Do you know what the foundation of your home is made out of? If it isn’t brand new, and if it’s survived through World War I, your foundation probably isn’t made out of the material you think it is.
In fact, older homes in the Missouri area are more likely than newer homes to have foundations made out of stone. Early on, stone was the one material that many believed would best support a home, no matter what precipitation or other natural influence threatened its structural integrity.
Nowadays, stone foundations can cause problems for a few homeowners. If the foundation in question hasn’t been bound together by mortar or another binding agent, it may be more prone to leaking than newer homes. With foundational leaks comes compromised structural integrity and other homing hiccups.
To make matters even more complicated, it can be a little difficult to waterproof a stone foundation as opposed to a modern one. After all, the homes that have stone foundations are on the older side, meaning you may have to see more work done to keep your foundation dry.
Fear not, though. If you frequently see standing water in your basement or are experiencing the side effects of foundational leak, you don’t have to up and move. The contractors in the Missouri area know all about sealing foundations, and they’ll be able to give you back your home in little to no time at all.
Familiarizing Yourself With Your Foundation
Not all stone foundations were created equal. Depending on the style of home, the year in which it was built, and available materials, different pre-WWI homes will have different stone foundations. Variations on the stone foundation include:
- Rubble – When materials and tools were scarce, many builders used rubble to support a home. If your home has a rubble-based foundation, that means the stones underneath your home don’t have a consistent shape or size. Likewise, they won’t be bound together by mortar or another type of binding agent. Unfortunately, this means water will be able to easily make its way into your foundation if it goes without treatment.
- Fieldstones – Alternatively, your home may be built on fieldstones. Unlike rubble, fieldstones tend to be the same shape and size. These stones fit together like puzzle pieces to create the supports on which your home rests. Like rubble, however, fieldstones are not held together by mortar or another binding agent. While water does have a more difficult time making it through the cracks in these foundations, it will still manage to do so. As such, the strength of the foundation will still be compromised if exposed to significant precipitation.
- Cut Stone – Last but not least comes cut stone, otherwise known as dress stone. Cut stones underneath a house were brought to the construction site with intentionality, meaning they’ll fit together with ease. Unlike the other types of foundations listed here, cut stones are also bound together with mortar or concrete. In general, water will have a difficult time penetrating these foundations. That said, the joints of a cut stone foundation are particularly vulnerable and are typically the sites of all leaks that these foundations see.
The Benefits of Waterproofing a Stone Foundation
Unless your foundation is exposed, you likely won’t be able to immediately tell whether or not it’s leaking. However, once water starts to appear in your basement, you’ll have a fairly good idea as to where the problem lies.
Wouldn’t it be easier, though, to just live and let live? What harm is a little water going to do, anyway?
Unfortunately, interior leaks can severely compromise the structural integrity of your home. If your stone foundation falls victim to a leak, your home may start to sink into the ground. This will make it more difficult to stay in the home and more difficult to sell it in the long run.
Waterproofing your foundation, then, will help you save money in the long run. The other benefits include:
- Pest prevention
- Protection of personal belongings
- Mold prevention
- Improved cleanliness
- Better home health
Waterproofing Solutions for Stone Foundations
Good news! You don’t have to resign yourself to a damp or damaged foundation. There are two different ways you can waterproof a stone foundation. These methods include:
- Interior waterproofing – If the leaks reaching your foundation are minor, you may be able to seal your foundation from the inside. While most interior waterproofing solutions are temporary, they can help you remove water from your foundation and prepare you for more intensive solutions. Different interior waterproofing solutions for stone foundations include French drains, dehumidifiers, vapor barriers and all manner of sealants.
- Exterior waterproofing – If your foundation is buckling under the weight of severe leaks, you’re going to water to waterproof it from the outside. This process involves excavating the perimeter of your home, applying dampproofing to seal the wall, and installing a French drain to direct water away from the stonework. The process typically takes one to two days. Another exterior waterproofing method involves directing water away from the foundation with downspouts and downspout extensions.
Note that it will be easier to waterproof your stone foundation if you have the help of a contractor.
Are you worried that your foundation may be leaking? Never fear. The waterproofing process is straightforward once you get started. If you see water or any other signs of a leak, reach out for expert assistance ASAP!