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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I’m no longer working in the trades, but wanted to post this for some professional opinions on my own home. This Spring, I will be excavating around my basement foundation (~50 ft.) to do some re-pointing and install a full waterproofing system. When I purchased the house over a year ago, we had an engineer look at one of the basement walls that was bowing several inches from gutters draining into the solid clay backfill for decades. He said no imminent risk of collapse or repair needed, other than water diversion improvements and/or a water drainage system.

About the house and wall...it was built in the late 30’s in Virginia. Double wythe brick foundation and brick footers. Original mortar does have some amount of portland cement. interior and exterior walls held together by brick headers every 7th course. Interior cracks and bow were temporarily fixed by previous owner with carbon fiber straps and staples, although the straps are incorrectly anchored to the top row of brick rather than joists. Luckily, the floor joists run parallel to this wall, so it’s only supporting partial weight from the exterior wall above.

Since I am now planning to excavate, I wanted to get opinions on whether I should strongly consider either rebuilding or reinforcing the bowed wall in question while I have access. I could also add reinforcement beams to make up for the incorrectly applied CF strap and leave as-is, repointing and waterproofing if you think that would be fine. Recommendations on best courses of action would be greatly appreciated. I understand that may be hard to do over the internet, but I wanted some opinions before bringing the masons over. I’ve added pictures below. Thank you.
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Discussion Starter #4
A lot depends on how much you can/want to spend.

Jacking a house and replacing a foundation isn’t cheap.
Yeah...I’m a little nervous to find out what it might cost to rebuild. It’s only a small portion of wall, about 15’ long, and it seems the outermost edges are still good and could be tied in to. I’d also be doing the excavation. I’m leaning towards rebuilding, but we’ve also had some unexpected issues pop-up, including having to do a new septic system. I just figured it would be best to address in some form while I’ve got it dig up, even if it means just re-pointing and parging if cost is too high. If a rebuild can be done for under ~6k, I’d probably do it...but again, I have no experience with rebuilding foundation walls, so I don’t know what a realistic cost would be. I’m not in a city, so costs would be a little lower.
 

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Alot depends on location/market. Best bet is to get a couple highly recommended masonry contractors (skip Craigslist) to assess and recommend solutions. Only way to see what isn't in the pics and get a real price range.

From what I can see and in my market, you're in the right ballpark.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
1st thing I would address would be proper drainage/swells, proper run off-gutters etc.

Mike
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, the house originally didn’t have the clay footer tiles like I was expecting. Part of my excavation this Spring will include rubberized wall coating, dimple membrane, new footer drain, fresh gravel backfill w/ clay cap, and completion of a gutter drainage system I’ve already started.

The first thing I did when I bought the house was downspout extensions and re-grading. The previous owners had the downspouts discharging directly down to the foundation on each corner of this wall, and the water had eroded a path to the wall itself. This greatly helped the water in the basement, but I’m hoping to get it bone dry.
 

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I would shoot it w/transit to insure proper fall as well. Cheap insurance. That corner where shrubs/drainage pipe is could be an issue. Is that the corner where inside intrusion shows in pic?

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I would shoot it w/transit to insure proper fall as well. Cheap insurance. That corner where shrubs/drainage pipe is could be an issue. Is that the corner where inside intrusion shows in pic?

Mike
Yeah, that’s a good idea. The interior of that corner is shown in the final two pictures. I haven’t done any exploratory digging there yet, but we get a similar amount of water in the basement on both sides. I’ll be hooking that gutter up to the underground drainage once I excavate. I was amazed at how deep some of the shrub roots go. Some of them had gone 6’ down to the footer.
 

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I redid my foundation walls, the hardest part in my opinion is excavating but I am a mason contractor that Does a lot of shoring and obviously I build masonry walls daily

Actually in My opinion the biggest hurdles were the excavation and simply getting material in and out of a potentially muddy hole, It never fails that the year that I did my project it rained every other day

Tearing down and rebuilding walls is
straightforward

I ran 4x4s across the floor joists and use Post Shores to support the house

I am not going to lie but It is a lot of work, but well worth it because my basement is structurally solid and moisture free. After I rebuilt the walls I put on tar coat, Thick rubberized waterproof membrane, insulation board and new drain tile


David
 
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