Natural Stone Foundation Repair Ottawa – Repair And Repoint
If your house is older than 50 years old and you have a stone foundation, it maybe time for some stone foundation repair work to be performed if you start to see crumping cement, holes appearing in the wall and cold drafts during the winter.
All over Ottawa, you’ll find houses built on natural stone foundations, especially around the Glebe, New Edinburgh area and other older parts of Ottawa.
At Smith’s Stone Masonry one of our specialities is repairing and repointing/tuck pointing interior and exterior stone foundations and walls. In many cases, we can transform basement stone foundation and bring out the original stonework the way it should have been done in the first place.
Disintegrating Cement Joints In The Stone Foundation
Once cement joints begin to disintegrate and holes start appearing in the foundation walls, that’s normally a good sign that at some point you should consider getting some stone foundation repair work performed. Many homeowners often go with a quick fix, filling the holes themselves with a cement type product or expanding foam they’ve picked up from the local hardware store.
We prefer to avoid quick fixes with stone foundations and recommend redoing/repairing in sections or the entire area. Odds are if you have holes appearing in the mortar/cement and it crumbles when touched or lightly scraped, it’s time to clean out and apply some new cement.
Mouse Problem Or Cold Drafts Coming Out Of The Foundation Wall?
As you may be aware, old stone foundations are often about 18″ inches or more in thickness. You basically have a double-sided stone wall and the middle is often been filled with scrap pieces of stone and cement as both sides are being built up.
However, the centre of the foundation often contains lots of voids and gaps. This creates the perfect home for mice and other small bugs and critters if they can find or create an entry point. Once you have mice living in the foundation it’s not going to take them long to scratch away at the old cement/mortar to make their way into your basement and home.
If the foundation has holes/gaps and cracks you may experience cold drafts coming into the house.
Again, a quick fix filling holes will stop them for a short period of time, but if they want to get back into your basement they’ll simply find another area with old cement and scrap away until they create another hole.
Transform The Appearance Of Your Stone Wall Foundation
When customers hire Smith’s Stone Masonry to repair and repoint their stone foundation. They’re often shocked at how nice it looks once the repair work is completed. This is because often times we find that most of the stone has been covered/smeared poorly with cement. This makes it hard to see the pieces of stone.
As you’ll see from the pictures on this page, we like to expose and display the face of the stone. We also have the cement joints are cut/set back a little to help make the stone standout. During the stone foundation repair process, we also chip some of the stone that is touching so that we can then create a cement joint between the two pieces.
Here are some before and after pictures, please use the slider to view/reveal before and after pictures.
Our Foundation Repair Process
To give you an idea of the process we take in repairing and repointing. Here is a brief description of what you can expect when you hire Smith’s Stone Masonry to repoint and repair your stone foundation.
- Prepare the area to allow work to commence.
Most basements are used as storage areas, contain furnaces/boilers, water heater and other appliances. So before work can begin we or the customer attempt to move all items to the centre of the basement allowing free space to work on the foundation walls. Plastic wrap/sheets are used to cover these items and anything else that needs covering.
- Removal of old cement/mortar.
Using hammers and chisels, and sometimes electric demo hammers or air compressor hammer guns we start to remove the old cement. This is done in sections starting from the top of the wall working down to the bottom. The goal is to remove and clean out about 3″ inches of the cement and any loose material.
- Shopvac & Sweep Joints.
Once all the old cement has been removed the entire section is swept and vacuumed, doing so will help the new cement bond better to the stone.
- Fill Large Holes & Reset Stones.
When removing the old cement, you will always come across a few stones that dislodged and cement joints that exposes big empty voids deep into the foundation. The first step we take is to fill these big voids with cement and scrap pieces of stone. We then reinstall any of the stone that became dislodged.
- Refill Joints – Tuck Pointing.
Using a type S cement all joints are filled with new type S cement. Once the cement begins to set/harden we finish the joints. This is what I refer to as “Scraping the joints”. Using a tool to scrap and cut off the excess cement and exposing the face of the stone. Additional cement work is also performed around small basement windows as needed.
- Clean Up Time.
We always try our best to keep everything tidy and clean at the end of every day. Once the stone foundation repair work in completed, a thorough cleaning of the basement area is performed.
Exterior Stone Foundation Repointing
We also repoint and repair exterior stone foundation walls that are above ground. Generally, we find that this side of the foundation contains larger stones and smaller cement joints. Likely because this section of the foundation is going to be visible to everyone.
In these few pictures, you can see how it looked after the old cement/mortar was chipped out. Plus pictures after I’d finished the stone foundation repair.
Leaking & Moisture Inside Foundation Wall
If you have a moisture problem or a leaking stone foundation. Simply repointing the inside isn’t going to solve the problem. You need to have the problem addressed on the outside first. Smith’s Stone Masonry highly recommends you contact a foundation company. Then get a free quote or evaluation on repairing the exterior foundation that’s below grade.