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How to Repair Homes with Fieldstone Foundations

In a city like Pittsburgh, old homes can fall into disrepair. Learn how to address problems with stone foundations, and how Baker’s Waterproofing can help.

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A Little Local History

Even as newer buildings are constructed as part of Pittsburgh’s continued revitalization and evolution, many of the area’s older, stately, and historic structures remain in use today. This includes homes with stone or fieldstone foundations. Stone or fieldstone foundations are common in homes and other structures built before 1915.

Pennsylvania is steeped in history, as it was one of the original 13 colonies. Pittsburgh was founded and named in 1758, and then incorporated as a city in 1816. Even though hundreds of buildings have been demolished over the years, Pittsburgh is still home to thousands of old, historic structures. These include 18th and 19th-century brick houses, Victorian-era mansions, and rowhomes. Even featured homes for sale on various real estate websites include old but quaint single-family homes, stately six-figure mansions, and rowhomes made of brick or stone.

Older Homes Need Proper Care

Homeowners or prospective buyers shouldn’t be afraid of homes with fieldstone foundations or 100-year-old basement walls. But they do need to be mindful of the care and keeping of these older buildings.

Just like any structure, an older home built more than 100 years ago is going to need various maintenance and repairs. This is especially true of stone or fieldstone foundation homes that are commonly found throughout Pittsburgh and the surrounding area.

We at Baker’s Waterproofing have repaired many old homes over the years. Read on to learn more.

How to Waterproof Your Stone Foundation

Water can leak into basements and other areas of homes for a variety of reasons. Even though most of the soil throughout the Pittsburgh area is classified as silt loam that is usually well-drained, water from heavy rains or flooding can still saturate the soil surrounding a home and find its way inside. This is typical of porous concrete block walls, but water also can find cracks or holes within the stone or mortar of 100-year-old basement walls.

While there are various methods available to help keep your basement dry, our team at Baker’s Waterproofing recommends these trusted basement waterproofing solutions:

installing vapor barrier on stone walls

Interior drainage system: Our specially designed interior drainage system is placed in the basement sub-floor to collect any water that leaks inside the walls, floors, or cove joint. This water is then channeled to a sump pump system to be properly removed. Many old homes also have walk-out access points or hatches, and we can place grated drainage in front of these areas.

Sump pump: Sump pumps are the heart of a basement waterproofing system, as they actively work to pump out water collected by the interior drainage system. Once water reaches a certain level in the sump basin, the pump is automatically triggered and begins pumping water out of the basement and away from the home’s foundation through discharge pipes.

Wall vapor barrier: One hundred-year-old basement walls made of stone are often rough and can have cracks, gaps, and holes around the stones and mortar. This makes it easy for water to leak inside and down the walls. To not only improve the walls’ appearance but also help with waterproofing, we can place a thick vapor barrier on these walls. Vapor barriers help prevent moisture and vapor intrusion, but if any water leaks through the walls, it will automatically run behind the water-resistant vapor barrier and down to the interior drainage system.

crumbling old foundation

Stone Wall Foundation Repairs

Home foundations are generally built with structural integrity and longevity in mind. This also can be said about stone or fieldstone foundations, which can last hundreds of years.

Stone is built from the inside out with no backfill. This is helpful because the loose soil around the foundation will not affect the stone in the same way it does to concrete block. Stone walls also are not usually a victim of bowed walls due to the way they fit together. They are still, however, victim to settlement.

We at Baker’s Waterproofing can repair homes that have stone or fieldstone foundations for water problems only. While we offer a variety of foundation repair solutions, they are not intended for use on 100-year-old basement walls made of stone. Stone is a durable material, but it is not strong enough to withstand our even tougher foundation repair measures.

Contact Us for Effective Basement Waterproofing

It is important to keep your basement and home dry and healthy to avoid problems from moisture, humidity, mold, and structural issues. The best way to do that is with the help of basement waterproofing professionals. DIY waterproofing projects, especially on 100-year-old basement walls, often are not effective or long-lasting and could mask the real issues at play.

Instead, if you are having problems with your stone or fieldstone foundation walls leaking water, contact the experts at Baker’s Waterproofing for a free inspection and repair quote. Once we have evaluated the condition of your basement, we can tailor waterproofing solutions to meet your specific repair needs. Don’t let water ruin your older home when we can help you protect it and create a safer and healthier living environment!

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