Old homes have all of that beautiful craftsmanship, charm, and history that make them appealing, but older homes are also notorious for structural problems and leaks, especially if the house has a basement. If you invest in an older home and the basement seems fairly dry, you shouldn't be at all surprised to see the occasional bout of moisture threaten the space if there has been no professional waterproofing performed in the basement. While modern homes usually have more specific issues that will create a wet basement, and older home's wet basement issues may not be so obvious. Here is a look at a few of the primary reasons older basements tend to struggle most to stay dry.
The foundation of older homes have likely seen some shift through the years.
In a home with a basement, the basement acts as one of the primary components of the overall structure: the foundation. Even though ground stabilization techniques are often used today to prevent shift through the years before a home is built, the same cannot be said for homes that are several decades old. Over time, the ground can shift, which often leads to small cracks in the concrete and blocks that make up the floors and walls.
The building material of old basements tends to grow more porous with age.
Whether your basement is created with concrete cinder blocks or solid concrete slabs, this material has evolved a great deal from what it was many years ago. The material that your floors and walls are made from will likely grow more porous with age. This porosity allows moisture to seep through and get inside the basement time after time, and usually, the issue will just continue to get worse. Thankfully, there are some waterproofing techniques used by professionals to resolve this issue, such as using a sealant epoxy which is designed to seal off the open pores.
Water drainage from the roof is not routed as effectively as it should be.
In some cases, the problems you see in your old basement will have less to do with the actual basement and more to do with structural flaws in the rest of the house, specifically the roof. If you are constantly getting a lot of moisture in your basement after it rains, it is a good idea to take a look at your roof and track down where the drainage is going. Even something as slight as misplaced gutters can lead water to places where it will automatically saturate the ground around your basement.
For more information and assistance with preventing these issues, talk with basement waterproofing companies.