Living in an older home is as much a pleasure as it can be a challenge. After all, who doesn’t want to enjoy a chance to live alongside some of Colorado’s history?
Unfortunately, if you’re not prepared to contend with the challenges of living in an older home, you may find yourself taken aback the first time it rains. Colorado’s older homes have a tendency to leak, and they may not take well to some of the modern waterproofing solutions that professional contractors like to use.
How, then, can you go about protecting your older Colorado home from the next thunderstorm?
Why Do Older Homes Leak?
First of all, let’s dive into the reasons older and newer homes leak at all. While older homes have their own quirks that will be touched on, it’s often a series of small events that lead all homes to leaking. Some of the most common causes behind a basement or foundation leak 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
As mentioned, any home can fall victim to a leak if the circumstances are right. There are reasons, however, that older homes tend to leak more frequently than modern homes.
For example, the basements in older homes were most often, at the point of their installation, used as storage spaces for food and other household essentials. Nowadays, they’re used as entertainment spaces as often as they’re used as storage units. Naturally, construction workers who planned the houses of old didn’t need to take the entertainment option into account and, as a result, didn’t need to put as many structural supports into place when creating the basement.
As a result, many basements in older homes could be lacking the footings that hold a foundation in place. Similarly, the floors in these basements may not be up to modern construction code. Ergo, these basements are more likely to leak than the ones created with the modern use of the basement in mind.
How To Waterproof Your Older Home
If more modern means of waterproofing your home may put the structural integrity of your home at risk, what options do you have to work with?
When it comes to waterproofing an older home, general care is almost as important as potential waterproofing solutions. If you’re looking to reduce the amount of moisture in your home, you can try out any of the following:
- Cleaning out your gutters
- Redirecting your downspouts
- Checking your window wells and sills for water damage
- Inspecting your basement and foundation for cracks
- Using temporary sealants to your advantage
- Installing a sump pump or French drain
It is the case that your older home may not experience the same degree of leakage as other older homes in the Grand Junction, CO, area. Every home is different. However, if you experience more leaks, talk to your local professional contractor about doubling up on your waterproofing solutions. Alternatively, if you don’t experience severe leaks but would like to prepare for the future, you can consider taking advantage of just one of the above solutions or those posed by your local contractors.
Should You DIY Your Old Home’s Waterproofing?
Of course, if some of these solutions are as simple as cleaning out your gutters, do you really need to bring in a professional to help you? This is, after all, the age of DIY – so why not find a waterproofing solution on your own?
Most of the time, DIY is a great way to occupy your time and increase your skillset. When it comes to waterproofing an older home, however, you’re going to want to reach out to the professionals in your area. After all, while you may be able to keep your gutters clean, you may not be able to immediately tell if it’s your gutters that are causing your foundation to leak or if there’s something else that’s bringing water into your home.
If you do try to DIY a sealant or a drain, you could risk damaging your home’s structural integrity. Down the line, not only could this have potentially worsened your leak, but you might have to pay more for repairs. Why? Because a professional would first have to dismantle your DIY solution before installing one that’ll restore the value of your home.
In short, if your older home is leaking, get in touch with the professionals working in your area. Most contractors working in Grand Junction, CO, will provide you with a free inspection and quote on services, regardless of if your home is brand new or one of the area’s storied locales.
Ready to get started? Take back your home from Mother Nature with a little professional guidance.