Making good a garden wall

I have a garden wall 3' high by 10' and it slants into the top bed whic
it supports. I doesn't seem to have too much cement between the brick so I don't know if it's a dry wall - there's a lot of weeds inbetwee
the bricks which I have applied weed killer to. Anyway, what I though I'd do is spread cement over it and apply stone like exterior tiles t it. Now do you think this would work and are there lightweigh exterior stone-look tiles or will I have to spend 2,500 having i rebuilt properly? (I'd rather not!) Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks
-- Ladybodger
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Ladybodger Wrote:

Hello,
What is wrong with it apart from the weeds?
Do you just want to do this to make it look better? If yes then don' worry too much about the weeds, they will die off pretty quick as yo have weed killed them and when you cover them with cement they won' survive.
I would say you need to have a bit of a foundation at the bottom ( sort of shelf) which your "tiles" will sit on. You will need to put i a small foundation made from concrete about 5 inches deep and 4 inche wide would be enough. Or if the earth there is hard enough I think yo could forget the foundation.
I think places like B&Q and large garden centres will sell moulde stone slabs which are just what you are looking for, they will loo like a coursed stone wall when all assembled, but they are just "tiles which you stick to your wall with cement.
So yes, you do just mix the cement, slap it on the wall about 1/2 inc - 1 inch thick and put your tiles / slabs on to that.
If you don't have anything foundation to build on and are just relyin on the ground to hold your first course up, I suggest you only do on course all the way along, and leave it to dry before you do any mor above.
If you do have a foundation all ready or if you make one, you can d two courses on the first day.
If I am wrong about the stores selling tiles that look like course stonework, you could just use stone or slate (real or manufactured random shaped paving slabs, if they are too big you could hit them wit a hammer into various smaller random shapes.
When you do the cement/mortar mix try using the raw materials rathe than the ready mix stuff. The ready mix stuff "just add water" i expensive way to do it. Cheaper to buy a bag of cement and three bag of sharp or builders sand. Mix it 4 shovels of sand to 1 shovel o cement. add water to the dip in the middle and feed the dry stuff int the water from around the edge. Then mix it up until it is wet, bu able to "stand up" when you make ridges in it with the shovel. Yo don't want it too wet that it spreads out and can't "stand up". Bewar buying your cement too, buy it from what you think will be a regularl used supplier "builders merchant" or BIG diy warehouse. I never bu from a local small Diy place because the cement may have been there fo a long time (and it does go off).
hth Wi
-- wig
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wig Wrote: > Hello,

> worry too much about the weeds, they will die off pretty quick as you > have weed killed them and when you cover them with cement they won't > survive.

> sort of shelf) which your "tiles" will sit on. You will need to put in > a small foundation made from concrete about 5 inches deep and 4 inches > wide would be enough. Or if the earth there is hard enough I think you > could forget the foundation.

> stone slabs which are just what you are looking for, they will look > like a coursed stone wall when all assembled, but they are just "tiles" > which you stick to your wall with cement.

> - 1 inch thick and put your tiles / slabs on to that.

> on the ground to hold your first course up, I suggest you only do one > course all the way along, and leave it to dry before you do any more > above.

> two courses on the first day.

> stonework, you could just use stone or slate (real or manufactured) > random shaped paving slabs, if they are too big you could hit them with > a hammer into various smaller random shapes.

> than the ready mix stuff. The ready mix stuff "just add water" is > expensive way to do it. Cheaper to buy a bag of cement and three bags > of sharp or builders sand. Mix it 4 shovels of sand to 1 shovel of > cement. add water to the dip in the middle and feed the dry stuff into > the water from around the edge. Then mix it up until it is wet, but > able to "stand up" when you make ridges in it with the shovel. You > don't want it too wet that it spreads out and can't "stand up". Beware > buying your cement too, buy it from what you think will be a regularly > used supplier "builders merchant" or BIG diy warehouse. I never buy > from a local small Diy place because the cement may have been there for > a long time (and it does go off).

Thanks so much Wig, that's really helpful - now I can't wait for the nice weather so I can get cracking! I do usually buy 'just add water cement' because I never knew the mix, and of what to mix, and if it was different for different jobs - so you've helped me very much. Thank you.
--
Ladybodger


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Ladybodger Wrote: > Thanks so much Wig, that's really helpful - now I can't wait for the > nice weather so I can get cracking! I do usually buy 'just add water > cement' because I never knew the mix, and of what to mix, and if it was > different for different jobs - so you've helped me very much. Thank > you.
You will of course need more than 1 bag cement and three bags sand, I just said that because that will be more than enough for you to carry home in your car and start off with. You might need 3 bags of cement (or more) for the whole job and more sand.
Forgot to say mix the dry mix (sand&cement) up before adding water.
--
wig


