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Robert Poore
Crumbling mortor on quarried limerock

My son has an older home, approx. 110 years old. Basement walls are quarried limestone mortored together. The mortor is old and crumbles to the floor with average pressure when using a sweeping action on the walls. The outside wall that is exposed above ground has a trowled mortor finish that is also cracking from age. The basement floor has also heaved from moisture under the floor over many years. My son has considered getting someone to lift the house, replace the walls with poured or concrete block. This is a very expensive process. Is there other options that we should consider before making such a large investment? I have built my own home years ago and have reasonable building and maintenance skills. I just don't know where to look for products or ideas that might save the exsisting walls. As for the basement floor we have good information on what to do.. My son was deployed to Afghanistan in July of 2011 and I am trying to assist my daughter-in-law with suggestions on what could be done to the basement walls...
Thank You to All..

Re: Crumbling mortor on quarried limerock

First I thank your son for his service.

I would say pointing is called for as well as parge repair. I don't like recommending DIY pointing. I would suggest you contact a mason because using the wrong mortar or improper installation can cause more harm than good. He should also be able to repair the parging on the outside walls.


Re: Crumbling mortor on quarried limerock

A good tuck-point mortar is Thoro Dri-Joint but it is hard to find and sometimes when you do find it it is old or has been stored in high humidity and does not perform properly. You need a special mortar that does not have much expansion/ contraction over time and temperatures. Otherwise a year or two later your mortar that was so carefully inserted into your joints has pulled away from the stone / brick.

You also want to dampen your cleaned out joints as you push mortar back into them for good adhesion. And don't do it in blazing hot weather.

Been there done that !

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