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Forum > Miscellaneous > Limestone basement walls ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Limestone basement walls
anyone have any experience with these?
AdaH
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AdaH  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/15/13 11:49 AM

Our house was built in 1925 and the basement has limestone rock walls, which are crumbing in places and leaking in others. From my research I have found out that the leaking problem will never be completely solved but can be managed.

I have done a little research and found out you need to use limestone motar. I am thinking of repairing the walls myself. It will probably take me forever but if I work in small sections over the summer I think it might be do able. Or maybe not?

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Ada

justgail

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In reply to AdaH <<


Date: 2/15/13 12:24 PM

Only what I've seen on home repair/improvement shows. You want the mortar to be weaker than the stone. It's better that the mortar gives out than the stones crumble. Dig out all loose mortar and dust. And I *think* dampening the stones and existing mortar before adding the new is recommended. It allows the new to adhere better IIRC, something about the dry stone and mortar pulling to much moisture out of the new too fast(?) isn't good.

And outside, make sure that downspouts are well away from the house and all soil is sloped away for a good distance as well (4-6 feet?).

Re-reading, I hope you mean just the mortar is crumbling, not the stones or entire wall?

AdaH
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In reply to justgail <<


Date: 2/15/13 12:39 PM

It's just the mortar that has crumbed in a few places. The cats like to walk along the ridge and that has contributed to the problem. The bigger problem is blocking the leaks. I am really tired of little streams of water running across the floor.

Wonder why they built the walls with limestone?

I was hoping my DH would do this job but it isn't happening, however I know once I start in he will not be able to stop himself from helping (taking over). Anyway that is the current plan.

------
Ada

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 2/15/13 12:45 PM

These basements were made for storing canned goods and providing a place to go when there is a tornado and maybe hanging laundry in the winter.

The water can be diverted into a trough around the perimeter of the floor, or by drilling a hole in the floor at the base of the wall where the trickle begins.

Block the wall so the cats cannot walk there. May not be healthy for them to lick limestone from their feet.

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 2/15/13 12:47 PM

Actually there are a lot of things in old houses that are not used today. It was just what was available at the time and no one questioned why.


-- Edited on 2/15/13 12:48 PM --

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

AdaH
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 2/15/13 2:41 PM

Very true.. We have lived in this house for over 30 years and have redone just about every room in the house. The wiring was a nightmare and the plumbing wasn't any fun either.
However I love the wooden floors and all the woodwork.

Lack of storage was another issue. I think when the house was built they didn't do a lot of built in storage stuff.

I have mixed feelings about the lath and plaster walls?

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Ada

sewbehind
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In reply to AdaH <<


Date: 2/15/13 6:26 PM

Why don't you contact the team at This Old House and ask them how to repair it. Maybe you will get someone to repair it for you for a future episode.
I would believe they would be experts in this type of thing. Wouldn't hurt...
Helen

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