Wet Basement Solutions for Historic Homes
- June 3, 2016
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Throughout Maryland, Washington, DC and Northern Virginia there are a lot of neighborhoods with historic homes built before 1900. These houses have stood for many decades and they offer a unique charm to homeowners. It is important that residents of historic homes in places like Frederick, MD; Alexandria, VA; and Georgetown hire the right professionals to ensure proper maintenance.
Historic homes typically have stone or brick foundations built without exterior damp-proofing materials applied below ground. This is because, at the time of construction, homeowners often do not foresee the use of their underground rooms as livable space. If an owner of a historic home is looking to convert their basement or crawl space into dry storage or living space, installing foundation waterproofing with a sump pump is highly recommended. However, even homes with waterproofing or drainage systems can still experience basement and crawl space leaks after many years of exposure to the elements. Water intrusion issues in historic home foundations can not only lead to mold and unpleasant odors, but can also cause structural damage if leaks go unchecked.
There are a few things a homeowner can do to prevent excess water from entering their house. In order to keep moisture from penetrating old foundations, make sure to perform routine gutter maintenance by clearing out leaves and debris. It is also important to check that gutter downspouts are flowing and extended away from the house. Historic homeowners must make sure that the soil up against the house is graded away from the foundation on all sides so that water is not pooling in the yard. Similarly, any outside areas that collect water during heavy rains, like patios or basement stairways, should be checked to ensure that they are draining adequately.
It is best to consult with a professional that understands historic home waterproofing. Because of the many ways that rainwater can cause foundation leaks in historic homes, it is a huge benefit for homeowners to hire a trained eye to assess the problem and educate them about their basement situation. An experienced foundation waterproofing professional will properly diagnose and fix the situation so the owner doesn’t have to worry about ineffective repairs or having to revisit the problem in the future. Historic homes need to be approached in a particular fashion when it comes to foundation waterproofing.
Value Dry has experience waterproofing these historic homes. In fact, the first home waterproofed by Jim Ketterer, the owner of Value Dry, was the 200+ year old farm house in which he grew up. Jim and his father installed Basement waterproofing on the fieldstone foundation home over 25 years ago, and it is still dry to this day.