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Carefully Repair the Old Stone Wall

Updated:2014-02-14 11:10:45
Rock walls serve as a timeless method of marking boundaries, retaining livestock and protection. Landscape designers and gardeners alike now use rock walls for similar reasons and find that using mortar or simply dry stacking them without a bonding agent adds tranquility to gardens. Repairing those stone walls when they break is not always easy, but it is well worth the effort to preserve your walled domain.

Instructions as follows:


Firstly, clear away rubble and remove any loose rocks. Clean off the old cement from the wall and from the loose stones by lightly tapping them with a hammer. Check for loose masonry and remove it. Don't worry about removing large chunks of cement that are firmly attached. Use a trowel to remove debris and then brush away the dust. Pile the loose rock, allowing for a clear and safe workspace.
Secondly, prepare the cement. Attempt to match the existing cement. Mix the ingredients until the consistency of oatmeal. Be careful when adding water or the cement may be too thin and unusable. Add sand until the color appears the same as the existing cement.
Thirdly, place a small amount of cement on a piece of wood and heat it with a hair dryer until it dries. Compare the sample to the cement in the limestone wall to see if the color is a close match. The color may be altered by adding either dark or light colored sand. Repeat this process until the cement matches the cement in the wall.
Fourthly, wet the stones of the damaged portion of the wall with a sponge to prevent the stones from leaching too much water from the new cement. This prevents the cement from cracking.
Fifthly, fill in the open areas using a trowel and then replace the cleaned, loose paving stones. Use a wooden stick to fill in smaller areas and properly sculpt the fresh cement.
Sixthly, fix the wall's base if it has been altered because of ground shifting. Use a shovel to establish a sound and even setting for the wall's stability and appearance. The footing needs to be about three inches deep and eight inches wide, or both the depth and width of the existing wall. Allow for changes in the grade to retain the same height of the wall.
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