Basement Waterproofing Problem Signs
Some homeowners experience the symptoms of a waterproofing issue but are unsure as to what the problem actually is or of the problem’s larger implications.
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Even a small leak can become a basement flood that leads to extensive damage to finishing materials and stored items. Our trained experts specialize in wet basement repairs of all kinds and can provide a great solution for you.
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How do you know if you are having drainage issues? Here are some of the typical problems you may see in your basement.
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When your home experiences a plumbing failure, it can damage carpet, drywall, appliances, and stored personal possessions.
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At first glance, a flooded basement may seem like a problem that a homeowner will just have to live with. This is not true!
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? Some homeowners experience the symptoms of a water issue but are unsure as to what the problem actually is or of the problem’s larger implications. By choosing Complete Basement Systems, we find and diagnose any problem your basement is dealing with and then customize our solutions to your specific needs. Installing basement waterproofing systems can ensure your home stays dry and structurally sound.
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.
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.
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.
Basement Waterproofing Solutions
Did you know that a wet basement can directly affect every other part of your home? Don’t let your basement cause you any problems and protect your home by installing waterproofing solutions. Here at Complete Basement Systems, we specialize in tailoring basement waterproofing solutions for your home, and we promise to make sure it stays dry for years to come.
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Sump pumps have come a long way in recent years, and they are better and more reliable than ever.
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If you have water leaking into your basement, a perimeter drain could be the right option for you.
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When water starts to leak through your basement walls or floors, it can quickly lead to a very serious flood in your home.
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Lingering humidity in the basement can cause all sorts of problems. How can installing a dehumidifier in your basement help?
Is Basement Waterproofing the Right Solution for Me?
Many moisture problems such as mold, mildew, and elevated humidity can lead straight to problems happening in your basement. With superior waterproofing solutions from Complete Basement Systems, we guarantee your basement stays protected from outside elements and water damage. Whether it is by installing an interior drainage system, paired with a sump pump, or adding a vapor barrier and a dehumidifier, we have the systems to keep your home dry. During an inspection with one of our certified team members, we’ll inspect the exterior and interior of your home and then offer a tailored plan for your exact needs. With more than 20 years of experience, we’ve been protecting homeowners from water damage in Aurora, Colorado Springs, Denver, and nearby areas with our leading products and exceptional customer service.
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.
So, what can you do to avoid basement floods as much as possible? Although there’s no good way to completely ensure that your basement will never flood, there are ways that you can mitigate any damage that could occur if you do have a basement flood.
- Sump Pumps
A sump pump is a must for any basement. Sump pumps essentially pump water out once it gets inside the basement. They are not a preventative measure, but rather a way to sure the water does as little damage as possible if it does. Sump pumps make sure your basement doesn’t experience any overflow that’s damaging and unavoidable.
You want to invest in basement waterproofing first and foremost. However, basement waterproofing isn’t the only thing you need to consider for your basement’s health. A sump pump will help you avoid other problems that can arise with standing water, which can include concerns like mold and mildew.
- Interior Drainage
An interior drainage system can, at the very least, help you with a variety of flooding problems. For example, it can handle water seepage from the ground and the walls, ensure that water doesn’t come inside through the basement door, and otherwise maintain your basement’s flooding problems. Interior drainage can work well around your walls and underneath your basement door.
It’s also extremely important that you maintain your basement’s hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is often a huge problem in basements. With too much hydrostatic pressure, your walls can bow inward and crack, leading to issues with water rushing inside. If you’re able to maintain that hydrostatic pressure, you’re less likely to experience those concerns.
There are a few reasons that you can’t prevent flooding entirely. Remember, this is why you need methods of both prevention and cleanup when flooding does occur. These are two things that you can’t control that may lead to flooding.
- Accidents and Unavoidable Problems
The first element is accidents and other generally unavoidable problems. By their very nature, you can’t predict accidents. What will happen if you accidentally leave the bathtub running and it overflows? That’s not something you can predict, and it’s important to remember that unpredictability can lead to many basement problems, including flooding.
This is one of the reasons you need elements like sump pumps to pump out unexpected water. Even with the best waterproofing processes, you wouldn’t avoid water leaking into the basement due to an accident. A sump pump will keep your basement more completely protected when you run into these accidental water concerns.
- Natural Disasters
While you can predict natural disasters to an extent, you can’t do anything to stop them. Additionally, you usually won’t be able to predict exactly how they’re going to impact your home. Different natural disasters may impact different homes in extremely unique ways, which is why it’s so crucial to think about how they’ll impact you.
Different homes may need different protection due to the common natural disasters in the area. For example, if you live in a flood-prone area, you may need to invest in flood vents for your basement. However, if your area never floods, you’re unlikely to need flood vents. An expert will be able to help you determine the best solutions for your unique situation.
Many homeowners don’t know whether they need to install basement flooding solutions in their homes. The truth is that most homes can benefit from at least a few elements of basement flooding solutions. Here are a few of the biggest reasons to invest.
