Unfortunately living in Maine most houses have basements (cellars) and if they’re old they’re not very dry. (for various reasons) This is the case with my Mother’s 40+ year old house. It was built on a hill, dummy contractor built it straight across so the water didn’t drain away from the foundation. (She bought the house 2nd hand/used) The ground has ledge (large underground rock) as well as clay. Add that to the piss poor planning & landscaping you have a disaster brewing. At some point the foundation (basement/cellar) shifted and created a crack straight through the wall, front to back. This is a split level ranch, with a semi-daylight basement. The crack was under the front door and across the floor and up the back wall under the deck. Needless to say to get this fixed was an issue. But it was done, many times. However the crack was not the only issue. Another issue is the sill in some areas, the basement door, or near the chimney. It leaked as well due to run-off from rain or snow melting. All this water leads to issues, mold, mildew, & such.
Unfortunately I had forgotten a few of my boxes when I moved out in 2006 and recently found them in sad shape. Several books I had wanted to keep were basically being composted due to the mold & mildew & whatever else was/is growing on these. It was my own fault for leaving them so I’m not mad at anyone. I’m just a little sad.
I’ll be attaching some pictures of what I found even though the books are not salvageable.