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And ask in your local builders merchant and DIY super stores, for them to show you what they suggest for you to use as "facing" stonework for you to put on an existing stone wall.
--
wig


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Ladybodger wrote:

was
A 3' retaining wall is quite able to kill children and animals, cripple adults and result in law suits. If much of the mortar is missing, it is most likely dangerous.
One logical solution is to clear out the mess between the bricks and insert fresh mortar. Suitable mix depends on brick type, but 1:1:6 is normally fine. Muck can be got out with a big angle grinder. Obviously it is important not to clear much out at once, as youre taking away the walls support in places and its already iffy.
The other logical solution is to rebuild it. You can just pull it down and build, but if you do that theres always a risk of earth collapse, plus any structure near the ex-wall, and those can cause injuries etc too.
Finally I would not buy just add water mixes, but mix your own, otherwise youre liable to end up with an unsuitable mix. Hard bricks: 3:1 sand:cement by volume soft (eg Victorian) bricks: 1:1:6 lime:cement:sand
Do not add a mortar face to the wall, this will trap water and may increase the load on it substantially. As well as not solving the problem. Can cause other problems too.
NT
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snipped-for-privacy@meeow.co.uk Wrote: >

> cripple

> is

HI again,
I got the impression this is just a small retainer wall in a garden. No mention was made of nearby buildings or other.
The lack of mortar between the current stones would only make it possibly dangerous *if* the wall was initially built with mortar, if it was built without mortar initially then it is likely to be as strong today as the day it was built.
I would think any water behind the wall would just go "underneath" it into the lower bed.
The wall slants into the upper bed (as it should) and even if "facing" it were to trap water and cause collapse it would not "topple", it would "slump" without seeing the site, I doubt this would be dangerous.
Ladybodger, if you are concerned about trapped water....even if you are not concerned it would be good idea to either leave some areas along the base of the wall uncovered (i.e. no mortar and tiles on). OR you can put some plastic pipes through any current gaps you have in between stones before you build the face. FOr example if there is a gap between stones within the first 6-8 inches from the base of the wall. You might be able to first hit a stick through the gap then pull it out and push a plastic pipe through. Fill the end of the pipe which will be behind the wall with a piece of wire wool before you push it through - so it doesn't block up with soil. Use plastic (or copper) pipes depending on what you have lying around and depending on the size of the hole available to you. You could use for example 15mm plastic pipe or copper pipe, 22mm, 32mm 40mm even (given a big enough hole) a piece of old 60 - 70mm drain pipe.
Then face the wall working round these pipes, and cut them off flush afterwards.
Ladybodger, if the garden behind the wall keeps rising beyond 3ft, i.e. if it slopes upwards to a height of 6ft or more, then you should be more cautious. The wall you have has successfully retained whatever behind it for donkeys years, but a build up of water could change all that, hence, the weep holes are a good idea. The higher the ground is behind the wall the more concerned you need to be. If you are concerned just post back here a more indepth description of what you have.
--
wig


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wig wrote:

it
No
no, so we dont know if theyre there or not. Ditto concrete paths and so on, any of which might be partially supported indirectly by the wall.

it
agreed - we dont really know enough about it.

yes, but that would take time. Also we dont know if the soil is heavy clay, or whats going on.

"facing"
we really dont know, as we dont know the shape or degree of slope. Nor what its supporting.

are
the
put
stones
might
push a

the
on
of
that'll work. I'd be more tempted to use tapered sticks from the garden, cement with them sticking out, then pull them out after several days. if I were rendering anyway, which I wouldnt.

i.e.
more
behind
that would help a lot.
Rendering is still liable to cause earlier failure though, and unnecessary, except as a temporary measure for a wall thats in a terrible state, ie bricks disintegrated.
NT
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On Wed, 27 Apr 2005 16:31:48 +0100, Ladybodger

This is a relativly simple DIY job, it takes some time to do, but is not hard nor expensive. 2.5 grand for a rebuild is a RIP OFF.
I did a similar wall, what I did
Did one spade width down behind the wall, so there was no soil on it.
Knock wall down carefully, keeping as many of the bricks as possible, clean off all the loose dirt and stuff. If you need extra bricks, buy them now, and mix them in.
Foundation trench, one spade wide, 1 spade deep. Fill with concette to 2 inches below bottom of wall. Build wall, slowly with care - huge sence of acheivment comes in here. If its a bit wonkey, that called "character". Mine took literally weeks (but is bigger than yours), as I woked slowly, also I was doing the divorce thing at the time, the wall was very theraputic. Home from work, open a beer, and build a couple of foot of wall.
The major work is mixing the concrete / mortar. If possible get your hands on a mixer, you can sell it on at the end if you take care of it.
Make garden good.
I reckon the total price will be neerer a couple of hundred quid, which is a huge saving.
My second brickwork project is a house.
Enjoy Rick
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