I have a couple of concerns about my basement. This is my 1st home that I bought 6 months ago, it's 100ish yrs old, and I'm in the middle of several renovations that I'm learning-as-I-go. I'm hoping to draw a bit on your expertise on this one, because I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.
A couple of times since buying it, when temperatures started to warm and the snow started to melt, I noticed A LOT of water running through and down the stone walls (sandstone?), especially in three places fairly evenly spaced out around the perimeter. The water collected in the dirt trough that is present all around the concrete floor slab, and drained pretty quickly into a valve/drain in the floor (within a small square that is also bare exposed soil).
There aren't any musty smells (but I am needing to do some airsealing & insulating, which may effect ventilation), and the basement drainage seems to work well. My questions are:
1: Where water is coming through, and also places where I have not evidenced it coming through also, it looks like mortar had washed away. Should I 'repoint' it? I don't want the stones to become loose and effect the house structure (there are already wall and ceiling cracks in the plaster that I have been repairing) Or is water designed to come through in places (I read one Q/A that described a setup just like mine, and the 'holes' were intentional)? Is there a good season to do 'repoint'? Are there any basic how-tos, and what products are good?
2. Soil gases. Where the drain 'trough' system is all exposed soil, I'm thinking I should test for radon. Any thoughts on this setup, or know what it's called...?
I think that's it... my budget is pretty limited (especially since I'm in the middle of a couple of serious projects already, and more on the way in the spring) so it's definitely DIY... but I'm all for any preventative maintenance tips that I could do to keep my wall stones in place & hopefully soil gasses at bay.
Thanks so much