Brick Below Grade

Brick Below Grade

I’m interested in getting some sealing work done on my foundation. I have about 18″ of soil built up along one side of my home that covers my brick. The brick is beginning to show signs of damage. I would like to excavate below the brick line and seal somehow.

Stacy

Hi Stacy,

We do work on projects like the one you have described.  The brick isn’t made to be below grade where it is constantly moist and in contact with salts and minerals in the soil. Typically, we recommend that the grade be adjusted so the soil is below the concrete foundation.  If the house is old the foundation may also be masonry but most often stone masonry instead of brick masonry or concrete (natural stone is much more durable to subgrade conditions though the mortar often will deteriorate over time).

Our most common method of mitigating brick below grade (besides correcting the grade) is to install a membrane to keep the water away from the brick and the mortar joint between the brick and the foundation.  The product we use most often has a final protective coat that looks like a cement plaster coat.  We can send a photo of a recent similar application if you would like.

The problem with scheduling this type of work during the cold season is that the membrane and protective coating need to cure with temperatures above 50 degrees.  During the winter season we can tent the area with plastic and use heaters to keep the temperature up but it does add cost to the project.

Let us know how you would like to proceed.  We would be happy to send one of our consultants to check the conditions and confirm the proper application of the products we have available.

Paul G.Carter

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