Depending on the size and complexity of the job, restoring stonework is a job that the keen DIYer can tackle. And although it’s a time-consuming task, seeing a broken or crumbling wall restored to its former glory is very satisfying. So, here are the basic steps required for restoring stonework.
5 Steps for Restoring Stonework
1. Assess the Job
Generally, repairing only what is necessary keeps the cost down and retains as much of the original wall as possible. The challenge is knowing when to stop. So, if the individual stone that’s damaged is large, but the repair is relatively small, you can cut and fit a new piece rather than replace the entire stone. Similarly, don’t try to make it perfect when assessing the wall. Even some small cracks can be left if they’re not under too much structural stress.
2. Finding a Match
An essential part of restoring stonework is to find matching stone. Luckily, most stonewalls are constructed from materials found in local quarries. Coffs Harbour has a few good local quarries, supplying quality stone such as sandstone, granite, bluestone and basalt.
3. Removing the Damaged Stone
A damaged section of stone can be cut away with an angle grinder fitted with a diamond-tipped blade. For the mortar, use a tooth chisel by hand.
5. Cut the New Stone
Once a closely matching stone has been selected, cut it to size with the angle grinder. Remember to allow for mortar. Also, it needs to be a little oversized so that the face can be chiselled to match the existing texture.
5. Set the Repairs
Now, you’re ready to set the new stone in place to complete the job. First, mix the mortar and trowel it onto the replacement stone. Carefully fit the stone. At this stage, have some wooden shims handy to hold and adjust the stone while in place. Lastly, brush the excess mortar away from the joint after a few hours.