Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


01:24PM | 02/18/05
Member Since: 02/17/05
1 lifetime posts
The following may seem like a silly question, but I live in a wetlands area (Carlisle, MA) where moisture takes over everything. I have two basements in a 200 year old home that I have owned for less than 3 years. I have no garage, so everything is stored either in the attic or in the basements. I just have applied Neutocrete in the basements, and I have installed two heavy-duty dehumidifiers. But, before doing this, I had antique wood burning stoves and iron sausage mills, etc., in the basements that deteriorated in the last two years more than they had in the last thirty years that I've owned them. Do I transfer them to the attic? Does it make a difference now that I have dehumidifiers and Neutocrete? Where do I put them to keep them safe?


02:27PM | 02/18/05
Member Since: 06/23/04
161 lifetime posts
Put it in the attic.

Questions in this section of the forum are persistently the same. "My basement/cellar is damp --why?". The answer is simple....basements in older houses were rarely designed to be used as a dry, occupiable space. That is why they were often referred to as "root cellars", a cool place to store root crops for preservation. Basements have always been dank and moldy. Modern attempts to seal the walls with miracle coatings are temporary at best and imperfect as a norm.

Even newer homes with modern concrete walls and french drains are fighting a basic element of the universe - gravity. With gravity, water runs downhill. If you dig a hole, water will always find a way into it. YOU spend a few weeks digging a hole in the ground and lining it with walls and a floor that are hoped to be watertight. GROUNDWATER is always just outside and it spends 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, year after year attacking, corroding, rotting, weeping and seeping until it finds a way into that hole. Any basement that is not damp today, will be damp eventually. Unlike a roof, basement walls are not easily recovered when they get old or damaged. Consequently, the best construction will eventually fail and rewaterproofing can be very expensive if not outright impossible to accomplish.

If you want more space, consider adding another floor. You still need stairs to get to either one and a second or third floor will ALWAYS be drier, have more light, and be easier to repair than a basement.


01:50PM | 03/04/05
Member Since: 03/03/05
271 lifetime posts

Your situation is very common. There are ways of making your basement suitable for storage again. There are a lot of good products out there and people who know how to get the job done. Find a local contractor to help you out. It may cost you a bit in the begining, but it is well worth it in the long run and for the value of your home. Email me with any questions.

Good Luck!

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