Smoothing Out An Earth Formed Foundation Wall

 
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:52 AM   #1
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Smoothing Out An Earth Formed Foundation Wall


I'm adding a couple egress windows to a house I'm just starting on. The old foundation walls are in good shape but were earth formed on the exterior and not at all smooth.

What's a typical way of going at this to smooth it out? I have a 7" grinder with a cup wheel, and a roto hammer with a chipper. This was my plan, but it'l surely be a few hours of work spewing silica dust plumes, so I'm wondering if there's an easier way.

I'm pretty sure I'll be parging it also, but it varies by 4 or more inches now so I at least need to take off the high spots and give a cleaner surface for the parging to bite.
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Old 02-21-2018, 02:33 PM   #2
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Re: Smoothing Out An Earth Formed Foundation Wall


Planishing bit (the meat tenderizer bit) and your grinding cup. Cut relief cuts into the mounds and chip those off, use the planisher to take out waviness, cup grind to flatten, then parge away.

At least, that's how I've done it... And I haven't done it very much... Probably 4 times in the last 10 years. So take that with a grain of salt.

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Old 02-21-2018, 04:50 PM   #3
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Re: Smoothing Out An Earth Formed Foundation Wall


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Originally Posted by asevereid View Post
Planishing bit (the meat tenderizer bit) and your grinding cup. Cut relief cuts into the mounds and chip those off, use the planisher to take out waviness, cup grind to flatten, then parge away.

At least, that's how I've done it... And I haven't done it very much... Probably 4 times in the last 10 years. So take that with a grain of salt.

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4 more times than me. Thanks.
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Old 02-21-2018, 05:44 PM   #4
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Re: Smoothing Out An Earth Formed Foundation Wall


Instead of taking it down, why not build it up to flat? Does the thickness matter to you? The bigger knobs will just add bite.
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:07 PM   #5
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Re: Smoothing Out An Earth Formed Foundation Wall


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Instead of taking it down, why not build it up to flat? Does the thickness matter to you? The bigger knobs will just add bite.
It's board formed and parged above grade, so I'd rather match that.
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:17 AM   #6
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Re: Smoothing Out An Earth Formed Foundation Wall


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It's board formed and parged above grade, so I'd rather match that.
Also it would take about 1 bag to parge it if smooth and about 12 if I left it as is. There's a middle ground I'm sure.
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:28 AM   #7
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Re: Smoothing Out An Earth Formed Foundation Wall


I assume you are cutting into the concrete from both sides with a wet 14" diamond bladed demo saw....

Cut your jambs as square as possible to the wall starting on the above grade flat surface, use a guide rail for the starter cut. when the window opening is cleaned out then smooth the jamb, and lay out a plumb line down onto the over pour below grade, saw to full depth ~5.25" deep, spaced the same width as the above outside,formed part of the wall, plumb in both X & Y dimensions, parallel to the interior corner of the jamb.

That should allow the installation of a treated buck, a narrow side board and a metal window well lip to screw to the now flat and plumb concrete...

Dig down to the legacy tile for water disposal prior to any saw cutting if one is present..install the tee and upright piece of tile with part of the washed rock for the rest of cutting, no sense working in puddle.

My experience with this type of wall pour, the clay? tile if present is UNDER the concrete.....

over dig so U have plenty of room for the power head of your saws.

You could rent a 16" big saw if your window jamb details needed the extra inch reveal, ~100.00$ to save a few hours of grinding and chiseling.
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Old 02-24-2018, 08:16 AM   #8
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Re: Smoothing Out An Earth Formed Foundation Wall


Finished yesterday. Wasn't all that hard.

I sub out most concrete cutting so I don't have to worry about that on this one. This job has 2 window wells, 5 big footings, 1 extra wall cut for access to crawlspace, 2 exterior slab cuts and one interior slab cut.

I won't be back to this one for a couple weeks, but I'll post pictures when done. Pouring the window wells.

There's no drain tile here, but I overdug about 14", will install 8" drain rock, and another company is doing an interior waterproofing retrofit where they membrane the walls and install a perimeter drain to a sump pump. They drill through the wall below the window cutout and install a pipe plumbed into the perimeter drain.

This house has water issues. Not much comes through the walls, but it comes up through cracks in the slab every other year or so.

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