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Doug_NC

09:58AM | 04/09/03
Member Since: 03/29/03
5 lifetime posts
Bvmisc
I purchased a new house that has brick steps leading to a porch. After every rain there is a bit of water that comes fron the junction of the bottom of the brick steps where it meets the sidewalk. The mortar at the bottom of the stairs becomes damp as does about the first 2 feet of sidewalk. This mortar and sidewalk remain wet for several days after mositure has evaporated for all other cement surfaces. The brick steps are actually built so that the are resting on top of the sidewalk.

I am not sure where the water is coming from, but am currently thinking that the bricks are absorbing water and that normally the moisture settles into the ground, however, since the brick steps are built on the sidewalk the cement sidewalk is so dense that the moisture can not get through the sidewalk and the path of least resistence is such that the moisture flows through the mortar at the front of the steps.

Any thoughts on where the water is coming from?
Are there any long term potential problems from the moisture being in the cement and mortar for an extended period of time?

Should I seal the bricks?
Does sealing the bricks cause long term damage?
Will sealing the bricks make them slippery?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks
Doug

Piffin

06:09PM | 04/11/03
Member Since: 11/06/02
1284 lifetime posts
There are masonry sealers that will pentrate and not build a surface gloss.

Kirks_post

12:36PM | 04/14/03
Member Since: 04/13/03
10 lifetime posts
It’s difficult to determine without actually seeing how everything is flowing. If water is present for several days, it is evident that water has taken a destructive position and has made its home beneath the steps.

It will take some time for this to show to be a problem, however, having a professional perhaps in landscaping would be able to find an affordable remedy for your problem. This may be as simple as adding an escape for the water.

Before you go to all this trouble of acquiring an estimate, take a look around to see if your gutters and down spots are causing this problem (If this is near a structure.) Just by simply changing the direction of the outlet of these water sources can solve these unwanted problems.

Water travels great distances so don't rule anything out. Simple rains will rarely cause water to build in an area like this, unless it is accumulating in that spot from a radical source. Mainly caused from poor excavation.

Good luck,
Kirk

Doug_NC

05:37AM | 04/15/03
Member Since: 03/29/03
5 lifetime posts
Thanks for the responses. I have done an experiment during the last rain in which I covered the steps. After the rain I wanted to see if the problem continued. If the moisture was there then the problem is from below and is probably a dirt/landscape problem. In this instance there was very little moisture after covering the bricks during the storm so I think the cause is simply absorption of water into the bricks and since the steps sit on the sidewalk the path of least resistance is toward the front of the bricks instead of through denses concrete sidewalk.

any more thoughts?

Kirks_post

07:07AM | 04/26/03
Member Since: 04/13/03
10 lifetime posts
It's difficult to say without seeing the situation. If at all possible, posting a picture may help.

Kirk

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