Ayers Basement Systems Case Studies: Updating a 1940s Farmhouse in Montgomery, MI
Kelli called us as she prepared to move back to her hometown and buy her mom’s house because, as a 1940s farmhouse, it wasn’t surprising that there were some issues in the basement. Water leaked in when it rained, and one of the concrete block walls had cracks that showed it was starting to bow.
Kelli and her mom wanted to make sure the house was structurally sound and the basement’s water problems were taken care of before she moved in.
System design specialist Ken Breitner recommended PowerBraces to stabilize and straighten the bowing wall. PowerBraces are steel I-beams that are secured to the joists with steel brackets. Over time, the beams can be adjusted to help straighten the wall to its original position. PowerBraces are a great choice when you don’t want to - or can’t - excavate outside of the house and want a minimally disruptive solution.
To mitigate the water issues, Ken recommended a full perimeter of the WaterGuard below-floor drain system and a SuperSump pump. WaterGuard is installed below the floor and on top of the footer to collect incoming water without getting clogged by mud. The system routes water to the new SuperSump pump, where it’s pumped outside through a discharge line.
After the bowing wall and water issues were taken care of, we used spray foam insulation to seal off the joists. Inorganic and waterproof, this insulation can get into tight spaces and corners to prevent outside air from getting in, and lower energy bills by preventing heat escape.
Even an old house can be as good as new with some maintenance and a few tweaks. This old farmhouse has plenty of life left in it and is ready for a homecoming thanks to WaterGuard and the PowerBrace system.
Staining on walls and the floor is a sign of water damage.
We install the sump pump and WaterGuard by removing some of the concrete floor.
After everything is installed, we pour new concrete to restore the floor. What you see here are WaterGuard inspection ports - they lift out to allow easy flushing of the system during annual maintenance inspections.
PowerBraces are secured to the floor and joists to stabilize and straighten bowing walls.