Most Common Basement Problems

images (15)Basements are subjected to a lot of problems because of their location. No matter whether you are using your basement for simple storage purpose or recreational activities, these problems can decrease your home’s value.

A basement is an important part of every house. It can be used as an additional storage or activity space. Even a minor problem with the basement can be emotionally very stressful. Here are some of the most common basement problems that every homeowner must have faced at some or the other time.

Cracks – The problem of cracks in the basement wall or flooring is very common. They allow water to seep into the house. Cracks can occur either naturally or because of an external force. If not checked on time, small cracks can get bigger over time and cause major problem to the foundation of your house. Bigger and more serious cracks should be checked out by a professional. Cracks on the floor can be due to the mistakes during construction and can show up as the house ages. The soil around the house can constantly erode because of water, thereby weakening the foundation of the house. These problems need to be addressed as soon as they are spotted.

Humidity – It can cause problems like the growth of mold and dust mites. Living in a humid house is not very comfortable for a human being.

Smell – Humidity and smell go hand in hand. Foul basement odors are usually caused by mold, mildew, drywall, paint or dust mites.

Mold – The growth of mold in the basement not only causes a lot of problems, but also deteriorate the value of your house. It smells bad, looks awful and causes serious health problems like asthma, headaches and allergic reactions.

Basement Leaking or Flooding – This is a very common problem that house owners face especially during the rainy season. Wet basements can cause several other problems. Water may enter the basement either from the inside or the outside. The only solution to the problem is waterproofing the basement with the help of a professional.

These are some of the common basement problems that house owners face at some or the other time. It is very important to keep a check on these problems and corrective measures should be taken as soon as possible. It is always advisable to seek professional help in fixing the basement problems. Not only these professionals are experienced, but also have required tools and equipment to solve your basement problems.

 

Causes Of Basement Flooding

download (36)Many homeowners face basement flooding as a common problem. Wet or damp basements are a common problem in both old and new homes. Basement flooding creates mold and mildew and ruins flooring and wall materials. Most often it happens during rainy season, but it can also occur during a dry weather.

Many people wait for the problem of basement flooding to go on its own. This attitude can prove to be very dangerous for the structural health of the home in the long run. Whenever your basement floods, it is best to deal with the problem straight away. Hiring the service of a waterproofing company offering wet basement solutions is the best way to deal with this problem. First, it is very important to understand the reasons for basement flooding. Here are a few reasons why your basement may flood:

Location of the House – Usually houses are built on sloped terrains, which allow accumulated water to drain. If your house has been built without proper sloping or on the lower part of the estate, it will flood frequently.

Improper Drainage System – The problem of leakage is very common if a drainage system is not installed properly. A properly installed drainage system helps in moving the water away from the basement and block the entry of the water in the building.

Sump Pump Failure – The work of a sump pump is to collect the unwanted water and discharge it away from the home. But if it is not working properly, it won’t work properly and may lead to basement flooding. Some of the common reasons of a sump pump failure include, improper installation, lack of regular maintenance, power failure and clogged discharge lines.

Leakage in the Sewer Pipe – Smaller leaks in the sewer pipe can only become noticeable when the issue has become very serious. This can prove to be very dangerous.

Leakage from the Wall Cracks – This is one of the most serious issues and the cause of the crack needs to be found to avoid the building up of more cracks.

Other Reasons:

– Seepage
– Debris in the Eavestroughs
– Window Wells Leak
– Honeycomb Leakage
– Mortar Joint Leak
– Floor Cracks
– Plugged Drain Tile

The good thing about basement flooding is that it can be easily fixed through wet basement solutions. All you need to do is hire a good waterproofing company after doing proper research

Exterior Basement Waterproofing Solutions

images (14)Waterproofing the foundation of your home is the best way to prevent water from entering the basement. Basement waterproofing is divided into two major areas, interior basement waterproofing and exterior basement waterproofing. In this article we will discuss about exterior basement waterproofing.

Exterior basement waterproofing involves adopting a number of waterproofing procedures on the exterior of the home to stop water from entering the basement wall. Usually it is done during the construction of a new home, but older homes can be waterproofed by digging up the foundation.

Here are some ways to help you fight water from entering your basement:

Seal the Foundation Walls– Sealing the foundation of your home with good waterproofing material is the best way to prevent water seepage. The coating of these materials usually fades over time, therefore it is important to make sure that you regularly inspect the exterior walls to see if they are in need of replacement. Buy the best sealer available in the market and take the services of a professional to apply the coating.

Repair Cracks– If you want a dry basement, it is important not to leave any of the cracks open. Some cracks which are visible on the inside of the basement often continue through the foundation to show on the outside as well. For a long-lasting effect, these cracks should be filled at both ends. You can inject the cracks with epoxy to fix them. All the cracks and inconsistencies in the foundation wall needs to be fixed before waterproofing the area.

Install External Drainage System– Another way to waterproof your basement externally is to dig the soil next to basement walls and install drainage pipes along the wall. This will help in directing the water away from the walls. This solution works best for the exterior walls which are below ground level.

Parging– This process involves applying a thin layer of mortar over concrete. This helps in keeping the foundation walls smooth and helps fill voids, gaps and holes, thereby creating a more solid and stable surface.

Correct Ground Slopes– Correcting the ground slopes which surround the walls will reduce the chances of water pooling. The ground should slope at a distance of 5 feet from the exterior basement walls.

The above mentioned solutions protect your foundation from moisture and prevent water from getting through the basement walls. Selecting the right exterior basement waterproofing solution is very important to keep the foundation of your home healthy and strong.

3 Reasons a French Drain Will NOT Solve My Foundation Problems

images (13)First what is a French drain and what does it do to keep water off the floor of your Basement?

A French Drain is designed by cutting around the floor of your basement at the TOP of the Footer. A Box channel plastic drain is placed around the edge of the basement wall. As water leaks down the walls and underneath the footer the French drain captures the water, sends it to a sump pump and pumps it out of the home to keep the water off the floor.

I recently inspected a foundation were a French Drain was used to correct a water problem. First it is true that there was no water on the floor. Two humidifiers ran to dry the air in the basement and pumped that water directly into the sump pump and out of the home. The Cinder Block Walls were leaking white lime. The walls were wet and seeping water. The walls were cracked and bowing and there was mold and mildew growing everywhere.

The problem is that even though the French Drain was running correctly, a French Drain was never designed to Address the issues with the walls.

Here are the 3 reasons a French Drain will not solve your Foundation issues:

1) Pressure on the walls continues from the Ground water. In fact because the flooring was cut it weakens the support of the wall and may cause the wall to move, crack and buckle faster.

2) Mold and Mildew continues to grow inside the walls, as water is still leaking into the wall from ground and surface water.

3) The wall will continue to crack and crumble as the water comes down the wall around the footer and under the floor. The footer will continue to sink into the ground and will create step cracks in the wall.

The only solution to solve your foundation issues is to correct the issues with the wall, footer and the floor. You must drain the wall and relieve the pressure on the wall. You must Solidify the Footer by creating alternative routes for the water. You must dig down to the Bottom of the Footer to drain all the water out beneath the floor. It is important to provide spacer with the floor as not to release the support between the floor and the wall. As simple French drain at the top of the footer solves none of these issues.