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Old 01-28-2013, 11:02 AM   #1
Hagg
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Default Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

I have a 20x50 shop that has seen better days. The property we bought used to part of an old dairy farm and some of the structures are still here. I believe my shop used to be some part of it, based on how odd the dimensions are and the fact that it has two drains in the floor. Anyway...the slab is below ground level now, so water floods in when it rains. The previous owners did little to maintain this building. All the wood sill plate is gone and most of the studs are rotten. I came up with a fix, though. I want to put a single layer cinder block foundation all the way around. Seemed simple enough except that I can't get the blocks to stick to the concrete. I've tried different mortar mix consistencies, even tried adding concrete bonding adhesive to the mortar mix. No help. I read that using mortar mix may be the issue, but not sure. Any ideas?

Last edited by Hagg; 03-08-2013 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

Use a type S mortar mixed 1 part mortar to 3 parts sand.Concrete needs to be clean.You can drill into the concrete on 4 foot center and drive a short piece of rebar in and grout the cell.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

If the ground level outside is above the floor, there is only one solution. Trench the outside, install drainage pipe and run it to a dry well or someplace that is lower. Back fill with gravel.

Been there, done that. THIS WORKS !
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

Are you trying to do this with the walls intact? How are you dealing with the rotted sills?
I kinda think maybe it needs to be nuked and redone, although if the rest of the structure and the roof are in good shape that would be a shame.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

Any pictures you can post with the problem areas?
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

Drill for a bar every few feet, construction adhesive, then fill.

>Are you trying to do this with the walls intact?
Can be done.


Brace it up, cut out the sill, add block. I used some 4x4 permanent supports, but same difference. Could have done bolts, a plate and sistered studs.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

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Originally Posted by Falcon67 View Post
Drill for a bar every few feet, construction adhesive, then fill.

>Are you trying to do this with the walls intact?
Can be done.
That fixes the rotten sill plate and the wall. (Nice job !)

It will not keep water out if the grade is above the floor.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

True but concrete block takes a lot longer to rot from water infiltration than wood. My issue (above) was that the bottom of the wall was actually below grade by about 3".
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

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Originally Posted by Falcon67 View Post
Drill for a bar every few feet, construction adhesive, then fill.

>Are you trying to do this with the walls intact?
Can be done.


Brace it up, cut out the sill, add block. I used some 4x4 permanent supports, but same difference. Could have done bolts, a plate and sistered studs.
This is essentially what I have. I'll get some pictures up soon. We jacked up a portion of the wall with a 12' header beam we made, then cut about 16" off the bottom of the studs to clear the blocks. I'm just going to add new studs and nail the old ones to them, that way I don't have to worry about taking all the siding off the old ones. Just need to get the blocks to stick. Going to start again on Friday.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

Your still going to water in the garage when it rain unless you provide drainage on the outside.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:20 AM   #11
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

Subscribed. 2 of my walls are a bit below grade about 3 inches as well. I went and replaced the sill plate with treated and used groundbreaker on it afterwords as well as 1 ton of 2 inch wash along the wall. Water is not there anymore except one area where I couldn't get groundbreaker. Would like to see how this comes out.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:13 PM   #12
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

OK, so here is what I'm dealing with. I got halfway down one wall and figured out the mortar wasn't sticking to anything, really. We were able to knock it off the blocks as well. We tried several different consistencies but none seemed to work. I took what I had left back to Lowe's and picked up some type S. That stuff works a lot better for what I'm doing. We also wet the blocks and used a concrete bonding agent for the slab. Every 2 1/2' I also put a rebar stake into the slab for extra reinforcement. I'm going to see how well the new procedures worked in the morning. If all is well, going to finish up this wall and work on the two side walls. The front wall will have to wait until next weekend. I'll post a picture of our "walkthrough" door that is 2' off the ground...

 photo 20130208_151137.jpg

 photo 20130208_151116.jpg

 photo 20130208_151403.jpg

Here is the header I made.
 photo 20130208_151348.jpg
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

well, I posted pictures last week but they aren't up yet...
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

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well, I posted pictures last week but they aren't up yet...
Then they didn't post for some reason, they should post almost instantaneously.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:49 PM   #15
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

Hey, my pictures are up now, thanks Mr. Moderator!

New process works well. Thanks for all the ideas, fellas. I got one side wall done and the back wall 3/4 complete. I had to let the blocks dry before I put weight on them. More progress pictures coming soon.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:19 PM   #16
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

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Originally Posted by theoldwizard1 View Post
That fixes the rotten sill plate and the wall. (Nice job !)

It will not keep water out if the grade is above the floor.
I agree, you're doing nice work. But you need to get some drainage and possibly lower the grade around the shop.


If I was doing what you are doing, I'd drill a hole in the concrete, stick in some rebar for every block and fill it with concrete.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:09 PM   #17
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

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Originally Posted by NUTTSGT View Post
I agree, you're doing nice work. But you need to get some drainage and possibly lower the grade around the shop.


If I was doing what you are doing, I'd drill a hole in the concrete, stick in some rebar for every block and fill it with concrete.
I agree!
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:07 PM   #18
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

It rained last night. No water came in where we have placed the blocks. Good news so far. We dug out around the slab and have plans to make a drain along the bad wall. Adding gutters on that side as well so hopefully it will cure our leakage issues.

Oh, here's my "walkthrough" door I mentioned earlier. Not real sure what the PO was doing here.
 photo 20130209_144526.jpg
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:14 PM   #19
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

Did you use 8" blocks or the 4" ones? We need to same thing to my brothers garage.

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Old 02-16-2013, 07:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: Adding a cinder block foundation to existing shop

I've done that a couple times...a full depth basement once.
......block is good at compression not so much at "torque".
......consider two block height while your at it
......what's the footing like...below frostline
......how about a form and poured concrete, Rfx
......regrade; slope away from building
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