Confounded Foundation

Since my last post about the Kitchen renovation we have focused on repairing the basement. There are 2 main problems: 1. the foundation wall beneath the Sun Room and 2. the warped 1960's paneling that needs replacing since the flood.

Here in photo number one you can see the meager attempt by the PO's at filling gaps with spray foam. notice it dripping from below the sil plate. One other problem was that we neglected to inspect behind the insulation - and you all know that the minute you move something to look behind it, well, the results wont be fun ...

What you will see in the 2 photos below, or I should say, NOT see, is the mortar that should be in between the bricks. In the first picture we had already removed the sil plate and the spray foam and dusted off some of the mortar for a clearer image. On the left you can see an old, not well done, patch job (note the grey colored mortar below the hand scraper)

Problem number 2 for the foundation was, ugh, termites. There were old tunnels and decayed/eaten posts, beams, etc. along the three outdoor walls that make up this part of the basement (the fourth wall is an interior wall where we have not identified any termite activity). We still wonder how the house didnt fall in every time we walked thru the back door. We got the house treated.

We rebuilt the Sun Room foundation wall in sections, not seeing the need to support anything because, frankly, so much of the timber had to be replaced im not sure what was holding the floor up above our heads- anything we did would just make it stronger. Matthew has become an excellent mason. Here are some pictures of him vacuuming out old crumbled mortar, infilling and rebuilding the wall, and of the final completed section.

This job took over a month since we had to rebuild masonry, then let it cure before rebuilding the wood above. We also addressed some outdoor trouble as removing the old bricks to remortar them showed up some gaping holes in the stucco (were not sure how old that stucco is. It predated 1950 and could be original to the house.) Here are some photos from the outside of Matthews masonry work inside.

You can see the holes best in this image since the light from inside is streaming out.

Here is one of those holes patched - to the left of the photo. Crawling under the back deck to access these holes was eyeopening to me. We plan to remove the vinyl siding at some point and seeing that there are good remnants/clues about how the wood siding was constructed hiding under the deck will really help once were ready to tackle that huge job. in the photo below you can also see the old drip edge, cut to accomodate the vinyl siding, just a few inches below the bottom of the deck joist. Its the rounded molding that hangs a little over top of the white flashing. This molding would have directed water away from the foundation when the house was all wood-clad and so we should be able to reproduce or replace it.

Finally, a small corner repair that I did from outside. Yes, that is a pie-pan you see. aluminum flashing is aluminum flashing in my book, and since its a bandaid till we tear off the vinyl siding, I wasnt worried about looks. Its a good solid repair, though, if I say so myself.

Here is a before photo of the other part of the basement that needs repair. You can see the wall we had to cut out after the flooding. We opened up that doorway in the process to connect the 2 sides of the basement together. Ill follow up with more photos and information on this repair as I get them - its in the process.

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