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Early Warning Signs Your Home May Need Foundation Waterproofing

man holding nose due to smelly basement

The health of your home’s foundation basically equals the health of every structure that relies upon it, either from above or below. From your chimney to your basement, your house is only as safe and sturdy as the foundation that connects all its parts together.

This is why it is so essential to remain aware of early warning signs that your foundation may be structurally compromised.

One of the most common issues that arises with foundations, especially if yours is an older home, is moisture seepage. In this post, we review the most common early warning signs that your home may need foundation waterproofing.

1. Increased humidity in your indoor air

There is no doubt that humidity can fluctuate with the seasons here in Canada. And in most houses that have basements, the air is slightly more humid in the basement than it is above ground.

However, as long as your HVAC is working properly, increasing indoor humidity beyond what you have experienced in past years usually points to one culprit: hidden moisture sneaking in through cracks in your foundation.

2. Your floor starts creaking, sagging or sloping

In movies, having an old creaking floor can add a lot of suspense and drama to the storyline. But when it happens in your home, the only drama it adds is the kind that keeps you up worrying at night.

The same holds true if your kids can play-slide down your sloping floor or if there is a nice well in the middle that the family dog enjoys lying in. These are signs your foundation needs repairs.

3. Windows, cabinets or doors stick or won’t stay closed

Do you have a door in your home that won’t stay closed no matter what you try? Or do you dread your morning struggle to pry open the bathroom cabinets?

While it can feel like your home is fighting you, in actuality these are symptoms of a bigger problem – a shifting foundation that is beginning to lean, sag or crack.

4. Cracks begin to appear on inside or outside walls

If you have ever walked into a room in your home only to notice a fresh gaping seam has opened up on a wall or ceiling, you already know how worrisome this can be.

What many new homeowners in particular do not realize is that often a crack on a wall or ceiling points to shifts in the foundation below. And anytime the foundation begins to shift, this opens up micro-fissures that eventually turn into cracks where moisture can easily seep through.

5. Efflorescence shows up on your basement walls, ceiling or floors.

Efflorescence often masquerades as dust, until you realize this “dust” isn’t showing up in the places where dust usually congregates. This is because that white, powdery stuff isn’t dust at all, but rather represents mineral salts left behind as water evaporates.

Efflorescence can show up anywhere there is a fissure or a crack, even if you can’t see where it is coming from. It is a sure sign water is coming through your foundation from somewhere.

6. You find moisture or pooled water inside your home or basement

Once the situation has progressed to the point at which you are actually finding damp walls or floors or pools of water, it is time to sleuth out the source of the leak(s) and make any necessary repairs.

7. Your home and/or basement starts to stink

There is no more obvious – or worse – symptom that your foundation has started to leak than when you start smelling a strange odour in your home, crawl space or basement area.

This odour is most likely arising from mildew or mould spores that have colonized in the damp areas and are beginning to spread. Another, equally unpleasant possibility is that insects or rodents have moved in to take advantage of plentiful moisture.

The Warning Signs You Can’t Detect Might Be Even Worse

Today, there is a growing problem with radon exposure throughout Canada. Radon, an odourless, colorless, naturally occurring gas, is produced when uranium trapped in soil, rocks and water begins to break down.

This natural process of breakdown releases radon gas, which then seeks out areas of lower pressure as it rises upward.

Radon is responsible for a full 16 percent of new lung cancer cases each year – these primarily among non-smokers. When your foundation begins to crack, this makes it even easier for radon to enter your basement and then your home.

How to Fix a Foundation Leak From the Inside

When you see any of the foundation warning signs and problems mentioned here, or others that concern you, it is time to call in a pro.

Waiting is possible in some cases, but you won’t know what your options are until you have the situation professionally assessed.

The good news is, modern foundation repair technology makes even formerly complex repair issues easy, quick and affordable. In the majority of cases, we can have the necessary repairs completed in just a day or two.

Use this simple and quick online form to schedule your free, no-obligation inspection and quote.

Get in Touch

Are you seeing any of the warning signs mentioned here that there is a problem with your foundation? Are you worried that your foundation has started to crack or leak in ways that may compromise your home’s safety and resale value?

We can help! Don’t wait and worry when you can find out your options today – at no obligation to you! Use this simple and quick online form to schedule your assessment and learn what your options are.

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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5 Questions You Never Knew to Ask About Basement Waterproofing

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When it comes to anticipating basement leaks, the home insurance industry statistics speak for themselves: a whopping 98 percent of basements throughout North America will experience some type of water leak during their lifespan.

However, even with the costs of a typical water damage repair claim now nearing $7,000 per incident (over and above any insurance premiums already paid), surprisingly few homeowners take the steps required to do preventive interior basement waterproofing.

Should you invest in interior basement waterproofing? Is it really necessary? For that matter, does it actually work? Will it increase your home’s value when you are ready to sell? Will your insurance cover it? Is basement waterproofing worth it?

These five questions represent the most commonly asked questions about basement waterproofing. In this post, find out the answers so you can take any necessary advance steps to protect your home and basement from water damage.

1. Is basement waterproofing necessary?

The simple answer to this question is “yes.” However, there are some cases when it makes more sense to make basement waterproofing a priority.

If you are living in a new-construction home with exterior damp-proofing protection in place, you can probably afford to delay doing any interior waterproofing in your basement.

In the same way, if you have never seen even the slightest hint of elevated humidity, efflorescence (evaporated mineral salts that water leaves behind) or damp in your basement, perhaps tackling waterproofing isn’t so urgent.

But in the vast majority of cases, due to the nature of concrete and the uniqueness of the basement space itself, you likely already have minor issues with water seepage unfolding – in fact, it is a 98 percent likelihood.

This makes basement waterproofing both necessary and eminently practical to preserve the integrity of your basement.

2. Does basement waterproofing work?

This question is a little more complicated to answer because the answer depends fully on the type of waterproofing treatment you choose.

There are lots of different options, but basically all options fall into one of two categories: exterior or interior basement waterproofing.

From here, treatments are classified as either temporary or permanent (for the lifespan of the system installed).

Temporary sealants such as waterproofing paint are focused on damp-proofing, which basically means airborne moisture isn’t going to be able to easily penetrate and get through into your basement.

But these temporary treatments tend to break down all too quickly and before you know it you have humid air, seepage and leaks forming.

The better approach is to invest in interior basement waterproofing that focuses on true waterproofing (not damp-proofing) that protects your basement space completely and permanently.

Affordable basement waterproofing often takes a multi-faceted approach to seal walls, floors joints and joists, insulate against humidity and dampness, fix any existing known fissures or cracks in your basement walls or flooring, improve drainage and exterior grading and install a sump backup system.

