Repair concrete blocks on front porch? Mortar repair help.

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  • #726188
    Mount Carmel, IL

    Would it be possible for someone to tell me how to repair these blocks?

    Pierrefonds, Qc

    Which ones?

    Mount Carmel, IL

    Sorry, I didn’t realize that the post was messed up.
    I attached three pictures of the blocks.


    It looks what is happening is the base blocks are sinking into the ground. How far down do they go?

    That’s not an easy afternoon fix. It wasn’t likely set up right to begin with. Seeing you are in Illinois Joey, I would think you are like we are here in Southern Ontario Canada where you should have such foundations to be four feet down sitting on a concrete footing bed.

    I’d be inclined to just grin and bear it and hope the slab doesn’t eventually start slumping and or cracking also. Any kind of re-mortaring between the blocks is likely just gonna fail again as the blocks sink further. Underpinning the whole thing so it stops is a huge job.

    How long ago was this built? If it’s only been a few years, it’s likely gonna get worse. Does the area have good sloped drainage away from it?

    One way someone may have built this is by only having 4 foot deep piers at or near the corners and the blocks are basically acting as skirting to dress it up and keep critters out and the compacted base from eroding away. But I suspect that is not the case here as the blocks at the corner are seperating unless any piering is away from the corner which is very unlikely.


    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    My guess is you have settlement of the footing and stem wall, but the slab which is much lighter and probably not tied to the wall, or only tied to the top block, is not settling.

    since the area appears to be a patio and not somewhere that life safety would be concerned, I would say the problem is mostly aesthetic.

    My first questions would be the age of the construction and if it is still moving. The fix would be dependent on those two factors.

    unless there is habitable space below that porch which we do not see very often, I would be tempted to raise the grade around it and landscape to cover the unsightly crack. If this is not the case and the settlement has stopped, you could chisel out, or grind out, the joints and refill them with mortar and tool the joint to provide an aesthetic appearance. With the latter option, if you are still experiencing settlement, you will see the cracks appear again.

    Another option if there is still movement is to fill the joints with elastomeric caulk once the existing mortar has been removed. this will allow movement and give you some stretch , however if the movement is to great, the caulk will also fail.


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    Eastern shore of, Pa

    At the very least I would want a solid joint between the blocks. Like Kurt said, grind or chisel the joint out and repoint. Then it’s just wait and see. If it cracks and opens again… repeat. Myself I wouldn’t use caulk, especially at the corner where the post is supporting the roof.

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