The older your home is, the more likely it is to rest on top of a stone foundation. Homes in the Virginia area, in particular, which have survived through the first World War, will have concrete block or poured concrete keeping them in place.
This kind of foundational support is lauded for its inexpensive nature and its sturdy build. That said, it is much more difficult to waterproof a home that rests on a concrete foundation than it is to waterproof one that’s otherwise supported.
It’s also worth noting that stone foundations, for all of their merits, are not waterproof.
What do you do, then, if you notice water starting to creep into your stone foundation? The good news is that Virginia area contractors will be able to help you waterproof your foundation, securing it for use and sale in the years to come.
Getting to Know Your Foundation
The foundations of older homes in the Virginia area are typically made out of concrete or stone. These foundations break down into three different style categories, including:
- Rubble – Homes based on rubble foundations reside on stones of different shapes and sizes. While all of these stones will be flat, there won’t be any organizational pattern keeping them together. Likewise, the original builders will likely have forewent mortar or other binding agents when establishing the foundation, giving precipitation all sorts of ways into the foundation’s interior.
- Fieldstone – Fieldstones are foundational stones that are fit together because they are of a similar size. They are not held together with mortar but rather fit together based on their cuts.
- Dressed Stone – Also known as cut stones, these stones will have been brought together during the construction of your home and shaped to fit a specific blueprint. They’ll have been set together with concrete or mortar to better hold their shape. While generally secure, the joints of dressed stone foundation often provide water the entrances they need to get into your interior foundation.
As you can tell, different types of foundations are more waterproof than others. That said, all of these foundations will require additional waterproof measures if they begin to leak.
When you spot water leaking into your foundation, you might think of it as a minor inconvenience. There’s no need to waterproof, is there, if it’s just your basement walls and supports that are getting damp?
Not necessarily. Waterproofing your foundation does more than keep it clean, aesthetically speaking. If you let water run from your basement into your foundation, you could compromise the structural integrity of your entire home. Your door frames and supports could warp, and stone foundations could begin to sink into the ground.
Beyond these structural reasons, waterproofing helps you overcome:
- Dampness and Flooding – No one wants an indoor swimming pool if they didn’t already have plans for one. If standing water frequently appears in your basement or exposed foundation after Virginia rains, it can quickly grow to be a persistent problem. Even occasional dampness can make your living situation most expensive and less enjoyable. When you waterproof your basement and foundation, you no longer have to worry about the aesthetic and structural threat that leaking water poses to your home.
- Mold Growth – Dampness and flooding make your foundation and basement the ideal environments for mold. Different types of mold, but black mold in particular, love to grow in these unregulated areas. If you don’t treat your foundation and basement for floods, you may find you’re putting your family’s health at risk. Waterproofing your basement, in turn, helps ensure that mold particles don’t have the nutrients they need to thrive and that your family stays healthier.
- Pest Problems – If water is getting into your basement, then who knows what else is getting inside? Insects and animals may make their way into your foundation through the channels that leaks have. If you waterproof your foundation, you’ll have the chance to fill these gaps and keep your home pest-free.
- Bad Smells – Pests, dampness and mold can all make your basement smell less than ideal. You may not think, though, that the bad smells filling your home would originate in its foundation. If you have noticed your house won’t clear of a bad smell no matter what you do, it may be time to waterproof your basement. When you do, you’ll clear away the nasty smells and their sources, making your home a healthier place to live.
Types of Waterproofing Solutions for Stone Foundations
When it comes to waterproofing your stone foundation, you have two options: exterior waterproofing and interior waterproofing. The two options break down as follows:
- Interior waterproofing – If your leaks aren’t too severe, you can waterproof your home from the inside. This process will involve identifying the spot where water most easily gets into your home, sealing that spot, and then implementing the waterproofing solution of your choice. Your temporary options include vapor barriers, sealants, dehumidifiers and French drains.
- Exterior waterproofing – If you experience more severe foundation flooding, you’re going to want to reach out to a contractor to invest in exterior waterproofing solutions. To waterproof your home from the outside, a contractor will need to excavate the perimeter of your home and direct floodwaters into a sump pump somewhere else on your land. This will keep the water from getting anywhere near your foundation. Downspout line also can be installed outside your home to direct water away from the foundation.
Think you might want to invest in waterproofing solutions to keep your foundation secure? Contractors in the Virginia area know how difficult it is to keep up with the fluctuating weather. Whether you reach out or take a DIY approach, you’ll be able to waterproof your foundation and reclaim your home in little to no time at all.