This comprehensive yet affordable preventive approach to basement waterproofing does work and it is considered permanent for the life of the system.

3. Does basement waterproofing increase home value?

The answer to this question is a straightforward yes.

According to recent statistics, you can readily expect a return on your basement waterproofing investment of up to 30 percent when it comes time to sell your home.

Unlike other trendy or time-sensitive upgrades that are often largely cosmetic in nature, interior basement waterproofing is a classic, necessary, preventive upgrade that will never not be valued or valuable.

But best of all, waterproofing your basement may also lower your home insurance premiums starting on the day of project completion.

To this end, it is always smart to talk with your insurer and let them know about your upcoming basement waterproofing project to learn how much of a discount on premiums this will net you.

4. Is basement waterproofing covered by insurance?

This question doesn’t have a single yes or no answer because it really depends on your insurer and the specific terms of your home insurance policy.

The default answer here would be “no,” unless your home insurance policy specifically states otherwise or you have purchased an optional rider that covers basement waterproofing.

However, your homeowners insurance policy may cover certain repairs that fall under the umbrella of comprehensive preventive basement maintenance. Ask your insurer about coverage for installation of a backup sump pump system, leak repairs, improved drainage and grading.

If your home has a history of issues with dampness or moisture in the basement that have not been properly addressed, you may find yourself with a major leak on your hands only to have your home insurance deny the claim. Here, it makes sense to talk with your insurer and review possible scenarios in advance to choose the most economical preventive maintenance approach.

5. Is basement waterproofing really worth it?

The answer to this final question is a simple and straightforward "yes."

No matter how you look at it, nearly all basements will develop a moisture problem at some point, and most basic home insurance policies will not cover major repairs that were not addressed before they formed or when they were minor.

Plus, as mentioned earlier, you stand to gain up to a 30 percent return on investment on your preventive basement waterproofing when it comes time to sell your home. Most importantly, you enjoy instant peace of mind starting the day your interior basement waterproofing job is completed.

Get in Touch

Do you have questions about how to waterproof your basement space? Do you need help talking with your home insurance provider about coverage levels for preventive basement waterproofing, sump pump backup systems, basement insurance and drainage and home grading improvements? We can help!

Use this easy online form to schedule your free, no-obligation inspection and quote.

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.  

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Did You Know Basement Waterproofing Also Blocks Radon? Find Out How!

radon home

According to the government of Canada, radon exposure is not a threat to regard casually. 

It currently kills an estimated 3,000 Canadians each year and ranks as the number one cause of new lung cancer cases among non-smokers and the number two cause of lung cancer nationwide.

Worse, children exposed to radon have an increased risk of contracting lung cancer later in life – even if they never smoke.

What many homeowners do not realize is that affordable basement waterproofing can accomplish more than just safeguarding your home investment against mould, water leaks and flooding. It can also guard your family from radon exposure!

In this blog post, learn more about how to protect yourself from the increasing threat of radon.

What the Heck Is Radon, Anyway? 

In a word, radon is a gas. It is an odourless, colourless, tasteless gas – not unlike carbon monoxide, another known airborne killer.

But unlike carbon monoxide, which is created during incomplete combustion, radon is produced naturally as soil- and rock-based uranium decays. 

Uranium is a particularly unstable naturally occurring element that is constantly decaying, which is why radon is present nearly everywhere that soil and rock are present all over the world. 

But some areas have naturally higher concentrations of uranium based on the type of soil and rocks in those areas. Canada is one such area. We happen to have a lot of uranium in our soil and our rocks.

So we also have naturally higher levels of airborne radon as well.

How Does Radon Get Into Your House?

Once uranium starts to decay, it releases radon gas into the air. This lightweight gas is naturally drawn to areas of lower air pressure, such as inside your basement, crawl space and home. 

Radon initially enters your home at the lowest level, so if you have a basement, it will enter there. From there, it will continue seeking out lower-pressure areas, seeping up through concrete fissures or cracks, passageways through unsealed pipe holes, windows and window wells, floor and wall joints, crawl space support posts and other similar entry points.

Once radon is inside your indoor air supply, it will continue to build up in concentration. Opening doors or windows as is seasonally possible can temporarily dissipate some of the radon in your air, but testing shows that within 12 hours of closing windows and doors, your levels will be right back where they were to start with.

Since uranium is constantly decaying and radon is constantly forming, the only way to address exposure risk is to install human-made safeguards.

Basement Waterproofing Blocks Radon

Historically, estimates indicate as many as 60 percent of all homeowners may face an issue with significant water or flooding inside their basement. 

For this reason, interior waterproofing is recommended not only as a preventive measure but also as part of every basement remediation repair job.

For obvious reasons, we strongly recommend interior basement waterproofing as a preventive approach to stop seepage before it becomes leaking and then flooding. 

But there is an additional reason to consider interior basement waterproofing. When you apply an interior seal to your basement space, it blocks radon emissions as well!

Other Ways to Block Radon at the Basement or Crawl Space Level

For homeowners with new construction houses, you may need this protective, preventive waterproofing seal only as a part of your radon risk reduction program. 

But if your home and basement is older, or if you have noticed issues with escalating humidity, moisture seepage, dampness, leaks or standing water after lawn watering or storms, you may want to consider additional measures to address risk of flooding and radon emissions at the same time.

Luckily, the possibility exists to address both with any basement or crawl space repairs.

Crawl space encapsulation

Sealing cracks, gaps, fissures, entry/exit holes, windows and doorways, adding sump pump caps and appropriate ventilation can all help with keeping radon outdoors where it belongs.

For homes with crawl spaces, crawl space encapsulation is a vital part of blocking the various entry points radon gas uses to get into your crawl space and then into your home.

Interior basement waterproofing.

The basement waterproofing seal used to protect your basement from seepage, efflorescence, leaks and standing water also serves as an effective barrier against radon gas. 

For basements with existing visible cracks, unsealed wall and floor joints, windows and well drains, sealing these adds another layer of protection to keep radon from entering your basement and then your home above.

Foundation repair

Even if your home has neither a basement nor a crawl space, radon is still readily able to seep inside your home at the ground level, where it will then steadily rise up inside your home and infiltrate your indoor air.

Not only will sealing your home against radon improve the value of your investment when it comes time to sell, but it will also block radon from entering and temperature controlled air from exiting, reducing your health risks and your power bills at the same time.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strongly recommends sealing all potential entry points, such as foundation cracks, foundation-to-wall connection points, support joints, utility entry/exit points, windows and doors to keep your indoor air radon-free.

Leak repair

Up to this point, we have been discussing airborne radon gas. Unfortunately, radon can also pollute your water, especially if your home relies on a well system. 

