Author Topic: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house  (Read 10988 times)

Frugal Lizard

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A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« on: April 25, 2016, 08:02:07 AM »
Not a huge chunk but big enough piece of concrete at the top corner just under the brick.
Can I "glue" it back on and seal it up well enough to backfill over it?
I think I know why this happened and have fixed the issues.

I'd post picks but can't seem to get it to work.

kendallf

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2016, 08:09:20 AM »
This seems like a question requiring pictures and context.. is it actually concrete or stucco?  Size?  Structural?  Plausible repair methods will vary depending on the answers to these questions.

bobechs

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2016, 08:12:38 AM »
If you can't handle posting a picture, what makes you think you have the skilz to glue the material world back together?

There's no gravity on the internet.

lthenderson

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 08:38:54 AM »
Once you have pictures, we can know for sure but based on your description, I wouldn't try to 'glue' the piece in place. I would simply clean out the area really well to remove dirt and grit. Wet the area and patch in new concrete with a trowel. Wetting the area helps to prevent the surrounding drier concrete from drawing too much moisture out of the patched in concrete and making it weaker.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2016, 09:17:56 AM »
I have lots of pictures but I can't upload them.  I have tried for the fifth time and it crashed again.  I have made the photos smaller, tried one photo at a time, using firefox and Microsoft edge but alas no photos. I have gotten a variety of different error codes. 

Given that this is my third house I think I have some skills to adhere a small three pound triangular (more half pyramidal) chunk of concrete back on to foundation - I just don't know what type of product is used for exterior concrete.  I have no skills with exterior masonry so I don't know if I can buy a tube of something or have to mix mortar or what. 

The piece is the top corner of the concrete foundation wall.  It is completely intact.  The jagged part behind is intact.  It would be really hard to use concrete because of it being on the corner and the brick being above it and overhanging.  I would have a hard time getting concrete into the smaller edges of the void.  But it is big enough that water could get in there and sit and freeze and thaw and that is how this whole thing likely started.  Can concrete be made without the bigger aggregate?

Is there a nifty concrete bonding material?  I see those guys building precast retaining walls using some black stuff to put the cap on a wall.  Anyone know anything about that?

kendallf

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2016, 10:23:49 AM »
There are all sorts of fancy adhesives, but I think given your description you'd be better off using thinset mortar to coat the broken area and the chunk (for adhesion) and then basic brick mortar to bond it back in place.  If it fits tightly you could do it with just the thinset. 

lthenderson

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2016, 11:20:48 AM »
I have lots of pictures but I can't upload them.  I have tried for the fifth time and it crashed again.  I have made the photos smaller, tried one photo at a time, using firefox and Microsoft edge but alas no photos. I have gotten a variety of different error codes. 

Given that this is my third house I think I have some skills to adhere a small three pound triangular (more half pyramidal) chunk of concrete back on to foundation - I just don't know what type of product is used for exterior concrete.  I have no skills with exterior masonry so I don't know if I can buy a tube of something or have to mix mortar or what. 

The piece is the top corner of the concrete foundation wall.  It is completely intact.  The jagged part behind is intact.  It would be really hard to use concrete because of it being on the corner and the brick being above it and overhanging.  I would have a hard time getting concrete into the smaller edges of the void.  But it is big enough that water could get in there and sit and freeze and thaw and that is how this whole thing likely started.  Can concrete be made without the bigger aggregate?

Is there a nifty concrete bonding material?  I see those guys building precast retaining walls using some black stuff to put the cap on a wall.  Anyone know anything about that?


I had a similar picture posting problem a week ago. After trying numerous tries, I think it was something to do with the photos. One I resized and was able to get it to post and another I had to retake it, even though both met the size limit. After I got both of those photos uploaded, I haven't had anymore problems.

I would probably use Quickcrete which you can buy in a bag and just add water. You have to be careful not to add too much water so that it is thick enough to apply so it doesn't sag. You can buy it without aggregate. When doing stuff like this, I will sit out there to baby it in case sagging occurs until is starts to set up. Usually in less than an hour it will be set up enough where it won't sag anymore.

They were probably using some type of construction adhesive. It works well in situations like this where uneven expansion can cause problems because it is rubbery, has some give and bonds well to materials like concrete and wood. However, I don't think it would hold up well in this situation where it will be exposed to sunlight and water and under a shear load.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 11:23:22 AM by lthenderson »

Fishindude

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2016, 02:02:31 PM »
It's hard to do a good patch on broken concrete like that.  Nothing will be as good as the original, and even if you get it patched, you will see the color difference in the patch.

Make sure things are clean and dry.
Screw some Tapcon anchors into the broken area to provide some "studs" to help hold the new patching material to original concrete.
Apply a coat of latex bonding agent to surface that you intend to bond to.
Mix a specialized patching compound or something like hydraulic cement relatively dry and place it with trowels, building it up as you go.

