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Important Facts to Know About Basement Waterproofing

One of the worst situations that a?home owner?can get into is severe water damage in the foundation of a house. Water in a basement is not normal, and it must be taken care of immediately to stop costly damage from occurring and?dangerous mold from forming. Some common warning signs that you may have a leak in your basement are cracks in the foundation and dampness in the room. If you have any of these symptoms and believe you may have a water leak in your basement, then you may need the expertise of an experienced contractor who specializes in waterproofing basements.

Finding the Source of the Leak Is the Key to Basement Waterproofing

If you have a leak in your basement, the logical source of water for this problem is usually outside of the home. In order to stop further water damage, you must waterproof the exterior of your basement to stop water from entering at the point of origin. One of the most common ways for water to leak into your basement is through the house's downspouts and gutters. You should ensure that your entire drainage system is removing excess water without allowing it to enter the foundation of the house.

Commonly Used Techniques for Basement Waterproofing

The most effective way to stop water from leaking into your home is through exterior excavation waterproofing, also called positive side waterproofing. Due to the large amount of work involved with excavating 6 to 8 feet to the foundation footer, exterior waterproofing can be expensive. Fortunately, this can be offset by the removal of the source of the water leak, and it may actually prevent further waterproofing methods from being necessary. Exterior excavation is the most common job taken by professional waterproofing contractors. There are many other methods for waterproofing a leaking basement. Cracks in the walls of a foundation made from concrete that was poured can be patched using chemicals like polyurethane. This is only a temporary solution though. Some contractors offer waterproofing paint and primers, but many experts say that this is merely a cosmetic change, and it does not stop water from leaking. A new method in waterproofing is the interior excavation technique. This method is gaining in popularity because it is cheaper than exterior excavation methods. This technique controls water once it has already entered your basement.

Don't Wait to Waterproof Your Home's Basement

Whether you choose to hire a waterproofing contractor for interior or exterior excavation, you should not wait to take action. The longer water is allowed to enter your basement, the higher the risk for harmful mold spores, significant water damage and foundation instability. Before the worst happens, you should contact a local contractor to find out more information about the benefits and advantages of waterproofing your home. Source: http://www.angieslist.com/articles/what-expect-basement-waterproofing.htm

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5 Tips to Prevent Basement Leaks

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ready-for-cement-basement-waterproofingBasement leaks can cause serious structural problems to any residential or commercial building. Water leaking into your home's basement can also cause dampness and consequently mold growth. With that in mind, here are five tips to prevent basement leaks:

Keep Gutters Clean

Clogged gutters are likely to overflow leading to water pooling around your home's foundation. Therefore, make sure you regularly remove debris such as tree leaves that might have accumulated in your gutters. Better yet, install leaf guards to prevent leaves from clogging your gutters. In addition, install downspout extenders to direct water away from the foundation of your home. For the best results, downspout extenders should be at least six feet long.

Landscaping

The ground around your home should pitch away at a slope of about ? inch per foot. This will allow water to drain away from the foundation of your home towards the yard or drainage trench. Take note that the ground around a newly built house takes time to settle. This means it will likely sink and slope towards the house. In such a case, use fresh soil to create ground that slopes away from the foundation and additionally, plant grass to keep the soil in place and prevent erosion during the rainy season.

Trees

Planting large trees with aggressive root systems such as silver maples near your home is not a good idea. This is because over time, the roots of such trees can cause cracks to develop in the walls of your basement and cause water to seep into your basement through these cracks. As such, it is advisable to plant large trees at least 20 feet from the foundation of your home. Smaller trees and shrubs such as white firs require about 10 to 15 feet of clearance from your home's foundation. However, you would not have to worry much about small plants such as flowers and grass because they are unlikely to cause structural damage to the walls of your basement.

Waterproof Your Basement

Besides the measures described above, check your basement for cracks that could allow water to leak into your basement. If you come across any cracks, use waterproof sealers or special hydraulic cement to repair them. Make sure you seal and repair basement wall cracks immediately because water that accumulates and freezes in them will expand and make the cracks even bigger. You can use hydraulic cement because it dries quickly even when applied on wet basement walls. Alternatively, use a waterproof sealer. When carrying out these repairs, remove dust and debris from the area surrounding a crack. Use a hammer and chisel to open the crack and create space for hydraulic cement or waterproof sealer. You could also use perforated tiles or waterproof membranes to prevent water from leaking into your basement.

