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overly damp cellar

 
Posts: 15
Location: Norfolk County, Ontario
books bike bee
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Hello Permies, I'm not sure this is the right forum for my question. if not please redirect me and I will re-post. TIA.

I need help with a situation. My partner and I are looking to buy an older farm house on 13 acres. The situation I need help with is the very damp dirt cellar. The floor beams were damp and I'm sure I could grow mushrooms down there. The house sits on a slight rise on the land with a shallow slope down of probably only 2 feet over approximately 100 ft (the barn yard). At this point the ground is soggy. The current owner is trying to fill in with gravel to make the area usable but I am quite sure he's got the not best idea going. Would I be correct in thinking that to dry out the cellar and the barn yard would be to dig a pond on the lower ground further away so the water can drain? I don't have adequate photos that show the lie of the land or I'd post them for you. Any advice on how to dry out this very damp cellar would be greatly appreciated. We love the house and the land otherwise so are willing to go to some lengths to fix the problem.
 
Posts: 208
Location: On the plateau in TN
18
urban books food preservation
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First verify the slope!   Where does water collect?  Then maybe start a pond at lowest point.  When things dry out below house usually a vapor barrier can be installed.  Drainage is always first priority.

I am hoping to play in aquaponics, chickens in spring.
20180929_pool-location.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20180929_pool-location.jpg]
 
Marianne Hay
Posts: 15
Location: Norfolk County, Ontario
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Thank you, Mike! Greatly appreciated. I will be sure to verify the slope and make sure we've got the best place for the pond. I'm looking forward to getting into this. so many options!

I'm so glad I don't have that much water so close to the house. Good luck!

Marianne
 
Posts: 861
Location: Bendigo , Australia
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Do you need a pond?
can you divert the water well away from the house because a pond may allow the water to permeate back to the cellar
By the sound of things something has altered the water flow because I doubt the cellar would have been built that way.
There may be a broken down pipe near the house etc
 
gardener
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Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Could you post some photos showing the lay of the land around the house? That would help a great deal in being able to make some well informed suggestions.

Redhawk
 
Marianne Hay
Posts: 15
Location: Norfolk County, Ontario
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John and Bryant, thank you for replying and your interest.

John, we only saw the house once in August. We are in Ontario and the house is in New Brunswick. We do have some concerns about a few issues we saw but won't be able to look more closely until we get an inspection. The roof was replaced a few years ago and poor water control is something we've discussed as a possibility. Thank you for reminding me though. It's on the list now. A pond might not be necessary after all, although it's quite likely I'll look to see if one is feasible.

Bryant: We are in Ontario and the house is in New Brunswick. The listing photos don't show the lie of the land and at the moment we don't have any of our own. The county's topographic page isn't detailed enough to be of any help either. I'm working from memory and the location of the pond I'm thinking of would be more then 200 yds from the house and require a drainage out to the front ditch as the land begins to rise back up on the opposite side. That is if memory serves me. lol! If we can firm up the deal and move in before the snow flies I'll be able to post photos then.

Thank you!
Marianne
 
Michael Moreken
Posts: 208
Location: On the plateau in TN
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You usually need to dig a pond.
 
pollinator
Posts: 482
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
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Be careful on growing mushrooms inside if that is a goal.  When you see a mushroom growing out of one of the rafters it is too late. It has already grown throughout the wood.
A plastic inside room to control and contain humidity and spores is recommended.
 
John C Daley
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Location: Bendigo , Australia
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Would not a plastic lining make everything far worse and very quickly?
 
Dennis Bangham
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Posts: 482
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
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I am thinking of containing the humidity and the spores.  Hopefully a dehumidifier can dry out the basement.  Damp wood causes problems.
 
Marianne Hay
Posts: 15
Location: Norfolk County, Ontario
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I was kidding about the mushrooms. I had no intentions of growing mushrooms in the cellar let alone off the beams. I said it to demonstrate just how damp the cellar was/is.

As it turns out I am likely to never find out as the deal fell apart rather suddenly after 2 mos of... Colour me disappointed but I sure appreciate all the help!

Thank you, Everyone!

Marianne

 
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