37:55 PM
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I'm seeing dirt piled against the bottom of that veneer - if they're using lawn sprinklers, the water is going to migrate up into the veneer and cause it to slough. Earth against brickwork is a basically a watering system for the veneer and cheap brick won't last.

Oklahoma,

Don't they have some pretty good snows out that way. What are the consequences of leaving soil constantly covering brick and then tossing a 10-inch blanket of snow up against the veneer? Won't the moisture wicked up into the veneer literally cause the veneer to go to Aunt Sadie's when it freezes?

Don't really know. Brick out here seems to be good quality and pretty durable and we don't see a lot of freeze thaw in the wall veneers - mostly because most houses have at least a 2ft. roof overhang. However, we do see lots of damage on chimneys where they have cracked crowns and they freeze above the roofline.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

   
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