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Clay Tile Foundation

I have a clay tile foundation (aka telephone tile) in my 1924 home. The basement is experiencing major leaks. Can you waterproof this type of foundation from the interior? I've heard that excevating from the outside to seal can make the foundation unstable, is that true? Thanks.

Re: Clay Tile Foundation

I have the same kind of foundation and I also want to know about this.

I was also wondering if it's safe to use hydraulic cement or quickrete in place of limestone mortar.

Re: Clay Tile Foundation

Clay tile aka Terra Cotta did have load bering units that were 8" X 1' 4 " X 3 3/4" these would have been used with a back up of poured in place concrete or as a facing unit.
Clay tile blocks ( Terra Cotta ) also had partition blocks these were various sizes and used for partitions with plaster on both sides or when used on an exterior wall the exterior would be stucco or brick this type of blocking was aka speed tile.
As for parging or plastering yes you can apply many types of coatings.
Thoro seal foundation water proofing can be used
Xypex brush on type can be used.
All cement mortars will adhere to it but will not water proof.

Re: Clay Tile Foundation

there are established ASTM standards for structural terra cotta blocks, either for those exposed to weather or not. I would rather see the block used on top of a concrete foundation (I have worked extensively on two such houses, both built around 1910). I would worry about any situations where they are below grade outside, and stay wet; we all know what happens to terra cotta pots left outside for the winter. You want to make certain that your gutters and drainage are impeccable. Be wary of any products or materials that would cause moisture to become trapped in the blocks.

Re: Clay Tile Foundation

Would type of mortar should I be seeking out? My foundation has some life left but it needs some work on it. My mortar is crumbling and I need to tuckpoint it. Is it safe to excavate down to the bottom (I don't find any footings when I poke the soil from the inside)? Is there a hydraulic mix that could work as a mortar?

My next challenge is what to cover the outside with. Some areas look like a skim coat was applied, and in others it looks like kind of stucco was used. It's starting to peel off.

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