Basement waterproofing can prevent or fix a host of moisture-related problems. If you are among the many home owners who dread the rain or snow because your basement floods like a lagoon, it’s time to take action.
Your basement should be a treasured part of your home. When water problems keep you from taking advantage of it, your basement becomes an expensive disappointment.
The damage can only get worse while you wait. Take action now to reclaim your basement from moisture issues and protect the rest of your home by properly waterproofing your space.
WHY IS MY WATER LEAKING INTO MY BASEMENT?
If you’ve been struggling with a leaky basement, you’re probably familiar with the problems it can cause. But what causes the leaks?
Over time, rainwater seeps into the soil around your home. Pressure slowly builds against your foundation walls. This pressure can exert tons of force, causing your basement to leak and crack. Left unchecked, freezing weather expands this soil even more, causing extensive damage by widening cracks and fractures in your foundation walls.
WE OFFER SERVICES INCLUDING:
● Basement Drainage Channels – Install
● Basement Drainage Channels – Repair
● Drywell – Construct or Rebuild
● Foundation Drainage – Install or Replace
● Foundation or Basement – Waterproofing
SCHEDULE YOUR FREE ESTIMATE
If you live in a cold weather or rainy state such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or New York, you need to do something about your basements issue as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more problems will arise. Insects love wet conditions and termites and carpenter ants will thrive in leaky wet basements. Once they find a comfortable home in your basement, chances are good they will infest other parts of your home.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WATERPROOFING YOUR HOME? SCROLL DOWN!
The No. 1 Enemy of Finished Basements: Moisture
Finished walls and floor covering will trap moisture, which accumulates and allows mold and mildew to grow. The musty odor found in many basements is the telltale sign of mold, which may be growing inside the carpeting, walls, or in upholstered furniture.
As houses age, most basements start seeping water through the concrete or cracks after a heavy rain or snow melt. The walls, carpets and furniture get wet and mold starts growing in just several days. Moldy drywall, carpeting and furnishings have to be discarded.
Why risk your basement remodeling investment (typically $30,000) and more importantly, the health of your family? Before finishing the basement, seal it against moisture!
Basements as a Source of Moisture
Sooner or later, most basements develop water seepage. At first, it is just intermittent after a heavy storm or snow melt raises the groundwater level. Over time, the leaks become more and more frequent.
CRACKS MAY BE THE CULPRIT
All houses settle over time, and stress cracks may develop in the slabs or the walls. The floor-to-wall joint opens up, and expansion control joints in the floor crack, as designed. Exterior waterproofing coating deteriorates and the drainage system may silt up. Hydrostatic pressure then pushes water through any cracks or right through the concrete.
However, most moisture infiltrates into basements in the form of water vapor, which is invisible, unlike steam condensing above a pot with boiling water. Low air pressure inside buildings draws in soil gas with water vapor from the ground through all openings and pores in the concrete.
Basements are the largest source of moisture in homes and typically let in over 15 gallons of moisture each day! That is much more than cooking and showering combined (3-5 gallons per day). See more in Basement Waterproofing. Concrete is very porous and cures by cement reacting with water (hydration). But concrete mixes contain much more water than needed, in order to make them easily workable. Almost half of the water is surplus and has to evaporate as concrete cures. While water pushes through the concrete to the surface, it leaves behind a network of tiny capillaries (pores), much smaller than a human hair. As a result, concrete is more porous than Swiss cheese. Residential concrete contains 12 to 20 percent air! Gases and vapor (water molecules) flow easily through the pores. But liquid water has is tougher the water molecules are held back in a blob by surface tension until the pore surface gets wet. Then, liquid water starts seeping through the wet pores in concrete (capillary seepage). Moreover, the pores draw in water like a sponge by capillary action water comes up through a concrete slab against gravity.
CAN I WATERPROOF MY BASEMENT WITH PAINT?
Homeowners often paint walls with a store-bought waterproofing sealer, which is merely a latex-based paint. Sooner or later, it will crack and peel under the attack of lime from the concrete (specification). And it cannot hold back efflorescence (white powder) or a high negative side water pressure. More importantly, it is porous and cannot stop water vapor or most of the moisture seeping through the concrete.
