It can be advantageous to build a garden up against a brick wall because it conserves space and makes use of the brick wall’s lovely backdrop.
As one of the biggest issues with having soil adjacent to a wall, protecting a brick wall from moisture can be accomplished by installing a barrier to prevent moisture from leaking into the wall’s foundation. Additionally, mulches and cloth ground cover can stop topsoil from splattering onto brick walls.
Moisture in the soil is the greatest threat a brick wall faces, and it must be dealt with to protect the home’s foundation.
You should go ahead and garden next to a brick wall if you want to, but there are a few things you should know before you start to avoid dampness and other problems that could arise from having soil close to a brick wall.
Protecting a Brick Wall from Soil
The brick veneer might frequently begin a few feet above the point where the foundation layer ends.
For this reason, you may first see a concrete layer in some buildings before bricks. In some instances, the veneer layer can be built to entirely encase the concrete foundation by extending all the way down to the soil layer.
Veneers may reach the ground in older homes. The weep holes are not necessarily blocked, though, because of this. The weep holes are still visible above the foundation layer because of the way the wall is built.
Only if there is moisture protection in place may dirt be placed on a brick wall without damaging the wall it is rubbing against.
The most common reason for foundation failure is moisture, so it is crucial to make sure that any garden built adjacent to a house is designed so that water can drain away from the structure.
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What product should you use to protect the brick?
There are numerous materials available that offer good advantages when it comes to keeping moisture from penetrating concrete, which can have disastrous repercussions on the foundation of a house.
Materials Used to Prevent Moisture Ingress into the Foundation –
Polyurethane coating –
This coating is synthetic and typically has a thickness of two to three times that of regular coatings.
The coating’s goal is to stop moisture from penetrating through the outside walls and into the interior spaces, where it can eventually lead to strains and cracks.
The surface should be thoroughly dry before applying the coating, and it should be free of any debris or filth that can cause it to flake off later.
Concrete Penetrant –
Penetrating sealants function by raising the concrete’s surface tension.
These materials will produce hydrophobic water-shedding, which means that instead of allowing water to sink into the sealed concrete surface, it will be immediately rejected from it.
At the molecular level, it lessens a substrate’s capacity to absorb moisture or stains.
A clean, dry surface should also be used for applying this coating.
Fiber Cement Board –
One of the best options for building materials that operate on home exteriors to stop moisture from penetrating into the foundation of the house is fiber cement board.
For water molecules to enter and become a problem, the holes in concrete fiber must be much larger.
If the edges are not sealed, the consequences of having the barrier there in the first place will be negated. The edges must be sealed to prevent moisture from passing as well.
Epoxy for Walls –
On cement-based substrates including concrete, plaster, cement mortar, and cement boards, epoxy functions as a protective and ornamental paint to keep moisture out.
The treated surface must be dry, stable, and free of any substances that would prevent bonding, such as grease, dust, and other loose particles.
Pool Liner –
On a garden bed, using a pool liner before adding soil and other substrates can assist prevent water from flowing the wrong way.
The wall surface nearest to the house where the garden will be located should have the plastic pool liner attached to it. On this liner, the garden is then built, starting from the house’s walls and moving outward.
Bitumen Paint –
Similar to epoxy, bitumen paint coats and shields the wall’s surface from the damaging effects that bare dirt can have on a wall.
It is fairly affordable, widely accessible, and simple to apply with a paintbrush.
Tree Root Barrier –
The wall will not be directly shielded from soil by a tree root barrier.
It actually acts as a hard barrier to stop growth in undesirable directions, preventing tree and plant roots from approaching your home.
By absorbing moisture and causing the soil beneath the foundation to sink, roots can develop cracks in the concrete of buildings and in the foundations of homes. The removal of the support from beneath the foundation creates a void, which increases pressure and leads to unintentional cracks.
Additionally, as the roots get bigger, they can exert more strain on the walls and foundation, leading to tension and cracks.
Visit our in-depth post here to learn more about roots and how they affect a concrete foundation.
To Prevent Splashing of Soil onto the Walls –
Black Felt Soil Cover–
It will keep moisture out and cost you very little.
The topsoil is covered with black felt to keep weeds out and allow rainwater to permeate the fabric into the soil.
It is a long-term alternative to mulching that doesn’t need to be changed out every year. After the soil and its supplements are added to your garden bed, it is spread on top of them.
Where the plants are to be planted, the necessary holes are cut out.
Use Mulch on the Soil –
When the plants are watered or when it rains, applying mulch on top of the soil can help prevent soil from splashing onto the wall.
Various ways to use
- shredded cedar bark
- Rock Mulch
- Mulling Rubber
The Effects of Water on Concrete
This concrete type is susceptible to damage by water. Because brick is so porous, it can soak up water like a sponge. Water absorption over time may result in cracking and crumbling.
Additionally, as the moisture inside the concrete structure freezes throughout the winter, it may crack.
Water molecules expand when they are frozen, putting a great deal of strain on the pore structure of bricks and concrete, which over time is readily cracked.
The concrete structure becomes more vulnerable each year due to freezing and thawing, which eventually causes failure.
The effects of rusting on concrete structures are similar to how water expands when rusting occurs.
Due to the fact that concrete has high compressive strength but low tensile strength, reinforcing steel is frequently incorporated into the concrete to increase tensile strength and ductility.
Rebar iron will rust because iron combines with water to generate iron oxide.
The concrete structure is put under a lot of strain due to the expansion of the iron rebar as it rusts.
Understanding the Building Code and Weep Holes
The American construction code may be broken in rare cases if earth is placed up against a brick wall.
This infraction occurs when the dirt you’re using in the garden blocks the weep holes in the brick.
According to codes, there must be a minimum of 4′′ between the top of the soil and the bottom of the course brick.
Weep holes allow water to escape while also allowing air to enter the space between the brick wall veneer and the inner wall framing.
Masonry walls must have weep holes, which must be installed between 18 and 24 inches apart, at the top of the foundation wall, below all window and door sills, at the top of all windows, doors, and other wall openings.
Water would not be able to come out onto interior surfaces to leave a water stain.
Therefore, you can shield interior walls and other surfaces from the impacts of the accumulation of moisture within the air cavity by keeping the weep holes free.
More information regarding weep holes and building codes can be found here.
The Effects of Concrete on Soil
In addition to how water affects concrete structures, concrete can also have an impact on soil through the chemicals it might leak into the environment.
Because cement and concrete include limestone (calcium carbonate), which can directly change soil pH by raising it to highly alkaline levels, they can have an impact on plants.
As the pH rises, soil minerals become less soluble and thus less soluble for plants to absorb.
– Step 2: Mark the Trench Outline. … Rubber Mulch
Recommendations for Gardening Close to your home
- On this type of concrete, water can wreak havoc. Brick can soak up water like a sponge because it is incredibly porous. Crumbling and cracking might develop over time as a result of water absorption.
- The concrete structure may also break as a result of moisture within it expanding upon freezing in the winter.
- The pore structure of bricks and concrete is put under a great deal of strain over time by the expansion of water molecules when they freeze, which causes them to readily shatter.
- The concrete structure becomes less durable over time due to yearly freezing and thawing, which will eventually cause failure.