Q&A OF THE WEEK: “How Can I Deal With Basement Water Seepage in My Century Home?”

Q: How can I deal with a little water seepage along two walls of the unfinished stone basement in my 100 year-old house?

A: It’s not unusual for old, unfinished stone basements to leak a little, but when that leaking is minimal, or only happens in especially wet years, you might consider leaving things as-is. It can take tens of thousands of dollars to fix a leaky basement properly, and even then the challenge is especially great if the basement is made of old stonework. Make sure eavestroughs are directing water at least 10 feet away from your house, and add soil to raise areas where rain water pools near walls.

All of this is only okay if you’re leaving your basement unfinished. Any finished basement needs to begin with an absolutely dry basement 100% of the time.

If you decide to pursue repair, contact at least three customers who’ve had work done by each prospective contractor you’re considering. Fixing a wet basement can be costly and disruptive, and it’s not easy to achieve reliably dry results, especially with an old place like yours. You need proof that a contractor has successfully dealt with older basements such as yours.

Do you have a sump pump in your basement? The best sump pump installations draw water up and out of the soil below the basement floor, helping to stop leaks before water ever gets inside the basement. The video below explains the details behind a successful sump pump installation. It’s part of my online course “FINISH YOUR BASEMENT“. This course is the only source of information that I know of alerting homeowners to the recurring technical problems that keep getting built into so many basements being finished now.