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Field Stone Foundation- Crumbling mortar

Posted: 4 Feb 2011 10:48 PM By: goose51683 Replies: 2

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  • Field Stone Foundation- Crumbling mortar

    HI, This is my first post.  I have a 110 yr old Victorian home with the original field stone foundation.  The problem is two fold.  Firstly the mortar in between all the stones is crumbling. Since this is my first home I have no idea what is involved in repairing this.  Secondly the foundation leaks, as soon as the weather warms a little i"m going to add some dirt to the outside to make more of a slope to the yard but if that doesn't fix it I'm not sure where to go.  Also are there any extra considerations I should know about because I would eventually like to finish the basement.

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  • Re: Field Stone Foundation- Crumbling mortar

    There are a couple more things you can do to keep water away from your foundation.  If you don't have gutters, consider adding them.  Put extensions on the downspouts to move all gutter water away.  As far as your crumbling mortar goes, it's a big job to redo it, but it is possible.  If it was me, I'd get a quote from a mason first, see what you're up against.  But basically the old mortar needs to be dug out, not completely, but  enough so you have room for the new.  You mix up a small batch of mortar in a tub and apply it with a mortar bag, which is kinda like a cake decorating bag on steroids.   With some kinds of stone, you may want to tool the mortar with a small trowel or brick pointing tool to get a smooth surface on the mortar.  K

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  • Re: Field Stone Foundation- Crumbling mortar

    Goose51683, Ken provided some excellent points.  You mention the house is 110 years old. Unfortunately, back then drainage tile and stone was not so common around the perimeter of the foundation.  While improving the exterior grade, proper gutters with downspouts and 'chinking' up interior foundation cracks is a must, it may not fully cure your problems.  You may need to dig around the exterior foundation to install a drainage system.  Likely the mortar joints on the exterior have deteriorated too so that would be the time to repair. You then could apply a below grade membrane and coating to further reduce the likelihood of leakage. Quite an undertaking, but I don't want to scare you.  As Ken noted you may want to get a couple estimates from stone masons and/or foundation experts.  Good luck and don't be overwhelmed!

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