Making Your Stone Foundation Looking Good With Dallas Foundation Repair
Owning an important property with an old stone foundation can be an interesting experience. Those with a powerful will and a sound pocketbook can be true caretakers of a chunk of history. The basis of that history is the straightforward, bold and strong field stone foundation wall.
Older buildings with a stone foundation will probably have the first stone facing visible on the exterior and interior of the building. However it was common to apply a coating of plaster to the inside foundation wall in the basement area, as a strategy of waterproofing so the stone would possibly not be plain from inside of the building.
Most of the original plaster would have worn off by today but if you are fortunate, you may run across an old stone foundation still in spotless condition but this would be the exception.
Usually after 30 - 50 years the foundation would have shifted cause cracks to appear in the foundation wall and it wasn't unusual to use a second to the foundation with a masonry cement stucco. If the second layer is cement stucco than it might indicate the 2nd coating was applied after the early 1900's, when mass produced cement stucco became available.
Regardless if plaster or stucco was applied to the walls, they will look lumpy as the individual stones shapes will show underneath the plaster or stucco.
What to search for -A lot of these older stone foundations were never well cared for and can challenge a building owner with problems ranging from water leakage, mortar turning into sand, loose stones and prominent walls. Anything beyond these few upkeep issues might be considered 'in failure' and may need an engineer's inspection.
Stone foundation walls that leak - It wasn't uncommon for these old stone foundation walls to leak. When they were originally constructed a hole was simply dug to the dimensions of the building and a trench dug where the walls were to be placed. Enormous field stones would be placed in the trench and became the bed stones of the foundation wall.
Drain tile were not in use around the foundations of older building so static pressure would've been a difficulty from the start relying or the soil type and topography. A quality builder would have trenched to sunlight from the low corner of the building site to take water away from the foundation, if the site authorized. The trench would be partly filled with rubble stones before covering but this simply drainage methodology would be an exception and not the rule.
Most of the older houses were constructed high off the ground to keep moisture small. The basement area for these homes where never intended to be used as living space so a little moisture would be been common and of no concern.
Stone foundation wall issues - Decades of water infiltration will cause degradation to the stone foundation walls. The result can be bulged walls from unnecessary static pressure or settlement of the foundation, deteriorated mortar joints from unnecessary moister or loose stones and missing mortar joints from easy aging and movement.
Bulged walls - This problem presents the most important hurdle for a building owner depending on the degree and seriousness of the prominent problem and the location within the foundation wall. Generally though, a little of the foundation wall can be removed and reconstructed but correct shoring must be in place to support the building load before you proceed. This should not be out of the range of a professional mason contractor and you need to seek their advice.
Loose stones and missing mortar - these things are easy to remedy. Loose stones should be taken out and re-set with fresh mortar. Care should be taken not to undermine any critical support areas inside the foundation. If you suspect an area of loose stone is carrying a beam load or other loads then consult Dallas Foundation Repair Professional for advice.
Holes and missing joints can be crammed with mortar or tuck-pointed to help tighten the foundation walls. Any brand of masons mix available at the local box store should be adequate.
After you have finished the repairs mentioned above you may wish to apply another layer of cement stucco. This will help to smooth out imperfections, close tiny holes, 'stiffen' the walls surface and hopefully provide some protection against water leaks.
Check yearly and make any obligatory foundation repairs instantly. By taking immediate action and implementing the repairs endorsed above you will be one step closer to keeping that old, stone foundation in shape.
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