6 Stone Basement Wall Repair Tips
Stone basement walls may not be common in modern properties, but if you have an older home you will still need to learn about stone basement wall repair. By repairing the wall, you will ensure that the home is stronger and resistant to the elements. Stone basement wall repair is easy, as long as you follow these simple tips.
Concentrate on the Joints
Stone is a very strong natural product that has existed for thousands of years. The stone itself isn't likely to suffer much damage. Most of the damage to basement walls will be to the mortar joints. Check the mortar joints, but don't completely ignore the health of the stone. Sometimes, stress can cause cracks in stone walls, but that is fairly rare.
Mix Hydraulic Cement
If there are any cracks in the wall, then they should be filled with hydraulic cement. Never touch the hydraulic cement with your bare hands while you are mixing it. The caustic chemicals will burn your skin.
Either wear a pair of gloves or put the cement mix in a plastic bag and use your fingers to mix it together through the plastic bag. Hydraulic cement will get slightly warm when it is mixed, but it will cool when it's ready to be applied.
Check for Loose Stones
Start from the outside of the house. Dig a trench down the wall on the section under repair. Doing so allows access to all of the stones. Remove loose or damaged stones. If they come out easily, then they need to be scrubbed with a wire brush before they can be cemented back into place.
Stone walls are very durable. If the mortar deteriorates, however, then the wall will fail very quickly. Once the mortar starts to break down, it will allow moisture, which will compound the problem.
It's important to concentrate on regular maintenance projects to ensure that your wall does not deteriorate. A few hours spent each month maintaining your wall prevents expensive repairs later.
If your basement is damp or moldy, then you can resolve the problem by installing a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier is a rubber sheet which is simply fixed to the internal walls. The normal wall covering is then replaced over this rubber membrane.
Once you have cemented the stones, wait 30 days for the cement to harden completely. Then you can spray the stone wall with cement sealant to prevent further damage. The sealant needs to be sprayed onto the mortar joints as well as any areas that you have repaired with new mortar.