Repair A Cracked Masonry Wall With Helical Reinforcing Rods

By Robert Robillard on Home Repairs And Remodeling

Masonry Wall Repair

Dear Concord Carpenter,

I have to repair this cracked wall and have never done this before, so I’m asking for your guidance.
I am looking for your comments & suggestions for an appropriate fix without completely rebuilding the stairs & retaining wall.

How would you approach this repair?

Would you excavate the crack for hydraulic cement sand then install re bar staples to help stabilize the crack?

Thanks, Jim

 Dear Jim,

Based on the photos the stair well looks fairly solid.

I would suggest that you excavate the cracks with a grinder, masonry chisel or a hammer drill chisel.  Clean out the crack so the opening slants in at an angle – similar to a dovetail.  This helps hold the hydraulic cement in place.

Clean out the crack with a stiff brush and a hose.

Your suggestion of installing re-bar “staples” to span the cavity is a good one.  Drill holes for the re bar and also a channel to recess the re bar.

Fill the crack cavity with hydraulic cement and install the re bar with epoxy.

Repair A Cracked Masonry Wall With Helical Reinforcing Rods

Alternatively you can clean out a channel with a grinder or masonry chisel and install recessed helical reinforcing rods.

Masons often refer to these rods as crack stitching bars. They are used to redistribute loads and enhance the tensile strength back to the masonry.

A helical rods is usually a stainless steel reinforcing bar for repairing cracks in masonry walls. Helical bars have the tensile strength twice that of re bar.  Helical rods  are cold rolled shaped wire and have a twisted shape  and are ideally suited for crack stitching repairs and masonry wall reinforcement.

When anchored across fractures helical rods reinstate the structural integrity of the cracked walls by distributing the cumulative load across the full load of the rod.

Based on your photos I would install a minimum of four helical rods.

Set you helical rods into and cover with  a high performance structural repair grout for bonding reinforcing bars into masonry walls.   The structural repair grout consists of cement / polymeric resin powder component and liquid component, which when mixed yields a super strong repair.

After repairs I would apply an epoxy stucco to entire staircase to cover over everything.



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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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