A stone wall can add charm to any residence. However, as stone walls age and endure weather elements such as rain or snow, they may need some repair work to restore their natural appeal. The combination of skill and patience is critical when repairing a stone wall, according to OldHouseWeb.com. To determine what section of the stone wall needs to be repaired, look for stones that have large pieces missing or are worn down at least an inch. Also, consider replacing a stone if it is disintegrating or broken. Avoid repairing the stone wall if it bears a crack or thin fracture that does not have to carry a large amount of weight.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Angle grinder with diamond blade
- Circular saw
- Tooth chisel
- Flat-blade chisel
- Point chisel
- Cement mixer
- Mason's trowel
- Pointing trowel
Carve grooves into your damaged stone using an angle grinder with a diamond blade or circular saw, making sure the multiple grooves exist as parallel horizontal lines along the length of the damaged stone. Use a tooth chisel to take out the mortar joint, and place a flat-blade chisel and wedge into one of the parallel lines. Hit the chisel with a hammer to begin removing the face of the stone, and remove the stone until you have a hole that is cut back 4 inches to 6 inches into the wall. Clear the inside corners of the stone using a point chisel so that the corners appear to be 90-degree angles. You now have an open space for your replacement stone.
Measure the length, width and depth of the open space, and use the circular saw to cut your replacement stone to fit these dimensions. Make sure the depth of the replacement stone is slightly greater than the depth of the cavity in your stone wall -- about 3 inches more, to be on the safe side -- as you will need to use a hammer and chisel to remove some of the new stone's face to create a texture that matches the remainder of the existing wall.
Practice creating the correct texture for the replacement stone on a scrap piece of stone, trying tooth, point and flat-blade chisels to determine which one best meets your need. Then, use the most appropriate chisel to reproduce the texture on the replacement stone. Position your new stone in the stone wall's cavity, and make sure it matches the size of the other stones so everything looks uniform.
Combine a half bucket of water, a half bucket of cement, three buckets of sand and one bucket of lime in your cement mixer to create your mortar. Dampen the replacement stone and the cavity in the wall so that the mortar will not cure too quickly, which might cause it to break up. Place mortar in the joints using a mason's trowel and put the new stone in the cavity. Tuck the mortar into the joints using a pointing trowel. Clear off the extra mortar from the joint in a few hours.
Tips and warnings
- Take a trip to a local masonry supply dealer that sells stone, antique/architectural salvage shops or a quarry that will give you access to the stone that will match the colour of your wall. Make sure you get extra scraps of stone to use for texturing practice during your repair job.
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