The nether regions just two feet under the cobblestones of the Distillery District have been uncovered and explored by contractors off and on for the last hundred years, but there's always lots of little treasures here to uncover...
While fixing the drainage systems under the cobblestone lanes and passages in the Distillery District, the DryShield waterproofing solutions technicians doing this work were focused on excavating the site to install drainage systems, but I went looking for stuff buried under the cobblestones. I found railroad spikes and all manner of round and square nails, bullets, nuts and cotter pins and a key.
The work done here by Historical Restorations inc is detailed on the Distillery District blog post about pointing bricks on the exterior of Victorian architecture and how that relates to wet basements and spring floods.
Roberrific on Bizcovering writes on how internal gutters are most common remedy for wet basement wall and they are dug below the wall , about eight inches wides or just wide enough to accommodate a course plastic pipe, wrapped in a nylon 'hose' filter.
The wall is covered with a thick plastic membrane which really does become a dry shield.
The barrier has specially designed nipples and rivulets that encourage water to flow straight down and into the freshly excavated gutter at the base of the wall.
Fuel Ghoul explains how contractors can do the work entirely inside the house. This is a common practice when floods have destroyed walls and water damaged drywall and wet and moldy fiberglass insulation has to be removed anyway.
Tearing out these walls reveals everything that was in the wall (period newspapers) and used to make the wall or was lost in the wall.
Experienced contractors look for pennies and coins used to level trim and rings and earrings swept under floorboards.