Install Driveway and Patio Drainage Systems

Raindrops that fall on soil seep into the ground. The opposite is true for raindrops that fall on pavements and driveways covered with concrete or tiles. If your driveway or patio slopes towards your home, rainwater will flow and accumulate around the foundation of your home. Eventually, it will seep into the basement. To ensure this does not happen, consider installing a drainage system to channel water from the foundation of your home. Hire a building contractor to install the system along the sides of your driveway. In summary, some of the steps you can take to prevent basement leaks include cleaning your gutters regularly, waterproofing your basement, planting large trees 20 feet or so from your home, as well as ensuring the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation.

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Can Waterproofing Your Basement Save you Money?

digging-for-interior-basement-waterproofingWhen a person is considering a basement waterproofing system, it is a welcome relief to know that it will be a worthwhile investment and help save money down the road. However, it is worth noting that waterproofing your basement will cost you. Here are some ways that the project will pay back the initial investment and bring other positive benefits.

Basement Waterproofing Lowers Insurance Costs

Many insurance companies consider a waterproof basement to be an attractive asset. Waterproofing keeps leaks to a minimum, so there is a lower chance for damage that leads to costly insurance claims. To take advantage of this perk, it is important to notify an insurance broker about the home improvement. In the end, it may result in a lower premium each month.

Reduction in Energy Costs

When a basement is made waterproof, the outside elements do not penetrate inside. This means that the area will retain heat much better, especially during cold winter months. The same can be said during the summer when cold air does not escape. It will be unnecessary to adjust the heat or air conditioning as often. Both of these benefits will help a homeowner lower monthly electric bills.

No Need for Repairs

When a basement floods, it can be a complete nightmare.? Furniture, or valuable items being stored may be damaged. It will take money to repair or replace things that were harmed by the water. To prevent this hassle and expense, having a basement waterproofed will be wise.

Less Health Problems

When a basement is left moist and damp, it is a prime location for mold to grow and multiply. Mold is known to cause a multitude of health problems including allergies, asthma, and lung damage. The best way to prevent high medical bills associated with these issues is to waterproof the area. It will eliminate the need to visit the doctor and take unnecessary medication. Not only will residents feel better, they will have saved money as well.

Basement Waterproofing Can Raise Overall Home Value

Anytime a homeowner renovates or improves a house, property value rises. This is especially true for a basement. When a basement is free from leaks, it adds more space that can be used as a family room, office, home gym, or an extra bedroom. This brings more livable square footage to the house, which increases value. When it comes time to sell the property, the homeowner is sure to enjoy a higher profit.

What is the Best Way to Waterproof a Basement?

A person may choose to waterproof a basement from both the interior and exterior space. There are numerous coating systems on the market that adhere to concrete walls and seal hidden cracks. These are not very complicated to apply and can be completed without help. On the other hand, exterior waterproofing may be more difficult and require professional assistance. A team of waterproofing experts will be able to keep water from pooling near a foundation by sloping the land away from the home. They may also apply new gutters and downspouts to correct roof drainage as well. In severe cases, it may be necessary to excavate around the entire home and coat the foundation with a waterproof material. When people invest in a home, renovations are usually completed above ground. However, it may be smart to consider a waterproofing system in the basement. Although costly, it may be a great way to save money on electric bills and insurance premiums. It may improve health as well. In many respects, basement waterproofing is a hidden way to raise a home's overall value.

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A Brief Guide to Mold and Your Home

MoldA mold home guide is essential to understand the basics of the substance, how it forms in the home, and the best ways to get rid of it. Besides being ugly and dangerous to the home's structure, it can also cause negative effects on a person's health. Here are some key things to comprehend about mold.

Why Mold Grows in the Home

Mold, a fungus, is part of nature. Out in the elements, it serves as a way to break down dead items like old leaves and trees. However, a home becomes affected as spores enter, float through the air, and land on a wet surface. There are numerous types of mold, but none can grow without moisture. The most common places where mold forms include basements, attics, or where leaks occur. Mold may grow on:
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Rugs
  • Wood
  • Duct work
  • Drywall
Homes with central heating systems are most likely to suffer with mold issues because spores are constantly circulated through the air.

Health Problems from Mold

There has been an increase with concerns that indoor mold exposure leads to a variety of health problems, especially allergic reactions. When mold is present in a home, residents may suffer from itchy eyes, nasal congestion, and sneezing. In severe cases, it may lead to asthma or permanent lung damage.

