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Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall

 
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:55 PM   #1
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Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


I'm just curious what any of your experience is with this. We just failed a foundation inspection because we didn't have mortar between the 4" block and 3 1/2" brick before the sill plate would be installed.

Our mason has never done this for us or anywhere else and we have never failed for it before in any of our jurisdictions. We do a lot more remodeling than additions and after some discussion we aren't sure if we have ever done an addition in this jurisdiction.

Any thoughts on it or knowledge of the code on it?
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:04 AM   #2
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


Picture please, from your written description I just don't get it.

I didn't think you could use 4" block for this type of situation, I recall 6" being the minimum.

Tom

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Old 07-31-2019, 10:18 AM   #3
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


That 'space" between the brick and block is called a collar joint. If it is not filled with mortar,how are the anchor bolts secured ? Anyway,here is a connection to an article about those joints. As it states,collar joints are one of the least understood topics in masonry. Also,please note,increasing the width to 1" allows for easier filling than holding to the nominal dimension which in many instances yields a collar joint of 5/8|" - 3/4".

My take,yes,they should be conscientiously filled rather than the usual hit or miss approach. If not filled intentionally,they should be built as a drainage plane.

https://www.concreteconstruction.net...ollar-joints_o
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Old 07-31-2019, 03:37 PM   #4
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by fjn View Post
That 'space" between the brick and block is called a collar joint. If it is not filled with mortar,how are the anchor bolts secured ? Anyway,here is a connection to an article about those joints. As it states,collar joints are one of the least understood topics in masonry. Also,please note,increasing the width to 1" allows for easier filling than holding to the nominal dimension which in many instances yields a collar joint of 5/8|" - 3/4".

My take,yes,they should be conscientiously filled rather than the usual hit or miss approach. If not filled intentionally,they should be built as a drainage plane.

https://www.concreteconstruction.net...ollar-joints_o
I had to google it.

I've never heard of one or seen one spec'd on a foundation plan.

What is the purpose of them?
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Old 07-31-2019, 04:51 PM   #5
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


I'm still trying to figure this one out. You installed the sill plate before filling? Or, the foundation was inspected and you hadn't filled the gap?
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Old 07-31-2019, 05:40 PM   #6
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


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Originally Posted by NYCB View Post
I had to google it.

I've never heard of one or seen one spec'd on a foundation plan.

What is the purpose of them?



Well,as the article states,collar joints are one of the most misunderstood components of a masonry wall. As a result,architects don't know what to do with them,maybe never give them a thought. However,a brick and block wall is commonly thought of and referred to as a barrier wall. Barrier to what ? Water ! Hence,as the article states,if no thought is given them,mortar fins compromise the partially / improperly filled joint and create a environment to trap water and it's resulting problems. So,the gist of the article is about how to properly design and fill the collar joint. As brought out,mortar is not fluid enough to accomplish that task and "slushing" the collar joint in a attempt to fill it is futile and detrimental.

Also,as I questioned in my first post how the heck do you affix anchor bolts with a brick wall with 4 " block if you don't fill the collar joint ? I can easily see how this job was red tagged. I'd tag it myself if I was inspecting.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:02 PM   #7
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by fjn View Post
Well,as the article states,collar joints are one of the most misunderstood components of a masonry wall. As a result,architects don't know what to do with them,maybe never give them a thought. However,a brick and block wall is commonly thought of and referred to as a barrier wall. Barrier to what ? Water ! Hence,as the article states,if no thought is given them,mortar fins compromise the partially / improperly filled joint and create a environment to trap water and it's resulting problems. So,the gist of the article is about how to properly design and fill the collar joint. As brought out,mortar is not fluid enough to accomplish that task and "slushing" the collar joint in a attempt to fill it is futile and detrimental.

Also,as I questioned in my first post how the heck do you affix anchor bolts with a brick wall with 4 " block if you don't fill the collar joint ? I can easily see how this job was red tagged. I'd tag it myself if I was inspecting.
I mean what is the use of them?

If you have a block wall, why is there a course of brick on the top before the sill plate.

Wouldn't you be better off with half height block for that extra height?
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:10 PM   #8
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


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Originally Posted by NYCB View Post
I mean what is the use of them?

If you have a block wall, why is there a course of brick on the top before the sill plate.

Wouldn't you be better off with half height block for that extra height?


