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Why Is It So Hard to Waterproof an Older Home?

Older homes have a certain charm about them that makes them appealing to many homeowners. Unfortunately, these homes’ quirks can include out-of-date foundation, basement, or crawl space conditions. The older these elements are, the more difficult they are to protect from the elements. As such, older homes tend to fall victim to structural challenges more often than newer homes. 

You don’t have to give up on an older home if it starts to leak. Instead, you can collaborate with the professionals in your area to determine what waterproofing methods will fix a leak without compromising your home’s older build. 

Signs of Damage in An Older Home 

Before you can determine what waterproofing measures may best suit your home, you’ll need to first understand what kind of damage, if any, you have on your hands. To do so, you’ll want to inspect your home for signs of stress on your own or with the help of a local professional. These signs can include:  

  • Foggy windows 
  • Sticking doors and window frames 
  • Damp walls 
  • Fluctuating internal temperatures 
  • Higher electric and water bills 
  • Standing water 

What Causes Leaks in Older Homes? 

While it’s true that older homes present owners with unique challenges, they can also leak for many of the same reasons newer homes can. It’s not always the quality of the home that contributes to damage. 

Rather, Mother Nature often has a more influential say in the matter. If the weather’s especially rainy, or if the land in your area responds poorly to the weight of your home, then you’ll likely find yourself facing some kind of damage during your tenure as a homeowner. 

Some of the most telling causes behind a home’s leaks include:  

  • Poor grading 
  • Foundations made of gravel, brick, or concrete 
  • Hydrostatic pressure 
  • Shifting soil 
  • The presence of animals in the area 
  • Improper or failure to install waterproofing measures  

Note that these conditions can contribute to foundation, basement, or crawl space damage. Telling the difference between these types of damage can take time and experience, so if you suspect something’s gone wrong in your home, you’ll want to reach out to one of the experts in your area. 

Why Are Older Homes Difficult to Waterproof? 

As mentioned, it’s Mother Nature that most often contributes to the damage that occurs around your home. Older homes, however, can have some structural weaknesses that contribute to the likelihood that they’ll develop leaks. 

Consider this: Older homes didn’t have to abide by modern grading requirements. As such, basements and crawl spaces didn’t have the same protective measures in place that make them as usable as they are today. In a similar vein, older foundations didn’t necessarily have the wall footings in place that held foundations to the rest of a home. 

Contractors who try and repair your home after it’s suffered from water damage may do more harm than good by trying to apply modern solutions to older spaces. It takes more consideration to determine what waterproofing methods will help you treat your home without further compromising its structural integrity. 

How to Waterproof an Older Home 

As you try to waterproof a home in Greenville, SC, you can use modern waterproofing measures and behavioral changes to your advantage. The contractors in your area will likely recommend some combination thereof to bring about the best results. 

These potential measures can include:  

  • Cleaning out your gutters 
  • Installing and redirecting downspouts further away from your home 
  • Testing your window well and sills for damage or leaks 
  • Investing in home waterproofing measures including interior drains, sump pumps, or equivalent solutions 
  • Scheduling annual home inspections to look over your foundation and basement  

Some homeowners believe that if they wait, the problems with their foundation, basement, or crawl space will go away. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Nor is it better for you to wait to fix your home. If something’s gone amiss in an older home, you’ll want to reach out to the contractors serving your area as soon as you can. This way, you can prevent the damage from worsening and save yourself money in the long run. If you have an older home and you think it may have developed a leak or another form of damage, you’re not on your own. You can reach out to a foundation, basement, or crawl space professional serving the Greenville, SC, area. In little to no time at all, you’ll benefit from a comprehensive home inspection from a Mount Valley Foundation Services expert and a free quote on the services you may need to restore your home’s value.