What to Know About Stone Foundation Repair Before Hiring a Mason
Southeastern Pennsylvania has some of the most historical homes around, many built fully from local stone or with stone foundations. While beautiful, these old stone homes and barns can have a plethora of problems, necessitating stone foundation repair.
While we’re experts at stone restoration here at Dutchies Stoneworks, we’d much rather have you spend money on something brand new that you’re excited about—like a great stone patio with a fire pit for entertaining! Home repairs are never fun (and are usually costly), so we want to help our customers identify significant problems before they need to give us a call.
Does Stone Foundation Repair Apply to You?
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of stone foundations, know that we want to help you identify whether or not you need to hire a stonemason—not tell you how to attempt your own repairs. Stone foundation repair is tricky and varies on a case by case basis, which is why you should always leave it to the professionals.
If you’re doing major renovations on your home or installing a new patio, know that a contractor will likely look at your foundation and evaluate it. Foundation replacements are expensive, but make sure you call in an expert stonemason for a second opinion before you make any costly decisions.
What Does Repairing a Stone Foundation Involve?
If a stone foundation is failing, it could be for several reasons. A lot of the time, it has to do with some type of water damage. Here are a few reasons why you could be having water issues with your foundation:
- Improper care of your downspouts could be causing excessive water flow – make sure you clean out your gutters!
- Movement of soil is natural, but excessive rain could cause it to settle more quickly and crack the foundation. (If your foundation is solid stone, there’s usually no harm in a crack.)
- There’s improper grading and sloping around your home, causing water and potential flooding issues.
Whether we’re doing a historical repair, building a stone wall, or laying a new patio, the first thing that Dutchies will talk to you about is getting water away from your home. Before we do any of these projects, we want to make sure the issues are fixed. We’ll work with your contractor to come up with the best solution possible.
How Do You Fix Damage to Stone Foundations, Patios, or Walls?
The process for fixing your stone structure is a technical one and should always be done by a professional stonemason or contractor. Stone foundation repair involves a lengthy step-by-step process of chipping out the wall joints, excavating parts of the wall, chipping out portions of it, re-laying damaged parts of the wall, adding a waterproofer, and other steps in between.
When we install a stone patio, wall, or other structure outside of your home, Dutchies will get the job done right. That way, you avoid further water damage to your stone foundation in the future.
With flagstone patios, moisture can collect underneath the stone and cement over time. And if it’s not appropriately graded, it can cause flooding to your foundation all over again. Unfortunately, if your patio has water damage, it may have to be replaced entirely, which may cost more than building a new one from scratch.
What are the Signs Your Foundation Needs to be Repaired vs. Replaced?
You may be asking yourself, “Was that crack always there?” when you’re looking at your stone foundation. The answer may be “no,” but a crack may not always be as detrimental as you think. Some stone damage is typical to see. However, it can also vary in severity.
Look out for these issues in your stone foundation, patio, or wall:
- Loose Stones
- Bulging or Cracking
- Loose Mortar or Chunks of Mortar Missing
- Excess Moisture
While a little bit of moisture or a crack that has been there for a long time are probably not anything significant to worry about, you’ll need to talk to a professional for a full evaluation. Give a stonemason expert like Dutchies a call to help you evaluate what may need to be done to your stone foundation.