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I know that if when it comes time to repoint, I should get the current mortar analyzed to make sure its curing strength is compatible with the old bricks. I know that brick foundations in the time period of this house were often plastered on the inside both for appearance and to help maintain appropriate moisture levels in the mortar.

What I don't know is how to tell whether/when/how often repointing/replastering is needed.

(I'd like to insulate the basement. But I'm worried about blocking maintenance access. At least the workshop area is in the extension, and hence is a straight concrete foundation; I know what to do with that.)

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You need to repoint when the current mortar begins to fail. If you can easily scrape it out with a screw driver, it's time to repoint. Fieldstone foundations are rarely waterproof, so I don't know if I'd go as far as fully insulating/finishing a fieldstone basement. – DA01 Jun 30 '14 at 3:18
Thanks. The fieldstone portion is a good foot or more above the extension's floor, and it takes a 50-year flood or worse to get water into any part of the basement... but yeah, if problems ever develop I want to see them before they get any worse. (I have a sump pump anyway. I may never need it again but.) [sigh]Why don't houses come with maintenance schedules?[/sigh] – keshlam Jul 1 '14 at 2:54

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