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Question DetailsAsked on 6/20/2011

Basement foundation

Is it true that repointing my basement field stone foundation, the 113-years old mortar/cement? of which is crumbling and dribbling out like sand, is useless in preventing water from seeping into the basement the floor of which is about 6 feet below ground? I was told that the only remedy to keep water from seeping into the basement would be to groove a channel and attach a sump pump. By the way, the outside of the foundation was 'fixed' by digging a 2-foot trench around the perimeter and using cement board and a 'slurry wall' since repointing was impossible due to the starkly uneven surfaces of the various stones. Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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2 Answers


If the outside repairs did not do the trick, then you need to do the same thing on the inside. Trench around the wall inside and put in drain pipe and a sump pump. You can also spray on a concrete sealer over the stones after you point them up. Pointing up with todays mortar today is not like the old days. Hope this helps.

Answered 9 years ago by We Help You Build


Sorry I did not see this when you posted it - before my time on this site I guess.

When you have the trench opened up, the right way would have been to form a concrete wall on the outside of your existing, doweled into the grout joints and typically about 4-8 inches thick depending on existing wall conditions, then coat that with bitumastic waterproofing (sprayed on then bitumastic sealant sheet, then protective foam board) then put in a french drain OUTSIDE the wall, leading away to surface dainage. Then backfilled.

That would keep the water mostly outside, though a sump pump might still be needed to trap groundwater coming up under the slab, bypassing the french drain.

Actually, if mortar is dribbling out your house has a limited future, and the wall should have been either replaced/rebuilt segment by segment, or encapsulated in a reinforced poured concrete facing on each face, bonded to the faces of the stone wall with rebar through the wall, essentially laminating it between new structural concrete walls - with approapriate drainage as described above installed at same time.

Hope you ended up with a satisfactory end result, whatever you ended up doing.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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