A good source for concrete patching materials is Garon Products.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2016, 07:21:26 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions.  I happen to have thinset leftover from another job so I think I will give that a try first.  The worst that can happen is that I check the other ideas next spring and try something else.  I think that it has been this way for a long time but without the juniper completely blocking access back in there, I didn't notice.  I am going to dig down and reshape the subsoil to drain quicker and backfill the whole area with gravel so that the drainage in the winter and summer is a lot better than it is now.
Some of the old foundation planting is still there blocking the view of it but it is far enough away from the wall that I can get in there and work behind it.  So if I need to do it again and it doesn't look so attractive it won't matter.  This is our forever home so if the next owner doesn't think my work is attractive, I won't be caring about it.


BudgetSlasher

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2016, 06:34:39 PM »
If you don't mind sharing, what do you think caused this and how have you addressed the cause?

Further, more serious, damage would be my main concern in your situation.


Frugal Lizard

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2016, 08:57:00 PM »
I am pretty sure the cause was water freezing when the downspout came apart in the winter just after we moved here.  There was an enormous icicle all down the side of the house all winter and we were overwhelmed with so many issues for the first little while.  It got a temporary fix after that and the last fall we got all the eave trough and downspouts replaced.  We had larger downspouts and the covers on the trough installed so the trough wasn't overflowing anymore.  I still think that there is a surface drainage problem and I was working on that when I noticed the crack. 

paddedhat

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2016, 07:32:03 AM »
Your corner "spalled" which is the definition of what happens when excess water works it's way into concrete and the freezing action blows the surface off. Clean both surfaces with a wire brush to get any loose material off. Coat the back of the loose chunk with a generous layer of "PL Premium construction Adhesive" and push I back in place. This is available in caulk tubes at the hardware store/ big box lumber yard.  Drive a small stake of furring strip or whatever, into the yard about two feet out from the corner. Use another piece of wood as a prop to keep the corner tight, drive it in between the stake and the corner,  to keep pressure on the wedge. Once the glue sets, caulk the top edge of the damaged area to eliminate water penetration.

With the right tools and material, this is a half hour fix that will last forever. DON'T get involved with trying to use tapcons, making a patch out of mortar, or finding some concrete mix that will make your missing chunk stick to the corner. It's a waste of time. Ever notice home many new buildings have stone veneer on them? This is a thin layer of "manufactured stone" that is nothing more than fancy concrete lumps, mortared to a stuccoed wall. What to know what happens when the mason who did the work gets a call that a stone fell off? He grabs a caulk gun, a tube Of PL, an glues it right back where it was. You can do the same thing. Good luck.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2016, 07:49:00 AM »
thanks Paddedhat. 
I much prefer going to the store with the name of the product I need.  I know I can get a caulking material that resembles parging to seal up the cracks post "gluing" it back in place. 
Do I need to wait until the concrete is drier?  It rained like crazy for 2-overnights and a day.  The area I dug down to see the extents of the damage was full of water and the foundation wall is damp.  I dug some more to stop the ponding but it did get good and wet. It is supposed to be sunny for the next five days but not very warm.  I can read the product back to find out about the temperature for curing but it always says it need to be a dry surface.  This may never be really dry unless we have a couple of weeks with no rain in the summer. Do you know how dry? 

paddedhat

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2016, 08:11:54 AM »
I would wait until both surfaces are visibly dry, which should only need a day or two of good weather. As for temps. the rule for most outdoor work with paints, caulks and such, is to not apply unless it's 50*F or warmer. Remember, you are dealing with an aesthetic issue, not structural, so there is no harm in leaving the chunk of corner lay in the garage until nice summer weather.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2016, 08:35:40 AM »
Thanks Paddedhat.  I will wait until the night time temperatures are suitable - probably two months away!  I should be able to do this no problem.

lthenderson

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2016, 08:45:15 AM »
Your corner "spalled" which is the definition of what happens when excess water works it's way into concrete and the freezing action blows the surface off. Clean both surfaces with a wire brush to get any loose material off. Coat the back of the loose chunk with a generous layer of "PL Premium construction Adhesive" and push I back in place. This is available in caulk tubes at the hardware store/ big box lumber yard.  Drive a small stake of furring strip or whatever, into the yard about two feet out from the corner. Use another piece of wood as a prop to keep the corner tight, drive it in between the stake and the corner,  to keep pressure on the wedge. Once the glue sets, caulk the top edge of the damaged area to eliminate water penetration.

The thing that would concern me is that PL Premium Construction Adhesive is not UV resistant and says so on the manufacturers specification sheet. It does well where it is not exposed to sunlight such as behind stone veneers that you mentioned. But in this case it will be directly exposed to sunlight and will break down requiring it to be continually touched up with time and if not, more water could leech down in cracks and do more damage. I have never used it in a direct sunlight exposure situation for this reason. Thoughts?

