Field stone foundations

The majority of older barns in the area are supported by foundations made of field stone. In fact, the foundation of our home is made of field stone as well (see below). The stone and wood, illuminated by the morning sun, appealed.

The field stone foundation of our home is a different matter. We discovered, soon after moving here, that it is porous. When the ground is saturated and we get a soaking rain (or snow melt) water percolates through fissures which have, over the years, formed between stone and mortar. The water doesn’t trickle in to our basement, it doesn’t seep in, it rushes in. In response to the very first time we were flooded (4 feet deep, and lost the furnace, well pump, and washer and dryer) we dug a very long trench to connect the lowest corner of the basement with the hedgerow, at some distance from the house. This was no effort to keep the water out, we knew that wouldn’t be possible, it was a simple solution to the flooding problem. Now when it rains, if you pause to listen very carefully, you can hear trickling as water comes into the basement, negotiates the floor, and then enters the drain.

One thought on “Field stone foundations

  1. And so you’re careful not to keep anything “precious” in the basement, right? We used to have quite a water-problem as well, filling up the space so that we had to mop/pump it with spring melts and soaking rains. We had a big dig one summer and sealed the fissures in our poured-basement walls, and since then, touch wood, we’ve been dry. Mostly. Next door, our neighbors re-poured their foundation where it used to be fieldstone. I’m happy for the dryness of their basement now, but sort of sad to not see the old stories that were held in those stones.

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