Investing in proactive leak repair for your basement, crawl space and foundation blocks not only airborne gaseous particles but also waterborne radon as well. 

Get in Touch

Do you need expert guidance with radon mitigation in your home? We can help!

To get started, you can fill out this easy online form to schedule your free, no-obligation inspection and quote.

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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6 Crawl Space Hazards & How to Fix Them

woman holding nose due to smell

A crawl space is an odd room - not quite a basement but definitely different from slab-on construction, the concept has become increasingly less popular as the downsides of crawl spaces become more well known.

In this post, we detail six of the most common and pressing crawl space hazards and our best recommendations for how to address them.

1. Radon Exposure

Radon gas is a naturally occurring by-product of decaying radioactive matter, such as uranium, in the environment. Radon is colourless, odourless and tasteless, making its presence in worrisome quantities very challenging to detect!

In fact, the only reliable method for detecting radon gas in or around your home is to install a radon detector. You can also do a test, either by hiring a professional or by using a kit at home.

Radon gas exposure is now the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada and is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

Radon that is present in the soil and surrounding air can enter your home through any available fissure, crack or crevice. If you have radon in any significant quantity in your soil, it is quite likely to enter your home, where the air pressure is more favorable to this lightweight gas.

Crawl spaces that lack proper insulation and are not sealed offer ready access to radon gas. We recommend sealing, insulating and encapsulating your crawl space to prevent radon from entering your home.

2. Humidity, Water Seepage and Leaks

One common error many builders made in past decades was to ventilate crawl spaces. Unfortunately, ventilation in an open-air space such as a crawl space will only draw in more of the same humid, warm air that will cause rot, structural decay and chilly floors above.

Instead of ventilation, what works is dehumidification along with crawl space insulation and encapsulation. This will draw the humidity and moisture out of the air inside your crawl space, keeping the environment cool and dry.

Adding a vapour barrier is also a smart choice to protect against moisture seepage and water leaks from runoff and storms.

If you are experiencing significant moisture issues, you may want to consider adding a sump pump backup system to keep your sump running even during power outages. For crawl spaces that lack a sump system, adding a crawl space drain and a sump can protect your crawl space and home from water leaks and flooding.

3. Mould and Mildew

There is no doubt that older, unfinished crawl spaces are magnets for mould and mildew. Fungal spores are attracted to any dark, damp spots where they can colonize, reproduce and spread.

Dehumidification, insulation and encapsulation can effectively remove humidity from your crawl space, preventing fungal spores from taking root and multiplying.

For older, poorly maintained crawl spaces with existing degraded insulation, it will be necessary to thoroughly clean out your crawl space, remove old insulation, potentially treat the space for pests and then proceed to seal and reinsulate the space against mould and mildew.

4. Perpetual Energy Loss

There is no doubt that crawl spaces are a common culprit for perpetual costly energy losses. This can be especially true during the lengthy cold season here in Canada, when heating bills are skyrocketing and yet your floors still feel inexplicably cold beneath your feet.

This is because all that warm air is escaping down into your crawl space, where it just creates troublesome humidity that leads to condensation and, eventually, mould, mildew and the arrival of pests.

There are two important repairs you need to make to stop the ceaseless energy loss.

The first is to seal all the joists and joints connecting your home and crawl space (this will also help reduce the amount of radon gas that enters your home through the crawl space). The second is to insulate your crawl space so that there will not be such a noticeable seasonal temperature difference above and under your floors.

5. Stinky Air

Many homeowners call us initially complaining about a mysterious foul-smelling air inside their home. Try as they might, they can’t seem to locate the source of the odour. This is because it is coming from underneath their home in the crawl space.

When your crawl space is not well-maintained or insulated, and it is accumulating humidity and moisture, this can then lead to rotting wood, stinking mould and mildew and an influx of creepy unwelcome visitors such as small rodents and animals.

With unsealed joints and joists, the air naturally drifts upwards into your home. Every time you try to apply air fresheners, the smelly air returns again as soon as they wear off.

Sealing, insulating and encapsulating your crawl space is often the best way to terminate foul-smelling indoor air that has not been remedied through any other means.

6. Pests

Finally, the topic no one enjoys talking about – what happens when you have an unprotected, untended crawl space that is rich in moisture with lots of wonderful dark hiding spots? You might as well hang out a welcome sign to invite pests to move in!

The good news here is, when you decide to repair, insulate and encapsulate your crawl space, cleaning out the space is part of the job - so you don’t have to do it yourself! Many of our customers who have been dreading an encounter with their crawl space’s inhabitants are relieved to know they won’t ever have to do so – we handle it all for you.

Get in Touch

Do you need help managing a poorly maintained crawl space? Our affordable, effective, turnkey crawl space solutions are designed with you in mind!

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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Basement Humidity: Get the Facts to Protect Your Home

humidify written on window

How much humidity is too much when it comes to your basement? The answer to this simple-sounding question can be more complicated than you expect.

The truth is, the environment in your basement is a world away from the environment in the rest of your home above ground, even though the two aren’t separated by much.

The reason for this is simple: while your above-ground rooms are bordered by air, your basement walls are surrounded by soil, and often quite moist soil at that.

This makes basement humidity one of the most pressing and potentially damaging issues homeowners have to deal with. In this timely post, get the facts about basement humidity so you can protect your space from flooding, leaks, mould, mildew and worse.

How Much Basement Humidity Is Too Much?

Whether your basement is finished or unfinished, current guidelines indicate that optimal basement humidity levels should stay between 30 and 50 percent year-round, just like in your above-ground rooms.

However, homeowners report that seasonal basement humidity levels routinely rise to above 80 percent, especially during the humid summer months and after heavy storms.

You can take your own basement humidity readings using an inexpensive tool called a hygrometer that is readily available at any home store. This tool will help you chart basement humidity trends so you can better understand the fluctuating environment in your basement.

What Makes Basement Humidity Worse

Many homeowners have no idea they may be inadvertently making the humidity issues in their basement even worse.

These are common missteps homeowners make when trying to control basement humidity levels.

Installing a basement exhaust system

Your kitchen probably has a stove exhaust and your bathroom likely has an exhaust fan too. So it is easy enough to see why you might think an exhaust vent is also the right choice to move humidity out of your basement.

The trouble is, all that a basement exhaust system is really going to do is push existing air out of your basement and draw new air in from elsewhere.

Ultimately, the air surrounding your basement is probably going to be just as humid as the air inside the basement, so you are basically installing an expensive system for nothing.

Not heating your basement in winter

Leaving your basement unheated in winter might look like a money-saving strategy, especially since heating bills represent the single largest annual utility expense for most homeowners.

Unfortunately, a cold basement beneath a warm upstairs is going to create ongoing problems with condensation and extra moisture in the basement that can quickly turn into mould and mildew growth.

