Why Is It So Hard To Waterproof An Older Home?

There’s a charming appeal to the older homes in Kansas City, MO. The architecture may not have the same sharp lines that today’s modern homes do, but it’s reminiscent and nostalgic. Unfortunately, those architectural differences make it more difficult for you to waterproof an older home.

What can you do, then, when you notice water pooling in your basement?

Leaks in Older Houses: The Causes

What causes leaks to appear in your home? Be your home old or new, causes can include:

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

Why is it So Difficult to Waterproof an Older Home?

Basements in older homes were often used as storage units for food or supplies. Nowadays, homeowners are more likely to use them for entertainment or as guest quarters.

The architectural differences between old foundations and new foundations, however, make it difficult to waterproof an older basement. Older basements don’t have wall footings supporting their foundations, and the floor itself may be several decades out of code. As a result, trying to dig out the perimeter of your home could destabilize the house in its entirety.

How to Waterproof an Older Home

Because you’re not going to be able to easily waterproof your home from the outside, you’ll want to take steps to keep your belongings safe in other ways. Waterproofing your home is sometimes as simple as cleaning your gutters, but it can be easier to do when you have a contractor on your side.

If you’re looking to waterproof your Kansas City, MO, home, you can:

  • Clear out your gutters – If you haven’t cleaned your gutters in a while, you may be putting the structural integrity of your home at risk. When water doesn’t have anywhere to go, it’ll pour down from your gutters onto the perimeter of your home. This means that water will have a more direct path to your foundation and that any cracks that have started to form will grow worse.
  • Redirect your downspouts – Similarly, if your downspouts have shifted due to water, animal interference, or you need to mow the lawn without running them over, you’ll need to make sure you move them back to their original positions. If you’re not careful, misdirected waterspouts could also direct water straight onto your foundation.
  • Check for cracks – With the help of a contractor, check your home for the signs of a damaged foundation. A contractor will be able to tell how severe the cracks are based on a visual reference and on the severity of the symptoms she can see in your home. Don’t worry about the cost of an initial inspection, either – the contractors in Kansas City, MO, will look over your home and give you a quote for free.
  • Take advantage of temporary sealants – Temporary sealants are, as the name suggests, temporary. However, if you quickly want to start directing water away from your home, they’re a short-term solution. Talk to your contractor about the sealants that’ll be best for your home, then make sure any and all cracks have been professionally filled before sealing.
  • Install a sump pump or a French drain – If you experience more severe leaks when it rains in Missouri, you’re going to want to bring in the big guns. French drains and sump pumps are cousins, as they work together. Interior French drains collect the leaking water from your basement walls and floor, and then channel this water to a sump pump system. The sump pump then pumps this water out of the basement and away from your home’s foundation.
  • Check your window wells for damage – If your basement and foundation don’t have cracks, but you’re still seeing water damage inside your home, your window wells may be leaking. Go over the wells to see if rain’s damaged the seal. If so, you’re going to need to reach out to a contractor to have the windows resealed.

Waterproofing an older home may be a challenge, but it’s one that you can tackle with professional guidance. Get in touch with a contractor in Kansas City, MO, today to see what waterproofing solutions will help you retain the value of your older home.