Field stone basement is damp (shocking I know)

Old 04-25-21, 09:22 AM
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Field stone basement is damp (shocking I know)

Trying to deal with all things relating to rain and snow melt. House was originally built in 1870 with a field stone foundation. Some of the sections appeared to have had some type of mortar added back in (assuming it's not original). Other sections appear to be needing something to prevent cold air and moisture from coming in.

I would estimate about 75% to be in pretty good shape, and 25% of the stone needs attention. I'm wondering what is the easiest way to get them sealed up. I have read that there are different types or mortar that can be used but I don't know how to figure out which is best. I have also seen some basements in the area where someone went after the gaps with Great stuff or something similar, not sure if that would be easier/quicker/acceptable?

I also have plans to add some dirt (probably top soil, unless there is a better option) around the back side of the house to improve the grade. After getting a better slope away from the house (I'm thinking for about 5 feet, but not sure if it should be longer or shorter), covering that area in plastic then some type of stone/gravel to keep water away from the foundation. The sides and front of the house slope away (front has covered porch to further help) already, but the back roofs slope together. I was considering gutters for the back side of the house, but I'm concerned that the downspout would end up draining onto the driveway causing major ice issues in the winter.

In the picture (not the best angle) I wanted to do the slope away from the house near the blue bulkhead door.

Any thoughts on mortar mix vs. great stuff vs. other for filling in between the stones to prevent drafts.
Does ~5' feet of sloping dirt, covered by plastic then by gravel seem sufficient to move water away from the foundation?


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