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Today I have removed a dead vine root that has caused some damage to the brick work on one corner of my house. As you can see from the picture below, along with the root a fair depth of stone has come away from the block, and I'm thinking that this needs replacing sooner rather than later, as it's the bottom brick supporting a 2 storey wall.

The blocks are quite big, so sourcing a replacement could be difficult, and removing the block all together seems like it could cause more harm than good. I have had a go at making a mix of broken parts of block and mortar to patch in the missing stone, but having that depth of mortar stick without sliding down wasn't working.I decided that this method of repair might not be strong enough long term, and have removed the new mortar.

What is the best way to fix this wall so that it looks as attractive as possible, and provides the maximum amount of support to the wall above?

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enter image description here

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Is that actually stone (and what type)? Or is it some other material like concrete formed to look like blocks of stone? –  wallyk Jul 26 at 15:41
    
It's stone, as opposed to concrete. I believe it is sand stone. –  grx Jul 26 at 15:52

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

My house was built in the 1880s and has a stone foundation, mostly sand stone. The best fix for situations like this I have found is building a form and packing in stiff cement and as large of pieces of the original rock as I can get. If you do the form in a couple layers (say using a 2x4 or 2x6, the long way). Let the cement s set around 24 hours and brush off any excess with a wire brush.

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I think that's the way to go. The form will allow me to pack the cement nice and tight. Thank you. –  grx Jul 26 at 16:16

The bigger of aesthetics and structure is structure. Patching the surface with concrete doesn't address it. The items which need to be addressed are:

  1. Bulk water management.

  2. Adequate foundation to remedy decay caused by bulk water in the past.

  3. Replacement of the stone block with a new structural element, either properly constructed reinforced concrete or new structural masonry.

On the aesthetic side:

  1. This is the dirty corner of the building where services enter. Short of screening [and perhaps that's why there was a vine] it will always be a less attractive building facade.

  2. If it is screened, then the appearance of the structural replacement is mediated by the screening element.

  3. A potential source for a replacement stone is a local tombstone fabricator.

  4. Concrete mixes can be tailored to blend in with the surrounding tones but it will require samples.

  5. Reinforced concrete masonry with a stone veneer is a third option...Stone veneer on reinforced concrete is its sister.

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