How do I apply brick to a foundo wall ??
1) Can I mortar new full-size bricks directly onto a freshly-poured concrete stem wall?
2) Should I wait longer than 7 days for the fresh concrete to cure, before applying brick?
3) Using the top surface of the footing as a brick ledge for support, can the bricks be applied directly to the face of the stem wall with Type S masonry mortar? My thought is to apply a thick coat of stiff sticky mortar directly onto the face of the stem wall, back-butter each individual brick, and then fully embed them into the mortar on the wall. Any reason not to do it this way?
4) If brick is mortared directly onto concrete substrate, are corrugated brick ties necessary? Scratch coat? What about weep holes?
Thanks in advance for looking!
First-time reader and first-time poster, very impressed with all the the good-natured dialogue and the willingness of experts to share ideas and advice!
Just poured a combo footing and foundation stem wall under an existing one-story rural farmhouse. Quite a project for a first-timer, made some mistakes, but nothing too drastic. Now that the forms are stripped, mud sill installed, and the rain drain placed and backfilled, I’m on to “dressing up” the exposed face of the stem wall. The wall is 12″ high, measured from the top of the footing ledge to the top of the stem wall where the bottom of the mud sill plate sits. I have a few pallets of new full-size brick that were given to me by a generous neighbor, and I want to use them as facing for the stem wall. I’ve never laid brick before, so I’ve done some research and some reading, and now I’m on the verge of sufferring from analysis paralysis 🙂
Much of my confusion revolves around the issue of how best to apply the brick to the wall, that is to say, the technical specs & details for installation. Many sources (books, manuals, how-to guides, etc) recommend leaving an air gap or some kind of ventilation channel behind the brick (between the back of the brick & the face of the concrete wall). I certainly understand why someone would do this if you were facing the entire structure, 10′ up or something like that, but it seems unnecessary for only 3 or 4 courses that won’t extend up vertically past the top of the stem wall. (Fact is, at least the bottom course, and perhaps even the bottom two courses of brick, will eventually be in direct contact with some of the dirt from the flower beds that will surround portions of the perimeter of the foundo – not an ideal situation, & not nearly the clearance I would have preferred, but that’s how the grade worked out). There’s also the issue of weep holes – if I apply the brick directly onto the wall, I wouldn’t need weep holes, right? And what about those corrugated brick ties – are those necessary when/if the brick is mortared directly onto the concrete? I’m also confused about scratch coats – is that something I need consider?
The home is clad in vinyl siding, and I know I have some challenges ahead of me dealing with proper flashing techniques, trying to effectively marry all these dissimilar materials. In order to place the forms for the footing & wall, we had to remove several of the lower courses of the vinyl siding, much of which was brittle and subsequently splintered or broke during the removal process. My intent is to face the foundo wall with the free brick, and then transition from the top of the brick to the bottom of the remaining vinyl siding with a few courses of cedar shingles (shakes?), which would be applied over the underlying framing sheathing. I’m baffled about how to properly address the flashing details in that propostion, so I’ll post my questions about all that in a follow-up plea for help 🙂
So, there you have it. Sorry about rambling on like that, but I figured it best to provide as much relevant info as possible. If anyone would share advice or wisdom with a greenhorn that simply wants to learn the right way, I’d be very grateful.