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Old 08-27-2010, 09:06 PM   #16
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Insulating an old house-1925


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Originally Posted by dave1123 View Post
Gentlemen, I need to pick your brains again. The basement of this house has a really bad moisture problem. As I've mentioned before, it is mortered limestone slabs with a solid rock floor. It was actually made deep enough by cutting out rock (6 ft deep in one end to 9 ft in the other, following the natural lay of the stone) and using the pieces to complete the foundation. It is quite leaky with water actually running in in several spots in a heavy rain and out thru the low spot in the fractured stone. Sounds like the house from hell, doesn't it! What, if anything, can I do to seal it up. I used Thuroseal on my previous house that had a concrete block foundation and it worked well, but this house would require a lot of something like hydraulic cement I would think. Guess where the low spot is. Directly under the breaker box! What I think I need is a complete home makeover done by a TV show!

Metalman
Your obviously in a rocky area. You need to get the roof water as far away from the foundation as possible. I have a similar basement in an 1890's home. I had 10' of downspout running away from the home for 2 years before I dug and installed solid drain pipe around the perimeter and emptied it 50' away from the foundation. Even then the water was still seeking the lowest level and some would migrate back to the basement.

I live in Ohio. Winters are often in the 10* range and 2' of snow is normal for a couple months every year.

For moisture I run an energy efficient dehumidifier 24/7 all summer and it keeps my basement at 35% humidity. The furnace is the only thing the basement is suited for and in the winter months humidity drops to 30%. Pretty good considering 30 to 35% of the footprint of the house has a crawlspace that opens up into the main basement.

I also cemented up any cracks I could find from the outside by digging down about 2 1/2 feet all around the foundation outside wall. Then I did the inside cracks later that fall.

I replaced all the windows with good energy efficient ones. That first winter, with no insulation my gas bill dropped 32%. Down from $1800 yr.for heat.

The next year I removed lathe and plaster and insulated from the inside after adding new electric and water lines throughout. All this helped reduce my heating and cooling costs by 45%. This year I replaced the roof and insulated the attic with 12" of blown in insulation. Added a ridge vent and soffit vent with airflow panels between the rafter ends. I'm interested to see what this past summers effort saves.

Old homes are a challenge. I've done many and do them for a living. There are several ways to tackle the problems you have and the above it just one example.

Good luck to you.

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Old 08-28-2010, 02:53 PM   #17
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Insulating an old house-1925


This is something you should talk to a local contractor about - someone who is familiar with both the geology of the area, building codes, and enough experience to have already made some mistakes!

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