- Living in a Flood-Prone Area
Do you live in an area that’s generally prone to floods? Certain areas tend to have more flooding than others. If you’ve ever had to deal with a flood before, you know how frustrating it can be to deal with these problems. No one wants to deal with home floods, which is why it’s such a good idea to invest in basement flooding solutions. These investments will pay off if you have to deal with basement flooding in the future.
- General Preparation
This last reason is one that anyone can consider. Essentially, no matter who you are or where your home is, it’s a good idea to invest in basement flooding solutions. Because there are unpredictable potential issues that can result in basement flooding, you never know when basement flooding could be a problem you have to deal with. The strategies you use to deal with basement flooding may vary from home to home. Schedule a free inspection with Complete Basement Systems to get expert help when it comes to finding the right basement solution for your problems.
Are you looking for a way to remove the water in a flooded basement? If you know it’s safe to go down in your basement, especially once you’ve checked that there are no electrical hazards, your ability to remove water from your basement will likely come down to a few steps.
- Make Sure the Flood Is Contained
First and foremost, you have to make sure you’ve stopped the source of the flood. Whether that means turning off the water to the house so you’re no longer experiencing an overflow from your pipes or just waiting until a storm passes, you can’t remove water in the basement completely until the source of the basement flooding is no longer a concern.
If you have a sump pump, the pump will start moving water out of the basement even if it’s still pouring in. This is helpful because it ensures that your basement doesn’t deal with the fallout that can come from multiple inches of standing water. However, you can’t fix the problem for good until you’ve stopped its source.
- Remove the Water and Dry the Area Out
Next, you need to get all the standing water out of the area. Most commonly, you’re going to do this with a sump pump. Plus, a high-quality sump pump will help you pump out the water even as the flood is ongoing, which means there’s less of a chance that the water will continue to rise in your basement, making it even more damaging to the basement as a whole.
You also need to dry the area completely. This is one of the most important elements of the process. If you don’t dry out the area, you’re going to have remaining condensation issues. Those issues are certainly going to turn into problems like mold and mildew, as well as structural instability, which can be extremely damaging.
Basement follow-up care is one of the most important things you can do. Most homeowners can figure out how to pump water out of the basement, but what do you do to keep it healthy afterward?
A dehumidifier is crucial if you’re going to keep your basement healthy after a flood. Once the basement has flooded, you’ll need a dehumidifier to remove the lingering high humidity issues. This is true even if you’re able to make the area dry with something like towels or fans. You’re still likely to have high humidity, which means you need a dehumidifier to reduce that humidity.
Remember, humidity is one of the most serious causes of damage in a basement. High levels of humidity can encourage the growth of mold and mildew or wood rot. It can also increase the levels of humidity throughout your home, not just in the basement.
- Recurring Maintenance
It’s most common for water to enter basements through doors and windows. These are usually the most vulnerable areas for water because water is great at finding its way even through very small gaps. Make sure that you’re looking at the sealing around doors and windows regularly if possible. A yearly inspection can save your home a lot of grief.
You’ll also need to take a look at your waterproofing processes every time you have a basement flood. This is one of the best ways for you to make sure your basement is as waterproof as possible for the future. You also might be able to notice where your waterproofing went wrong during the last flood.
The basement waterproofing process isn’t always going to help you avoid flooding. After all, if a pipe bursts in your bathroom, waterproofing isn’t going to help it stay out of the basement. However, waterproofing measures can still have added benefits in the event of a flood.
- Sump Pump
A sump pump is one element of basement waterproofing that can also be helpful if your basement has flooding problems in general. Sump pumps are the easiest way to pump water out of your basement in case of a flood. Having one that’s always ready to go in your basement is an easy way to avoid water problems.
When you pair a sump pump with a drainage system like BasementGutter™, you’re more likely to avoid problems with standing water in your basement. Even if you have an active leak, the combination of an interior drain and a sump pump will often be enough for you to avoid water damage in your basement.
- Knowledge of Weak Points
Knowing a little bit more about your basement is a great way to understand its potential weak points, such as wall cracks. When you have a professional waterproof your basement, they may be able to help you with other elements of your repair process. That can include giving you information on where you may be most likely to have problems. Additionally, homeowners who are more well-versed in the weak points of their home are more likely to notice when there’s a problem. For example, if you know that your home has problems with bowed basement walls, you’ll be more likely to take a quick look at the walls every time you go under your home. That’ll make it easier for you to catch the problem early on.
You might wonder whether you even need an expert to help you fix your basement water damage, especially if you’re someone who might appreciate the DIY process. The truth is that an expert’s touch will be one of the most important parts of fixing the basement water damage you’re experiencing.
- The Issue With DIY
A good and bad aspect of DIY is one and the same: You’re the one who’s doing it. This can be a huge benefit because it’s cheaper, but it can also be a huge downfall if you’re dealing with something that requires a lot of expertise you don’t have.