I think you misunderstood him. His 8 " foundation wall is comprised of a 3 5/8" brick and a 4 " concrete block. The mason never filled the longitudinal /"collar" joint between the wythes. The ship has sailed to fill it after the fact because if the joint is less than 1-2 " and meticulously kept free and open,the mortar fins will negate the chance to grout them solid. It is NOT a 8" block foundation. It is a composite wall. Meaning brick with block back up. Also,the inspector is probably really concerned with anchor bolt placement.
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:02 PM   #9
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by tjbnwi View Post
Picture please, from your written description I just don't get it.

I didn't think you could use 4" block for this type of situation, I recall 6" being the minimum.

Tom
Our standard foundation in this are is an 8" block below grade and a 4" block with 3 1/2" brick above grade. As fjn stated, it is the collar joint I was referring to. I just didn't know that's what it was called.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fjn View Post
That 'space" between the brick and block is called a collar joint. If it is not filled with mortar,how are the anchor bolts secured ? Anyway,here is a connection to an article about those joints. As it states,collar joints are one of the least understood topics in masonry. Also,please note,increasing the width to 1" allows for easier filling than holding to the nominal dimension which in many instances yields a collar joint of 5/8|" - 3/4".

My take,yes,they should be conscientiously filled rather than the usual hit or miss approach. If not filled intentionally,they should be built as a drainage plane.

https://www.concreteconstruction.net...ollar-joints_o
Yes, collar joint. My mason has been laying brick for longer than I have been alive and he's never filled a collar joint at the top of the wall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hdavis View Post
I'm still trying to figure this one out. You installed the sill plate before filling? Or, the foundation was inspected and you hadn't filled the gap?
Sill plate wasn't installed yet, I just mentioned it only to help with the description of what part of the foundation wall I was talking about. Maybe it was more confusing cause of that. Inspection happened with the collar joint not being filled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fjn View Post
I think you misunderstood him. His 8 " foundation wall is comprised of a 3 5/8" brick and a 4 " concrete block. The mason never filled the longitudinal /"collar" joint between the wythes. The ship has sailed to fill it after the fact because if the joint is less than 1-2 " and meticulously kept free and open,the mortar fins will negate the chance to grout them solid. It is NOT a 8" block foundation. It is a composite wall. Meaning brick with block back up. Also,the inspector is probably really concerned with anchor bolt placement.

Our anchor bolts are in the core of the 4" block. It's really stupid according to my mason and the inspector. They both said it used to be 18" long bolts that hooked under the second row of block and were between the brick and the block. Several years back we had to move them to the core of the 4" block and it's a pain because it's way off center of the sill plate so as you tighten the nut on the bolts it wants to rock up the outside of the sill sometimes.
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:29 PM   #10
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


So what's the fix, cut the brick off and redo? Use the grout that's used for grouting in machinery? Pump in cement with acrylic admix? Vinyl cement patch? Epoxy fill the whole thing?
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Old 08-01-2019, 01:05 AM   #11
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


https://www.masonry.org.uk/downloads...-buildability/
Unfortunately BRE charge you 12 to read their full report. They charge for everything since they were privatised.
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Old 08-01-2019, 01:23 AM   #12
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


I can't imagine any house built on just an 8" wide brick and 4" CMU back up wythe anymore.....horrible detail for vermin resistance, mouse/rat proofing.


Top course should be a bond beam too, even the 4" silliness. make sure you use Grout-able large Two hole 4" units, sawn California style cheaper then bough-ten...



It doesn't meet any E code in North America.... or provide a working rain screen, without water proofing the CMUs and installing damproof flashing at Grade AND at the beginning of the brick ledge.


add a grouted bond beam to secure an angle iron brick ledge to, a 5-6" angle for insulation space,
is some real money and tension loads on the anchor bolts.....
A korbel 8-12" block is much better then a angle that will eventually rust away/fail....



Lay 10, 12 or 14" CMUs with a bond beam and smaller block starting there (6"-8") with ~2" foam and 3/4" air space.


Using sheathing mounted insulation layers of 1.5 to 3" to achieve high R values in-spite of studs bridging the wall cavity, might require a wider sole plate to protect the insulation from vermin interference / degradation.


Old school, lay some grout stop in the last block bed joint, fill with grout AFTER tarring the block's exterior face above the brick ledge start,( I always tarred the FLAT too, as a C.J. and dampproof layer. for rising damp/water vapour.


1/2 Anchor bolts in the re-barred and grouted CMU cells, long enough to reach down two courses of block when installed ~4' apart, AND 3/8" Shorter anchor bolts in the brick every 4' to 5'-4" or so to keep the plate flat. Retighten anchor bolt nuts when dry wall is hung....wood framing is dried out...



Old days pre super grouted basements all cross webs on first two and last two course were to be spread with mortar for add connections between the two block face shells..... and wire in the first an last courses always for more strength.


