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Old 06-08-2017, 09:18 AM   #1
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Field stone foundation bulge (repair questions)


Hey all, new to this forum and hoping I can get some opinions on
how to deal with this problem in my field stone foundation in my barn.

I'm currently rebuilding/restoring the foundation of my barn which has crumbled to bits. It's a banked barn, currently I'm repointing the front, main
wall under the entrance. My problem is, as you can see from the photos, I've got a significant bulge in the stones, which has caused sagging on that end of the wall. I know that the best way to deal with this would be to tear it all down, but I can't (there's a barn above it) and don't want to.

My proposed idea to prevent further bulging and to strengthen the wall is to build a 2x4ft shelf about waist high of stone and mortar right in front of the bulge to reenforce it and to prevent further motion. I'll have to build up the top of the wall too where it has sagged.

Any advice/input is welcome, I'm new to this kind of work!

You can see the bulge at the bottom far end of the wall. It probably bulges out 5 inches or so; someone before me tried to shore it up with mortar.
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:22 AM   #2
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Re: Field stone foundation bulge (repair questions)


Might work if you used reinforced concrete instead more mortared stones.
Just putting on top of the dirt won't be any good either. You need to dig down into the soil below frost line.
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:10 PM   #3
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Re: Field stone foundation bulge (repair questions)


There is actually a poured foundation in the barn. So the supporting shelf wouldn't be sitting on dirt, but mortared to the floor of the barn.

I know it looks like dirt, there's just about a foot of dirt in there at the moment.
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:37 AM   #4
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Re: Field stone foundation bulge (repair questions)


mortar's not very strong & won't cure your issue
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:20 PM   #5
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Re: Field stone foundation bulge (repair questions)


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Originally Posted by joed View Post
Might work if you used reinforced concrete instead more mortared stones.
Just putting on top of the dirt won't be any good either. You need to dig down into the soil below frost line.
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Originally Posted by stadry View Post
mortar's not very strong & won't cure your issue

JOED STAYDRY ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I'd really go with a concrete knee wall..... well pinned to the slab if not a dug out footer.... and rebarred horizontal vertical.

If aesthetics is an issue.... face it with your rock.
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Old 06-09-2017, 05:11 PM   #6
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Re: Field stone foundation bulge (repair questions)


None of the bandaids you propose is going to work, you need to jack up that end of the barn and find out what the problem is and fix it.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:50 PM   #7
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Re: Field stone foundation bulge (repair questions)


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None of the bandaids you propose is going to work, you need to jack up that end of the barn and find out what the problem is and fix it.
Well yes maybe...., but I think a good guess / presume the issue is backfill pressure and the retaining wall of fieldstone and mortor does not make a sturdy retaining wall.

Yes...You could jack up the barn and tear out the wall and put in a new retaining wall, or buffer the existing and put in a sufficient buffer wall..... NO...????????

And I don't think the OP wishes to rebuild his barn foundation.

(I read no evidence of water pressure being at issue).
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:46 PM   #8
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Re: Field stone foundation bulge (repair questions)


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Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
Well yes maybe...., but I think a good guess / presume the issue is backfill pressure and the retaining wall of fieldstone and mortor does not make a sturdy retaining wall.

Yes...You could jack up the barn and tear out the wall and put in a new retaining wall, or buffer the existing and put in a sufficient buffer wall..... NO...????????

And I don't think the OP wishes to rebuild his barn foundation.

(I read no evidence of water pressure being at issue).
Your right about the op not wanting to tear out the wall, but another option short of that would be to use screw piles or helical piles, that is if he wants to do it once and be done with it.
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:53 PM   #9
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Re: Field stone foundation bulge (repair questions)


Thank you all for your replies. It's important that I mention that I really want to preserve the look of the wall. Tearing it out and replacing it with blocks isn't an option. There is dirt on the other side of the wall, and it's clearly back-pressure from that sediment that's causing the issue. I thought of removing some of that sediment to relieve some of the pressure that's caused the bulge. I would pull the bulge out and rebuild that area, but I'm worried the whole thing would come down.

Again I want to retain the look and restore so a rebuild wouldn't really work.
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:00 PM   #10
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Re: Field stone foundation bulge (repair questions)


How are you going to remove some of the sediment??
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:14 PM   #11
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Re: Field stone foundation bulge (repair questions)


dig it out? it's a banked barn, so I could do some re-grading so there's less dirt on that side of the wall. I would think less dirt would be less pressure.
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Old 06-11-2017, 12:32 PM   #12
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Re: Field stone foundation bulge (repair questions)


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dig it out? it's a banked barn, so I could do some re-grading so there's less dirt on that side of the wall. I would think less dirt would be less pressure.
Its worth a try i guess, but it would take time to see if it would work, i remember a job where we couldn't get our trucks to the job site, so they used lime applied to the soil to stabilize it, turned a mud hole into dry dirt, another thought is to stabilize the point of the bulge with grout pumped behind the wall, should be able to rent a manual pump for that approach.
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