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When is it time to repoint a stone foundation?

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, January 07, 2021

As we’ve learned in the 6+ years of doing this podcast, stone foundations are a legacy construct from about 80 years ago. In typical fashion, many homeowners tend to ignore the little issues with their homes until they become big issues. So, if you have a stone foundation with some holes and obvious issues, when do you know it’s time to do something about it? The Crackman explains.

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Man himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years’ experience in the construction industry and over 25 years as the president and founder of A1 Foundation Crack Repair. This podcasts provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: When is it time to repoint a stone foundation? A case study in Worcester, MA.

A1 Foundation Crack Repair - Repoint Stone FoundationA1 Foundation Crack Repair - Repoint Stone Foundation

Narrator: So Rich, as I’ve learned in the 6+ years of doing this podcast with you, stone foundations are a legacy construct from about 80 years ago. And in typical fashion, many homeowners tend to ignore the little issues with their homes until they become big issues. So, if you have a stone foundation with some holes and obvious issues, when do you know it’s time to do something about it?

Rich: Well there is some tell-tale signs and I’ve been getting calls all over Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, because in knowing when we do have these old stone foundations. Just got a call from a woman in Worcester asking me, when do I need to repoint? And by the way, repointing means to take out the mortar that is loose and put new mortar in between the stones.

Well there’s a few tell-tale signs, one is if you go in your basement and you have a stone foundation, take a look where the floor and the wall meet, on the floor, take a look at the floor right there at the bottom, and you’re going to see that there’s a powdery material there. Don’t worry, it’s not mold. It is, it’s the mortar that has broken down over time in between the stones. And that mortar in between the stones is very important because it does four different things.

One is structural, when that mortar lets go between that stone, that stone’s going to drop, then the stone above it will drop, and then before you know it you have a structural issue, that’s one of the things you want to be aware of, it creates a structural issue. So, if you have dusting, we call it “dusting” on the floor, you can clean it up, it’ll keep coming because the mortar continues to break down. Another thing is if you have water coming in between the stones, that would be a sign it’s in need of some repointing. If you have some creatures coming in - mice, rats, snakes, you can see their droppings. Regarding snakes, you could actually see the skins there. It is time to repoint.

Just take your hand and run it around or on top of your stone. You’re going to feel the cold air come in from the voids in between the stones that you see, that’s letting in cold air.

So to sum it up, you probably need some attention to your stone foundation if you have dusting on the floor, if you have water coming in, if you have some unwelcome visitors - rodents or snakes coming in, and if you feel cold air coming in from some of the gaps in between your stone foundation. These are all signs that you’re in need of foundation repointing.

Narrator: Ha ha. I think you got the attention of every housewife in America when you said that, if you have a snake coming in through your stone foundation, it’s time to repoint that sucker. Ha ha. Well thanks Rich for explaining when it’s a good idea to repoint your foundation, especially when you got snakes coming through the wall.

If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.


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