Our 17th century tower undergoes a stone masonry facelift.
The professional crew came in to repoint and joint the exterior of Our Tour’s outer tower stairwell. This facade is perhaps the oldest of Our Tour’s walls. We believe the stairwell precedes most of the home it connects.
While it was in considerably good shape for being almost 400 years old, it did need a good refreshing. The old mortar was crumbling in many places resulting in water damage to the stone and plants had been finding little cracks in which to sink their roots. Not good in general for the insulation or preservation of our very old home.
The crew came in and set up the scaffolding and started to cut into the joints from the top down. All the joints needed to be well cleaned of its old mortar before applying a new couche. The above pic shows Our Tour’s cut out work in progress (the top floor is cleaned and cut).
Then the team applied a new limestone and sand mix mortar that allows the joints to breath and absorb water in place of the stone. They also replaced all damaged stones and “crossed” them in areas where there were visible cracks.
I’ve seen the “after”, and it’s impressive. But I wanted to wait untill all the scaffolding was down to take new pics. It’s amazing how changed it looks.
Here are some useful links about repointing stone walls:
More on limestone mortar from Jeff Howell.
How to DIY repoint old stone and brick walls from Old House Web.
Crumbling Masonry: The Importance of Repointing Stone Walls from Legacy Stoneworks.