Masonry/Brick Laying/House Damage


Hi Joan!

I noticed that the semi-below grade basement in our rental was pretty musty so  I inspected the outside and found this hole in the layer outside the cinderblock (see pic).  Do you have any tips on how to repair this?  Is it a DIY project?


Thank you for your question Chris.

For your information, cinder blocks are often referred to moisture problems because of it's porosity.  These are often are used in interior applications (no humidity issues) or are used outdoors for things like barrier walls and fences. I personally prefer using concrete blocks for a foundation , if cost is a concern. A concrete foundation is always number one in my book (no masonry joints, porosity and resistance are better).

When walls or foundations fail, as it seems in your case, it may be attributed to cracks or shrinkage of the cinder block. These problems often occur due to moisture problems as a result of the ground beneath repeatedly freezing and thawing.

Horizontal cracks are a major sign that something is going on in that area and with time, will compromise the strength of the structure if not repaired.

In my opinion, the seriousness of these cracks varies and should be evaluated by a masonry professional. This is not a DIY project.

Hope this helps.


Joan Miller  

Masonry/Brick Laying

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Joan Miller


Bricks and Stones have always been my passion. There are thousands of products to choose from and to learn about. If you need to know the specifics about bricks and stones, I will be more than happy to answer any questions about the masonry world as in how it is made, how to install it, specifications and quality.


I have been employed by brick and stone distributors for the past 25 years, meaning I have access to all sorts of information provided by the manufacturers that enables me to guide homebuilders and architects to make the best choice for their projects.


Masonry Specialist. Commercial and Industrial specialty.

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