This section is from the book "The Principles And Practice Of Modern House-Construction", by G. Lister Sutcliffe. Also available from Amazon: How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding & Maintaining Your Home.
The visibly-predominant fault of old houses is generally dampness, with its train of rot, mildew, unsightliness, discomfort, and ill-health; and of all the ills to which houses are heir, this is undoubtedly the worst to cure, as it is bo often a disease of the very fabric itself. The dampness of houses may be conveniently considered under three heads: - 1. The Basement; 2. The External Walls; and 3. The Roof. Useful information on these subjects will, it is hoped, have 1 found in Section II., "Construction", and the reader is referred there for fuller details of those methods and principles, which are here only briefly mentioned. New difficulties, of course, present themselves in the repair of existing houses, and an attempt will be made to consider some of these difficulties more fully. It will be impossible, however, to discuss every defect which may occur in a building, and only those will be considered which are generally known as "sanitary defects", using the term in a broad sense.