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Waterproofing the Grand Victorian Homes of Buckhead, Atlanta

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The inner periphery of Buckhead, Atlanta boasts extraordinary, grand homes built in the 1930s. Elegantly perched alongside sleek glass modern buildings, these grand Victorian homes of Buckhead demand special treatment when exploring what lies beneath.  

Restoring an Old Crawl Space

Crawl spaces, typical of building styles of that era, are terribly low and narrow by today’s’ standards. One such home required the homeowners to dig deeper, probably during the 1960s, to open-up sections of the tight crawl space to accommodate modern equipment like hot-water heaters and HVAC systems.

The homes’ newest residents moved in during 2005, with The Home Inspector assuring them that the dirt crawl space and concrete basement area, riddled with its nooks and crannies of water discoloration, was well within the conditions of standard living practices.

The homeowners grew tired of dealing with various inflows of water and air into the basement as well as employing a dozen different handymen over the years to find solutions. None of those handymen could solve the problem, which just got radically worse with time.

Making the decision that they wanted to travel more and not be chained to their dehumidifiers’ tiresome and annoying routine, the homeowners scheduled an evaluation with AquaGuard.

Field Supervisor David Becker is known to be meticulous in his work. His diagnosis of the job was that “This muddled and segmented crawlspace is challenging to waterproof. And so much of the resolution has to do with the homeowners’ expectation”.

“The grand Victorian-style houses of Buckhead and any other home for that matter can be extremely complicated to waterproof and require lateral thinking. Knowing how far the homeowner wants to take the repair is good to establish. For instance, is their end goal-saving money on their energy bills, or do they plan to use the space for an additional living area?”

During the project analysis, Becker remarked on one of the unsecured zones where water drips in at the basement’s ‘sealed’ door. He told us that this is a door with a historic story attached.

When homes used to be heated with coal, the coal merchant would shovel your monthly supply into this room under the house. The flow of coal from the truck, down the chute and into the basement used to be such an exciting visit. But not so exciting 80 years later!

A tell-tail sign Becker noted, were the two inefficient dehumidifiers with which the homeowners had been living and coping with the dreadful job of needing to empty, by-hand, twice-weekly the water-catchment.

Becker tells us that ‘These machines are just too small and not powerful enough to service such a large space”.

Not only is a wet, humid basement a pain to keep clean, but it also ruins other parts of the basement, damaging walls, staining floors and causing mold to grow.

Becker tells me that the crew also needed to fix the groundwater leakage which comes during heavy rains. The solution was to install a Sump Pump.

Isolating this grand home from the earth was a labor of love and restoration. Becker remarks that “We could not take the home entirely out of the earth, but we could keep the earth out of her skirts! This is where we turn NASTY crawlspaces into NICE Crawl Spaces!”

If you’re looking for contracting experts in Atlanta, Athens, Rome, Marietta, or surrounding areas, look no further than AquaGuard Foundation Solutions. We are the premier foundation repair and waterproofing professionals! 

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