Historic Homes In The Area: Circa 1880

You may be wondering if we do animal control in a historic home built in the 1800s. The answer is a resounding yes!

When working with a customer who lives in a home that is registered by Historic Homes in the area, we must consider maintaining its integrity. Raccoons, squirrels, and other intruders are not prejudiced on what home they decide to break in and make a home for themselves.

Currently, we are working with a homeowner whose home was built in 1880. The home has been invaded by a raccoon family who is wreaking havoc in the crawlspace and causing structural damage. What makes this particular case interesting, is that the home’s foundation consists of stone and dirt which was very common in the 1800s. Do not be afraid of an older home, however, the following is some good advice to follow if you are considering buying a historic home.

1.  Don’t be afraid of a fieldstone foundation. They are structurally fine and can last 100’s of years.

2.  What you want to look for in a stone foundation is bowing in the wall, the plumpness of the wall, cracking or displacement of the stones, or sand at the bottom of the wall.

3.  Sand at the bottom of the wall will indicate that the mortar is breaking down. If this is the case, a foundation can easily be repointed and there are a plethora of companies out there that do it including Summit Environmental Solutions (SES).  When I was looking at pricing I was looking at between $5,000 – $8,000 to repoint the whole foundation.  Mortar breaks down over time, it is what it is.  If someone has repointed the wall recently you should be fine for another 50 – 100 years if it was maintained correctly.

4.  Even if the wall is crumbling down in parts, it’s just another day at the office for us to fix.  No matter how scary it looks, it can be fixed.  Probably looking at $10,000-$20,000 to fix isolated areas that are crumbling (and I mean crumbling), or about $30,000 or fix the whole foundation.  They will support the load of the house and go underneath and relay the stones.

5.  I have also looked at prices to raise the whole house and pour a concrete foundation.  Probably looking around $40,000 to do this.  Although, the president of my company who has a mason background, jacked up his house himself and put in a CMU foundation and was all in for $5,000.  So it depends on how much skill you have.

6.  You are going to want to look at the floors above, and obvious sloping of the floors.  This may indicate a foundation problem, but it could also be from undersized beams and floor joists.

7.  If there are no obvious defects, I wouldn’t be too concerned.  The house won’t be falling down anytime soon.  This is what you have your inspection period for anyway.  For $150 they will come out there and review what needs to be fixed and give you a price.  Money well spent to know what you’re in for.

When a raccoon family moves in, we can come in and trap the animals and do a thorough cleanup and disinfecting of the area. Where we run into problems is when we need to fix it so the animals can not get back in the structure. We have materials and ways to keep the animals out without messing with the integrity of the home. If the animal invasion is not fixed 100%, guess what? You will continue to have the same problem.

We have expert wildlife technicians who will take care in your home and give the very best solutions for any situation. We have barrier walls that can be installed to keep animals out of a crawlspace built in this time period.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding wildlife and your historic home, please call SES now and schedule a complimentary appointment for an evaluation and free estimate! Contact us at 703-520-5868.

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