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Install & Replace

patching wall that is leaking.




Can we take out this wood support and patch the cedar blocks behind it without the house falling over? We are having rain water leak into our closet and we think that would fix the problem. Any advice?

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Posted 2010-12-21T03:28:30+0000  by lisa84usa lisa84usa

Great Question Lisa!


Load bearing walls carry the weight of the joists, which in turn support the building above (and commonly provide support for installing the ceiling below). This picture shows steel fabricated floor joists which span an open area (room) and rest on the "load bearing" walls. Your joists will look like this, but are likely made of wood.




Although I am not an engineer or an architect and never quote code because they vary broadly, the photo you provided appears to show a poured concrete or concrete block wall fronted by a framed wall covered with sheetrock. In most cases, this sheetrock wall is added to create a "finished room" after construction ... which means it is unlikely to carry a load.


Before you begin deconstruction, make certain to visually verify that this wall does not bear weight. You can simply look into the space above and will likely see the joist bridging the room and resting on the exterior wall.


PHEW! Now that we have that disclaimer out of the way, let's move on to repairing your wall.


The first thing you should do is look outside the house and locate the area where the water is coming into the building. I most often recommend diverting water away from this area with corrugated drain tube attached to the downspout. Consider installing as much tube as it takes to direct the water completely away from your house.


In addition, ask a Plumbing Department Associate to show you the supplies needed to create a "French Drain" around this area of the building. If you control the water using these two water-directing devices, your prospect for a lasting repair will increase significantly.


FINALLY, we are at the closet wall repair you asked about!


After determining that the wall does not bear a load, carefully remove the sheetrock until you expose the entire damaged area behind the wall.


Cut new framing boards to match those you need to remove and place these new boards into the frame for vertical support before you remove the damaged framing boards. You can tap them into position later using a few hammer strokes at the top and a few at the bottom after you remove the damaged boards. Secure by toe-nailing the new boards after you clean and treat the wall (the next two steps).


Use Concrobium Mold Control and a scrub brush to clean and remove the mold or fungus from the wall. Concrobium does not contain bleach, ammonia, or other VOCs, so it should not damage your flooring or have a strong odor. Regardless, I usually recommend a wet-dry Shop-vac as a handy way to remove fluid from an interior space. After you are satisfied that the area is clean and free of mold or fungus, mist a coat of Concrobium over the entire surface and new framing boards. If the product puddles, wipe off the excess and allow the area to dry.


Now you are ready to seal the wall using Drylok Masonry Waterproofer.



This product is very thick and is most often applied using a dense bristle utility brush. Do not thin. And, although the instructions say you can apply to a damp surface, wait until the Concrobium has dried to ensure you get the benefit of both products. Drylok will penetrate into the concrete/block wall and create a waterproof seal.


You are now ready to reconstruct your wall with the assurance that when you "close" the wall, the water will stay on the outside of your home.


Since you will be repainting, take the opportunity to change the color and even the decor of this space. Martha Living makes it easy ... a fresh start will help you enjoy the "new" space and forget all about the problem this area created.


One of my favorite aspects of working at the Paint Desk is listening to DIYers and contractors discuss solutions ... and their unique approach that often saves time and resources. If you can provide Lisa and her family additional guidance, please add onto this thread and give a pointer.

Posted 2010-12-21T13:53:35+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Thank you; your advice was very helpful!

Posted 2010-12-21T21:20:22+0000  by lisa84usa

I would like to add a couple of things. 1. Like the previous poster responded, make sure your down spouts are far enough away from the house, make sure the soil grade near the house is pitched away from the home, adding a french drain is a great way of preventing water from coming back into your basement, if you do it yourself it is cheap but can be very labor intensive, you have to dig a min. of depth of 2ft along the entire side of the house where the water is entering then lay pipe and stone.......................Before you do any of this,,,,,,,,,,check the drip edges on your roof, make sure they are diverting the rain water into the gutter pipe and not between the gutter and the roof.


As far as your repairs, seal cracks in concrete walls with hydraulic cement, then paint with UGL masonry paint or something similar, glue 2 inch insulation foam board to foundation wall, then frame and insulate with fiberglass. Always use pressure treated lumber for the baseplate of the wall with a vapor seal between this and the cement pad. Regular lumber absolutely cannot be touching  any masonry in a basement, you will end up with serious mold issues. look at this link for a better understanding. Basement insulation remodel can be much more costly in materials then any other room if done properly.

Posted 2010-12-28T18:46:23+0000  by JamieZ
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