Is water in the basement always a big problem?
Hello old house experts,
I recently looked at an 1850s farmhouse that is on the market. It appears to be fairly structurally sound, but requires extensive systems upgrades and a lot of interior rehab to undo years of remuddling.
I hate basements, and dreaded going down into an 1850s pit. To my surprise, it was quite clean down there, and I was surprised to find that it did not smell musty at all.
However, it was a warm winter day, and snow was melting outside. I noticed several small trickles of water that mostly seemed to be entering where the stone walls met the floor. Aside from these few trickles on the floor, I did not see any further evidence of water damage.
My rule of thumb as a homebuyer is that "basements should be dry." Is there any circumstance under which a little water would not be that big a deal in an 1850s basement? The house needs so much TLC that the need for extensive drainage work might knock it out of consideration.