Installing carpeting in your basement

Carpeting can definitely help absorb sound and also shield you from the cold concrete floor. But it won’t do your humidity problem any favours and can readily attract mould and mildew spores eager to colonize and spread.

Using fiberglass-based insulation for your basement

Fiberglass is a common and popular choice for home insulation. Unfortunately, fiberglass doesn’t cope very well with humid spaces. It tends to break down and then it can’t do its job, which makes humidity issues worse.

Storing biodegradable items in the basement

Another common oops is to trek downstairs with all your extra cardboard boxes full of papers, old books, files, memorabilia and decorations.

To mould and mildew spores, all those stacks of cardboard look just like home!

If you need to store cardboard boxes and their contents in the basement, be sure to elevate them off the ground and away from the floor by using shelving to avoid a buildup of condensation. Even better, transfer them to metal or plastic boxes that are mould-unfriendly.

What to Do Instead to Reduce Basement Humidity

Now you know what not to do to ensure your basement is less vulnerable to humidity that can lead to mould, mildew and worse.

But what should you do to prevent basement humidity levels from being too high and the damage this can cause?

Dehumidify and ventilate

Rather than exhaust systems, which do little more than move humid air around, what your basement really needs is proper dehumidification along with steady ventilation.

The dehumidifier will pull humidity out of the air and the ventilation system will ensure the air in your basement is fresh.

Keep your basement heated in winter

Experts recommend keeping your basement thermostat between 58°F and 60°F (14°C and 15.5°C) during the winter to reduce the likelihood of increasing humidity levels below-ground.

Opt for tile or vinyl floors

Unlike carpeting, tile and vinyl flooring is naturally mould- and mildew-resistant. It will also repel humidity in a way carpeting cannot.

Choose the right basement insulation

There is no substitute for choosing basement insulation that is designed to work in this unique type of space.

Installing the right type of insulation can actually repel basement mould and mildew spores as well as resist moisture buildup from condensation, seepage and leaks.

Apply preventative basement waterproofing

The smartest thing you can do to protect your basement and home from excessive humidity is proactively apply basement waterproofing.

Interior basement waterproofing is affordable today – and certainly much more so than the tens of thousands of dollars in remediation costs to remedy a mould infestation or basement flood.

Get in Touch

Have you been struggling to control rising humidity levels in your basement? Are you worried about mould or mildew as temperatures heat up this summer? We can help!

Complete this form to schedule your free, no-obligation basement inspection and quote.

One of our prompt, polite and highly trained service professionals will do a thorough evaluation of your basement and recommend preventative strategies to protect your investment – absolutely free!

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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Wait! Do These 5 Things Before You Finish Your Basement

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Whether your vision for your basement space is to create an apartment you can rent to earn extra cash or develop a recreation room or something else, if you can dream it, you can likely do it!

But what you don’t want to do is start the hard work of finishing out your basement before you address the ever-present threat of moisture.

The simple truth is that basements are always more likely to suffer from moisture issues, whether it be from overly humid air or outright flooding.

Here, learn about five critical tasks you need to do before you proceed to finish out your basement space.

Save $43,000 in Flooded Basement Repairs

According to a recent report issued by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the average flooded basement in Canada costs the average homeowner a whopping $43,000 to repair.

While making these repairs becomes unavoidable after the fact, in theory, this is never money well spent.

We say this because there is so much you can do now that costs so much less to protect your basement against the possibility of flooding.

Unless your particular insurer has specifically issued you a rider to cover overland flooding, you can’t expect the typical homeowners insurance policy to cover you for a flooded basement.

With climate change bringing ever more severe weather events throughout Canada, it can be smart to talk with your broker now about adding flood insurance to your homeowners policy.

Another smart choice is to take the steps we are about to outline here to protect your basement against flooding.

Five Key Tasks to Do Before Finishing Your Basement

We strongly encourage you to take the time to attend to these five critical tasks before moving along to add extra bells and whistles to your basement space.

When you do, you will enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your basement is as protected from moisture and flooding as you can possibly make it!

1. Test for Moisture Throughout Your Basement

You can test for moisture in several different ways. One easy way is to purchase a simple, cheap tool from your local home store called a hygrometer that takes instant humidity readings from the air. Your goal is to keep humidity between 30 and 50 percent on a consistent basis to prevent mould and mildew.

Another good way to test for moisture but will take a bit longer is to take a length of plastic tarp and cut it into half-meter lengths. Tape some on the floor and some on the walls.

Check every week to see if you see moisture above or below the sheets. Moisture above means you have too much humidity in the air. Moisture below means you have water seeping up through your basement walls or floor.

2. Install Interior Basement Waterproofing

Most basements have a natural issue with humidity and slow moisture seepage. This is simply the nature of basements, which experience hydrostatic pressure from the surrounding soil, water table and watering runoff that your above-ground space never will.

Interior basement waterproofing is an easy and fast treatment that can be applied to guard against moisture damage from outside seepage. Affordable basement waterproofing is one of the best ways to guard against rot, mould, mildew, pests and leaks.

3. Run Your Sump Pump System Through Its Paces

If you have just installed a brand-new sump pump system, you probably feel pretty confident it will work for you when you need it. But what about when the power goes out – do you have a backup system that will keep it running during an outage?

If you have an older sump pump, installing a backup is not just a great safeguard against flooding during power outages but it can also help to extend the useful life of your existing sump pump.

4. Reevaluate Your Grading, Drainage System & Window Wells

Extreme weather isn’t the only reason basements flood each year. One of the most common issues with basement flooding is actually caused by improper grading (landscaping), blocked or damaged window wells and an inadequate home drainage system.

Without sufficient drainage around your house, the water won’t have anywhere else to go but down toward your basement. Taking the time to clean out blocked window wells, add downspout extensions and refresh the landscape grading around your foundation can direct excess water away naturally.

5. Ensure Adequate Ventilation & Install Safety Alarms

An essential safety precaution before finishing out your basement space is to guard against the buildup of toxic chemicals such as radon and carbon monoxide.

Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is present naturally in the soil throughout Canada, is responsible for 16 percent of annual lung cancer cases.

Carbon monoxide, an odourless, colourless gas that is produced during incomplete combustion, kills an estimated 50 people every year throughout Canada.

Scheduling a safety inspection and preventative maintenance for all major appliances and systems located in your basement can also guard against fire and health risks.

Schedule a Free, Easy Inspection and Quote

We get calls every day from customers who truly regret not taking the time to complete the five steps we’ve just outlined here before finishing or renovating their basement.

As tempting as it is to save money or just forge ahead with the fun work, you have plenty of options for first creating a safe and secure, humidity-balanced, water-resistant, functional and beautiful basement space that are likely more affordable than you realize.

