Clippings by blakk

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RE: Stone foundation (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: mainegrower on 07.15.2011 at 06:33 am in Old House Forum

Blakk: Not sure if you received my email yesterday, so a quick summary:

Wall in photo looks just like my cellar, right down to the old iron pipe.

This is what's called a rubble wall around here. Builders dug a trench and filled it with whatever stone was available - no mortar at the lowest level, then mortared in various size stones with or without some sort of form on the interior side. Once the exterior grade was reached, dressed stone blocks or brick was used to level off the foundation and bring it above grade level.

The most important maintainence is to make sure water stays diverted away from the foundation as much as possible. Gravity cellar drains fed by a perimeter gutter system were/are very common. No attempt was made to waterproof the whole thing.

Impossible to tell from the picture, but if your stones are also largely angular in shape, they are most likely granite or other very hard igneous rock. No worries about any sort of mortar doing damage because it's stronger than the rock itself.

I still think you will benefit from consulting with a mason or someone else knowledgeable about old house foundations. If yours is in as good shape as the one in the photo, little work would seem to be needed.


Reply from Mainegrower on 7/15/11
Regarding: Field Stone Foundation Repointing
clipped on: 07.16.2011 at 06:44 am    last updated on: 07.16.2011 at 06:46 am