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sjdupstateny
Advice for repointing stone foundation

Have a farmhouse in upstate ny and would like to repoint the interior of the basement foundation. The house was built in 1835 and was told that lime and sand was used when laying stone foundation. Completing curtain/french drains this summer to insure a dry basement. Anyone know what type of mix to buy or create that will be compatable with the original? Have heard that commerically available mortar is too stiff and will cause problems in the long run. Any experience/advice is appreciated.

nylicens
Re: Advice for repointing stone foundation

Hi. I have a similar question. I am also in upstate (Rochester) but my place is much newer (1892). I am using quikrete to parge the interior walls of my rubble foundation. It is not easy to use, so I was looking for something with more "sticktothewallity". If you have an organization in your area (we have something called the landmark society) that preserves and restores old homes, they'd be the ones to call for advice. I know our LMS runs classes on mixing the correct lime mortar for cobblestone houses, restoring old windows, and etc.

Hank Bauer
Re: Advice for repointing stone foundation
sjdupstateny wrote:

Have a farmhouse in upstate ny and would like to repoint the interior of the basement foundation. The house was built in 1835 and was told that lime and sand was used when laying stone foundation. Completing curtain/french drains this summer to insure a dry basement. Anyone know what type of mix to buy or create that will be compatable with the original? Have heard that commerically available mortar is too stiff and will cause problems in the long run. Any experience/advice is appreciated.

You should check with one of the following.
Virginia Lime Works they have a Lime mortar that contains no Portland cement this would be the correct product to use ,ask about the NHL materials.
Also ask to speak with Jeffery Price he will lead you in the right direction.
Also check with U S Heritage Group www.usheritage.com
look at Historically- Authentic Lime Mortars.
Perpared lime puddy mortar Before 1872.
DO NOT USE PRODUCTS containing PORTLAND CEMENT it will cause problems.

sjdupstateny
Re: Advice for repointing stone foundation

Thanks for the info. I was told a while back that portland cement is too stiff and would cause problems, I just didn't know what else to use. I will check out your recommendations. Thanks again.

goodlady
Re: Advice for repointing stone foundation

We too live in an old field stone farmhouse built in 1845. So what are the problems using portland cement? We have used that in our mix in the past without any problems.

Phil
Re: Advice for repointing stone foundation

Hi;
I have a stone foundation in my house and have finally tracked down a mortar that while it has some portland cement in it - it has lime in it and a higher sand content that apparently is closer to what was originally used to build stone foundations.

Seems the main issue surrounding stone foundations is that there is a mountain of opinion out there, but very little imperical evidence, and apparently those with the knowledge (ie: those in the business) are reluctant to share their knowledge - which leads me to believe it is more smoke and mirrors than it would seem. Again, just my opinion on the pile.:)

Hank Bauer
Re: Advice for repointing stone foundation

You could get very good info from the following articals.
Preservation Brief # 2
American Cement, By Uriah Cummings
Why using modern mortars can damage a Historical House, By John P. Speweik
The need for old buildings to breathe, By Philip Hughes
Masonry Contracting. August 1996

canuk
Re: Advice for repointing stone foundation
tondra wrote:

Hi;
I have a stone foundation in my house and have finally tracked down a mortar that while it has some portland cement in it - it has lime in it and a higher sand content that apparently is closer to what was originally used to build stone foundations.

Seems the main issue surrounding stone foundations is that there is a mountain of opinion out there, but very little imperical evidence, and apparently those with the knowledge (ie: those in the business) are reluctant to share their knowledge - which leads me to believe it is more smoke and mirrors than it would seem. Again, just my opinion on the pile.:)

Does make you wonder ---- concrete = portland cement + water + stone . What ill effect does this have?

Hank Bauer
Re: Advice for repointing stone foundation
canuk wrote:

Does make you wonder ---- concrete = portland cement + water + stone . What ill effect does this have?

Yes Canuk you are correct about the Formular.
The ill effects will be the deteration of the lime and sand mortar around the portland cement material.If you were to remove ALL the LIME mortar and use all portland there would be no PROBLEM between the stone and cement mortar.
I must state that no failure will be visable for the first, say about 5 years but from there on you will be able to see the failed areas and these areas will progress.
Also I would like to state that contractors and owners and anyone else that wishes can mix the two materials during repairs.
Now this is were I make the profits.
At this date I have repaired the interior of an 1841 building which I had informed the contractor that the product being used was going to fail and this statement was made April 2008.
February 2010 I was called to do interior plaster repair.
Now this is were it gets to be profitable Cost was $ 00,000.00 the first number is greater than 7 and repair was completed in 16 days. I love it.
Another good place to check on lime mortar www.historic-scotland.gov.uk

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