Keep the Wa­ter Out

Old House Journal - - Restore -

The most sig­nif­i­cant threat to the longevity of any house is pre­vent­ing the in­cur­sion of wa­ter in­side. Con­sider the house in its im­me­di­ate environment: It’s con­nected to the ground and ex­posed to heat and cold, hu­mid­ity and dry air, and rain, sun, snow, and wind. It’s pro­tected by an en­ve­lope that starts at the roof with shin­gles, flash­ing, and gut­ters, and con­tin­ues down ver­ti­cally with sid­ing, win­dows, and down­spouts. The house con­tin­ues to shed wa­ter in its im­me­di­ate sur­round­ings through sur­face drainage, and be­neath the house with sys­tems that con­trol the en­try of wa­ter. Signs of wa­ter in­fil­tra­tion can be as ob­vi­ous as wa­ter dam­age to the ceil­ing (check the roof), or as sub­tle as a con­sis­tently damp base­ment. Let’s start at the top.

Stains or moss on wood shin­gles are a sign of trapped mois­ture. So­lu­tions in­clude bet­ter ven­ti­la­tion un­der­neath, or a re­place­ment roof laid over bat­tens that per­mit air cir­cu­la­tion.

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