Bash & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty: Stone foundations and flooding – what to do!

It has certainly been a wet spring season in the Kansas City metro! We have experienced record rainfall in the area these past few weeks. In fact, on the last day of May, MCI received 2.84″ of rain by 7 am, surpassing the previous May 31 daily precipitation record of 2.44″ set in 1996. With rainfall of this magnitude, we often see occurrences of one of the most dreaded homeowner issues. You guessed it – basement flooding. In many older homes found across KCMO, Brookside and other towns around the metro, you will find stone foundations. Stone foundations are more prone to flooding than other types. Let’s look at some of the main contributors to this common but significant issue and how it can best be remedied.

Water in the basement is a red flag on a home inspection.

Stone foundations were common in prewar houses, and they can be a headache to potential buyers and current owners alike. Oftentimes, stone foundations are reliable and durable, even in homes over a hundred of years old. But did you know the most common issue found with a stone foundation is seeping and leaking water? If you currently own a property with a stone foundation, it is important to waterproof your basement before the flooding begins. If you are a buyer interested in this type of older home, I recommend you check to see what type of waterproofing system is in place.
Image: Stone Foundation

One of the best ways to do this is with a subfloor drainage system. When installed correctly, groundwater is expelled away from the house through pipes and a sump pump system. You will want to ensure that the drainage system is installed below the slab floor.

You may also choose to tackle this issue on the exterior foundation of the home but be prepared for a more costly and labor-intensive repair. This will include excavating the perimeter, cleaning the existing stone foundation, applying new mortar and installing a drainage system.

Once again, I cannot stress how imperative it is that you waterproof BEFORE you find yourself standing in inches or feet of water. Otherwise, you will be looking at a more intensive and expensive repair. Some telltale signs that a stone foundation may need waterproofing include: an unpleasant or musty odor, wet and discolored stones in the foundation itself and standing water in certain spots in the basement, so be on the lookout. When in doubt, hire a professional to assess the health of your stone foundation.
Image: Water in basement

Taking steps to safeguard your stone foundation is one of the best ways to keep your older home in great shape for another 100 years!

Bash & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty is an innovative full-service residential real estate brokerage that leverages the latest technology to serve clients in emerging, established, and luxury neighborhoods across the Kansas City area. Follow them on Instagram here and on Facebook here.