Here at Omni Foundation Systems, we are happy to provide you with a complete site inspection and free no-obligation quote for foundation, crawl space or basement waterproofing or repair.

Get in Touch

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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5 Reasons Your Basement Walls Lean, Bow, Sag or Crack & What to Do

omni team working in basement

It can be a real shock to look up one day and perceive what can at first appear to be an optical illusion – is your chimney...leaning?

This is often the first warning sign a homeowner will get that there may be bigger, deeper problems, way down in the basement.

For homes lacking a chimney or other vulnerable, visible above-ground structures, bowing, sagging, leaning, sinking or cracking basement walls can be a lot harder to spot. Sometimes a homeowner might not even realize a problem exists until water floods their basement.

Because tilting, leaning, sagging or cracking basement walls are much more common than you might realize, it is really important to learn about early warning signs so you can make repairs before the problem gets worse.

What Causes Basement Walls to Lean, Bow, Sag or Crack?

Figuring out how to fix cracks in basement wall structures begins with developing a better understanding of what causes them and similar structural problems in the first place.

Several contributing factors can be present before a basement wall starts to become visibly impacted.

Hydrostatic pressure

Hydrostatic pressure is often a temporary phenomenon that develops after significant rainfall or flooding from a broken water pipe, a forgotten garden hose or similar causes.

Hydrostatic pressure is a result of trapped water in the soil that is trying to find a pathway out. Often the easiest escape route comes in the form of existing micro-fissures or small cracks in the cement of your basement walls.

As water begins to find its way in, once again hydrostatic pressure exerts its influence and causes the fissures or cracks to widen. Over time, this degradation of the wall can cause bowing, leaning, sagging or outright cracking and flooding conditions.

Soil pressure

Expansive soils such as clay can cause excess pressure to build up against one or more walls of your basement. Soils often expand after rainfall or water influx from changing water tables, lawn watering and the like.

This is why it’s important to learn all you can about the soil content surrounding your home and basement.

Clay soils can cause excess pressure because of their naturally expansive nature, while poorly graded (uniform particle size) soils can cause pressure from trapped moisture.

In either case, uneven pressure on your basement walls from the outside in can cause strange changes, from bowing (concave, convex) in the middle to leaning in or out from the floor.

Unstable soil

When the soil surrounding your home and basement is inherently unstable (which means it shifts easily), the issue causing bowed or sagging walls may have to do with your basement foundation.

Shifting soils can at times exert sufficient pressure to relocate your basement floor, such as after an earth tremor or quake, a significant flooding event or an ongoing environmental drought that leaches all the moisture out of the soil.

When the foundation floor moves, the basement walls may not move in unison with it. Walls with different structural issues can indicate it is actually the floor that is moving.

Warning Signs of Shifting Basement Walls

You may not be able to tell that your basement wall or floor is beginning to significantly shift or move from the outside looking in (or even from the inside looking out)!

But there are additional warning signs you can watch for that can signal the beginnings of basement wall issues. The earlier you can catch these developing problems, the cheaper and faster the repairs will be.

Doors or windows won’t open or close

When your doors or windows start sticking or refusing to stay closed, this can be a sign that your basement walls have begun to bow, sag or lean.

You can watch for similar signs with drawers and cabinets if you have these in your basement space. Drawers or cabinet doors that keep falling open can indicate an inward-leaning wall, while drawers that become self-closing can signal an outward-leaning wall.

Increasing humidity or signs of damp

Increasing indoor humidity is one key sign that moisture is somehow getting into your basement space. With an influx of moisture can come wall degradation as fissures or widening cracks, causing structural collapse.

Uneven or creaking floors

A creaking, bowed or sloping floor may add ambience to an antique space, but it is really not a good sign, structurally speaking.

Wall or floor cracks

Cracks appearing in walls, floors, crown moulding, windows, paint or wallpaper are another telltale indication that something is changing in the structure of your basement.

How to Fix Crack in Basement Wall Affordably

It is never easy to discover that your basement floors or walls have started to do something they shouldn’t. But leaning, bowing, sagging or cracking walls or floors can be fixed – and the earlier, the better.

All it takes is a phone call to generate a free, no-obligation inspection and estimate for making your basement repairs.

Wall anchors and braces

Wall anchors and braces offer a great way to stabilize moving walls. These nifty gadgets work a lot like braces for teeth – not only do they prevent further movement, but also, over time, appropriately installed anchors and braces actually move walls back into their proper position.

Wall reinforcers

Carbon fiber straps can be applied directly to affected walls to stabilize bowing before it gets any worse. For minimal issues, this may be all that’s needed. For more serious issues, wall straps can delay the need for additional repairs so you can save up for them.

Piers and posts

If it’s your foundation itself that is moving and taking your walls with it, then we can install piers or posts to give your floor the support it needs.

Get in Touch

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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Is Your Basement Paint Bubbling or Cracking? We Can Fix That!

bubbling and peeling paint due to basement dampness

Finishing out your basement space can feel so great. You have a whole extra room in your home to use for anything you want – from a home office to a small apartment to a recreation room for your family.

But it can also be extremely frustrating when you just finish renovating your basement and right away the freshly applied paint starts to bubble, crack or – worst of all – flake off or peel away from the walls.

You did everything the instructions indicated, from prepping the walls properly to applying the primer and letting it dry fully to applying the paint, coat by painstaking coat. What could be causing this?

We know what – and we suspect you aren’t going to like it. Bubbling, cracking, flaking, peeling paint nearly always indicates excessive humidity in the basement.

Find out how to positively identify the culprit and what fixes are available to ensure you can avoid repainting again and again… or worse, abandoning all that useful basement space!

What Causes Flaking Paint in the Basement?

There are a few types of moisture that may be impacting your freshly painted basement walls (the same holds true for crawl space walls that are painted).

1. Overly humid air

The subtlest cause of paint damage is overly humid basement air. The environment in the average basement is quite a bit different from the rest of your home above the ground level.

There is less air circulation and ventilation and increased moisture from water trapped in the surrounding soil. Even well-constructed new basements can feel more humid because of these environmental differences.

But uncorrected overly humid air can wreak havoc on paint and furnishings, causing persistent damp, degradation, even mildew and mould over time.

2. Micro-fissures

There are two common construction approaches to building basements. The first involves using poured concrete and the second involves stacking concrete bricks. The types of micro-fissures that develop in your basement walls can look different depending on what type of materials were used to construct your basement, but either way, they will be there.

Concrete itself is naturally porous and never more so than when it is first poured and is drying out. Drying concrete settles and develops tiny cracks called micro-fissures as it does so.

