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Fiber Cement Parging

JohnD1's picture

Have any of you folks worked with fiber cement as a parge to reinforce a cement block wall?

I have a foundation wall that borders on a driveway, and when the concrete truck came in for the addition, it caused the wall to be noticeably bowed in.

I want to fix that (along with the sewer line that I didn't know was in the driveway).  After digging out the driveway and pushing in the block, I was thinking of having it parged with a fiber cement for strength.

Edited 1/31/2007 3:07 pm ET by JohnD1

(post #103201, reply #1 of 10)

Do you mean the quikwall product that is designed for dry-stacked block?  Its a great product, but the fibers are 1/2", and not much help spanning block that has mortar between them.  I imagine it would reinforce the wall somewhat, but not enough.  Maybe you have another product in mind.

I would recommend knocking out one side of a row of blocks, adding rebar and filling the cores with grout.


Treat every person you meet like you will know them the rest of your life - you just might!
Treat every person you meet like you will know them the rest of your life - you just might!

(post #103201, reply #2 of 10)

My understanding is that you do not use mortar in the joints for that very reason, the fibers will not span the mortar joint.  What I have read says to dry stack, then parge.

(post #103201, reply #10 of 10)

Thanks for all the help.  I read about the dry stack idea, but the web site also said that it would work on mortared walls as well, so I thought I would ask you folks.  I seem to recall an article in FHB about it being used to improve the strength of a foundation.

In response to the sewer comments: The sewer runs under the driveway and I am sure that it needs repair.  But, I have every plan on checking it out before doing the work.

(As an aside, I also want to replace the lead pipes supplying my water.  They also run under the driveway.)

Regarding the bulging wall comments:  I was not counting on the fiber cement it to fully support the wall.  The house has been standing since 1920, and the bulge is annoying but not really serious.  I thought that since the driveway would probably be excavated for the sewer rework, it would be a good time to also fix the wall, strengthen it a little, and improve the waterproofing (I was also planning on adding an outside drain tile that could be coupled into the drain tile that was installed when the addition was built about ten years ago).

(post #103201, reply #3 of 10)

There's a description in here: of an interesting way to reinforce a block wall. The article is called "stabilizing a concrete block foundation wall". Unlike the author of the article, I would use PT wood where it is going to be both below grade and in contact with a block foundation.


(post #103201, reply #4 of 10)

That doesn't sound right. Parging, from what i understand, is to keep out moisture. Either below grade, or above grade on deteriorating masonry/brick. It's not a structural product in itself.

Regular parging material eventually starts to go bad above grade without any maintenance. i know more synthetic manufacturers claim to adhere and last better (i.e., Total Wall). They might be 'stronger' than the traditional parging, but they don't add noticeable structural value (aside from keeping out moisture that will reduce integrity).

(post #103201, reply #5 of 10)

Quikwall is a structural parging (surface bonding cement), but as others pointed out, only for dry-stacked walls.  It is reputed to be something like 6 times stronger than mortared cmus.

I have built some walls that would be buried with it, but its difficult to keep the wall flat, plumb and straight, which is a good argument for traditional mortar.  Of course I still have trouble there, which is why I hire a mason for anything but the smallest block jobs.


Treat every person you meet like you will know them the rest of your life - you just might!
Treat every person you meet like you will know them the rest of your life - you just might!

(post #103201, reply #8 of 10)

i'm a middle-aged man with an old man's prejudices :)

i'm not disparaging the product. But if the OP has a bowing foundation wall i'm guessing the material will be a band-aid at best. i'd hate for the original poster to think a quick thin veneer of parging will hold back the downward force of a second concrete truck parked next to his foundation. I have more faith in steel and grout.

(post #103201, reply #9 of 10)

I'm a middle-aged man with an old man's prejudices :)

Me too!  85000.2

Treat every person you meet like you will know them the rest of your life - you just might!
Treat every person you meet like you will know them the rest of your life - you just might!

(post #103201, reply #6 of 10)

You need to get foundation repair contractor in before you even start to repair the sewer line.

They will probably use something like a heli anchor thru the wall into the soil under the driveway, which is why the repairman should be talked to before working on the drive. It mgiht be better for them to anchor into a deadman buried in the drive area.

After the foundation is repaired would be the time to parge for looks and waterproofing.


Guys that don't do things correctly the first time.....then argue that they did nothing wrong.....if made to agree to fix the problem, rarely put the time and effort into truely doing it properly. they'll just look for the quickest fix to appease you and get their money. JDRHI   84310.51 

A Pragmatic Classical Liberal, aka Libertarian.

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(post #103201, reply #7 of 10)

I used Surewall to make extensive repairs to a block barn wall about 15 years ago - it's still doing fine, even though the wall had previously been assembled with mortar.  Be aware that the warrantee, if any, won't cover these circumstances...