100-Year-Old Fieldstone Foundation Turns into Livable Home

Water intrusion is concerning for any homeowner, but can be particularly damaging in 100-year-old houses. Learn how we can waterproof and protect older homes.

Along with getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, being a homeowner can be busy and demanding while attending to various responsibilities like repairs and upkeep. Some may seem more important than others, and some may have a hefty price tag that requires time to build up the funds to handle.

However, nothing is more important than your home’s foundation and its health, safety, and structural stability. Your home’s foundation has a big job to do as it supports your entire structure, so it must be sound. The slightest problems like leaking water can spell trouble for your foundation, basement, and house as a whole.

Water intrusion can happen in houses of any age, including those with 100-year-old basement walls. Many homes built before 1915 in the greater Pittsburgh area and throughout the country have stone or fieldstone foundation walls. While these types of walls were built to last hundreds of years, they are not without their faults. With time, any sealant or mortar holding the stone walls together can wear away. Water can and will find any way to leak inside through cracks, holes, and gaps in the stone or fieldstone foundation walls.

One homeowner knew water leaking inside his basement was a problem that he needed to take care of once and for all. After noticing various damage in the basement such as the presence of more water and potential mold, the longtime homeowner decided to take action and seek professional assistance with repairs. His fieldstone foundation was waterproofed in no time with a reliable drainage system, sump pump, and vapor barrier.

Fieldstone Foundation Before Waterproofing

Meeting the Homeowner

A homeowner in Apollo, PA – a borough 32 miles northeast of Pittsburgh – has lived in his house for more than 20 years. Water leaking in through the 100-year-old basement walls seemed like a normal occurrence, as it had always happened during the owner’s time in this home. Recently, however, the leaking water and muddy conditions appeared to be worsening. The owner noticed water coming in along a back wall, resulting in several inches of water on the floor. This leaking also caused problems with drywall and potential mold.

The homeowner plans to live in the house for several more years, and he would like to keep the basement permanently dry. He knew the repairs needed to be done, and he was ready to nip the problems in the bud once and for all.

While researching area basement waterproofing companies, he came across the website for Baker’s Waterproofing and decided to schedule an appointment for a free inspection and estimate. He then met with one of our waterproofing professionals.

Initial Inspection

Our inspector visited the home to perform a complete evaluation of the home and its 100-year-old basement. He found that while the home had a fieldstone foundation, interestingly, some areas of various walls were a blend of brick, block, and stone.

Some contractors may shy away from dealing with older homes with these types of walls, but the team at Baker’s Waterproofing is more than qualified to handle the waterproofing. We have more than 45 years of experience in waterproofing homes of all ages, including those with fieldstone foundations.

The inspector educated the homeowner about the issues at play and our process of waterproofing and protecting older homes. He presented the owner with options including an interior drainage system and grated drainage, a sump pump, a vapor barrier for the walls, and exterior drainage.

The homeowner was eager to proceed with the recommended basement water management work, which was completed by one of our installation crews in three days.

Fieldstone Foundation After Waterproofing

Repairing the Damage

The crew began by installing the AquaStop BasementGutter™ interior drainage system in the basement’s sub-floor and around the entire basement perimeter. What this specially designed drainage system does is intercept water that leaks inside through the walls and floor joint areas. The collected water is then drained into a sump pump system that effectively pumps this water out of the basement and away from the home, preventing any damage to the rest of the basement.

Water is pumped out of the basement through discharge pipes attached to the sump pump system. The homeowner chose to have the exterior discharge line extended and placed in the ground. A Yardwell™ outlet was attached to the end of the discharge line in the yard to camouflage the end of the pipe.

Additionally, a section of grated drainage was placed in front of the walk-out access door and tied into the rest of the perimeter interior drainage system.

Along with these essential drainage installations, one of the most important solutions used to waterproof 100-year-old basement walls is a wall vapor barrier. Fieldstone foundation walls are often rough and jagged, but a vapor barrier helps improve their appearance and brighten up the space. A thick and durable vapor barrier also keeps moisture and vapors out of the basement, and it is completely waterproof and resists mold. Any water that leaks inside the stone walls will automatically run behind the vapor barrier and down to the interior drainage system.

The homeowner expressed how impressed he was with the crew’s professionalism, courtesy, and thorough work. He is pleased to have a properly waterproofed home, and he would not hesitate to reach out to the expert team at Baker’s Waterproofing for other repair projects.

If you have a home with a fieldstone foundation and are concerned with water leaking inside the 100-year-old basement walls, contact the professionals at Baker’s Waterproofing today for a free inspection and repair estimate. We have the experience and tools needed to help you protect your older home and make it a safer and more enjoyable place to live.

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