A brick foundation generally consists of 3 parallel courses of brick with special interweaving courses called row locks (bonds) keeping the wall together. Often the wall will be constructed with a slightly wider footprint or footing created by starting with several wider courses of bricks that will often step narrower with each subsequent course until reaching the 3 brick thickness.
A brick foundation in good structural condition can be waterproofed from the outside by having DryBasements.com perform an Exterior Excavation. At the same time the drain or weeping tile will be replaced. Unlike other types of foundations, brick foundations cannot be waterproofed from the inside. As for ongoing maintenance, even painting the interior walls is not recommended as brick continues to expand as it ages.
2. Bowed or Buckling
Bowing or buckling of the wall is an indication of structural failure. It could be the result of soil pressure against a wall, lateral loading from construction vehicles, frost pressure, or another undetermined problem. The fact is, once the process starts, it will not self-heal, it is better to address it immediately. The longer the process continues, the bigger the job and more expensive it will be to correct. The only proper remedy is to rebuild the affected area with new bricks and mortar, or if the damage is widespread, rebuild the wall with poured concrete block. Additionally, the underlying problem and cause of the bowing wall will need to be corrected.
The making of bricks for construction predates many written records. It is well-documented that the Ancient Egyptians enslaved people such as the Israelites for making bricks used in building an empire. Early bricks were mud or clay baked in the sun. North American brick making dates back to the early 1600s with the remains of a brick kiln from the 1630's being found in Colonial USA.
3. Weeping Tile
Depending on the age of your house and the type of soil that surrounds it, you will likely find weeping or drain tile around your property. Over time, weeping tile will become plugged with soil or roots. As a temporary fix, it may be possible to flush out the tile, allowing it to pass water until sediment inevitably blocks it up again. Root obstructions may be able to be removed using a sewer machine but this also is a temporary fix. Trees need water and the weeping tile around your house is an excellent source. Brick foundations must have the weeping tile replaced on the outside as an Internal Breakout is not an option.Consult our Exterior Excavation link for more information.
4. Window Wells
Any time a window is located below grade, a well of some sort is required. A window well is a shaped piece of corrugated galvanized steel that protect your basement from leaks.
A basic galvanized well may seem like a simple item with simple installation. If that were true, fixing window wells would not feature so prominently in our business. Improper sizing, placement, installation, and drain structure are just some of the problems we remedy on a regular basis. Visit our Window Well section for more information.
5. Sewer Backup
Whether connected to the municipal sanitary sewer alone or to both storm and sanitary sewers, your home could be susceptible to a backup. Checkout our Basement Isolation section to learn how you can protect your most valuable asset.