Historical homes battle summer rains

2 years 4 months 2 days ago Sunday, August 09 2015 Aug 9, 2015 Sunday, August 09, 2015 4:10:00 PM UTC August 09, 2015 in News
By: Amanda Vitale, KOMU 8 Reporter

BOONE COUNTY - Owners of Mid-Missouri historical buildings can avoid damage from the rainy summer by taking precautionary measures.

"There hasn't been an epidemic of historic buildings damage that we are aware of," said Bill Hart, the executive director of the Missouri Preservation Society.

Hart said moisture can cause damage to any building, no matter what year it was constructed.

"Any building whether you're planning for a new building or a renovation of an older building...protection from the elements is the first thing. You need to have a good roof and make sure the guttering systems are working properly so rain is carried away from the building."

He also said it was important to have the ground slope away from the building so there is no way for the rain to seep into the structure.

"You should make sure your building is sitting far enough off the ground [so] your building isn't wicking water." He also said a good roof was a no brainer when it comes to protecting a home from the elements.

"Older buildings usually have structural issues, especially with roofs," said Katie Graebe, administrator for the Missouri Preservation Society.

"That can be either snow and melting or rain coming in. Anytime a building is not in use or boarded up properly, you're going to have those elements coming in and affecting the structure," Graebe said.

The Centralia Historical Society has first hand experience when it comes to protecting historical property from the elements. The society's museum is housed in Victorian style home built in 1904.

Marjorie Motley, the director of the historical society, said the last instance of water damage happened two years ago in the house's basement. Since then, renovations from the Chance Foundation rerouted the guttering so it ran away from the basement.

"The guttering now runs out to the driveway," Motley said. "We have not had any significant damage since."

However, Motley did say the historical home was facing issues to the outside landscape in spite of the new roof recently installed.

"The storm windows were taken off since they weren't conducive to the time original time period," Motley said. "So we have to pay attention to the outside window casings."

Carolyn Dawson, the president of the board of directors for the Centralia Historical Society, said the house's outside is maintained by the Chance Foundation. 

"With all the rain we had this year, it could've been much worse," said Dawson. 

 

 

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