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Why Is It So Hard To Waterproof An Older Home?

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Cleveland, OH, is home to a number of gorgeous older homes that once benefited from the area’s glass-based boom. Nowadays, these homes stand out among the crowd as architectural time capsules.

Unfortunately, these older homes are more prone to leaking than their younger cousins. Why is that the case, though, and what can you do to protect your home from the precipitation in the area?

What Causes Leaks in Older Homes?

Why do leaks appear in your home? The most common causes include:

  • Poor grading
  • The lack of waterproofing solutions in play
  • Foundations made out of gravel, stone or brick
  • Intense hydrostatic pressure
  • Shifting soil

Waterproofing Older Homes: The Challenges

Every home can develop a leak if the conditions are right for one. Why, though, are older homes more vulnerable than newer homes?

The older homes in Cleveland were built when grading and construction standards were significantly different than they are today. As a result, the older homes in the area don’t have the foundation footing that keeps them secure during reconstruction. If a foundation or basement repair contractor moved to dig out the perimeter of your home, as they may do during more intensive waterproofing installations, they’d risk destabilizing and devaluing your home.

How To Waterproof Older Homes

  • Clean out your gutters: Cleaning your gutters is never fun. If you do get the gunk out before the worst of the rain hits, though, you’ll be able to save yourself a lot of money in the long run. How? Dirty gutters redirect rainwater away from your downspouts and onto the perimeter of your home. The more water gathers at the perimeter, the more likely it is that your home will develop a leak.
  • Redirect your downspouts: Similarly, if your downspouts drain water directly onto the perimeter of your home, you’re setting yourself up for a leak. It’s always best to redirect your downspouts out onto your lawn. You may also want to consider investing in underground downspouts.
  • Check your window wells and sills for water damage: Nothing loves water like a window well. If you think you may have a leak on your hands, take a look at your window wells and sills. If your sills have cracked or your wells are gathering water, then you’ll need to talk to a contractor about the window-based solutions they may have at their disposal.
  • Inspect your basement and foundation for cracks: The foundation and basement repair professionals operating in Cleveland, OH, will often provide you with a free inspection if you think you have a leak. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of this service, as the professionals will be able to identify any leaks or damage that you may have otherwise missed.
  • Install a sump pump and interior French drain: You can always install an interior French drain around your basement perimeter to collect seeping water, as well as a sump pump system to pump the water out of your basement. These installation processes will take a bit of work, but nothing so extensive as to compromise the structural integrity of your home. Your local basement waterproofing contractor will be able to help with this essential task.

There are a number of myths surrounding the foundation and basement repair processes that suggest they’re too expensive for the average homeowner to take on. As such, you may think it’s more financially responsible for you to try and DIY a waterproofing solution for an older home.

Unfortunately, this is never the case. When you try to craft a solution for yourself, you risk making the leak in your foundation or basement much worse than it already is. Your eventual bill, as a result, will be more expensive than it would have been otherwise, too. Why? Because the contractor you work with will have to undo your work before getting started on their own.

Don’t let these myths keep you from preserving an older home. As spring approaches, reach out to the professional repair contractors like Ohio Basement Systems working in the Cleveland area to see what kind of waterproofing solutions are available to you.

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