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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

The Foundation of a Natural Home with Lou Levy

New Structure and retaining walls sited and built with applied Roof and Grade water drainage system on a hillside by Lou Levy

Every home is an ecosystem, and according to natural design/build expert Lou Levy, one of the fundamental elements for a healthy home ecosystem is controlling moisture. “You must have a dry structure,” he says. “Water infiltration not only damages the structure itself, but it also causes a number of issues that affect the health.”            

Levy says most homes with moisture problems have water infiltration through their basement or crawl space due to inadequate exterior foundation drainage and storm drains. Problems also stem from improper weatherization of the roof, windows and siding. Whatever the cause, he says, the constant presence of water invites infestation by termites and carpenter ants and, worse, creates indoor mildew and mold that release toxic airborne spores throughout the home. That can cause a variety of immediate and long-term health problems, he says.   

Mitigating moisture issues and existing mildew and mold can be relatively simple or costly, depending on the extent of the infiltration and damage. Temporary fixes include installing a window fan or dehumidifying system, but there are natural and passive remediation systems that are permanent and much more straightforward, Levy says. “The basic idea is to create drains that will catch and redirect the water before it infiltrates the house. There are some simple, less costly tricks to try to redirect the surface and roof water. Otherwise a full exterior foundation and storm drainage system or an interior basement drainage system has to be implemented.”

For more information, contact Lou Levy Construction at 845.225.7377 or visit