In California, post ~1950s pre-seismic tested brick anchors era, all above grade brick "veneer" was grouted solid to the back up block or tile. and usually the bond was checked with test panels..... the "collar joint created by the Brick and Blocks wythes adjoining faces.



Wouldn't be very pretty in wetter climes.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:28 AM   #13
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


Yes, collar joint. My mason has been laying brick for longer than I have been alive and he's never filled a collar joint at the top of the wall. QUOTE




I love it when I catch any tradesman doing something the incorrect way and they tell me " I've got over 20-30 40 years experience ". I say no you don't you have 1 years worth of experience replicated 20-40 times.

If he has been doing it all those years,I hate to bust his bubble,he has been doing it incorrectly all those years.

Here is an article talking about the cost of unfilled mortar joints. While it mainly pertains to head and bed joints,all joints should be properly and completely filled.



https://www.concreteconstruction.net...illed-joints_o
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:45 AM   #14
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


[QUOTE=Fouthgeneration;






Old days pre super grouted basements all cross webs on first two and last two course were to be spread with mortar for add connections between the two block face shells..... and wire in the first an last courses always for more strength.


.



Additionally,over here (Chicago area) The two courses directly below bearing points ( joists and steel beam pockets) needed to be either solid block or grouted solid !
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:51 AM   #15
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by stuart45 View Post
https://www.masonry.org.uk/downloads...-buildability/
Unfortunately BRE charge you 12 to read their full report. They charge for everything since they were privatised.





Good abstract, spells it out,leaves nothing to the imagination.
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Old 08-01-2019, 05:19 PM   #16
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by fjn View Post
I think you misunderstood him. His 8 " foundation wall is comprised of a 3 5/8" brick and a 4 " concrete block. The mason never filled the longitudinal /"collar" joint between the wythes. The ship has sailed to fill it after the fact because if the joint is less than 1-2 " and meticulously kept free and open,the mortar fins will negate the chance to grout them solid. It is NOT a 8" block foundation. It is a composite wall. Meaning brick with block back up. Also,the inspector is probably really concerned with anchor bolt placement.
That makes more sense.

I read foundation so I just assumed it wouldn't have brick below grade.

I didn't know walls like that were still a thing, every time I've seen real brick its been a veneer and built on a brick ledge.
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:24 PM   #17
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


https://www.contractortalk.com/attac...hpxt2dempm.jpg
Bricks used to be used in foundations all the time here, although it's normally blocks now.
They still can be used below ground as long as they have the correct frost rating.
I used some engineering bricks on an extension I did at home as I was given the bricks.
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:40 PM   #18
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


I've moved the face of 8" cmu footings out to the "ashlar" line, the face of veneer masonry to eliminate the need for an ADDED on brick ledge, usually ending up with Korbels facing inward to carry the SOG for the garage.

The stepped out CMUs making the basement ~8" wider and longer at a tiny cost of planning and materials, = a ~52' square foot of floor for a bath or closet.

Currently the insulation requirements don't favor 8" wide foundation IMHO, especially on Masonry veneered homes.

A brick panel with a top filled collar joint should have vents installed just below the collar grout, if above grade of course.
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Old 08-02-2019, 12:15 AM   #19
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


Most homes in the USA are subject to insect attack of the wood that is with in 18" of the soil...
and almost all homes should be above the 100 year rain event of 5-10 inches of rain in 6-12 hours flooding.... thus the need for ~18" or more of finished basement wall, that has insulation and a working Rain-screen below the Wood of the sill plate, (in a wood framed home).

= a first floor at 28-36" above finished grade, except at the front door and Patio door(s)

On grade Frank Lloyd Wright style homes are silly money pits IMHO.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:06 AM   #20
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Re: Mortar Between Brick And Block Foundation Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fouthgeneration View Post
I've moved the face of 8" cmu footings out to the "ashlar" line, the face of veneer masonry to eliminate the need for an ADDED on brick ledge, usually ending up with Korbels facing inward to carry the SOG for the garage.

The stepped out CMUs making the basement ~8" wider and longer at a tiny cost of planning and materials, = a ~52' square foot of floor for a bath or closet.

Currently the insulation requirements don't favor 8" wide foundation IMHO, especially on Masonry veneered homes.

A brick panel with a top filled collar joint should have vents installed just below the collar grout, if above grade of course.
I avoid laying block like the plague, but when I end up getting one it almost always calls for 10 or 12" block on a new foundation.

The only time I use 8" is on stuff like additions to match existing, or garage walls.

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