Because basement water damage does require expertise, you need to talk to an expert about fixing it. If you try to DIY a basement fix, it’s much more likely that you’re going to end up with foundation problems. Those are expensive and difficult to fix. It’s much easier to just hire an expert from the beginning.
- How to Maximize Your Basement Water Damage Approach
You must manage your basement waterproofing needs. If you’re not paying attention to basement waterproofing, you’re more likely to have basement water damage that recurs. However, after you’ve ensured you have as little flooding possibility as possible, you need to call in a basement waterproofing expert to help you with the current issues you’re having. The best way to ensure a high-quality basement waterproofing process is with the help of a Complete Basement Systems expert. You can schedule a free inspection through Complete Basement Systems today to get more information on waterproofing your basement.
Why is Basement Waterproofing Needed?
Protects Your Home Against Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew in your home can be a sign of a multitude of other water-related problems happening in your basement. Add in a musty odor and dealing with it can be downright unpleasant and in further progressed stages of mold, dangerous to your health. When moisture finds a way into your home it can raise the humidity levels, creating the perfect environment for mold. Once it begins to spread, it can become a health hazard for anyone in your home who has respiratory issues such as asthma and allergies. It’s important to protect your basement with waterproofing systems so that mold growth is prevented entirely.
Keeps It Dry in the Event of Flooding
At Complete Basement Systems, we know the fear that comes with experiencing a flood in your home. From valuables getting destroyed to water lingering in your basement causing structural issues and mold growth, flooding can be a headache. Fortunately, by installing our durable vapor barriers, interior drainage, a superior sump pump system, and a dehumidifier your home can be protected from the damaging effects of flooding.
Protects It from Soil-Related Problems
Besides a flood occurring, the soil around your home is the number one reason water gets into your basement. You may be wondering how that’s possible; it all has to do with the strength of your foundation and any damage to its structure. When your foundation becomes compromised to either foundation settlement or cracks, water from the soil can find a way in. This is especially true if the soil around your foundation is oversaturated, and hydrostatic pressure comes into play. It’s important to repair any foundation cracks before installing waterproofing systems. By choosing to waterproof your basement, you can protect your home from soil-related moisture problems.
Common Basement Waterproofing Tips & Mistakes
Helpful Tips for Waterproofing Your Basement
- One of the biggest things to make sure of before beginning any basement waterproofing repairs is to check your foundation for damage. If you install repairs without first having your foundation checked, you may be running into more problems down the line. By making sure your foundation is sealed and cracks are fixed you can be sure your basement waterproofing will be completely effective.
- Window wells can also be a source of wet basements. If the window wells in your basement aren’t properly sealed or defective, water can get in causing elevated humidity, dampness, and mold growth. It’s important to regularly inspect the condition of your window wells and make sure they’re closed tight to prevent water damage.
- By waterproofing your basement, you’re also saving money on electrical bills. If your basement is suffering from water damage and isn’t completely sealed off from the elements, your HVAC system will have to work harder in order to effectively warm or cool your home. Since most homes’ HVAC systems are within their basements, any air that is overly humid or too hot or cold will force your electrical into overdrive. By sealing your basement walls with a vapor barrier and installing a dehumidifier, you can ensure your HVAC works more efficiently.
Mistakes to Avoid When Waterproofing Your Basement
- One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when first installing waterproofing systems in their basements is not installing a battery-powered backup sump pump. In case of a power outage, your backup sump pump can take over and effectively direct water away from your home. If your sump pump fails or becomes clogged, an additional one will guarantee your basement stays protected.
- Unfortunately, like most things around your home, basement waterproofing isn’t a one-and-done solution for managing water. Your gutters also play a huge role in effectively draining water away from your home. If they become clogged, start to sag, or their joints separate, they could lead to massive amounts of water pooling around your foundation and basement walls. Inspecting them regularly for damage or clogs can make all the difference when managing water alongside your basement waterproofing systems.
- As homeowners ourselves, we know how tempting it can be to want to waterproof your own basement. The factor of costs, affordable labor, and time can all be reasons you may want to DIY. Attempting to DIY your basement waterproofing project, although completely understandable, can cause more harm than good. Unfortunately, many of the high-quality products and solutions we use at Complete Basement Systems are not available at hardware and big-box stores, and ensuring materials are installed properly is key. By choosing to have our team waterproof your basement you can be guaranteed that your basement is properly protected.
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Colorado Springs, CO
Don’t let Colorado Springs’ dryness or varying soil conditions wreak havoc on your home. Local experts can help you permanently repair and protect your foundation.
It is likely that your home's foundation, basement, concrete, and crawl space will sustain damage if you reside in Denver’s dry environment with expansive clay.
Fort Collins-Loveland Metro Area
Foundation damage is common in homes throughout Fort Collins-Loveland, but it should not be ignored. Let local experts ensure it’s forever protected by the best solutions.