Stone Foundation Repair – What to do?


Owning a historic property with an old stone foundation can be an interesting experience. Those who have a strong will and a sound portfolio can be true keepers of a story. The foundation of this story is the simple, bold and solid stone foundation wall.

Ancient buildings with a stone foundation will usually have the original stone visible on the outside and inside the building. However, it was common to apply a plaster coating to the inner foundation wall in the basement area as a means of waterproofing so that the stone was not visible from inside the building .

Most of the original plaster Were tired today, but if you are lucky you risk crossing an old stone base still in state of preservation, 39; exception.

Usually after 30 to 50 years the foundation would have changed the cracks to appear in the foundation wall and it was not uncommon to apply a second to the foundation with a stucco Of masonry cement. If the second layer is cement stucco, this would indicate that the second coating should be applied after the early 1900s when the cement stucco produced in series became available.

Whatever it may be, if plaster or stucco has been applied to the walls, they will see dull as the individual shapes of the stones will appear under the plaster or stucco.

What to look for -A lot of these older stone foundations have never been properly maintained and can challenge the owner of a building with problems ranging from Water leaks, mortar that turns into sand, loose stones and bulging walls. Something beyond these few maintenance problems could be considered "down" and may need an engineer inspection.

Leaked stone foundation walls – It was not uncommon for these ancient stone foundation walls to leak. When they were originally built, a hole was simply dug out of the dimensions of the building and a dug trench where the walls were to be placed. Large stones of land would be placed in the trench and become the bedrock of the foundation wall.

Drainage tiles were not used around the foundations of an older building, so static pressure would have been a problem from the start or the type of soil and topography . A high quality builder would have been dug in the daylight from the bottom of the site to remove the water from the foundation, if the site permitted. The trench would be partially filled with rubble stones before covering, but this drainage technique would simply be an exception and not the rule.

Most of the old houses were built at high temperature to keep the humidity to a minimum. The basement of these houses where it has never been used as living space, so a little moisture would have been common and uninteresting.

Wall stone bottom problems – Decades of water infiltration Causes deterioration of stone foundation walls. The result may be curved walls of excessive static pressure or settlement of the foundation, mortar joints deteriorated from excessive mortar or loose stones and mortar joints missing from simple aging and movement.

Curved walls – This problem presents the biggest obstacle for a building owner depending on the degree and severity of the bulging problem and location in the wall of foundation. Generally, a portion of the foundation wall may be removed and rebuilt, but adequate pull-off must be in place to support the building load before proceeding. This should not be out of the reach of an experienced masonry contractor and you should ask for their advice.

Loose stones and mortar missing – These items are simple to remedy. Bulk stones must be removed and reassembled with fresh mortar. Care must be taken not to undermine critical support areas within the foundation. If you think a loose stones area carries a beam load or other loads, consult a professional for advice.

Missing holes and joints can be filled with mortar or butt-joints to help tighten the foundation walls. Any brand of masonry blend available on the local store should be adequate.

Once you have completed the repairs mentioned above, you would like to apply another layer of cement stucco. This will help smooth out imperfections, close small holes, "stiffen" the surface of the walls and hopefully protect you from water leaks.

Check the foundation annually and make any necessary repairs immediately. By taking immediate action and implementing the repairs recommended above, you will be a little closer to keeping this old stone foundation.


Source by Michael Olding

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