Minimal Expanding Foam or Mortar?

Some of you may recall my question about repairing this crumbling block:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/69/badcinder.jpg/
You'll note that there is an entry door to the right of the crumbling block.
I ended up replacing both the door (old wooden door with a rotting threshold) and the block.
In both the original installation and the new, there is a gap between the end of the block and the bottom foot or so of the door jam. If you look at the picture, that thin strip of material directly under the jack stud is a strip of mortar between the block and the old door jam.
There was a duplicate strip of mortar on the other side of the door which came out when the old door was removed. I now have to fill these gaps to finish sealing the door.
The left side gap is a little bit less than an inch wide and the right side is just under 2 inches. On the exterior side, there is a piece of aluminum flashing that is nailed to the brickmold with a flange that used to hide the original mortar strip. In other words, if you look through the gap between the block and the door jamb from the inside, you can see the "back" of the flange that used to be up against the wall.
My question: Should I mix up some mortar and use a mortar bag to squeeze mortar into the gaps or should I take the easy way out and just use minimal expanding foam? Eventually I plan to parge the block inside and out and I'm wondering if I can parge the foam on the interior also or will it always be visible?
Thanks for any advice.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Since you eventually plan on parging the block anyway, my vote would be to fill the gaps now with mortar.
Expanding foam can be a mess to work with, and it can expand too much and can be a pain to trim.
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-snip-

I'd use that mortar/caulk in a tube, myself.

??? Especially someplace where it won't be seen, how hard is it to wait until it is cured and knock off the high spots with a dull knife, sharp knife, block of wood-- heel of your boot. . . .?
Jim
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wrote:

Multi purpose HF tool works for me. Wait a few days until sets up hard and then is easy to trim. I used the blue can of "Great Stuff" WW
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I "mortared" in a single concrete block with expanding foam a couple of years ago. Drain for a washing machine had been run through the block and it crumbled and had to be replaced. New block was cut on a masonry saw to allow the drain to pass through. We placed a couple of shims beneath the block and shot the spaces around it with "great stuff". Whether or not I would do the same again would depends on whether or not there was ever going to be any kind of stuctural load placed on it.
Jimmie
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Personally, I'd use mortar. And I wouldn't mess with a mortar bag, just push it in with a putty/broad knife then slice/wipe off any excess.
--

dadiOH
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That's kind of where I was leaning. I can control the mortar a little better, especially on the exterior where the foam is going to try and squeeze out around the flashing.
I bought a 2" x 5" straight trowel the other day which will help with this and some other patch jobs that I might as well do as long as I'm mixing up mortar.
It's amazing the things you don't notice that need fixing until you start fixing something else. This all started when I went out to the garage to grab something out of the freezer. I noticed a "tail" going around the corner behind an old desk that was blocking the door. When I pulled the desk out to see if there was something living back there, I noticed the crumbling block. Once I started working on that I noticed that the door (which hasn't been used in years) had a rotten threshold. After I pulled the door, I found that the block under the threshold could use a little patching too.
I may end up rebuilding the garage by the time I'm done!
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This is where comon sense has to step in, you seem to have a fair amount of that, and a sense of humor too.
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I would take some time to make sure the gutters and downspouts are all free and clear... With that downspout extension passing underneath the doorway it looks like there were water issues in the past in that corner of your garage...
Time and an excess of water will result in what you are dealing with now...
I would seriously consider more than just parging the block -- it looks like it needs some stabilization and a waterproofing applied...
~~ Evan
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You don't need to tell me about downspouts and gutters!
I have to clean them at least 3 times a year. Twice in the spring and then again before winter.
As far as water damage, it's interesting to note that the majority of the deterioration of the block in that corner is *inside* the garage. As you can tell from the pics, except for right next to the aluminum trim near the brickmold, the parging on the exterior is intact. However, the parging (and block) on the inside is where the problem is.
The garage is dry on the inside, but note the lack of used-to-be-there parging on the interior side of the block.
The sill plate in that corner is dry as is the floor, yet the block is in pretty bad shape.
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How long have you lived in that house ?
A previous owner may have waterproofed and parged the exterior of the block wall after the water damage was already done...
Sealing out additional water but stopping short of repairing what had been waterlogged...
~~ Evan
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re: How long have you lived in that house ?
26 years.
I know that the house was built in '56. I'm also pretty sure that the door was installed in '62 based on the newspapers I found stuffed in the blocked under the threshold. I'm pretty sure it was wasn't just replaced in '62 since the jack studs and header don't match the rest of the studs in the garage.
The entire foundation wall on that side of the house is parged on the exterior, but it's the only exterior wall that's parged. It's also the side of the house (west) that's most exposed to the weather.
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