What kind of mortar/cement to buy?
October 18, 2007 12:57 PM   Subscribe

What kind of cement/mortar should buy I at Home Depot or Lowes to fix a crack in a stone facade/wall on the front of my house?

The big box hardware stores sell a lot of different kinds of cement. But they have no one that can give me knowledgeable advice about what kind of cement I should buy to fix my problem. I'm hoping that someone here might be able to.

I have a 1940's era house. The front has a stone facade that extends beyond the house as a stone wall. The wall has shifted a little this year, causing a small crack between the house and wall that I want to get it fixed before freezing water makes the problem worse this winter.

It is a vertical crack that starts at the top of the wall . It is about 18 inches long, a little over an inch wide and about 4 or 5 inches deep.

The estimates I've gotten so far from professionals have either been outrageous ($200+) or I've had concerns about the quality of their work. I'm pretty handy, so I'm considering doing it myself. I just don't want to use the wrong kind of cement and cause problems in the future.

Thank you

PS: If anyone can recommend a good mason in the Rochester NY please let me know. I also have a stone chimney that may need repointing soon.
posted by 14580 to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
I would suggest using a hydraulic cement. It will set very quickly, and expand to fill cracks. Here is one brand that has worked well for me, but there are others.
posted by sulaine at 1:49 PM on October 18, 2007

Hydraulic cement is correct but I'd caulk instead of using cement. The crack occurred because the wall shifted relative to your house. If it shifts back the pressure could damage the wall or even your house.
posted by Mitheral at 6:41 PM on October 18, 2007

Seconding caulk. You're not going to be able to make any structural difference with mortar. Your primary goal here should be to seal the gap. Get a good siliconized acrylic caulk and a cheap caulking gun. Also look for some backer rod to fill the gap with prior to caulking. It's a long, skinny tube of foam which comes in a roll, most likely. Stuff it into the crack, then caulk on top of it. You won't use as much caulk that way. Dip your finger in soapy water to smooth the joint if you want to, but the important thing is to seal the gap.
posted by Shohn at 7:38 PM on October 18, 2007

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