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foundation wearing away from water


My brick house was built in 1895 and is a narrow row house-duplex on a city street in the Mid-Atlantic region. When the sidewalks were replaced at some point the dip that runs from the rain spout to the street was replaced with a flat sidewalk. Now, instead of running away from the house the water pools there and has worn away some of the brick and created a hole that starts above the sidewalk and goes down below it. It's kind of a triangle shape at the corner of the house about 1 1/2 inches at the highest point and about 5 inches long. I haven't been in the house a year yet and didn't see the problem until it rained this past week; there were rocks stuck in it and leaves and snow around it when I was looking at the house. I am a complete novice but it seems to me like this is a huge problem. Can I patch it my self with some concrete? What needs to be done to fix this?

Re: foundation wearing away from water

The ideal solution is to run a pipe from the end of the downspout out into the street. This usually requires cutting out a narrow section of sidewalk and curb, installing the pipe, then pouring new concrete.

It can be a DIY-type project; the most difficult part is cutting the concrete. You can rent concrete-cutting saws; rental costs may be based on how much of the diameter of the diamond-coated blade you wear down.

Sidewalks are considered a public easement on private property. You are responsible for the condition of the sidewalk in front of your house, and you may need to get a permit for this work.

Re: foundation wearing away from water

Thanks, I didn't know i was responsible for the sidewalk. That's not the best news but on the plus side I can just get it done and not have to cajole/harass the city into doing it. I still need to fix the hole in my house though... any ideas?

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