Block Decay - Masonry - Contractor Talk

Block Decay

 
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Old 03-27-2020, 07:55 PM   #1
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Block Decay


Are some blocks just made like garbage or is trapped moisture the culprit?

Im not a mason by the way, Im just doing some overdue maintenance for my elderly aunt before it becomes a major expense.

On these stairs the mortar is like non existent. Totally crumbled to pumice. I was worried about the landing to limestone joints taking in water so I applied a self leveling flexible sealant in there.

I think it helped, its held up for a few years. As you can see the block is just gone in spots and now Im wondering if the slab should be sealed.

I re tucked /pointed almost all of it and reset some bricks, almost full depth of the brick it was so bad. The cinder block was no joke either but I got a critical one packed in safely before I knock the other two.
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:00 PM   #2
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Re: Block Decay


Moving forward It will need parging which Im not sure about bonding. There was layers of thoroseal.

Should the slab be sealed?

Heres another mess different job, a while ago I saved the picture but no water coming from above. I dont entirely see how the block gets this bad. Perhaps the cells were filled with dirt?
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:53 PM   #3
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Re: Block Decay


Not sure how/why they get so bad, but no doubt water figures into it.

As for parging, I'd tapcon a mess of wire mesh on there first. Do two coats; the first is likely to spider-web on you.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:00 PM   #4
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Re: Block Decay


The stairs are part of a retaining wall and sunken driveway on the opposite side. Its a lot.

I know a three coat system is the ultimate to prevent hairline cracks through the joints but I witnessed a couple of guys some years ago do a whole foundation and chimney in some sort of thin mesh rolled out and bonded to the wall with a skim coat.

Its held up nicely but dont know what was used
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:22 PM   #5
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Re: Block Decay


Get moisture into those blocks, and freezing will degrade it over time and they just get crumbly.
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Old 03-28-2020, 06:49 AM   #6
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Re: Block Decay


The thing is all blocks take water and not all have been damp proofed. The porch has a covered roof and look at that......

I wonder if this happens when cells are backfilled with dirt then when it becomes damp from wicking or whatever the slow dry leads to degrading
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Old 03-28-2020, 07:02 AM   #7
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Re: Block Decay


Paint and blocks do not go well together where it freezes regularly.


Also, some batches of blocks just fail for some reason.
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:06 AM   #8
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Re: Block Decay


Looks like cinder block as opposed to concrete. I also think wire would help, but probably would use a shot fastener instead of Tapcons.
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Old 04-02-2020, 06:40 AM   #9
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Re: Block Decay


So for the now I will just parge to get flush with existing then I will explore my options top covering everything.

Where are the resident masons? I need some parging mix advice.

Product like Quickwall? Never used it.
Bonding agent....I have mixed it with Type S/stucco mortar and I have painted it on the surface first. Does it matter or does each method have different application methods?
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Old 04-05-2020, 09:32 PM   #10
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Re: Block Decay


Tom M: Run of the mill Concrete Block were NEVER meant to be exposed to rain and freezing......They ARE not frost proof when damp. period

worst case installs are when they are damp and freeze/thaw once or more every day during the winter season.

Painting or covering the porous surface with any type of coating that traps moisture withing the Unit exacerbates the issues.

No one would use untreated wood in contact with the ground, the same applies with porous masonry instead using an impervious hard rock or keeping the structural components above freezing or dry or both....

Expecting a dirt cheap building material to perform for decades in an improper installation is just plain silly, IMHO.:
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Old 04-06-2020, 10:52 AM   #11
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Re: Block Decay


Well the cats out of the bag with the paint already. I did restore the block to a solid state, repointed all of the brick almost full depth and did a nice parge coat on Sunday. I use bonding adhesive to paint the wall surfaces before coating it looks like the came out the way it should.

Moving forward I did put a sealant between the limestone perimeter and the concrete pad. Those joints were taking water. However between the brick in the landing where the limestone the mortar joint is wide and I wonder if some kind of liquid coating would prevent more moisture from seeping down.
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Old 04-08-2020, 06:47 AM   #12
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Re: Block Decay


Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyjames View Post
Looks like cinder block as opposed to concrete. I also think wire would help, but probably would use a shot fastener instead of Tapcons.
Cinder block does not hold up well.

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