When there is an excess of water (hydrostatic pressure) in the soil surrounding your basement, moisture will find its way into these tiny fissures, traveling as far as it can until it either gets blocked or finds an outlet.

Micro-fissures can expand over time with increased hydrostatic pressure, shifting soils and other factors. Tiny leaks that emerge from your basement walls behind the paint can cause bubbles that turn into flakes, cracks and peeling paint.

3. Outright cracks

Sometimes a micro-fissure can widen into a bona fide crack. Other times, it is another structural issue, such as a changing water table, earthquake activity, major floods and similar events that create cracks.

These cracks then become ready pathways for trapped water to travel. When cracks continually allow moisture to flow into your basement, your wall paint will often be the first to alert you to their presence.

Fixing Flaking Basement Paint

It is never easy (let alone fun) to notice paint problems in your basement and realize what that means. Now you have to rustle up a contractor, figure out what is wrong, gather quotes, decide what to do and when to do it.

The good news is that the faster you take action to fix the problem, the less you are likely to spend and the faster and easier the repairs will go. When the issue is bubbling or flaking basement paint, waiting in hopes that the issue will resolve itself is never a viable solution.

Here at Omni Basement, what surprises our customers the most is how affordable basement waterproofing has become. You have lots of options depending on the source of your moisture issue and nearly all are easy and quick to implement.

Use a dehumidifier

For very minor moisture issues, sometimes the simplest solution is also the right one.

Adding a portable dehumidifier to your basement space can remove excess humidity and control against damage to paint and furnishings.

Repair fissures or cracks

If existing cracks are detectable, we recommend sealing them before moving to waterproof your basement space.

This prevents trapped moisture from getting stuck behind the moisture barrier.

Apply basement waterproofing

Basement waterproofing can be applied to the exterior or the interior of your basement space.

Unless we are applying waterproofing as part of new construction, we always recommend interior waterproofing, which is far more affordable and significantly less invasive.

Backup sump system

Even the best sump pump may occasionally need backup support, especially during a power outage. Installing a backup sump system ensures your sump pump will remain operational when you need its help the most.

For older sump systems, a backup can also extend your sump’s useful life.

Window and well drain repair

Over time, window and well drains quite naturally get clogged with dirt, debris, leaf litter, even leftover nest materials from small burrowing animals. When these drainage routes get blocked, it can cause water to back up into your basement.

Sometimes clearing out these drains and making any necessary repairs can effectively reroute incoming water without need for further repairs.

Gutters and downspouts

Your home’s exterior drainage is just as important to basement integrity as window and well drains, sump pumps and backups and crack repair.

Cleaning out gutters and adding gutter guards, installing downspout extensions and correcting eroding grading can all help with routing water away from your home’s foundation and basement.

Basement insulation

Basement insulation is specially designed to guard against mildew, mould and moisture buildup.

Get in Touch

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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Does Your Home's Crawl Space Give You the Creepy-Crawlies? 4 Steps to Fix it Fast!

pink insulation closeup

There is no doubt the concept of a crawl space beneath a home is a brilliant one. It’s great for storage, for one thing. But also, why not build in ready access to piping, wiring and other essentials from the start so you don’t have to go on an archeological dig later when something goes wrong?

But over time, crawl spaces can become, well, creepy. After all, who knows what else is hanging out under there?

Plus, if you are at all claustrophobic, just the thought of crawling inside that enclosed space may well give you the creepy-crawlies.

Are you reluctant to use your crawl space when you need to, even though that is exactly what it is there for? These four steps can help you fix that fast!

But First, A Word About Crawl Space Maintenance Basics

Not all homeowners are aware that crawl spaces, like practically every other element of the average home, need regular maintenance to preserve their original function.

This is why it is vital to make sure the inspection for any home you want to buy includes a full survey of the crawl space area.

If you are currently living in a home equipped with a crawl space and you don’t know its maintenance history from the prior owner, you can take a peek and figure it out for yourself.

If your crawl space is humid, damp, dank, and smells and looks suspicious, there is a good chance it wasn’t high on the previous owner’s home maintenance to-do list.

Step 1: It’s Spring Cleaning (and Sanitizing) Time

This first step, cleaning up your crawl space, tends to be the step the vast majority of homeowners want to avoid. After all, it doesn’t look inviting, especially if the floor is dirt; it doesn’t smell very good; and it can be pretty tight in there, especially for tall people, if there’s ductwork running along the ceiling.

You do have to clean up your crawl space before you move on to the other three steps. Otherwise, you risk permanently locking up inside all of the things that are wrong with your crawl space!

But here is some good news: you don’t have to clean your crawl space yourself. You can hire someone who has all of the right gear and equipment to go in and clean and sanitize and get you moving to step 2.

The extra advantage to opting for professional crawl space cleaning is that if your professional cleaning crew finds mould, mildew, rodents, insects or other special problems during the cleaning, you will have experts available to take care of each problem the correct way the first time.

Step 2: A Little Ventilation (Plus Encapsulation) Goes a Long Way

Ventilation has long been the remedy of choice for overly damp or humid crawl spaces. But ventilation on its own doesn’t always solve these problems effectively and sometimes can even add to the problem.

The climate you live in can determine whether ventilation alone is sufficient to reduce the presence of moisture and humidity inside your crawl space.

A long-term sure-cure for both issues is something called encapsulation. Encapsulation is basically the superhero version of ventilation. Encapsulation, as the name implies, seals off your crawl space from the outside with physical barriers that prevent unwelcome visitors from re-entering.

Encapsulation also reduces humidity by preventing groundwater from seeping back up into your crawl space. Ventilation and encapsulation can be used together for the most complete long-term solution.

Step 3: Drain and Dehumidify

Your home’s crawl space has a big job to do. In the dry season, the job is pretty easy. But during seasonal storms and in summer, moisture can quickly get the best of an older, poorly maintained or neglected crawl space.

Runoff from rainfall, seasonal lawn watering runoff and melting snow can readily accumulate in your crawl space, only to find it has nowhere else to go. Once inside, this standing water is a 24/7 invitation to mould, mildew, insects and animals to make themselves at home.

Crawl spaces need drainage options as much as basements do for exactly this reason. A crawl space drainage system will move water out of the crawl space as rapidly as it enters.

The other essential element to keep your crawl space dry and clean is a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier does for airborne moisture and humidity what the drainage system does for standing groundwater – it makes sure moisture doesn’t stick around to cause any harm.

Step 4: Insulate to Regulate

Insulation isn’t just protective and comfortable for your home itself. It is also a great tool to regulate and protect your crawl space.

As a perk, insulating your crawl space will help to maintain temperature and humidity integrity between your home above and your crawl space below. In the process, insulation will also lower your annual energy costs and prevent unpleasant crawl space odours from infiltrating your home as they drift up through the ground floor.

