How to Repair Crumbling Cinder Block Wall? Although cinder block walls are strong, continuous wear over time can develop fractures or holes. In extreme circumstances, parts of the wall may need to be replaced to ensure its stability. While repairing cinder block walls may appear difficult, it is straightforward if you have the correct tools. Your wall will be restored to good condition if you examine the damage and fill or repair the affected region.
Table of Contents
Things You’ll Need to Repair Crumbling Cinder Block Wall
- Concrete mix
- Metal file
- Hoe (optional)
- Mortar (optional)
- Microfiber cloth
- Handheld mister
- Bucket or concrete tray
- Replacement cinder block (optional)
How to Repair Crumbling Cinder Block Wall?
Method #1. Cleaning the Cinder Blocks
- Clean any areas of the wall you intend to restore. Before you start fixing the wall, clean it well to ensure that any cement or mortar you put adheres securely. Make a note of any dusty or cracked areas on your wall. Before you can clean the wall, you’ll need to smooth out cracks and rinse out unclean areas.
- Any rough edges should be filed away. Locate any damaged spots on the cinder blocks and use a metal file to smooth out any rough edges. Continue filling the edges until they are smooth and level. This will keep your repairs even and more likely to last.
- This can take anything from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the extent as well as the roughness of the cracks or holes.
- To remove dust or grime from the wall, hose it off. Before you can begin repairing your wall, it must be clean of debris and dust. Spray the wall with a hose to remove any remaining dust or grime. Scrub the dirt away using a washcloth in more resistant locations.
- Hosing down the wall is most effective on outdoor cinder block walls. Fill a pail with warm water and clean the wall with a damp washcloth if it is indoors.
- Allow the wall to dry before fixing it. If the wall is moist, your wall repair products may not adhere as well. While the wall dries, gather your other materials. Towel them off if any places are obstinate and refuse to dry fast.
- Repair your cinder block wall during the warmest part of the day to save time.
Method #2. Using Concrete to Repair Cracks
- Concrete can be used to repair tiny fractures or holes. Concrete is usually sufficient to repair minor wall damage. If the fractures or holes do not take up the majority of the block or extend beyond a few blocks, try filling in the damage with concrete.
- The concrete should be mixed. Buy a bag of ready-mixed concrete and empty it into a bucket or concrete tray. Pour in the specified amount of water and stir with a hoe or shovel.
- You can make your own concrete instead of purchasing a pre-mixed bag if you like.
- When mixing concrete, always wear safety glasses, a ventilated mask, gloves, and long pants.
- Using a portable bottle, mist any cracks or holes. Although the wall should not be moist when putting the concrete, dampening the cracks or holes can help it adhere better. Spray any gaps with a handheld bottle of water before adding the concrete.
- Concrete should be used to fill any gaps or holes. Using a shovel, fill any gaps in the blocks or mortar. Fill the gaps and fractures as deeply as possible, then scrape the top with a trowel to allow the concrete to patch the wall together evenly.
Method #3. Replacement of Severely Damaged Bricks
- Remove the cinder block and mortar. Chip the cinder block into pieces with a plugging chisel and sledge. As you liberate each component of the block from the surrounding mortar, remove it in portions. Before installing the new block, chip out the mortar and wipe away any excess dust or dirt.
- To avoid eye injury, wear protective goggles while chipping the block out.
- Combine the mortar and pestle. Pour a bag of ready-mixed mortar into a bucket or wheelbarrow. Stir in the needed amount of water with a shovel until it has an equal consistency. Allow the mixture to settle for 3-5 minutes before putting it to the wall to allow the mortar to absorb moisture and better adhere to the cinder blocks.
- Apply mortar around the cavity’s edges. Apply a 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick layer of mortar using a trowel along the top, bottom, and sides of the empty gap in the wall. Maintain as even a layer as possible to avoid generating tight or slack sections in the wall.
- Install the new block. With a trowel, lay the new cinder block in position, then scrape away any extra mortar. Depending on the composition, allow the mortar to dry for 12-24 hours. The mortar should develop a light grey tint when it is dry and sturdy.
Tips to Repair Crumbling Cinder Block Wall
- Clean up the instruments you used to mix the concrete and mortar as soon as possible so nothing dries on them.
- If the cracks and holes persist after you have repaired them, you may need to consult a home repair professional to diagnose and fix the problem.
Q:1 My house was constructed in the 1940s and has a cinder-block foundation. It has chipped paint on the inside. Some of the bricks are eroding, although the damage is minor, measuring less than an inch deep. The wall has a subtle pink tint in several places. The wall, on the other hand, appears to be solid, with no bulging. How do I repair the wall (and, if necessary, remove the pink), and what should I fill and/or cover it with?
Ans: I never recommend painting basement walls with epoxy paint. It appears like moisture is passing through the concrete blocks. Do you see any mould? Begin by addressing water management issues outside the home:
- Repair any downspout issues, ensuring that water drains at least 10 feet away from your foundation.
- Make sure your yard slopes away from your foundation — preferably 6 inches over 10 feet;
- Install new gutters if necessary, and ensure that existing ones are not clogged.
Meanwhile, to keep the problem at bay, run a high-quality dehumidifier in your basement that doesn’t allow humidity to rise beyond 45 percent.
After you’ve handled your drainage issues, remove the paint and restore the mortar seams on the walls. Here’s how it’s done:
- Use a cold chisel and hammer to remove loose masonry.
- Thoroughly clean the area with a wire brush and remove dust with a shop vacuum.
- Fill the joint with new mortar, following the mixing and application instructions on the bag.
- Push the mortar into the junction and smooth it out with a U-shaped joint trowel.
- Remove any extra mortar while it is still wet.
Q:2 You mentioned tile grout breaking down and spilling water into the pan beneath, producing all sorts of problems. We just finished putting in a new shower with 1-inch floor tiles. I’m afraid it’ll spill someday. Is there any way to fix or care for this floor to avoid grout damage (other than not showering)? Should I use a certain type of sealant?
Ans: Hello, Ali, and thank you for taking the time to read this. I’m afraid that everything leaks at some point, but I’d seal your grout every two years. So, do the tiles themselves need to be sealed? A penetrating sealer should be applied to all unglazed tile and non-epoxy grout installations. This tile includes small defects that will collect filth and make your floor appear dirty.