It’s been a great winter so far this year and we’ve been busier than ever over the last few months repairing old Michigan basements which are typically built with stone walls.  We’ve been to Iron Mountain in the Upper Peninsula, Fenton, Grand Blanc, Owosso, and few projects on south west Michigan as well.  Many of the stone basement repair projects we do can be done in the dead of winter.  Unlike barn foundation repairs, which are usually unheated and frozen during the winter, Michigan basements can often times be completely repaired during the winter months.  Sometimes we need to come back in the spring if there are exterior issues to be addressed, but the bulk of the work tends to be on the interior basement walls.

Stone Basement Repair Process

Our process is pretty straight forward, it’s not real complicated, but can be tedious depending on the current condition of your stone foundation walls.  Projects fall in one of three categories or encompass some of all three.  Here are the three categories most projects fall into, they are in need of:

Rebuild-  It’s obviously better to maintain a stone wall to prevent a wall collapse or wall failure.  We come across several barns each year where the walls have actually fallen in.  We’ve rebuilt stone barn walls all over Michigan, some have holes as big as 30′ long and a few had holes this big in several locations.

Repairs- On many of our Michigan basement repair projects most of the stone are in place, some may be loose or may have fallen.  There are areas of missing mortar joints that have rotted or crumbled away and are missing all together.  Some of the joints may be in place and quite solid.

Preservation-  When we find large areas of the stone basement foundation walls to be secure and the mortar joints mainly in tact, we like to preserve these joints so they will continue to last for years to come.  This can be done several ways.  One of the most common things we do is to bond a cement based mix to the existing joints thaMichigan Basement Repair Aftert haven’t been completely redone.

It seems most of our Michigan stone basement projects are missing some joints in a few areas and need the remaining joints to be preserved.  Often times you find a little pile of dust and debris, which is really old lime mortar, along the wall.  This is a tell tale sign that preservation may be a good idea. If your stone basement is in need of attention, consider getting in touch over the winter months. We are typically a little slower during these months and that can mean a better deal for you.

michigan basement repair before

Stone Foundation Repair

Wall With Bad Joints Removed.

 

“Michigan Basement” is a term used for stone basements oftentimes found in the State of Michigan.  Many times these old basements have a dirt floor and lower than normal ceiling height compared to the modern basement.  Many of the Michigan basements we’ve done stone restoration work on do have concrete floors that have been added more recently.  Pouring a concrete floor in a Michigan basement seems to be one of the most popular upgrades.  Not all old stone foundations are Michigan style basements.  More that 70% of our stone restoration projects are full height stone basement foundations.

Why Repair Your Michigan Stone Basement

There are several reasons to keep up with the repairs on these old Michigan basements, the main one being structural integrity in my opinion.  Once the mortar joints begin to rot and deteriorate we usually see water and soil begin to seep through the stone basement wall.  Soon the exterior soil begins to settle and this just speeds the process of further failure in the foundation.  Repairing an old fieldstone Michigan basement will keep the foundation, and the rest of the home, in tact for years and years to come.  Many of the calls we get are on foundations that have seen very little upkeep over the years, it’s one of those items many homeowners are just unsure of, so they leave it alone.

Cost of Repairing Stone Foundation

It has been extremely rare that I’ve come across a stone basement that can be repaired and the cost is usually much lower than people expect.  Keeping these old stone basementMichigan Stone Basement walls and their mortar joints in good repair is far worth the investment, and compared to poured concrete and block foundations, the cost is usually lower.  Most of the stone foundation repairs we perform don’t require mechanical excavation on the exterior and complete removal of the walls is seldom done, these both help to keep costs down.

When to Repair Your Michigan Stone Basement

The best time to make the decision to get your old Michigan basement repaired if before the walls themselves start to shift, move or fall down.  Homeowners who get the repairs done when the walls are still mostly in place and standing save a lot of money.  Repairing the old rotten joints helps to keep critters and water from running into your basement, making it wet and smelly. If you’ve been thinking of having your Michigan basement repaired, you should learn more about the process on the stone foundation repair page.

Supply and demand affects most every business whether it be a manufacturing business or a service business.  I’ve been doing stone foundation repairs on old Michigan basements and stone basment wall repair barns for many years and each year the trend has remained the same as far as when people want them done.  Around the middle of May each year I start getting calls and emails and notes from my website about getting foundation work done.  The winter thaw often makes for a wet basement which is why some people get in touch for sure, but another reason is probably because people don’t realize the repairs can be done during the winter months.  I like to let people know they can save some money by choosing to get their stone walls repaired during the winter months.

Saving Money on Stone Wall Repairs

The reason is pretty simple, there are far fewer people who get them done in the winter and I don’t like being bored.  There is nothing better to fight off cabin fever than doing a stone project in January or February.  If you have an old Michigan basement with crumbling mortar joints or falling stone it is probably above freezing down there.  Most basements are.  Often time I will do the interior stone wall repairs in the dead of winter then come back in the spring and address any exterior issues.  I would guess I charge 10% to 20% less on stone projects I am able to do in the winter.

Stone Basement Walls and Barn Foundations

Old barn foundations, which are usually basements can also be done during the winter months in Michigan.  Many people don’t realize that most barns stay around 35-40 degrees during the winter and that is perfect weather for the mortar joints to cure properly.  So if you’ve been kicking around the idea of getting a stone wall or foundation repaired, consider getting a quote to have it done in the winter, you’ll save some cash.