You may especially notice the difference crawl space insulation makes when the expensive winter heating season arrives! Homeowners who have invested in insulated crawl spaces happily report that their homes stay warmer even on the coldest days, often without any need to reach for the thermostat.

There are all kinds of insulation that can be installed inside your crawl space. But we recommend our own TerraBlock™ crawl space flooring insulation that readily insulates over all types of surfaces: dirt, cement, stone and more.

Whether installed on its own or with an accompanying ceiling liner, insulation is the final barrier: it repels everything from humidity and moisture to insects and mould spores.

Get in Touch

Is your crawl space giving you the heebie-jeebies? We are crawl space cleanup, ventilation, encapsulation, dehumidification, drainage and insulation experts!

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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Six Reasons You Want to Fix That Cracked Foundation Wall ASAP

mouse

Foundation wall cracks are incredibly common in homes that have basements. When left unaddressed, today’s tiny crack can (and often does) morph into tomorrow’s yawning chasm that then leads to bowed, sagging, leaning and separating foundation walls, pooled moisture and a severely compromised basement space.

The good news here is that you have affordable options to fix cracks in your foundation walls. In this post, learn six reasons why you really want to fix that small crack now before it gets worse!

Why Foundation Walls Form Cracks

What causes cracks to form in your home’s foundation walls? Cracks can actually form for a variety of reasons, but most reasons boil down to uneven pressure combined with inadequate support.

Basement walls face a set of challenges different from those of above-ground home or workplace walls. Because basement walls are surrounded on the outside by soil rather than open air, the pressures they must combat can change quite suddenly.

A single heavy rainfall or a forgotten garden hose left running can create intense hydrostatic pressure as trapped moisture presses against the exterior wall looking for a way out.

As well, over time, changing soil composition, a rising water table, uneven landscape grading or failing drains, window wells and gutters can increase that hydrostatic pressure, forcing basement walls to do even more heavy lifting to hold their place.

As the years go by and the walls themselves begin to degrade, fissures and cracks can form. As these widen, especially along seams and joints, the walls will begin to bow, sag or lean in ways that place pressure on the entire structure.

6 Reasons to Fix Foundation Wall Cracks Without Delay

These are just six of the many reasons you may want to give us a call to get a free, no-obligation inspection and EasyQuote estimate.

1. Cracks mean leaks

Most foundation wall cracks begin as fissures so small it is difficult to see them without a microscope. What widens them over time is the continual hydrostatic pressure and influx of small amounts of moisture.

Concrete is a naturally porous building material that begins to shift and settle organically even as it dries. But the continual pressure of water on these initial micro-fissures inevitably widens them into cracks, which can then become internal basement leaks.

Leaks may initially produce small amounts of humidity or efflorescence (that powdery white residue left behind when water dries and is reduced to mineral salts). But all that can change when severe weather hits or your aging sump pump conks out.

2. Cracks invite mould

For many homeowners, all it takes is mention of one dreaded word, “mould,” to prompt an inquiry about a foundation wall crack repair estimate.

Mould is typically more prevalent in basements than above the ground because conditions are naturally moister, darker and more humid – just the type of atmosphere mould and mildew like most.

Since mould and mildew spores can colonize micro-cracks and often form new colonies behind the scenes in wood or drywall, by the time you discover you have a problem, it may be major rather than minor.

3. Cracks invite visitors

For other homeowners, even the threat of mould may not be sufficient to prompt immediate action to repair foundation wall cracks.

But all that changes at their first sight of a four, six or eight-legged visitor.

To you, wall cracks are problems brewing. But to many inhabitants of this world we share, wall cracks are like welcome signs – opportunity knocking with a deal too good to pass up.

Birds, rodents, flying or crawling insects, snakes and other wild visitors are all too happy to take up residence in handy fissures and cracks, moving deeper inside as cracks widen, until they join you in your home!

4. Cracks won’t fix themselves

A basement wall crack is not going to resolve on its own. It is not always necessary to repair a developing basement crack immediately, especially if it isn’t in the current budget. But it is smart to at least get the crack inspected and have an estimate of repair costs to use for future repair planning.

5. Cracks can lead to structural issues

Cracks can form pretty much anywhere along your basement walls, but some of the more common places include along the outlines of cinder blocks, along wall and floor seams, around windows and doors, and at the seam between wall and ceiling.

Unaddressed cracks can cause walls to bow, sag, slope or even pull away from the rest of the structure.

6. Today’s cracks are less expensive than tomorrow’s wider cracks

We have yet to meet a homeowner who is excited to dig into their home maintenance budget to repair basement wall cracks.

But there can be some satisfaction, at least, in knowing that the cracks you fix today will always cost less than the cracks you neglect that become bigger and more expensive tomorrow.

Get in Touch

Have you noticed warning signs of basement moisture or basement leaks? Do you see small basement wall cracks forming and are you not sure how worried you should be?

We can help. Best of all, we can help for FREE – we never charge to come out and do a full inspection and leave you with a written repair estimate quote.

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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Is Your Sump Pump Always Running? What You Need to Know Now!

backup sump pump

Sump pumps are one of the more mysterious elements of home ownership.

While most new homes in Ontario have some type of sump pump system, most homeowners (and especially first-time homebuyers) do not realize this may not be enough to protect your home from water damage.

With older homes, sump systems are less likely to be routed properly for new groundwater and runoff management regulations and are even less likely to have a backup system in place.

Understanding what type of sump pump system you have, what it will (or won’t) do if there is a power outage, how water is routed and how the system is supposed to work is critical to avoid damage due to seepage, leaks or outright flooding.

In this post, we talk about what you need to know about your sump system to protect your home and basement.

Sump Pumps Need Regular Maintenance

When was the last time you scheduled a safety inspection and preventative maintenance service for your sump system?

If you recently purchased your home and the previous owner did not provide good records, you may have no idea if this service has ever been done.

Yet sump pumps, just like other major appliances, require regular maintenance to work properly and ward off major repairs and outages. A sump system that is neglected can readily develop leaking seals, a faulty motor or parts that begin to rust or break.

You should schedule an inspection and preventative maintenance at least annually to clean the screen, the pump mechanism and the sump pit. Making small repairs, adding lubrication and adjusting the float can keep small issues from turning into major outages.

Your Sump Pump May Not Work In a Power Outage

Sump systems all too often fall into our “out of sight, out of mind” category – we may not be consciously aware on a day-to-day basis of how frequently our sump system runs or how well it runs.

Yet unless your sump pump has a backup system in place, it will likely fail to work during a power outage, which is often the time you need its protection the most!