Frugal Lizard

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2016, 08:51:45 AM »
Your corner "spalled" which is the definition of what happens when excess water works it's way into concrete and the freezing action blows the surface off. Clean both surfaces with a wire brush to get any loose material off. Coat the back of the loose chunk with a generous layer of "PL Premium construction Adhesive" and push I back in place. This is available in caulk tubes at the hardware store/ big box lumber yard.  Drive a small stake of furring strip or whatever, into the yard about two feet out from the corner. Use another piece of wood as a prop to keep the corner tight, drive it in between the stake and the corner,  to keep pressure on the wedge. Once the glue sets, caulk the top edge of the damaged area to eliminate water penetration.

The thing that would concern me is that PL Premium Construction Adhesive is not UV resistant and says so on the manufacturers specification sheet. It does well where it is not exposed to sunlight such as behind stone veneers that you mentioned. But in this case it will be directly exposed to sunlight and will break down requiring it to be continually touched up with time and if not, more water could leech down in cracks and do more damage. I have never used it in a direct sunlight exposure situation for this reason. Thoughts?
Not sure there will be much UV exposure. The corner is on the northwest side of the house and behind foundation planting and our house has big overhanging eaves (20")  The brick overhangs the concrete slightly and I will using a caulking on top to seal the opening.  Most of the adhesive will be behind the chunk that fell out not dissimilar to the stone veneer application.   And I am in southern Ontario - UV is not an issue from October to April.

paddedhat

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2016, 09:27:23 AM »
Your corner "spalled" which is the definition of what happens when excess water works it's way into concrete and the freezing action blows the surface off. Clean both surfaces with a wire brush to get any loose material off. Coat the back of the loose chunk with a generous layer of "PL Premium construction Adhesive" and push I back in place. This is available in caulk tubes at the hardware store/ big box lumber yard.  Drive a small stake of furring strip or whatever, into the yard about two feet out from the corner. Use another piece of wood as a prop to keep the corner tight, drive it in between the stake and the corner,  to keep pressure on the wedge. Once the glue sets, caulk the top edge of the damaged area to eliminate water penetration.

The thing that would concern me is that PL Premium Construction Adhesive is not UV resistant and says so on the manufacturers specification sheet. It does well where it is not exposed to sunlight such as behind stone veneers that you mentioned. But in this case it will be directly exposed to sunlight and will break down requiring it to be continually touched up with time and if not, more water could leech down in cracks and do more damage. I have never used it in a direct sunlight exposure situation for this reason. Thoughts?

Not sure if I failed to explain myself, but there is no difference between gluing a piece of stone veneer, a loose piece of wooden trim. or the OP's chunk of block corner to the exterior of a structure. The construction adhesive is a glue, applied to the back of the loose masonry to reattach it to the wall. At no point will it ever be exposed to an UV.  As for sealing the seams of the reattached piece, I would use a urethane based concrete caulk specifically designed for this application. This product is a real bitch to work with, however. Generally you are correct however, construction/panel/drywall adhesives are not UV resistant in the least, and are a REAL poor substitute for any caulking product. Any time I see this in the field, (or my other favorite, spray foam used as caulk), I can safely assume that the owner is either a hack of a DIYer, who probably did a lot more damage that's concealed, or they hired a clown to work on the place.

lthenderson

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2016, 12:51:06 PM »
As for sealing the seams of the reattached piece, I would use a urethane based concrete caulk specifically designed for this application.

This makes perfect sense now.


Frugal Lizard

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2016, 07:45:50 AM »
Quick update:  I re-attached the concrete chunk two days ago with the PL glue stuff.  The tube recommended wetting the surface prior to applying the glue, so I did.  It fit back into the corner fairly well.  I wedged up some bricks to hold it in place with pressure.  Yesterday I filled all the cracks with the caulking.  It looks pretty good to me - not particularly attractive but sealed and water tight.  Most of it will be below the ground and it is behind foundation planting.  I have never used a caulking gun before.  It was fun and pretty cool how well the pressure from the tube was able to get the caulk into the cracks. I am pretty handy with cake decorating and this was way easier than making swag or flowers out of cold icing.  Tomorrow I am going to back fill with a gravel material that I have from some holes I was digging and make sure there is a good slope away from house.
Thank you for the help with figuring out how to do this.  It would have been silly to have someone come in and do it for me.

Metric Mouse

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2016, 11:07:39 AM »
Looks good.

lthenderson

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2016, 11:58:12 AM »
It's always nice to save some bucks! Looks like a nicely done repair.

paddedhat

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2016, 03:31:52 PM »
Tis a thing of beauty. Next time you need to solve a problem with a caulking gun, you can proudly hold it, like a revolver in one of those western movie scenes, and tell the world, "don't be scared, I am a trained professional"
Good job.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: A chunk of concrete fell off the corner of my house
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2016, 05:33:47 PM »
Tis a thing of beauty. Next time you need to solve a problem with a caulking gun, you can proudly hold it, like a revolver in one of those western movie scenes, and tell the world, "don't be scared, I am a trained professional"
Good job.

I did actually pace around the house looking for other cracks that could use a squirt with some of the left over caulking.