Falling stones from Dry Stone wall

For discussing walling related subjects not included in other headings.

Falling stones from Dry Stone wall

Postby Lego-lass » Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:49 am

Hi,
We had a dry stone wall entrance built 3 years ago and today the third 'cap' ( soldier) fell off. I am worried about the structural integrity of the piers/wall as we have small kids. Today the 'cap' fell from the 7 foot pier. It fell as we were driving in and while it didn't hit us, it could have! I called the mason who built it. He is registered with the 'Mastercraft's men' association and is well established in the locality. He came immediately ( to be fair) but what he said concerned me greatly.
He said that these things happen and that while he would come and 'fix' the stone back in place and the others that are loose, it could happen again in 3-4 years time? Am I going mad or is this man taking me for a total chump? He said Dry Stone 'Effect' walls have this characteristic. Surely a wall built 3 years ago should not be loosing large stones. Also loads of the small stones have fallen out leaving big gaps where the concrete is noticable. Who do I go to to check this work out? A civil eng? I am so out of my dept but my gut just says that this boyo is a chancer? Or is he correct? Do dry sone walls lose stones? Please help.Thanks in advance.
Lego-lass
New member
New member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:43 am

Re: Falling stones from Dry Stone wall

Postby david perry » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:45 pm

Lego lass
Sorry to hear about your wall.

From what you say your wall and entrance piers have a core of cement and/or concrete.

The builder, in my opinion should have ensured that the copes/caps are securely in place and well mortared in. It should be secure enough to allow a reasonable amount of knocking about - the kind of thing you'd expect a house owner with kids, pets and such things, without any copes coming off at all. What's the point of using mortar otherwise?

As for the smaller stones coming out, I'd guess these were put in whilst being built to keep the joints as narrow as possible and not show up the cement/concrete underneath. This is acceptable practice.

But it may have been that to make the joints as narrow as possible he simply pushed them in the existing joints afterwards. This isn't very good because you can't really be sure they are in securely.

Having said that it is still possible for small stones to come out for a few reasons:
*Not being bedded in the cement behind
*Not strong enough cement mixture
*Children and others poking about

In my opinion drystone walls totally without cement or those walls as you describe owning should not have stones falling out, nor is this a characteristic.

Having said that because the wall is filled with cement the wall/pier is unlikely to fall down (unless loads of big stones fall out!!)

If your man is known in the locality you could always ask around and see what others think of his wall building.
Dave P
I just like stone!!

Click the globe in the bottom right corner to see my blogg
User avatar
david perry
Active Subscriber
Active Subscriber
 
Posts: 408
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:22 pm
Location: Whitby, North Yorkshire

Re: Falling stones from Dry Stone wall

Postby George Gunn » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:24 pm

As far as I know, the Guild of Master Craftsmen is open to anyone who is OK as far as the tax people are concerned. Quality of workmanship does not seem to be a priority as work is judged on references from customers and a "Guild Assessor"'s opinion, although they look for qualifications.

They are not trade specific.

Their website is here http://www.guildmc.com/

Membership FAQ here http://www.guildmc.com/Public/Trade/The-Guild/FAQ.shtml
Last edited by George Gunn on Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
George Gunn
Active Subscriber
Active Subscriber
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:55 pm

Re: Falling stones from Dry Stone wall

Postby Lego-lass » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Thanks for your very helpful responce David. I'd say you are correct about the piers not falling down. My big concern are the loose stones that culd cause injury. Today I rang around to see if I could get someone to do an assessment. Nightmare! I am so shocked that there is nobody to make assessment on these types of structures. I even contacted the Mastercraftsman guild the mason is asociated with.They put me in touch with their main eng, who said, if the mason is willing to sort it, be grateful! After 3 years the 'warranty' would be up and the mason is under no obligation to do anything about it. He also said that I have to realise that structures don't last forever!!I would have thought 3 years is a little shorter than the 'lifespan' of a wall, considering we have walls around our house built a couple of hundred years ago which have never given issue...oh! well, modern building as we know it!
Lego-lass
New member
New member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:43 am

Re: Falling stones from Dry Stone wall

Postby jim scott » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:22 pm

Lego-lass wrote:Thanks for your very helpful responce David. I'd say you are correct about the piers not falling down. My big concern are the loose stones that culd cause injury. Today I rang around to see if I could get someone to do an assessment. Nightmare! I am so shocked that there is nobody to make assessment on these types of structures. I even contacted the Mastercraftsman guild the mason is asociated with.They put me in touch with their main eng, who said, if the mason is willing to sort it, be grateful! After 3 years the 'warranty' would be up and the mason is under no obligation to do anything about it. He also said that I have to realise that structures don't last forever!!I would have thought 3 years is a little shorter than the 'lifespan' of a wall, considering we have walls around our house built a couple of hundred years ago which have never given issue...oh! well, modern building as we know it!



Hi,I think it is a disgrace that the walls are starting to fall down after 3 years,a lot of the walls or dykes here in UK, are over 250 years old.

I have heard a few complaints, about the mastercraftsmans guild,the problem is that the quality of work is not checked,unlike the DSWA,where you have to pass a test,for each craftsman level and I can asure you that they tested to a very high standard.

As for the engineer to say "structures don't last forever",after 3 years,proves how much he knows about walling.

So in the future if you decide to do any more walling,contact your local branch of the DSWA and get in contact with someone who can do the job properly

Sorry to hear,about your problem,hope you get it sorted,

Jim.
jim scott
Active Subscriber
Active Subscriber
 
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:42 pm

Re: Falling stones from Dry Stone wall

Postby Carole » Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:35 pm

Just to point out the blindingly obvious, sorry if you are fully aware, THIS ISN'T A DRY STONE WALL.


And yes these type of "dry stone wall effect" wall are complete cr#p. Unless they are built like a house wall, or better still built like a dry stone wall.
User avatar
Carole
Active Subscriber
Active Subscriber
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:15 pm
Location: Lancashire

Re: Falling stones from Dry Stone wall

Postby jim scott » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:34 pm

Carole wrote:Just to point out the blindingly obvious, sorry if you are fully aware, THIS ISN'T A DRY STONE WALL.


And yes these type of "dry stone wall effect" wall are complete cr#p. Unless they are built like a house wall, or better still built like a dry stone wall.



Hi Carole,I think we are aware that this is not a drystone wall,but there is no way that it should be falling to bits, after three years.It appears to be to be built dry effect and hearted with cement,which I have seen on a number of occasions,which works quite well, normally at vechicle entrances,to give a bit more stability if clipped by a vehicle, the other slant on this one,was it hit by a motor?
jim scott
Active Subscriber
Active Subscriber
 
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:42 pm

Re: Falling stones from Dry Stone wall

Postby Carole » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:19 am

I was pointing it out to the OP not the people replying :lol:


If built badly and just faced or traced with stone over cement middle, it won't be a success will it. The stones and cement behave differently to each other during temp changes and slight movements eg. settlement.
User avatar
Carole
Active Subscriber
Active Subscriber
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:15 pm
Location: Lancashire


Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests

cron