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Old 03-09-2009, 10:58 AM   #1
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Stone wall problem with mortar


Hello to all that answer my question posted here. I put in a pool over the winter and had to do a retaining wall. Its approx. 3 ft. high and cinder block. I wanted to use "real stone" as a veneer style. (the stones are free) I started laying the stones in November the temp were still in the 40's-50's finished around January. I got all of the stones mortared onto the cinderblock wall. My mixture was 2 shovels of sand and one shovel of N type of Mortar. Mixer mixed. This was amount I could use before it started to set. Well we got an ice storm in late Feb. and my top layer started falling off. Understandably water froze behind and popped them loose. But not all of them. So I was removing them and preping the wall to reinstall and more fell off. The temps are in the 60's-70's now. My questions are: 1. Am I not adding something in my mortar mix (sand and N type mortar)?. 2. Was it just too cold if so why are they still falling off and its 70 degrees? I posted some photos of the situation, the numbers on the wall are so I could remount the right stone in the right spots. I'm a homeowner doing it my self. Thanks for the answers and reviewing my problem.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:12 AM   #2
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Stone wall problem with mortar


i don't see any mortar between the stones... did it fall out, or did you not put any in?
if that's the case, there's your answer. i don't think it's meant to 'glue' the stones to the wall.

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Old 03-09-2009, 11:54 AM   #3
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Stone wall problem with mortar


Do not use mortar to set real stones, use concrete with concrete sand. 3 sand one to one portand cement. Mortar is used for lighter weight items such as brick or joints like when setting block. Wet the wall slightly so all the moisture in the concrete is not wicked into the block. Clean the stones also. To fix, remove the old mortar completely. Do not mix with any more water than you need. The more water the weaker the cement.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:58 PM   #4
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Stone wall problem with mortar


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Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
i don't see any mortar between the stones... did it fall out, or did you not put any in?
if that's the case, there's your answer. i don't think it's meant to 'glue' the stones to the wall.

DM
Yea, there was mortar when I mounted the stones it either came off with the stone or stayed on the wall and I had just finished chipping it the rest of the way off to clear the surface to reattach the stones when I stopped and took the photos.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:02 PM   #5
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Stone wall problem with mortar


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Do not use mortar to set real stones, use concrete with concrete sand. 3 sand one to one portand cement. Mortar is used for lighter weight items such as brick or joints like when setting block. Wet the wall slightly so all the moisture in the concrete is not wicked into the block. Clean the stones also. To fix, remove the old mortar completely. Do not mix with any more water than you need. The more water the weaker the cement.
Hey Bob,

Do I need a polymer additive you think? Or will the concrete be enough? And the concrete mix, does quickrete carry a mix for this? (kinda a dumb question but I had to ask) Wetting the surface was a thought but it was my first so it was trial and error.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:05 PM   #6
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Stone wall problem with mortar


Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
i don't see any mortar between the stones... did it fall out, or did you not put any in?
if that's the case, there's your answer. i don't think it's meant to 'glue' the stones to the wall.

DM
You do not need mortar between the stones. This is more of a decorative effect. I have more than a thousand linear feet of stone walls and stone veneer over block on my yard as well as others. We do always joint veneer stones, but this is not what is meant to be used to glue these stones down. Mason ties on the other hand, anchored into the block and set into the joints are used for attachment. In your case I would line the block with wire lathe (mason type) which is anchored to the block and allows much more grip for the stones.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:09 PM   #7
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Stone wall problem with mortar


no polymer is needed. If cementing concrete to concrete use a bonding agent. You can bag mix, not the best, but good enough if you follow my last post. Use the sand mix not a gravel mix. Follow the directions of how much water to use and mix the whole bag. If you want joints to be a different color (like darker) add a coloring to the mix when you joint the stones. Set the stones and let them set for 24 hours prior to attempting any joints. I normally build the whole wall before jointing. Also be sure to make a jointed cap on the wall to shed water.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:51 PM   #8
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Stone wall problem with mortar


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no polymer is needed. If cementing concrete to concrete use a bonding agent. You can bag mix, not the best, but good enough if you follow my last post. Use the sand mix not a gravel mix. Follow the directions of how much water to use and mix the whole bag. If you want joints to be a different color (like darker) add a coloring to the mix when you joint the stones. Set the stones and let them set for 24 hours prior to attempting any joints. I normally build the whole wall before jointing. Also be sure to make a jointed cap on the wall to shed water.
Gotcha on all parts and I was going to add the cap over it. I'm just a one man show with a few supervisors watching if you know what I mean. Thanks for the reply
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:53 PM   #9
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Stone wall problem with mortar


Set up an internet web cam and you can have 1000 more supervisors.
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:12 PM   #10
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Stone wall problem with mortar


First is there a footing below the stone? If not you might have an issue in the future with the ground heaving up the bottom stones during a hard freeze. Second I would have to disagree with bob on the mix to use. If you were setting a stone wall in the traditional way then yes the mix he described would work. But since you are looking for adhesion to the block wall I would go the route of a type N mortar. Since stone mud has very little adhesion qualities. I would also start from scratch again. Since you already have mortar absorbed into the wall I would wire lath the wall and put on a scratch coat. Use the type N mortar to adhere the stone to the wall then. To point the stones after I would mix 1 part portland cement and 2 parts sand very dry. It should be drier then playdough.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:07 PM   #11
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Stone wall problem with mortar


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My mixture was 2 shovels of sand and one shovel of N type of Mortar.
Is it recommended to add sand to mortar that already has sand in it?
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:16 PM   #12
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Stone wall problem with mortar


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Is it recommended to add sand to mortar that already has sand in it?
No he is using Type N portland, not a pre-mix bag of mortar mix. You do not modify these mixes..
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:42 PM   #13
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Stone wall problem with mortar


Are we're absolutely sure he mixed his sand into cement and not premixed mortar? Because if he had mixed sand into premixed mortar, I would expect a very weak bond and results just like this and he did say "type N Mortar" twice.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:53 PM   #14
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Stone wall problem with mortar


Hey guys i have a kinda related question (has to due with natural stone).

i have a old time rumble foundation with some lose rocks. i want to parge it with a lime mortar ( 1 part lime, 3 part sand, 1/2 part portland) on the inside and outside of the walls. i planned on using a mason bag to inject the mud into the holes in the wall and re mortar the lose rocks, then parge over the whole basement wall.

my question is (any mason guys out there?) do i have to use wire lathe before i parge with a rumble foundation? if so how do i anchor the wire lathe to the stone?

i would appreciate any help. thanks
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:08 PM   #15
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Stone wall problem with mortar


bob -

I assume he was using a Type N masonry cement (that you add cement to to make mortar meeting the ASTM C270 spec for mortar) and not a "Type N Portland cement" that does not exist. You may be confused with a pre-proportioned bagged Type N mortar mix that you do not add sand to.

If that is the case, he slightly under-sanded the mix according to the specs.

Just a guess and a clarification on terms -

Without knowing the location and climate, it is easy to make the mistake of looking at air temperature instead of the temperature of the materials that really controls what happens.

Dick


Last edited by concretemasonry; 03-10-2009 at 10:12 PM.
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