Stone veneer crumbling along bottom of exterior wall

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Old 03-15-14, 09:14 PM
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Stone veneer crumbling along bottom of exterior wall

Who do I get to replace some crumbling stone?

Over the nine years we have owned this house, the bottom of the stone wall behind the garage has slowly been flaking off. The sod was touching the house, so seven years ago I cut it back, but that did not slow down the disintegration. I don't know if this just a row of defective limestone or if there is a water leak that we've never discovered even with plumbers out to check it out.

I was wanting to know what caused this to happen before fixing it but now I'm ready to just fix it and hope for the best.

In this photo, the affected, 26sf of stone is outlined in yellow. The 13sf of stone outlined in blue looks fine but might be slightly affected due to its proximity.



I've talk to stone masons, but I get the feeling that they might not be up to the task since there could be a lot of weight on those bottom stones. I just want to get this fixed, even if the whole wall has to be replaced. Any ideas?
 
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Old 03-16-14, 03:56 AM
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Lime stone is a very soft porous stone.
Lack of enough roof over hang, no gutter, no drain tile, no slope away from the foundation are going to cause splash back and water wicking up the wall.
 
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Old 03-16-14, 05:00 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

What did the masons say about fixing it?
 
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Old 03-16-14, 10:54 AM
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It wouldn't surprise me if something (nitrogen, phosphates?) in lawn fertilizer used near the wall, over time, has caused the stone to disintegrate. After the defective members are replaced, you might have better luck by applying a clear sealer to the lower 2' or so of all stone walls.

A good stone mason will be able to replace the deteriorated members without redoing the entire wall. You just haven't found one yet.
 
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Old 03-16-14, 11:27 AM
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Thanks, marksr!

They said that they'd never seen anything like this before. Were concerned about the entire wall collapsing (I guess it'd be like Tetris once you complete a row!). Figured they'd have to do a section at a time rather than remove all the bad stone first then put back new stone. Just didn't give me confidence. I was thinking I might need someone who dealt with larger, structural-integrity issues rather than someone who just builds stuff.
 
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Old 03-16-14, 11:34 AM
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BridgeMan45, okay, thanks. So a mason is what I need after all.

It's just a walkway there, not a lawn, per se, so I doubt if it's been fertilized. What kind of sealer should I use? Is there such a thing as "stone sealer?"
 
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Old 03-16-14, 11:47 AM
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Good points, joecaption1. It's only a one-foot overhang back there, which I don't think is very much, but there is a gutter, which should have prevented a lot of splash back from dripping off the roof. I live in central Texas, so I don't think drain tiles are a thing here abouts--no basements.

There is definitely no slope away from the foundation, which is probably the root cause even though I made sure that the sod doesn't touch the stone. The house backs up to a slope down towards the house. It has been very wet back there in the old days when we used to have actual rain. :-) It's been very dry in the last few years, but the crumbling has continued. That's why I haven't thought it was due to water wicking. I guess it could be, though.

Therefore, my current plan is find a good stone mason, have them replace the stone, and find someone who can grade the ground around my house.
 
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