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foundation damage next to cinder blocks


jmboteler
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I have some major damage due to snow run-off next to the foundation surrounding my garage. The run-off must include native minerals that have taken a significant bite out of the cinder blocks. My garage floods in the winter needless to say. I have uploaded several photos of the damage. Is there a fix for this that will be permanent, relatively easy to apply (I'm NOT Mr. Fix-it). Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

J. M. Boteler

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Mike,

The garage is decidedly "downhill" from the surrounding property ergo the annual flooding. I do intend to seal the interior to ward off seepage from underneath the foundation (epoxy type sealant) but the bigger issue is the foundation/cinder-block problem. Once the holes and material that have been eaten away is repaired, I will apply an asphalt based external sealant along with the French drainage system but the main stumbling block at the moment is how to place a fix on the damage already done. I was hoping that there might be some sort of epoxy primer that would permit cement etc. to firmly adhere to the surroundings and fill the voids.

Mike B.

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Hi,

Well, photos would help a great deal; I'd already figured it was downhill. The epoxy won't do you much good against groundwater penetration. You can use crystalline waterproofing material (CWM - Xypex is one brand) to limit water intrusion on the inside but coating the foundation with asphalt and putting a french drain next to the foundation will be a whole lot of work with little result. Once water is within six feet of a foundation it's pretty much going to find it's way in and a French drain won't do anything but capture surface runoff and won't do you any good when it comes to groundwater.

You need to think about staging curtain drains in echlons above the foundation with the last being no closer than 6ft; and then, if water is still getting in, consider excavating around that foundation, coating the foundation wall with a sprayed-on rubber membrane and then putting in a footing drain along with some DeltaDrain membrane. to capture what's gotten past the curtain drains.

Start here to begin exploring ways to capture that water before it reaches the foundation:

http://www.multi-flow.com/PDF_Documents ... _guide.pdf

You can use concrete patching compound to fix that erosion slot but you'll first need to coat the slot with some latex binder. You can also probably wet it down and pack it with hydraulic cement and the HC might lock itself in. Once the slot is filled you can parge the face of the foundation wall to make the repairs disappear.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Gee, that really seems to be a sub-standard (defective) concrete block? Or, something is possibly reacting with the materials? My guess, since you mention snow, is that maybe the damage is from excessive salt?

Before you make any final decisions, consider contacting the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) at www.ncma.org . I've seen this condition before, but it's been a long time. I'm confident that they've seen it before too and can offer you an explanation and reliable remedy.

The NCMA is a wealth of knowledge and publications similar to the Brick Institute of America (BIA). Both organizations actually exist to represent and assist the materials manufacturing and distributing industries, so their complete collection of publications is very hard to come by. They seem to have a very detailed publication for practically any condition you can throw at them, explaining the probable cause and great solutions based upon their familiarity with their products. I used to have the entire binder of both organizations, which was endless fascinating reading. Then, I loaned them out.

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MGBINSPECT,

The cinderblock wall is only 2 blocks high above the foundation. Indeed, the spring run-off from the snows we get in NH are carrying an assortment of minerals and salts. The problem area lies at the interface between the cement foundation and the cinderblocks which places it at about surface level. It is not unusual to have 3-4 foeet of snow sitting all winter waiting for spring to melt. I will check out NCMA. Thank you for the suggestion.

Mike

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