There are different types of backup systems you can choose, from simple organic systems powered by water pressure to battery-operated backups and generator-run backups.

The important action is to make sure you have a backup system in place before you need it!

Sump Pumps Shouldn’t Run Continuously

You have a sump pump system in place to keep water from accumulating in your basement. If your sump system is running, this means it is doing its job.

But if your sump pump is running all the time, this in itself is a signal that all is not well in your basement.

A continuously running sump pump system indicates that water is constantly making its way inside your basement. Not only will a constantly-running sump pump experience more wear and tear that can reduce its useful life, but there may come a time when it can no longer keep up with the influx of water.

One of the leading causes of sudden sump system failure is overwork. Your sump pump system should not be running all the time.

There are a number of potential issues that may cause constant water influx, from shifting soil to a rising water table, widening cracks in basement walls or foundations, and more.

What to Do If Your Sump Pump Is Always Running

If your sump pump seems to never stop running, it is time to look deeper to find out why.

Identify leaks and seal them

Identifying separating wall and floor seals, micro-fissures or cracks, blocked wells or broken drains and other causes of chronic moisture influx is vital so that you can take preventative steps to keep this moisture out.

A number of affordable basement waterproofing options exist to reduce the workload and wear and tear on your sump pump system.

In most cases, the most effective approach will be interior basement waterproofing combined with crack or fissure repair as needed.

If you have blocked window wells or drains or your existing exterior gutter and drainage system is allowing water to flow back into your basement, making upgrades can effectively route moisture away and reduce your sump system’s workload.

Ensuring your sump pump has a backup

The next vital step is to make sure your sump pump isn’t alone in its efforts to keep your basement sound and dry.

If your sump pump is older, it may be time to talk about an upgrade to a newer, more efficient and powerful model. Installing a sump pump backup system at the same time can ensure you get the most value out of your new sump long term.

Even if your sump pump still has a lot of useful life left in it, installing a backup system will ensure it won’t fail you when you need it most.

Installing a backup system can not only protect your home today from water damage and flooding, but also enhance the resale value of your property when it comes time to sell.

Get a FREE Book on Dry Basement Science

If you have concerns about a continuously running sump pump or basement moisture, we can help.

Contact us for a FREE no-obligation site inspection and written estimate, plus a free copy of our book Dry Basement Science – What to Have Done and Why.

Get in Touch

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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4 Moisture Problems You Need to Know About (And How to Fix Them)

downspout by edge of house

Moisture is always present to some degree in the air and soil. Sometimes, its presence is so subtle we don’t even realize it’s there. And sometimes it announces itself in a big way with gushing water or a flood.

When the moisture we are talking about is present in our home, it typically lurks in the foundation or our basement walls. Moisture problems in these areas often start out small and are not problematic in early stages.

But over time and with our continued inattention, small moisture problems have a way of getting bigger. With recent climate change and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, a sudden storm can be all that is needed to trigger a gush where there used to be only a trickle.

In this article, learn about four moisture problems most homeowners are unaware of, how to spot them and options for repair.

1. Humidity

Humidity is best detected by its telltale “clammy” or moist feeling on your skin. If you walk down to your basement and notice the air feels warmer and thicker down there, it’s a good sign you have a humidity problem in your basement.

Humidity can be naturally problematic in basement spaces because the space is surrounded by moisture-rich soil and the natural water table. Storms and lawn watering can increase the moisture content of the surrounding soil and thus the humidity level in your basement air.

2. Condensation

Condensation can look like your walls or windows are “sweating.” Condensation most commonly forms when there is a sharp difference between the temperature and humidity levels indoors and outdoors.

The higher the humidity content difference, the more likely you are to see condensation. Degrading weather stripping such as window and door seals and caulking can also let in humid air that triggers condensation, not unlike how your mirrors fog up after a steamy shower.

3. Mould or mildew

The scary thing about basement moisture issues is that they often begin far behind the scenes and you have no idea they are there. This is because of the nature of concrete, the most common basement building material.

Concrete is naturally porous in brick or poured form. As it settles (dries), concrete can form micro-fissures that widen over time. But while mould and mildew spores can easily access these fissures inside your concrete walls or foundation, you can't see them and thus don't know they exist.

Often, mould or mildew growth is only detected when the colony becomes sufficiently sizable to emit an odour. If you start smelling musty air, chances are good mould is growing in the recesses of your basement or crawl space where moisture is readily available.

4. Efflorescence

Efflorescence is a fancy term to describe mineral salts left behind after water has evaporated. In many cases, homeowners easily mistake efflorescence for simple household dust.

But when you look closer, you may notice these key differences. First, efflorescence forms anywhere where micro-fissures and cracks have let in water. So it can form in the middle of a wall or floor or along seams, where dust would not normally accumulate.

Second, it keeps coming back in the same places, because this is where moisture keeps entering.

And third, it is white, whereas dust is often more of a grey or brown color.

How to Fix a Leaky Basement

Now that you are aware of the subtle, even sneaky ways that moisture can creep inside your basement, you are probably wondering if there is any easy affordable basement waterproofing that can fix it.

The good news is, there are many options that are quite affordable and long-lasting!

The key to fixing your basement leak inexpensively and permanently is to catch the problem early, diagnose it properly and apply the right treatment.

Fix cracks

First, it will be necessary to identify any problematic fissures or cracks and repair and seal them. This will prevent water from recurring in those areas.

Repair drains and window wells

If you have an older home and basement, it may be time to give your drains and window wells some attention. Clear out blockages, repair cracks and restore them to full effectiveness.

Improve home drainage and grading

Establishing the optimal grading and drainage around your home itself is also vital to keeping water away from your basement walls and foundation.

By increasing the length of downspouts, adding strategic landscape and cleaning out gutters, you can route water from lawncare and storms away from your home and basement.

Install a sump pump backup support system

Your sump pump can also give you a good indication of how problematic your basement moisture problem may be. If it is always running, this means it is always working to move water out of your basement.

This can create extra wear and tear and even cause an early sump system outage. Installing a backup sump pump system greatly reduces the risk of basement flooding.

Add insulation

Insulation is one of the best protections against condensation, mould and mildew.

Insulation keeps inside air in and outside air out and, even more importantly, ensures the two never meet to create condensation.

Wall anchors and supports

Sometimes, your basement walls just need some extra support. If cracks have formed along seams, anchors and supports can close those cracks and keep them closed.

Interior basement waterproofing

There are two main types of basement waterproofing: exterior and interior. Exterior tends to be highly invasive to the surrounding soil and landscape and also cost-prohibitive – unless it’s being installed during new construction.

Interior basement waterproofing is fast, effective and affordable and can be used whether your basement is finished or unfinished.

Get in Touch

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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