Preventing Water Damage in a Turn of the Century Home

by | Mar 1, 2024

Stephen Burton is in a turn of the century home that needs careful repairs  that both protect the integrity of the foundation and ensure that there’s no further water damage. He’s observing repairs that have been made in the past that were well-applied and can be left alone and some that need additional attention.

Those repairs include addressing issues with the gutters and downspouts, installing cove plating, and injecting sealants that will help keep moisture out of the basement and protect the walls and footers.

Listen in as he goes into detail!


Hey, this is Steven from Waterproof Solutions. Thanks for having me out. So it’s a typical situation when we’re in a turn-of-century house. They actually use the floor joists for the forms of this house. So cool. And at the end of the day, when a house is built in ’29, it’s got a steel stem, the main beam, and you know that there was some money spent here. So I see some real quality work. The cellar and the front porch, there’s generally a footing that runs in between the two. So a lot of times we’re going to handle them separately.

What’s real important is that we deal with the downspouts on the house and the gutters. And I’m going to guess that we probably have four-inch gutters on them. So I’m a big fan of six-inch gutters, they keep the water away. Concrete pitches. Anything that’s pitching at the house, we’re going to look at that because that can hurt the concrete.

Concrete flexes very, very easily, and it shouldn’t. So that means it’s tensile strength is slight, like a paper clip, pow, it breaks. So 10 %. So you might have 3,000 pound concrete, and 36 gallons of water can break the wall. 300 pounds, right? So we need to be mindful of that. Two-inch rain, we get a 500 gallons, and what’s 4,170 pounds right at the corner. So we have to ask ourselves, how’s the water managing to force its way in and to actually knock the house crazy? So it’s important.

Another cool aspect of this house is that it’s had a prior injection done to it, and it’s like a closed cell urethane that we shot in that with an epoxy skin. This looks correct.

Concrete doesn’t like to be painted. It’s going to do this over time where it comes through. And you can see where the concrete was segregated back there in the day. They didn’t get as much of it didn’t get together, and it honey combed, and you can see that. When the rocks are separated from each other, and the paste of the cement didn’t get it all together. That makes for rough concrete.

I’m guessing this is an old back porch or something. We’re going to take a look at this, but this is an interesting situation. Man, oh, man, is it doing well! Because I expect it splits and everything else. So it’s amazing. Our technology in great forms and all that. And these folks were dialing it in back in 29.

So we’re going to propose to put a drain towel system in this house, and that’s basically because there’s a concrete footing, concrete wall and a concrete floor, and the floor came much later.

We also know that the floor is not super thick. And why should it be? It’s just heavy carpet. But having said that, we want to make sure that we don’t have leaks there. So we’re going to put the system in.

We’re going to put a cove plate And a cove plate is a piece of plastic that will allow the walls, should they breach to let the water go into the system. It’s not ideal to let the walls leak, but sometimes you can’t get out the crack without tearing something up pretty dramatic.

And we’ll always try with an injection. And I say try because it cannot always be the way that finishes it. Sometimes we have to get right to the source, which is outside and seal it. So having said that, we’ll get the length and the width times two. Put that down. That’ll be your linear feet of the basement.

And we’ll put a bid together that will not only put a system in that lasts with it, but if this association sells the property, it would go with the house. So it does have a transferable warranty. And from there, we’ll go ahead and put together a plan for that. Again, there’s no attention to the walls other than we’re going to take the pressure off of them by putting a system in. We can always add or to detract from that coming into it. So this is Steven from Waterproof Solutions. The other pictures will be from outside. Thanks.

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