Signs of a Mold Problem

  • Water stains on walls, floors, or ceilings
  • Cracked, peeling, bubbled paint or wallpaper
  • Bowed or Warped walls

Mold Prevention and Removal

There are many steps a person can take to prevent mold from forming:
  • Dry wet areas quickly. If there is a leaky pipe or a spill on the floor, it is essential to dry the site immediately.
  • Install Proper Ventilation. Anywhere that moisture develops should have a place to ventilate out of the home. For example, showers, stoves, and clothes dryers should properly vent outside of the house.
  • Direct Water Away from the House. Outside, the ground should slope away from a home's foundation. This keeps water from collecting and seeping into the basement.
  • Use mold resistant products. When building a new house or repairing an older home, things like mold resistant drywall and paint should be used. These products contain ingredients like fiberglass that prevent moisture absorption.
  • Monitor Roof Gutters. Cleaning gutters and repairing problems may prevent leaks from occurring on the roof.
When mold is not severe, it is possible to clean the problem without external help. However, it is essential to wear a mask, gloves, and goggles to keep spores from entering the eyes or lungs. A person should use soap and water to scrub mold off hard surfaces. All areas should be dried completely as well. Porous materials that are filled with mold may not be salvageable, so they should be eliminated and replaced. When mold has become out of control, it may be necessary to call in professional assistance. These experts know where to look for mold and how to safely remove it. The air of the space will be filtered to remove spores, and all nooks and crannies will be thoroughly cleaned as well. Many times, these companies will be able to help prevent new mold problems by waterproofing basements, fixing foundation cracks, and performing other procedures.  

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Basement Waterproofing and Cove Seepage

Basement waterproofingAs a homeowner, you should have a good grasp of terms such as basement waterproofing and cove seepage. This is because water leaking into the basement of a building can compromise its structural integrity. Some potential causes of such water leaks include natural deterioration of concrete over time. In short, you should waterproof your basement to prevent possibly catastrophic leaks.
The cove is the joint formed at the point where the basement floor and wall meet. Therefore, cove seepage is water that leaks into a building's basement through this joint. In most cases, cove seepage occurs during the wet (rain or snow) season. This is because a prolonged wet season is likely to cause ground water level to rise due to increased hydrostatic pressure and consequently seep inside buildings through cove joints. Thankfully, waterproofing your basement can prevent water from seeping into your home through cove joints.

Basement Waterproofing

Basement waterproofing entails the use of various construction techniques to prevent ground water from seeping into a building. This is particularly important for any structure built below ground level or at ground level. There are three main ways of waterproofing a basement: interior waterproofing, exterior waterproofing, and installing interior wall and floor sealers.

Interior Basement Waterproofing

The majority of interior water drainage systems work by draining underground water underneath the basement floor and alongside foundation footers. For instance, you can waterproof your basement from the inside by installing interior drain tiles. It is worth noting that these are not real tiles but perforated plastic pipes that building contractors usually bury beneath basement floors and next to foundation footings. To install these tiles, a building contractor removes about 12 inches of concrete flooring around the inside perimeter of a basement. After this, the contractor digs a trench that goes all the way to the foundation footing and then lays a bed of washed gravel throughout the trench. After doing this, the contractor lays perforated pipes wrapped in "filtration fabric" around the basement connected to a sump pump. Before pouring concrete to cover the drain tiles, the contractor may add more washed gravel. With such drain tiles in place, underground water will seep into them and flow to the sump pump instead of seeping into the basement.

Exterior Basement Waterproofing

You can hire a professional to install an exterior waterproof membrane to prevent water from seeping into your home's basement. In general, such a membrane consists of asphalt modified urethane that completely seals foundation walls. Building contractors usually cover waterproof membranes with heavy duty plastic drainage boards to help channel water away from the foundation of a building. Exterior drain tiles offer another effective way to waterproof a basement. These tiles function in the same way as interior drain tiles. However, contractors lay exterior drain tiles around the outer perimeter of a building's foundation.

Interior Wall and Floor Sealers

If you do not fancy digging trenches for laying drainpipes inside or outside the foundation of your home, you could opt for interior wall and floor sealers. Waterproofing sealers are chemically formulated mixes. After application, these mixes create insulating layers that are impermeable to water. It is worth noting that these mixes are available in different forms including spray on sealers and paint on sealers. In summary, unless you have the necessary skillset, you should probably hire a building contractor to waterproof your basement. Depending on the location of your home and soil topology, your contractor could install interior or exterior pipes to waterproof your basement as well as prevent cove seepage.  

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