Waterproofing Your Basement: When, Why, and How
You work hard to keep your house looking nice on the outside, but are you doing all that you can to maintain its structural integrity from within? Moisture has many ways of entering your home, where it can go on to cause a wide variety of health problems and damage to infrastructure if left untreated. Fortunately, the Basement Masters are here to waterproof your basement and keep your home in top condition.
Why Does Waterproofing My Basement Matter?
Aside from preventing leaks and floods, waterproofing a basement stops the following hazardous conditions from happening:
- Mold and mildew -- this unique form of fungus slowly decomposes all non-living materials, which unfortunately includes many building materials such as carpet, drywall, and lumber. Aside from causing extensive structural damage, mold spores can also spread to other areas of the home and cause upper respiratory complications such as congestion, infections, and severe allergic reactions.
- Radon – this toxic gas rises from the soil into your home via basement floors or foundational cracks. As more and more radon gas becomes trapped inside of your living space, the levels become dangerously high and can cause cancer. Worse still, it is impossible to detect radon by sight or smell, so you really must rely on the professionals when it comes to this area.
- Iron bacteria – when water gets into your basement or crawlspace, bacterium in the water produces ferrous oxide, a gummy substance that can clog exterior and interior drain tiles as well as sump pumps. Once the ferrous oxide hardens, nothing will unclog it. Whatever waterproofing system equipment it binds to will need to be completely replaced after a short while.
- Foundation cracks – water seepage can cause small cracks in the foundation to widen into huge problems. When the cracks get large enough, the foundation becomes compromised and starts to shift. This can lead to the house heavily leaning to one side, or even collapsing altogether.
In order to prevent these problems, you need to properly waterproof your basement!
How Can I Identify Moisture Problems in My Basement?
Not all signs of a basement moisture problem are as easily recognizable as a musty odor or a puddle. Be on the lookout for these common indicators that your basement needs waterproofing:
- High humidity levels
- Damp patches on the walls or floors
- Wet insulation
- Condensation on pipes and ductwork
- Orange stains (a sign of iron bacteria)
Above all else, the only true way to know if your basement is safe is to contact the professionals and allow them to conduct an assessment according to the latest federal guidelines and standards.
How Does Moisture Get into the Basement?
Not all leaky basements are as simple as fixing a broken pipe. There are many ways for moisture to enter your basement or crawlspace and cause devastation. Here are three of the most common ways:
- Cracked foundation – cracks in the foundation are a small problem that can add up. Too much water in your yard, be it from a high water table to improperly placed gutters, will cause your foundation to shift. Conversely, dry soil can create pockets for water to form in as well.
- High humidity – basement walls and floors are naturally cool, and as warm air enters the home, it can cause condensation to form. As you can see, no leaks have to be present at all for there to be a moisture problem in this instance!
- Iron bacteria – this special type of bacteria may come from the introduction of contaminated soil, contaminated landscaping tools, or even by way of transplanted plants and flowers.
How Do You Fix a Basement with Moisture Problems?
Eliminating moisture from your basement or crawlspace is a delicate situation that often requires industrial equipment and expert knowledge. After assessing your individual basement’s conditions, the experts at Basement Masters will be able to handle whatever needs to be done next on a case-by-case basis. Here are some of our general solutions, all proven to work with the highest rates of success:
- Sump pump – if water is threatening your downstairs area, a sump pump will carry water away from the basement and the foundation as well. Not only will we inspect and repair your current sump pump, but we will also replace it, if necessary, with one of our own deluxe models, which includes:
- Battery backup in case of power outage.
- Dual pumping action for maximum efficiency.
- Interior and exterior drains – a drainage system captures excessive moisture under your home or in your yard and channels it directly into your sump pump for far-reaching results.
- Vapor barriers – these protective structures can be built directly into the wall or floor to avoid the formation of moisture from condensation.
- Foundation repairs – there are many ways for us to fix problems with your foundation:
- Epoxy Injections – this special sealant keeps out moisture and repairs basic cracks in floors or walls caused by damage to the foundation.
- Underpinning Piers – these sturdy steel structures are pushed deep into the earth until they reach a firm layer of soil. Once the piers are properly stress-tested, the house is lifted onto each one for long-lasting re-stabilization.
- Wall Anchors – rods are inserted through holes in the foundation that extend deep into the earth. Plates are then installed against the interior and exterior wall, and a lug nut squeezes the two plates against the foundation, tightening it back into place.
- Carbon Fiber Strips – strips of carbon fiber are secured over the cracks in combination with epoxy injections. This method is cost effective, easy to install, and requires no additional maintenance.
- These repairs also prevent the buildup of radon in your home.
- Iron bacteria – from special treatments to custom piping, we can design a waterproofing system that is resistant to the many different strains of iron bacteria.
When it comes to crawlspaces, Basement Masters has developed an all-in-one System Seal plan that eliminates the most common problems associated with moisture control:
- Special steps to eliminate mold, mildew and allergens.
- Sealant applied to cracks in basement floors, walls, and the foundation to limit radon exposure.
- Completely insulate the crawlspace to reduce energy costs.
- In addition to moisture control, no more rodents or other pests will be able to enter your home!
Why Choose Basement Masters?
We know how daunting it can be to have a leaky basement. You just want to get the problem to go away and never return again. At Basement Masters, we have the knowledge, the equipment, and the credentials to take care of any basement moisture problem so that you can stop worrying and get back to your normal lifestyle. Let us take a professional waterproofing approach that’s guaranteed to dry up your basement – and keep it that way!