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popimor
Clay Brick Foundation! ugh

I have a house in Michigan built in 1873. Some renovations seem to have been done over the years and I have discovered a somewhat strange foundation while tuckpointing some concrete block in the foundation above ground, and need some advice.

Underground the foundation is 4 feet of stone that has been reinforced with concrete and is about 2 feet thick which is in good shape. On top of this is 2.5 ft of CLAY brick that is below grade(clay bricks are standard 2x4x8). It has obviously begun to crumble somewhat. Strangely on top of the clay brick are 3 rows of concrete block that then support the wooden frame and wall etc.

First off I am unable to pay to have the house jacked up and to put in the proper concrete blocks in place of the clay brick.

So far I have gone in and replaced the crumbling bricks and mortar where needed and now have a clean dry surface exposing all Clay bricks along the exterior wall.

I was thinking of waterproofing the bricks and going a bit overboard (probably not in reality because of it really being needed) and painting on rubberized foundation sealer on the clay brick and then covering this with some sort of rubber or other panel.

Then installed a french drain along the foundation to make sure minimal water gets to the clay brick causing it to crumble.

I am not currently having water problems in the basement and have a dehumidifier to regulate moisture in the air in the basement as well.

Is there a better way to go about this short of jacking up the house?

What sort of panels should I use? And which brand rubber sealer? I have Lowes, Home Depot, and Menards in my area.

There is a pretty high clay content in the soil around the house so it retains quite a bit of moisture which I assume was causing the bricks to be worse outside of the fact clay bricks shouldn't be used in below grade applications as far as I know.

Am I screwed in the long run anyway?

Thank you

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