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Why Is It So Hard To Waterproof An Older Home?

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Indianapolis, IN, is home to a number of gorgeous older homes, all of which bear some of the state’s illustrious or infamous history. If you live in one of these older homes or are thinking of purchasing one, you know all about their appeal. One of the challenges of an older home, however, that often goes overlooked, is the matter of waterproofing the space.

Older homes are notoriously difficult to waterproof – but why, and what can you do to keep your new residence as safe as possible?

Why Do Older Homes Leak?

More often than not, older homes begin to leak due to their lack of rainy-day protection. This isn’t just a metaphor. Older homes were made in such a way that they don’t necessarily have the same anti-leak construction that modern homes do. As a result, they’re more likely to flood than newer homes.

It’s not just construction, though, or even age that determines whether or not your home could start to leak. If the conditions all come together, you can see a leak regardless of how many protections you have in place.

What, then, are the primary causes of leaks in older homes? You’ll find that it’s a multitude of small events that most often result in flooding, as opposed to one large event. Some of the most common leak causes include:

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

The Challenges of Waterproofing An Older Home

Even though unique conditions can cause any home to leak, older homes are more prone to flooding and water damage than homes that have been recently constructed. As mentioned, much of this can be attributed to the way older homes were constructed.

Consider this: way back when, basements were more frequently used as storage space for food and household items. Nowadays, comparatively, they can serve as storage spaces for belongings you’re not using or even as entertainment centers. As the uses of the basement have expanded, so have the protective measures that have gone into the basement’s construction.

Older homes never had a need for some of the supports and features that are commonplace nowadays. For example, most older homes lack the wall footings that hold more modern houses’ foundations in place. Similarly, the floors in the basements of older homes likely don’t meet today’s code standards.

Why, though, is it more difficult to waterproof these older homes? Not only are the necessary waterproofing measures more extensive and constructive, but a contractor who does the job poorly may compromise the structural integrity of your entire home.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that waterproofing your home isn’t worth the effort. It does mean, however, that you may want to consider alternative means through which to waterproof your home than those that are used to protect modern houses.

How To Waterproof Your Older Home

Luckily, the professional foundation and basement repair contractors working in Indianapolis, IN, can recommend alternative waterproofing solutions to anyone who happens to own an older home. Your solutions can be different, not limited, and with the help of a professional, your home can retain its value!

If you’re looking to waterproof an older home but aren’t sure where to start, be sure to discuss the following solutions with your local professional:

  • Clean out your gutters
  • Redirect your downspouts
  • Check your window wells and sills for water damage
  • Inspect your basement and foundation for cracks
  • Use temporary sealants to your advantage
  • Install a sump pump or French drain

Obviously, not every home is exactly the same. If you experience more severe leaks over the course of the year, you may want to double up on waterproofing solutions so as to keep your home safe. Alternatively, if the most you have to deal with is internal moisture, one of the aforementioned solutions – or another proposed by your local contractor – should restore your home to you in no time at all.

That said, you may think that waterproofing your home is an in-and-out job – so why bother reaching out for professional guidance?

Think of it this way: while you can clean your gutters on your own time, you may not always know if the blockages there are causing your leaks. But repair professionals have the expertise and experience to locate where your basement leak is coming from. This is why you never want to DIY a basement waterproofing solution. Always reach out for a free inspection and repair quote at a minimum.

If you do try to fix the basement of your home on your own time, you may make matters worse for yourself. Not only do you risk making the leak in your home worse, but you may face higher repair costs when you do eventually call a professional for guidance.

If your older home is leaking, get in touch with a professional foundation and basement repair contractor serving Indianapolis, IN. Before long, you’ll be able to enjoy everything your older home has to offer without worrying about excess dampness or flooding.

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Foundation Repair, Basement Waterproofing & Crawl Space Repair and Encapsulation, Serving Central Indiana & Indianapolis


624 North Front Street
Whiteland, IN 46184