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Basement Waterproofing

Basement leaks and standing water are a serious concern for any homeowner, and if you have water in your basement you need an effective, long-lasting waterproofing solution.

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The Causes of a Wet Basement

Did you know you can have water issues in your basement without heavy rains or obvious standing water? It’s easy enough to see water coming through a crack in your floor or basement wall, but what’s the real cause of your basement water problem?

Excavated soil that is replaced around a completed foundation isn’t as dense and tightly packed as undisturbed soil farther away. As a result, water collects in the soil immediately surrounding the house, putting pressure on foundation walls and causing cracks.

A sizeable hole was dug in the ground when your home was built. The foundation was then poured, which left a gap between the foundation walls and the existing earth. This gap was filled with soil that was removed and “fluffed up.” This soil is looser, more aerated than the surrounding soil, which may have been compressing for hundreds of years. Thus, the looser soil tends to absorb more water than the compacted soil. More water against the walls leads to hydrostatic pressure. (Source: Bob Vila)

As the soil around your foundation becomes soaked with moisture, it expands and puts pressure on your foundation. Hydrostatic pressure is the constant force of water pressure on the foundation walls. When this force becomes more than the walls can handle, the walls will begin to crack and bow inwards.

This affects the structural integrity of the walls. Water also will then work its way through any opening available, including cracks and openings around pipes or windows.

Water sitting behind foundation walls will find and fill invisible openings in the surface of the porous concrete it touches. This contributes to capillary action, creating a series of tiny veins that will seep on the other side. (Source: JES Foundation Repair)

Sump pumps are essential in keeping water out of basements. Think of a basement waterproofing system as the body’s circulatory system; a properly functioning sump pump is the heart of the system. Older, failing sump pumps will only allow water to continue to collect in the basement.

The most common sump pump systems are installed in metal basins in the floor with lids that rest on top of the basin and have openings for the discharge pipes. Some may not have lids at all. These are ineffective systems that will only cause more problems. The metal basins can easily rust and corrode, and partial or nonexistent lids allow water to evaporate back into the basement. This results in unpleasant odors and moisture issues that defeat the purpose of the sump pump in the first place. Objects and debris also can easily fall into the system and damage the pump if the sump pit is not completely covered.

Clogged or above-ground exterior drainage pipes could allow water to puddle next to the home and find its way inside any crack or gap in porous block foundation walls. Above-ground downspout conductor lines are unsightly tripping and safety hazards. Burying these lines under the ground and directing them far away from your home is the best way to keep water from downspout conductor lines out of the house.

You also need to think about the condition of this buried drainage system. These pipes fail to do their job if they crack or collapse, and you could end up with puddles of water in your basement. Older clay pipes commonly split, break, or crack.

Some traditional downspout conductor lines buried underground have no outlet for drainage. Since they are sitting in the ground, they could become clogged with dirt and other debris. This could lead to back-up or overflow of water that will cause additional headaches.

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I am grateful that Scott reached out and he was able to make things right. It’s all a big tripping hazard now in the backyard.

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Robert F

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Michael Gold was very thorough, professional & communicated exactly what the problem was & how they would fix it. Thanks again!

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Lindsay Wilson

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Mike Kilduff is the man! Very professional. Did a great job. Will call back for any future basement needs. Was on-time. Took off shoes.

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Ben McSwain

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My representative Jack was very knowledgeable informative and professional, great job!

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Gilbert Lettig

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These guys work their tails off to get the job right, and they did their best to keep things clean and protect the other parts of our house.

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Benjamin Goodheart

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Our first point of contact was Tony and he did an awesome job all around.

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Cam Bledsoe

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Very professional technician. Explained the system and why it was needed thoroughly. Should be a permanent fix to my ongoing problem!

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David Anderson

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FAQs

Basement flooding can occur for a variety of reasons. You may have an internal plumbing leak, a leak that comes from the outside, or even cracks in your basement walls. Regardless of the reason for the flood, it’s important to remember that preventing basement flooding can help you avoid significant damage.

Your best method of avoiding basement flooding is to invest in basement waterproofing products. That includes drainage systems, which can help with smaller leaks that turn into large floods over time. You also want to make sure your basement is strong and sturdy, which means utilizing foundation repair solutions like wall repairs or reinforcements throughout your basement anywhere you may have cracks.

There’s no way to tell whether you can completely prevent floods in your basement; if some of your plumbing bursts, for example, you may end up with a basement flood even if you take all the necessary precautions. That’s why products like sump pumps can be immensely helpful, preparing you for the worst-case scenario of a basement flood.

Everyone needs some form of basement flooding solution. Even if you’ve never experienced basement flooding, it’s still a good idea to utilize basement flooding solutions so you don’t have those problems in the future. A free quote from Complete Basement Systems can start you on that journey.

The process of removing water from your basement is actually more difficult than it may seem at first. A sump pump will certainly be your first step, but just pumping out all the water won’t fix the problem. You’ll need to ensure the flood is no longer occurring, remove the water properly, and dry the area out once it’s done.

Drying out your basement is an incredibly important element of this process. If you pump out all the water and assume you’re done, you’re extremely likely to end up with mold and mildew. A basement dehumidifier will help you avoid future problems, and other basement flooding measures can help your basement return to health.

The basement waterproofing process is an important one when you’re dealing with a flooded basement. Installing the right basement waterproofing products will be very helpful in avoiding the situation that led to your flooded basement in the first place, making it an important element of recovering.

Although it’s tempting to try and DIY your basement water damage problems, this DIY mindset can actually lead to even more problems. A basement waterproofing expert can help you remove the water and avoid future problems. Request a free quote from Complete Basement Systems to learn more about your options.