This year the weather has been breaking heat records. And that means the waters surrounding Florida are heating up which could result in an active hurricane season. We’re all familiar with the usual hurricane preparations should one come our way. We’re ready with our batteries, water, boards for the windows, etc. because we want to protect our homes and businesses. Historic homes and buildings are no exception. In fact, they’ll need a little extra care. And now is the time to prepare before the storms hit!
Your historic home or building has three important structural components that provide the stability of the structure. They are the: foundation, walls, and roof and should be inspected regularly, especially now prior to our most active part of hurricane season in August and September.
Think of the foundation as the “feet” of the building. Just like your feet, the foundation should be strong and able to support the entire structure. This can be a problem in historic buildings as they are older, and time may have taken a toll on them. Water, soil erosion, and the foundation material originally used all play a part. Brick and stone foundations with mortar may have experienced deterioration over time. Have the foundation checked by an experienced foundation inspector who will determine the health of your foundation and, if needed, recommend the necessary repairs.
Remember, hurricanes and tropical storms bring heavy rains resulting in flooding. A foundation that already has improper water drainage will flood quickly and foundation damage will occur. Installing drainage tiles around the foundation and waterproofing may be a good step in protecting your building’s “feet”!
Walls are greatly affected by the condition of the structure’s foundation. If there has been soil erosion, the foundation may have shifted resulting in cracks in the walls. Cracks make the walls more vulnerable to hazardous weather. Other signs that the building has settled are sloping floors, windows and doors that don’t close properly or stick, and ceilings with visible cracks. All of these are signs that you have a problem and the structural integrity of the structure may not hold up during a hurricane.
Think of the roof as a hat. Hats will blow off your head in strong winds. Your historic home’s older roof could do the same thing in a hurricane. The roof is also affected by the condition of the foundation. A shifting, sinking, or crumbling foundation creates issues with the walls, which then creates issues with the roof. It’s all related! Have your roof inspected to make sure it’s attached securely to the building – consider having hurricane clips installed if the roof is being replaced. Also check the roof tiles and replace any missing or damaged ones.
Your historic home or building is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make and maintaining the structure’s stability is necessary to ensure that its already long life is extended indefinitely! Don’t take a chance. Contact us and have our experienced inspectors check out your historic home or building.