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MDLawn
06-17-2012, 07:06 PM
I recently moved into a different home and am in the process of ripping out all the landscaping as the previous owners idea of maintenace was, well,.....I don't know what they were thinking exactly. Anyways there is a planter bed created with a wall. My concern is that when the planter was filled in they put the soil right against the brick wall of the house. There is a room there and I'm concerned with water issues because mortar can crack and cause leaks, correct?

Questions

1.) Should there have been a barrier installed?

2.) If so I guess I should take out the soil and install one?

3.) What kind of barrier works best in this situation?

No I DID NOT install this wall and do not need a critique on it, I'm just looking for help as I don't have the hardscape knowledge some of you do.

Snyder's Lawn Inc
06-17-2012, 07:57 PM
I say there a concrete wall there
How far does the bricks go down

BCboy
06-17-2012, 08:05 PM
Dig a couple of test holes near the house to look for the foundation wall.
Be sure it is sealed properly, if not you may have some work to do.
But either way I would move the plants away from the window.
I find that it can be a great place for bugs to live and eventually enter the house.
Just my 2 cents.

MDLawn
06-17-2012, 08:21 PM
I say there a concrete wall there
How far does the bricks go down

They go down quite a bit. I dug down about 2 feet and saw only brick..

MDLawn
06-17-2012, 08:23 PM
Dig a couple of test holes near the house to look for the foundation wall.
Be sure it is sealed properly, if not you may have some work to do.
But either way I would move the plants away from the window.
I find that it can be a great place for bugs to live and eventually enter the house.
Just my 2 cents.

Oh don't worry the plants are coming out. I already took out 6 overgrown plants and 2 foot tall weeds invading the entire space.

Any suggestion on what to do to seal that area?

DVS Hardscaper
06-17-2012, 08:48 PM
its not this dramatic.

all is well. no need to dig here and dig there.

make sure the water flows away from the dwelling and you're good to go

Duekster
06-17-2012, 08:57 PM
I say there a concrete wall there
How far does the bricks go down

I agree. Looks like the bed is on the brick facade. Big :nono: in my book.

DVS Hardscaper
06-17-2012, 09:19 PM
Construction 101:

the house is a split foyer (or whatever they call it)

this wall did not suddenly appear out of the blue. When the home was built, they knew the front would be backfilled with soil.

I'm telling you - all is well.

Gilmore.Landscaping
06-17-2012, 09:44 PM
Construction 101:

the house is a split foyer (or whatever they call it)

this wall did not suddenly appear out of the blue. When the home was built, they knew the front would be backfilled with soil.

I'm telling you - all is well.

Wow DVS I sure hope you are being sarcastic...

If all he found was brick under the soil he could be in for a whole heap of trouble. Soil should never touch the brick of a house, only the foundation level. Brick is porous and so is mortar it will rot the brick and/or allow moisture in behind the wall causing even more trouble.

I don't know whats best, I would say contact a basement waterproofing company or similar.

JB1
06-17-2012, 09:47 PM
that is bad very bad, get a mini in there to get it dug out now, is that the answer you want to hear.

DVS Hardscaper
06-17-2012, 10:01 PM
This is an existing home. not a house that was just built 16 months ago.

The roof overhangs.

We all know "brick is porous".

If there were any problems - there would be mold in the basement, etc. Thr mortar in the brick would be showing signs of water damage.

Brick has soil placed against it all the time.

Sometime not a good thing. Sometimes, no biggie.

Like I stated earlier - slope the soil away from the dwelling. Coupled with the roof overhang, and life is dandy.

If you want piece of mind you can dig it out and tar the brick. Me, I wouldn't if it were my home, but thats me. Dig deep enough and you may find it's already tarred.

By the looks of the age of the concrete steps - There has always been a wall there, the house most likely had a wooden wall at the time it was built. It rotted. Based on the size of the euoynomus by the block the wall is about 24 to 30 months old. .

Duekster
06-17-2012, 10:06 PM
This is an existing home. not a house that was just built 16 months ago.

The roof overhangs.

We all know "brick is porous".

If there were any problems - there would be mold in the basement, etc. Thr mortar in the brick would be showing signs of water damage.

Brick has soil placed against it all the time.

Sometime not a good thing. Sometimes, no biggie.

Like I stated earlier - slope the soil away from the dwelling. Coupled with the roof overhang, and life is dandy.

If you want piece of mind you can dig it out and tar the brick. Me, I wouldn't if it were my home, but thats me. Dig deep enough and you may find it's already tarred.

By the looks of the age of the concrete steps - There has always been a wall there, the house most likely had a wooden wall at the time it was built. It rotted. Based on the size of the euoynomus by the block the wall is about 24 to 30 months old. .

