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Strange Foundations on Federation-era Home

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Strange Foundations on Federation-era Home

    This is my first post, so hello and HELP!!!

    I was digging directly beside the foundations of my federation-era home on the weekend when I encountered something very strange.

    Running parallel to the wall were two rows of very old bricks. The two rows ran the full length of the wall and were spaced about 2 inches apart.

    I had planned to run a pipe down that side of the house but I'm not sure if I can safely remove the bricks.

    Could these bricks serve a structural purpose? Was this a common building method at the turn of the 20th century?

  2. #2
    Golden Member
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    Feb 2008
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    Sydney
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    Default

    From your description it is hard to tell. I assume this pair of courses are on the outside and not i=under the floor? It sounds like some sort of surface drain, though an odd one if it is. Maybe protection for underground wiring, but why the gap in between?

    There area few questions to ask, but a photo or two may answer these:

    Are the courses of brick mortared together? Or just sitting loose in the soil?
    Is it just one brick deep? Or more?
    Is there any evidence of a drain between the parallel courses?

    So gve us some photos to help our thinking ....!
    Do the courses start or end anywhere that might say something?

  3. #3
    4K Club Member
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    Geelong
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    Default

    My grandmas old house had something very similar, in that case it was a surface drain to take water away from the house, the gutters dropped into the brick lined channel which then led to the street, if they are not mortared together just lift a couple and dig down a foot and have a look

  4. #4
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    Default

    Yep, sounds like a spoon drain to me, but photos are essential to confirm this.

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