That old house may have lured you in with its transom windows, wainscoting, and vintage charm, but now that you've moved in and the old-home infatuation has settled, you see your charming old house in a more realistic light. The place may be beautiful, but it has some problems, and unfortunately, one of those problems is an ailing foundation. It's a sad fact that many people who fall in love with an antiquated home find issues with their foundation. Old house foundations can have a long list of problems. Here is a look at why that is the case.
Old home foundations were not always made out of stable materials.
Take a look at the foundations of a handful of antique homes, and you will spot some pretty interesting foundations. These parts of a structure were built with whatever was most accessible the majority of the time. A home built near a creek bed may have crude, round stones mortared together to create a foundation, for instance. While the materials may have met the necessity when the home was built, some materials were not all that suitable for use to support an entire house through the decades. Shale and slate rock, for instance, will eventually crumble under the pressure and leave you with foundation troubles.
Ground shifting is a natural occurrence pretty much everywhere.
Whether you live down in the panhandle of Florida, in the mountainous regions of the west, or in the Midwestern hills of Kentucky, ground shift is something that is going to be a possibility with time. There are good reasons why topographic maps are constantly changing; the surface of the earth is always evolving, settling, changing in contour. When a house with a solid foundation sits in the same place for long enough, the risk of that foundation deteriorating due to ground shift becomes an even bigger possibility.
Building and construction understanding just wasn't the same a long time ago.
Some of the grandest architectural designs have survived through centuries, and these structures are no doubt impressive. However, the modern understanding of things like ground stability, load-bearing construction, and flexible building have all come a long way from what they once were. When it comes down to it, many old houses were simply built at a time when not all contractors knew how to create a foundation that would remain stable for the many years of use to come.
If you have an older home with foundation issues, contact a repair company like J & D Waterproofing to explore your options.