Is this stone foundation ok?

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Old 06-30-15, 05:38 AM
S
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Is this stone foundation ok?

These are pictures of the foundation in the crawlspace of the 1909 house my wife and I are buying. I haven't come across anything that looks like this online, with stones that large and wide, and apparently not mortared. I wanted to get in there to look at the foundation, but changed my mind when I actually got there. I will need some coveralls, dust mask, gloves and goggles before going in there.

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I'm having a P.E. home inspector look at this house next week but the waiting is killing me.

Assuming the stones are perfectly stable and structurally sound, can I close up the crevices in the foundation with mortar to keep the critters and bugs out?

The basement is laid out like this (without the changes suggested in the picture):
[ATTACH=CONFIG]52657[/ATTACH]

The walls in the deeper part of the space look fine.
 
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Old 06-30-15, 06:55 AM
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Oh the joys of an old house.
It would be impossable for anyone on any web site to tell you if it's OK.
Just a few of the major issues you may or may not have to deal with in a house that old if no one's done any updating.
Old steel and cast plumbing.
Little or no insulation.
Under sized, over spanned insect or fungus effected floor joist.
Lack of proper plumbing vents.
Balloon wall constrution, so the walls are open from the crawl space to the attic.
Old leaky windows.
Old ungrounded under sized wiring and lack of enough outlets and to many on one circut.
I used to work on mostly 100 plus year old houses and every one was a money pit, thank god it was not my money.
 
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Old 06-30-15, 09:10 AM
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Are there any visible or noticeable problems with the foundation? If not you've should take some comfort in that it's lasted over 100 years so far. It would be good to find out if there is a footer under the foundation wall though I doubt it. Some walls respond to freeze thaw cycles when the stones are loose and free to find their happy spot with changing seasons. Your PE should be able to advise after looking at it.

Another issue with closing up all the gaps is crawl space ventilation. The gaps are naturally providing what is required by code today with dedicated vents. You might be better off letting the crawl space breathe as it's done for the past 100 years and insulate and vapor barrier the floor.
 
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Old 06-30-15, 03:36 PM
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It appears as though the plumbing, electrical wiring, and windows have been updated. Insulation is lacking big time.

There are camel crickets around the house, one reason I want to mortar up that foundation and eliminate their hiding spots.

I was thinking about insulating and sealing over the joists like this:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]52677[/ATTACH]

But its going to be tough insulating around that split log girder and those stone columns. Copious amounts of high density closed cell spray foam might be in order.


There's a window in one corner of the basement and bilco doors opposite the window that could be used for vents.
 
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Old 06-30-15, 06:27 PM
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Windows and access doors are not vents.
Far more important to insulate the walls and attic then the floor.
Any exterminator can come in a spray to kill those crickets.
 
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Old 07-01-15, 05:59 AM
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Luckily camel back crickets will pretty much stay in the crawl space, not migrate up into the home and they don't do damage. They will scare the poo out of you sometimes by jumping at you though.
 
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