Stone Foundation Repair

barnfoundationrepairNatural Stone is, without question, the most durable building component on our planet.  As a stone foundation repair contractor, I’ve inspected, repaired, and restored stone basements and foundations throughout Michigan and have yet to find “Bad Stone”.  We’ve done stone foundation repair’s and restorations on basements and other structures that date back to the early 1800’s.  Often times there are causes other that the age of the stone foundation, we look for those and offer solutions that will preserve your structure for generations to come.  We complete projects all over the state of Michigan and surrounding areas in some cases.  We also offer other services related to masonry restoration and concrete work, but stone foundation repair is by far our specialty.  Stone is one of the longest lasting building materials and was very popular for centuries we have thousands of stone foundations under our homes and barns throughout Michigan.  I’ve done foundation repairs on stone that was originally laid during the Civil War era, that’s how long stone can withstand the elements.  Stone tends to outlast the mortar that is used to hold the stone wall together and that’s why many stone foundation repairs need to be done.  There are many other factors that can cause a stone foundation to deteriorate some of these include:

 

Update: We Are Currently booking Projects for the 2016 Season… (send a note about your project below)

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  • Large trees growing next to a structure.
  • Water table rising.
  • Roots from trees that may be far away from the wall.
  • Rotting or old mortar.
  • Poor construction.
  • Wearing by weather.
  • And some are just plane old and need repaired.

I invite you to see some of our recent projects by visiting a Facebook Page I created for MichiganStoneMason.com  The Face Book page can be found at:  http:www.Facebook.com/michiganstonemason

Cost of Stone Foundation Repair

Many stone foundation repairs are quite inexpensive and very affordable.  I’d be happy to talk with you about your project, just send me a note using the form below.  Costs tend to rise when extensive excavation needs to be done but most projects we see don’t require excavating at all.  It depends on the structure and what you want to accomplish, some projects have problem areas and we’ve seen entire basements that need to have old, rotten, lime mortar removed and new mortar joints put back in.  Some of the barn foundation repair projects I’ve done are more centered around problem areas around doors or windows.  It is common to see the wall in the door ramp area to deteriorate and lean in.  Being a stone foundation contractor for years I’ve learned there are usually causes of stone foundation failures and they need to be address.  Costs range from a few hundred dollars to fix some cracks and loose stones here and there, to rebuilding entire walls.    Many of the causes of foundation problems are quite simple and can be remedied in low cost and simple ways.  Below are some common ways to remedy the problem instead of just addressing the symptom (which is a stone wall in need of repair); This insures you won’t be doing the same repair again 10 years

repaired stone wall

down the road!

  • Cut down a tree that is affecting the foundation.
  • Install downspouts or a gutter system.
  • Divert water that is working against the foundation.
  • Remove clay or organic material that causes the walls to heave in frost.

Stone Basement Repairs on Field Stone Basements

Note: We are currently scheduling Stone Basement Repairs for the winter months (2016) Save money, get your Michigan Basement repaired during the winter! Our older customers refer to there stone foundations as “Michigan Stone Basements“.  I’ve always thought of “Michigan Basements” as the old six foot tall stone basements with dirt floors.  I don’t see all that many of those anymore.  I’d say 75% of the foundation repair projects I do are field stone basements.  Many of the old farmhouses throughout Michigan are setting on these stone foundations, many are have been patched dozens of times over the years are just ready for a more in depth job that includes removing the old mortar and getting our high quality mortar mix back into the wall.

Stone Foundation Repair Process

  1. Over the years I’ve developed a process that offers a long lasting solution for stone basements. I’ll share that process here and If you have question about your basement just ask. If you need some advice, I’m here to help. If you want a quote for fixing your basement, I’d be happy to give you one.  Here is the process I use when evaluating a quoting a project.
  2. First off I look for the causes of deteriorating or shifting walls.  Especially in that case of cracked, shifted walls, it’s important to find the cause of the problem.  Almost always the cause of the foundation problem dictates how I advise going about fixing it.
  3. In the case of structurally sound basement walls that simply have crumbling mortar I need to determine what kind of mortar was used and how much of the mortar needs to be removed.
  4. I look at water issues inside and outside of the basement and determine if those need to be addressed.
  5. I talk with the homeowner and try to determine what they want to accomplish and what type of budget the need solutions to fall in.  Most homeowner are more concerned with the structural integrity of there foundation and less about cosmetics.  Some have living areas in there basements and they want a great looking wall. All of this affects how we go about the project and cost.
  6. There are usually several factors like accessibility, if walls have fallen and need rebuilt, if excavation is necessary, and if a water drainage system needs to be installed.  I talk about these with the homeowner and then put together a quote that meets their needs.

 

Stone Barn Foundation Repair

oldbarnfoundationThere are still thousands of old red barns in Michigan.  I love old red barns and many people who live and raise families in Michigan love them too so they naturally want to preserve them.   We’ve done several stone foundation repairs on barns from simple to complex, but most are simple.  We try to address the barn foundation problem from inside the barn, you might call it the barn basement, we find that the mortar between the stones has worked out due to water and frost.  Water jetting the walls in sections then re-tucking or reapplying mortar is sufficient to repair the wall in most cases then we look for ways to install positive drainage at ground level so water moves away from the barn foundation instead of toward it.  This can be done by pouring a narrow concrete apron around the structure or installing a tile if the ground is right for that.  If you have an old barn that needs the foundation repaired give me a call and we can discuss it.  If you want a quote on repairing a stone foundation for a barn visit the “Get a Quote” page, I’ll give you a call and get a quote to you. OR just fill out the quick form below and I’ll get in touch right away to get some details about your repair project.   I usually like to inspect the foundation in order to provide and accurate quote and offer a couple different options.  I do stone restoration projects all over the state of Michigan and I’m open to hear about projects outside of the state.  If you are looking for a new concrete floor or foundation, I like to stick to Michigan, usually within an hour of Lansing or north.

Comments or questions are welcome.

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Should You Repair Your Barns Stone Foundation?

Most people I’ve worked with on barn foundations don’t even use their barns for agriculture, don’t have livestock in them, and don’t intend to usebarn foundation them so why do they repair them?  I’d say the number one reason people decide to repair their big red barn foundation is to preserve them historically.  They like the feel the barns give their properties and want to preserve their towering piece of history.  But the best reason to repair a barn foundation is, far and away, safety.  Barns that have bad foundations can be extremely unsafe and almost assure that at some point in the future the structure will come down.  The cost of demolishing a large barn is very high and the stone foundation repair is much less expensive.  Ultimately it’s up to you to decide. I warn against letting people go in your barn if the foundation is in great need of repair, they aren’t safe.