Other Ineffective Methods
Some cover the concrete with plastic sheets or use plastic covered insulation “pillows” on the walls, but this traps any moisture coming through the concrete and is known for causing severe mold and mildew problems. We strongly recommend against trapping moisture – all moisture coming through the concrete should be allowed to evaporate. Floor slabs are usually poured on a plastic sheet a “vapor barrier”, but it gets usually punctured during construction and over the years, it slowly disintegrates under the attack of lime in the concrete. To stop water vapor, concrete slabs are sometimes painted with epoxy or urethane paints, which are impermeable to vapor. They trap all the moisture for a while, but after several years, the paint starts bubbling or cracking and loses its purpose.
We strongly recommend sealing the concrete with a top-quality silicate-based penetrating sealer. It penetrates deep into the pores in concrete, reacts with lime and alkalis, expands and hardens, which bonds and seals the concrete permanently! Sealing the concrete before finishing the basement is not fail-proof! The concrete is porous and it ages, becoming more and more porous. Just like wood, it needs a sealer – protection against water and deterioration.
THE DRY BASEMENT SOLUTION IS:
Sealing the Sources of Moisture:
- Vent the clothes dryer to the outside
- Insulate air-conditioning ducts against condensation
- Keeping Rainwater away from the Foundation
- Proper gutters and downspout extensions
- Properly sloped grading around the foundation
- Shallow swales or French drains to steer rainwater away
Sealing All Openings:
- Covering the sump pit airtight
- Taping a plastic sheet to isolate the crawlspace
- Covering the gravel bathroom rough-in
- Installing check valves in floor drains to stop vapor
- Sealing open cores in block walls with expandable foam
- Similarly, sealing hollow lolly (support columns)
Caulking All Gaps:
- The floor-to-wall joint
- Expansion control joints (straight cuts in the slab)
- Caulk around all penetrations Sealing concrete against water and vapor
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why does my basement leak?
We hear that question all the time. There are a number of reasons that your basement could be leaking. Hydrostatic pressure that builds up under the floor or the walls, high humidity, possibly an underground stream, inferior or improperly installed waterproofing, deteriorated or no sealant on the outside foundation walls.
How can I tell where the water in my basement is coming from?
Water can enter the foundation through many ways. The most common area is where the wall and floor meet, known as the “cove”. This is a natural seam in which the water can most easily penetrate through your foundation. Hydrostatic pressure is another common source of water penetration. This is the water pressure under your house that causes water to penetrate into the basement. There are many other sources that cause water to penetrate into your house, some are common and some are not easily noticeable.
What happens if I decide to wait to get my basement fixed?
It’s far too common that homeowners have either turned their head and ignored the problem or simply were unaware of the problem and finished off their basement. Thousands upon thousands of hard earned dollars have been wasted on finished basements due to moisture problems. Mold and mildew, warped paneling, lifted floor tiles and ruined carpeting are the result of dampness. In unfinished basements, a prolonged presence of moisture can lead to cracked walls and floors, causing possibly severe structural damage to your foundation. Dampness will also promote mold growth, which has been linked to several health hazards.
What is the cost to have my basement waterproofed?
The costs vary greatly. Depending on the problem, the amount of work needed and the method you choose to correct the problem. For this reason, Dry Basement Solutions will send out our trained Inspectors at no cost to you, the homeowner. This way, you will be able to make an educated decision on the proper way to fix the problem.
Will there be dust and mold particulates in the air when the work is being done?
The nature of this type of work will produce dust and the possibility for mold particulates to enter the air. We at Dry Basement Solutions are VERY conscious of this danger. Before the work starts, a HEPA filtered negative air machine is set up in the work area to trap dust and mold spores. In addition, 6ml Poly sheathing is placed over the HVAC system and over any items that you wish to be sure to protect. Doorways that lead to the rest of the house are also protected; this procedure is called “containment”. When the job is finished, our installation team will broom clean the area and remove any job-related debris.
Will this waterproofing system increase the value of our home?
Absolutely! When you are ready to sell your house, you will be able to offer the new homeowner a clean, dry basement, warranted for the entire time they own the house for. It will show the prospective buyer that you take pride in your home by protecting it against moisture and mold.
This all sounds great, how do I get started?
Now’s the time to call Dry Basement Solutions waterproofing toll free at 1-800-906-3137 or just fill out our form. Our representative will schedule an appointment around your busy schedule. If you think that you have an “emergency” situation, let our representative know and they will do everything possible to look at your house immediately. Remember, the solution to your sick basement is just a phone call away.