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  • Ideas for Cleaning Brick Wall?

    This is a side project we're working on. Our plan is to clean the brick and rewaterproof the basement walls. It had some waterproofing that has been compromised and leaking.

    The Problem:

    Cleaning the brick efficiently. We went what I call "Egyptian" and scraped the first wall (pic 1 and 2) by hand. Now we have much more to go. (pic 3)

    We've considered:

    1) Pressure washer. The problem is that the yellow clay soil is INSTANTLY a swamp with very little water. It doesn't soak much and is very resistant to releasing the moisture it does soak. So evaporation is incredibly slow too.

    2) Some type of media blasting. The problem is that the mortar can be "picked out" very easily. It's very dry and brittle. We're afraid that it would remove enough mortar that we would then have to repoint the wall. But we have no experience with blasting systems.

    3) Some sort of wire brush wheel device. All the ones I've seen seem too small to be efficient. But maybe I haven't seen a larger one.

    Thanks for any ideas and suggestions. I'm pretty sure that Muriatic acid wouldn't do anything like some typically use to clean brick after they've been layed.

    J.C.
    Last edited by BobsPlumbing; 01-18-2010, 11:41 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Ideas for Cleaning Brick Wall?

    You've knocked out every option there is!





    If it was me? I'd be pressure spraying it with a hole dug deep in the lowest point of the dirt and have a sump pump pumping it out as fast as I'm spraying,

    then brush that wall with muriatic acid and let it sit there and eat it at 100% solution till you burn the majority off, then pressure spray the rest.


    Let dry, let those contractors come in and tar it and move on, time to backfill.
    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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    • #3
      Re: Ideas for Cleaning Brick Wall?

      Pressure washer + large, thick poly sheet over the dirt + knee-highs... and grudgingly accept the inevitable mud bowl that the plastic won't do much to prevent?

      They do make 6" wire cup brushes that you can put on a 7" or 9" angle grinder (http://www.abrasives4sale.com/cup_brushes.htm), but the wire is so stiff & aggressive that it might scar up the brick surface - plus that still sounds like a whole lot of work. If you try the wire wheel approach, don't put them on a little 4 inch grinder (too fast) and don't get cheap imported wheels. The cheapos shed wires quick and it's downright dangerous. USA brushes will lose wires too but in general not near as bad.

      Good luck!

      -Andy

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      • #4
        Re: Ideas for Cleaning Brick Wall?

        To add:

        What are some different/reliable waterproofing methods you've used or seen?

        I've seen & heard both positive and negative about traditional tar.

        Rubber membrane of some sort?

        Some other sort of "mix & paint on" sealer?

        Thanks.

        J.C.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ideas for Cleaning Brick Wall?

          I'm interested in the answer to this as well.

          I've not heard negatives about hot tar... other than it's a mess. What have you heard?

          And there's there's that semi-cured asphault-rubberized ice dam stuff the roofers use.

          The tile shower people seem to like Schluter Kerdi, but I'm not sure how applicable it is to your deal.

          And then there's Custom Building Products' "Redguard", which is marketed as a combination tile isolation layer and waterproofer. It has to go on to a film thickness of about 2-1/2 mm though... gets expensive. But I think it will all be expensive. I've only used it as an isolation membrane.

          I've never heard good nor bad about the DryLok paint on stuff they sell at HD.

          It'll be interesting to read about actual experience with all this material.

          -Andy

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          • #6
            Re: Ideas for Cleaning Brick Wall?

            Some say they have seen tar systems often cracking very early allowing water penetration.

            I have seen this companies products used many times but have no record or positive/negative experiences.

            http://www.thoroproducts.com/products_waterproofing.htm

            Rubber membrane systems I've only read about or seen on TV. May be great but non-existent here.

            J.C.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ideas for Cleaning Brick Wall?

              Your project pics reminded me of a show I saw with similar circumstances...

              I'm not sure if you've heard of Mike Holmes (Holmes on Homes)...

              He recommends Superseal Dimpled Membrane for a situation such as yours.

              This is from Mikes website ->

              "There are a lot of waterproofing or damp proofing membranes on the market and some are definitely better than others. Any type of waterproof or damp proof membrane will give you some added protection from water seepage, but I’d spend my money on Superseal’s Dimpled Membrane. It’s the best product out there that I know of. In addition to providing a second line of defense against water, it has other benefits.

              1. The dimples create a drainage space away from the foundation wall, allowing the wall to “breathe”, and eliminating any headwater pressure against the wall;

              2. The product requires no additional sealants and emits no volatile organic compounds (VOCs); and

              3. It is easily applied to any type of exterior foundation wall

              Any ground water that gets past the membrane will drain to the footings and be taken away by the weeping tiles, leaving you with a dry basement."


              source -> https://www.holmesonhomes.com/makeit...&cat=13&page=5


              Superseal Dimpled Membrane ->

              http://www.superseal.ca/dimpledmembrane.html
              Cheers! - Jim
              -------------
              All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Schopenhauer

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ideas for Cleaning Brick Wall?

                Just a question: Why do you have bricks underground? The home doesnt seem excessively old (what 20-40 years old?) So why not block or solid concrete underground?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ideas for Cleaning Brick Wall?

                  I don't have bricks underground. This person does. Maybe you meant the area?

                  I don't know why. The house is over 50 years old.

                  J.C.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ideas for Cleaning Brick Wall?

                    Honestly, I would sandblast and repoint, then tar and install a drainboard of sorts with a footing drain daylighting if at all possible, if you cant daylight you may have to install a drywell

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ideas for Cleaning Brick Wall?

                      Originally posted by wrench spinner View Post
                      Honestly, I would sandblast and repoint, then tar and install a drainboard of sorts with a footing drain daylighting if at all possible, if you cant daylight you may have to install a drywell
                      Drain to daylight already planned.

                      Thanks.

                      J.C.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ideas for Cleaning Brick Wall?

                        Check out Grace Construction Products website for more info on the rubberized membranes. Grace is the manufacturer of the roofer's self-sticking rubberized stuff "Bituthene". I'm researching waterproofing for a different application than yours, but Grace seems to have products that fit the bill for your project. On the website, go to "structural waterproofing". Looks like for below grade applications, you would spray on their 4000 conditioner, then apply bituthene 4000 self-adhesive membrane, then seal the edges and penetrations with the liquid 4000 sealer material, then apply their hydroduct drainage material over that.

                        I don't have any direct experience with this system, but I find the idea that you get a layer of membrane bonded and sealed directly to the structure, and a drainage layer on top of that, to be a solid approach. The bonded membrane seems to me to do the same function as tar, but maybe without the issues you mentioned? The hydroduct drainage layer is recommended for below grade application, which makes sense.

                        I'm always concerned about water wicking up whenever there's an air space between a membrane and the structure. Products that establish a space between the structure and the membrane do so, I think, because they are trying to establish a drainage path. This might work very well, but in my view it isn't waterproofing - it's a barrier combined with drainage. Which seems to imply that some level of moisture against the wall is anticipated. As I mentioned, the Grace system has the drainage but adds the bonded layer stuck directly to the structure... sounds better to me.

                        Maybe the manufacturer can provide contacts or references.

                        Anyway, I came across this and thought I should mention it in case you found it interesting.

                        -Andy

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