Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>Concrete sidewalk next to brick foundation? (Versus Repointing?)
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Concrete sidewalk next to brick foundation? (Versus Repointing?)

My husband and I just took up an old sidewalk next to our house which exposed some of the brick foundation that had previously been covered up. We now see that there are lots of bricks missing, and lots of mortar missing between the bricks. My father-in-law wants to immediately pour another concrete sidewalk and immediately cover up the problem. He suggests that we just pour the concrete directly next to the house (no forms, no drainage, no expansion joints) and let the concrete fill in all the gaps left by the missing bricks and mortar. I think this is a horrible idea as I think this will cause a lot of pressure against the bricks and the basement walls and create all kinds of problems. Any thoughts? Is there some sort of flexible material that we can put down first to fill the gaps, or should we re-tuck and point everything (with the right type of mortar) before proceeding? (And if we proceed, any thoughts on how the new sidewalk should be poured?)

Our house was built in 1917 and we live in Columbus, Ohio.

Any comments (soon!) are appreciated as the open/missing bricks and mortar are now exposed to the elements, and my father-in-law wants to lay the new sidewalk next week!

MLB Construction
Re: Concrete sidewalk next to brick foundation? (Versus Repointing?)

you should have a mason repoint and repair your foundation. pouring concrete up against the foundation is a horrible idea. when the ground freezes in the winter it will push all that concrete against your foundation which could result in a structural failure of the existing brick foundation.

Re: Concrete sidewalk next to brick foundation? (Versus Repointing?)

There needs to be separation between sidewalk and wall- either physical space or expansion joint material. And since you're not going to be able to get to it later, repairing the foundation wall is a "now" thing. I'd also recommend waterproofing it if there's a basement on the other side or water ingression issues for the very same reason. Do be sure the sidewalk slopes away from the house by at least 1/8" per foot of width; double that is much better. Once the concrete has cured apply a sealer and renew it every few years- this will help it last, especially if you salt it during the winter for icing.


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