I dunno those steps cound have been pre-ADA/ OSHA

DVS Hardscaper
06-17-2012, 10:13 PM
I dunno those steps cound have been pre-ADA/ OSHA

LOL - ADA and OSHA have nothing to do with the fact that those steps have always been there, goober :)

Duekster
06-17-2012, 10:20 PM
LOL - ADA and OSHA have nothing to do with the fact that those steps have always been there, goober :)

without a hand rail and ramp?:laugh:

Snyder's Lawn Inc
06-17-2012, 10:37 PM
Construction 101:

the house is a split foyer (or whatever they call it)

this wall did not suddenly appear out of the blue. When the home was built, they knew the front would be backfilled with soil.

I'm telling you - all is well.

DVS is right the concrete wall goes up to the bottom of window most them bricks are facing bricks Split foyers have a 3-4' wall on the front of the house

To OP if the dirt line is below the ceil plate of the wooden wall then its ok

DVS Hardscaper
06-17-2012, 10:53 PM
those types of house are specifically designed/intended to be set on hills.

You do not see those houses on level ground. At least I never have.

The garage is at the lowest point, basement level. Main level is gonna be 8 - 10 feet above the garage.

The builder and the mason knew from day-one that there would be soil there. And they accounted for it. And they did so by conceiling the steps they took. Job well done.

I'm so confident of myself that I would almost bet a $50 gift card to any national restaurant.

SSmith
06-18-2012, 08:58 AM
I live in a Bi-level. We have soil against our brick. Last year we had record rainfall. Dry as a bone. The house is over 30 years old.

MDLawn
06-18-2012, 09:54 AM
Ya know come to think of it when I look at the back of my house at a section directly in line with the front there is a higher concrete foundation. We've commented how odd it looks as there is no siding on it for whatever reason. So just as some of you have pointed out there must be a higher foundation wall there. Ok enough worrying, time to get redoing the landscaping.
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DVS Hardscaper
06-18-2012, 12:02 PM
Ya know come to think of it when I look at the back of my house at a section directly in line with the front there is a higher concrete foundation. We've commented how odd it looks as there is no siding on it for whatever reason. So just as some of you have pointed out there must be a higher foundation wall there. Ok enough worrying, time to get redoing the landscaping.
Posted via Mobile Device

They probably "stepped up" the brick in the front. What you see is just enough for cosmetic purposes.

In the back you possibly see the steps because the soil settled. Backfill to proper level and I bet the steps disappear :)
Posted via Mobile Device

FLCthes4:11-12
06-19-2012, 10:02 PM
If its a block or a poured wall behind the brick then I would says its fine. If its wood then I would get the soil away. Keep the grade sloped hard away from the house and pipe any gutter water out.

Darryl G
10-10-2012, 12:37 PM
without a hand rail and ramp?:laugh:

OSHA? OSHA regulates employee safety and would have nothing to do with it after construction is complete.

MDLawn
10-10-2012, 01:36 PM
Wow, diggin up the past......:)

Darryl G
10-10-2012, 01:44 PM
Another rainy do so just doing some browsing.

MDLawn
10-10-2012, 01:56 PM
Another rainy do so just doing some browsing.

Just messing with ya man...... I saw it pop up in my UserCP and couldn't even remember what I made the thread about!!

Darryl G
10-10-2012, 02:23 PM
Honestly it drives me nuts how many people have no idea what OSHA is and what they regulate. Any time something safety related comes up they throw out OSHA.

I could go hop around in an unshored 10 foot deep vertical trench naked while running a chain saw in one hand and firing a nail gun in the other and if they showed up there would be nothing they could do, except maybe call the cops, lol. OSHA does not protect people from themselves or the general public, their purpose is to provide a safe workplace for employees, and employees only.

MDLawn
10-10-2012, 02:46 PM
Many people who start a business don't know anything about running a business (I sure didn't and am still learning A LOT), they just know how to make stripes in a lawn or throw mulch. Unfortunately many states, well at least NY, hands you a packet of information about running a business such as taxes, insurance, employment, regulations, OSHA, etc.... It doesn't necessarily tell you what you need to do but gives you the resources to contact those who know what you need to do. Many people just use the information in forums rather than actually contacting the agency that actually makes the rules. Usually with forums if it is not directly realted to the topic, here it's landscaping, the information is misguided at best. The attempt is created to make a business section but again usually clouded by information that is all over the place. The way I see it now is that if I have a non landscaping question about something, go to the agency involved. Not the buddy who talked another friend who ran into "the guy" at the supermarket.