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fixing crumbling mortar around blocked in basement window

10 years ago

I have tried finding some solutions to my problem in this forum and while I have learned so much about how to approach my basement finishing, i cannot find any reference to my specific problem. If you can help I would really appreciate it! FYI we live in Minneapolis!

We removed all the drywall from our what we thought was finished basement, which we started because we found some mold along one of the baseboards. As we began tearing away the wall we found more mold, growing on the drywall and 1x2s which they were attatched to. The house was built in 1960..there was no insulation, some vapor barrier in random places, and lots of rotting wood! Behind one wall we found a window which had been filled in with cement blocks, to accomodate the deck/patio behind the house, and the mortar around these blocks is crumbling and missing in places. It has been leaking, there is evidence of water stains running down the wall.

We have never had pools of water in the basement, but did see dampness in a few spots where the wall meets the floor in the back corner and wall of the house after a big spring rain since we have removed all the walls. We have graded, fixed drainspouts, installed a closed interior drain system and have an additional sump pump in the center of the house which was original.

We plan to either use xps or spray foam, as repeatedly suggested by Worthy...thanks for all the tips!

I want to patch this window area properly, and make sure that it does not leak before we begin finishing the basement. In addition to the leaking, there are a couple of areas missing mortar at the top where I can actually see daylight. The top line of the blocks seems a bit lower than the rest of the basement and I wonder if it was sealed properly to the exterior. The way the deck and brick patio are built prevent us from accessing this area from the outside.

For the window area repair, we have some ideas...spray foam, hydraulic cement, caulking...but I wanted to ask the experts before we start. Can anyone head us in the right direction to make sure this old window opening does not leak!

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