A homeowner’s basement is undeniably an asset when the conditions are right. The lower level can be used to fulfill many needs such as extra bedroom space, guest room, laundry area, home office, theater room and the ever-popular family room. Basements can be inviting and functional. However, if by some reason the basement becomes wet, you may lose up to one third of your home’s living space.
Water in a basement ruins carpeting. Though many people attempt drying the carpet or removing it completely, the new carpet will become misshapen and damp smelling or the new flooring will become compromised. Another major problem with water in the basement is moldy drywall and water-soaked studs best pedestal sumps. Of course the furniture, electronics, and whatever else is stored in the space may get damaged along with mechanical equipment such as the furnace and hot water heater, which eventually rust. Not only does water ruin your possessions, with the influx of mold and mildew it can also present a health hazard for your family.
There are numerous reasons for a basement to flood. When the outside grade slants toward the house it can cause water to run into basement windows and under the sill plate. This is remedied by changing the grade to slant away from the house. The most common, and by far the most serious penetration, involves water coming up through the basement floor. This happens when a high water table or hard, dense soil such as clay cause hydraulic pressure which forces the water down under the footings. It eventually rises up through the floor via wall and floor joints and cracks in the concrete floor.
A reputable basement waterproofing contractor can solve the basement floor seepage problem with a complete perimeter system. This is attained by, first of all, removing the concrete floor around the perimeter of the basement, and then taking away the soil in order to expose the footings. A water trek system is then installed along-side the footing and is encased in stone. The trek conduit circles the perimeter ending with a connection to a sump-pump system. The perimeter drain system collects the water that flows under the footings and drains the water into the sump-pump.
Water can invade a basement in various ways but there is hope. Find a reputable waterproofing contractor in your area. The money you spend on repairing your wet basement quickly becomes a good investment, since you’re adding living space to your home.
If you are a homeowner with a block wall basement and the blocks are leaking water into your finished areas, you definitely have a problem. Leaks in block walls (individual cement blocks as opposed to poured concrete walls) are difficult to control. Concrete walls can be injected with hydro-foam; however, block walls have cores that are too large to fill and cracks in masonry that are too numerous to inject. Another attempt at a solution would be to apply a coating of hydraulic cement to the walls, but this is only as good as the surface it is applied to. For instance, this method is relatively ineffective on older walls with peeling paint and oxidation.
The best advice is to pursue a permanent method to control leaking block walls. A foundation membrane made of tough durable high-density polyethylene material can be installed over the existing masonry wall. The floor along the leaking wall can then be removed and the membrane can run down to the footing drain. This method is used in conjunction with a new or existing sump pump footing drain. The membrane material has double-dimpled construction which traps and allows water to run behind it and into a footing drain. The membrane is fastened to the wall with plastic mushroom anchors and the top edge is sealed with foam-backed rods. This process of complete sealing eliminates the possibility of the presence of mold.
The polyethylene membrane material comes in sixty-five foot rolls, which ensures the existence of a minimal number of joints. Seams are overlapped by at least twenty inches and are filled with butyl caulk. When the concrete floor is replaced, the bottom of the membrane is totally sealed as well. If and when the wall leaks, the moisture runs behind the membrane and into the footing drain. The membrane will continue its protection even if the wall settles or shifts.