Risk Management > Building Systems > Foundation and Drainage

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Related Risks > Environment  • WaterPhysical ForcesCorrosionNatural LightPollutants

Foundation and Drainage. Source: From the Roof Down...Skin Deep, National Park Service.
North elevation, Carriage House, Kingscote.
Internal gutter undergoing restoration, attic, The Breakers.
Internal downspout from roof drainage, northeast room, staff quarters, The Breakers.
Floor tiles, kitchen, basement, Château-sur-Mer.
• Efflorescence on porous tiles indicated chronic moisture problem, which is causing deterioration of the tiles and other materials.
Delivery entry, east elevation, basement, Château-sur-Mer.
• Flooded floor.
Basement, Hunter House.
• Sump pump surrounded by angular stone on basement floor, Hunter House.


Conduct the delivery of water from the exterior envelope, making sure that gutters and downspouts terminate on splashblocks (only if the percolation rate of the soil allows for suitable reentry of the water) or, better, are conducted away from the site to a dry well.

Interior basement drainage: Install submersible pumps in basement to prevent rising ground water from migrating through basement floor. Connect dehumidifiers to drainage system.

Gutters/Downspouts: Repair and replace damaged or missing parts. Tie into perimeter drainage system.

Remove tree limbs hanging over gutter system, and inspect bi-annually.

Grade: Ideally, clear foundation of plantings within four feet (4'). Regrade to achieve nine inches (9") of clearance between ground, siding, corner boards, or water table. Create positive grade away from structures to facilitate drainage.

Inspect and monitor foundations for signs of settling. Excavate, inspect and dampproof/waterproof foundations below grade. Repoint using appropriate lime-rich mortar, when applicable.

Interior foundations: Inspect and monitor interior walls of foundation for signs of settling. In general, do not apply coatings in an effort to reduce migration of moisture from exterior: address the underlying cause of the problem.






   © 2002-03 Philip C. Marshall and Preservation Society of Newport County