Concrete blocks for retaining wall

If I build a raised flower bed using dense concrete blocks it is advisable to paint or otherwise treat the inside surfaces before filling with earth? Many thanks.
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On 12/08/14 16:34, Bert Coules wrote:

Totally unnecessary. Concrete blocks of exterior grade are happy to go under the soil
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/The Natural Philosopher - show quoted text - Totally unnecessary. Concrete blocks of exterior grade are happy to go under the soil /q
Perhaps but if the OP is planning to paint or render the outside of the retaining wall he would do well to address the penetrating damp issues that will occur..... BTDTGTTS
Jim K
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Thanks to everyone for the replies.
JimK wrote:

I have no definite plans as yet, but painting the outside is something I've thought about. With no internal treatment, does the penetrating damp affect even specialist masonry paint?
Bert
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On Tuesday, August 12, 2014 10:21:21 PM UTC+1, Bert Coules wrote:

FAIL.
NT
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I have absolutely no idea what that is meant to convey.
Bert
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On 13/08/2014 00:05, Bert Coules wrote:

It's a way of attracting attention. Just IGNORE :-)
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On Wednesday, August 13, 2014 12:05:04 AM UTC+1, Bert Coules wrote:

What you proposed will fail. No paint is going to stop evaporation adn thus salt crusting. If you want it to stay looking decent you need a waterproof layer on the inside.
NT
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Thanks for the explanation.
Bert
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/ JimK wrote:

retaining wall he would do well to address the > penetrating damp issues t hat will occur...
I have no definite plans as yet, but painting the outside is something I've thought about. With no internal treatment, does the penetrating damp affec t even specialist masonry paint?/q
IME yes, more than once! This was a weak mix rendered retaining low garden block wall (by others...) and it progressively looked mouldy, flaky, blew p arts off after frosts & was generally a bit crap. Annual painting with prop er stuff did not provide a solution. I "roofed"it in red cedar shingles in the end.
Jim K
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"JimK" wrote:

Ah, that's interesting, thanks Jim: cladding the outside is something I've considered (both on this new wall and the existing one that I mentioned in an earlier thread). So whatever you used to fix the shingles (mortar? adhesive?) wasn't affected by the penetrating damp?
Bert
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I wrote:

On reflection, did you fix battens and nail the shingles to them? ("Roofed" you said.) Stupid of me not to think of that.
Bert
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/Ah, that's interesting, thanks Jim: cladding the outside is something I've considered (both on this new wall and the existing one that I mentioned in an earlier thread). So whatever you used to fix the shingles (mortar? adhesive?) wasn't affected by the penetrating damp/q
Nah stainless steel screws into plugs in wall, with breathable roofing membrane between wall & shingles...
You need to include a vertical dpm or somesuch in your wall construction to hopefully avoid all that!
Good drainage under the raised bed, and some good dpm lining the 'back' of the wall, lapping a bit away from the wall at the base to 'steer' moisture away from the blockwork? You can get black dpm if you look about, rather than green or blues that seem to prevail.
Or how about a vertical layer of gravel to form a French drain around the inside of the wall??
Coping stones to reduce rain penetration from above maybe laid with mortar mixed with a waterproofer for belt & braces!?!
Jim K
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Jim, thanks for the detailed reply. One of the possibilities I considered (I've seen something like it done elsewhere) is to use those blocks with square holes ("Hollow blocks" are they?), fill the vertical cavities with soil and put ground-cover plants along the tops of the walls so they could trail down the outside, ivy-like. Under those circumstances the dampness of the outer surface might be a positive benefit, but I don't know just how much coverage of the vertical blockwork I could expect to achieve: any areas of bare blockwork that were left exposed might still look fairly raw and unattractive.
Bert
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/One of the possibilities I considered (I've seen something like it done elsewhere) is to use those blocks with square holes ("Hollow blocks" are they?), fill the vertical cavities with soil and put ground-cover plants along the tops of the walls so they could trail down the outside, ivy-like/q
How high a wall we talking? Those hollow blocks are intended to have rebar through them to stitch courses together and then filled with concrete... not sure how strong the wall would be if blocks filled with damp soil, nor what would happen in winter wrt spalling etc?
Jim k
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"JimK" wrote:

Three courses: something like 26 inches overall height. I understand the objections, but as I say, I have seen it done - though that was only a passing visit and I've no idea of its success or otherwise long-term.
Bert
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/Three courses: something like 26 inches overall height. I understand the objections, but as I say, I have seen it done - though that was only a passing visit and I've no idea of its success or otherwise long-term. /q
Or its' construction maybe? Might you have viewed those blocks 'end on' perhaps? As part of a much deeper & more usual hollow block retaining wall construction?
Just a thought:-)
Jim K
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"JimK"wrote:

Actually, I remember the builder explaining to me exactly how the wall was done: the holes in the blocks were aligned vertically right down to the footings and were filled with earth, with ground-cover alpine-type plants inserted one per cavity. That wall was four courses if I'm recalling it aright.
Bert
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/Actually, I remember the builder explaining to me exactly how the wall was done: the holes in the blocks were aligned vertically right down to the footings and were filled with earth, with ground-cover alpine-type plants inserted one per cavity. That wall was four courses if I'm recalling it aright.
Bert /q
That was some "passing visit"....:-)
Jim K
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I passed very slowly.
Bert
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