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Flooded Basement? Do This to Clean and Remediate It

flooded basement leaky pipe

It is every homeowner’s worst nightmare - or one of them, anyway.

You walk downstairs and suddenly discover you are ankle-deep in water.

Is there any worse feeling than realizing you have an expensive, difficult, emergency home repair on your hands?

All the day’s plans go out the window. You are already overdue to take action.

There is just one tiny problem. You have no idea what to do.

Every year, homeowners across the continent tackle flooded basement cleanup and remediation for the very first time. You can do this. And this handy step-by-step guide will help you through it.

What NOT to Do First When Dealing With a Flooded Basement

There is one thing you will be tempted to do immediately, but that you need to put off: figuring out what caused the leak.

Believe it or not, this can wait.

What cannot wait is getting all that water out of your basement as soon as possible. The longer water or even moisture remains in your basement or crawl space, the greater the danger of it turning into mildew and mould.

After you have emptied, cleaned and dried out your basement, then you can work on identifying where the leak came from and what to do to prevent it from ever happening again.

What to Do Before Cleaning a Flooded Basement

The very first thing to do before you do anything else – and we do mean anything – is TURN OFF THE POWER.

As you probably remember learning as a child, bad things can happen when water and electricity meet.

Until you turn off the main power, there is a very real danger that you or someone else will get electrocuted.

A Flooded Basement Is Not Harmless: Protect Yourself!

Not only do homeowners get electrocuted each year by entering flooded basements where the electric power is still active, but many homeowners get infected with bacteria, fungi and mould while dealing with a flooded basement.

The best way to safeguard against this is to protect yourself with the right gear. For you and anyone else who will be working in the flooded basement, you’ll need:

  • Safety goggles

  • Face mask: N95 or N100

  • Long rubber gloves

  • High waterproof boots

  • Long pants and long sleeves

If you suspect mould has already set in or if the water is very deep (or both) you should resist the temptation to tackle the job yourself. Call in the pros. Professionals will have special bodysuits, masks and gear to stay safe while dealing with toxic mould cleanup.

Remove Water and Dehumidify Your Flooded Basement

In the right sort of conditions (like when you have a flooded basement), did you know that mildew and mould can form in just two days (48 hours)?

Scary.

Getting any standing water out and dehumidifying your basement space are the vital first steps to guard against mould growth.

But this can be especially challenging if you have an electric sump system with no backup and you are also dealing with a power outage.

If you have access to a backup power source or standby generator, you can get your sump started removing the water or bring in a wet-dry vacuum to do the same.

You will also need to bring in a dehumidifier to suck out the excess moisture that could feed mould and mildew spores.

Clean Your Flooded Basement

Once you have removed the excess water and your dehumidifier is up and running, it is time to remove any belongings, supplies or furnishings that may be water damaged.

You can use natural sunlight to dry out belongings. In some cases, it may be possible to dry clean certain belongings such as clothing and small textiles.

Take photographs of everything for insurance purposes.

After clearing out everything inside your basement, you will need to give it a thorough cleaning. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers this excellent guide for remediating flooded spaces with minimal or no mould and mildew.

SAFETY NOTE: If mould is visible, do not tackle the cleanup yourself. Call professionals and get a mould evaluation first. If black mould is present this will always require professional remediation.

Once your basement is empty, you can continue with cleaning up the walls, ceilings and floors. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers this helpful guide for mixing up your own water and bleach solution to clean different surfaces.

Flood Prevention: How to Protect Your Basement From Flooding

Ask any homeowner who has ever had to tackle a basement remediation cleanup job whether they want to do it again, and they will say “never!”

There is a way to greatly reduce the risk you will ever have to go through a basement flood cleanup job again.

It starts by identifying how the water got into your basement in the first place.

Sometimes this is obvious, such as when a big storm comes through and your whole community floods. Sometimes it is less obvious and takes some sleuthing to detect the source of the leak – or leaks.

In the same way, prevention begins with a thorough risk assessment of your basement.

Cracks or fissures are identified and sealed. Structural instability in floors, walls and ceilings is repaired. Drainage and sump systems (including aboveground gutters and downspouts and grading) are repaired and upgraded. For any of this, you will likely need professional help. 

Once these tasks have been completed, you can waterproof your basement from the inside out. Affordable basement waterproofing typically takes just a day or less and lasts for decades.

Not surprisingly, many homeowners also discover their homeowner insurance premiums decrease after having their basement waterproofed.

Get in Touch

Are you ready for the peace of mind only affordable basement waterproofing can offer? We can help!

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

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Are Your Window Wells Leaking? We Can Fix That!

puddle of water by leaky window

Window wells are a great invention. At least, they are when they are working properly.

When they clog, leak, back up or turn into leafy trash cans, window wells become one more problem that you, the already overworked homeowner, have to fix.

One of the most stressful problems when dealing with window wells is simply figuring out what is wrong!

Sometimes it is obvious what is causing window wells to malfunction or leak. But other times the core issue isn’t so clear. Learn what to do to get your window wells working properly again.

Why Do Window Wells Start Leaking?

Where should you start looking for the source of the leak? Let’s find out!

Windows Are Not Waterproof (Even If Window Wells Are)

This is a much-misunderstood topic. The first thing that is essential to understand about watertight window wells is that they are protecting non-watertight windows.

Even worse, they are protecting non-watertight ground-level or even below-ground windows. If there is one place water will always try to get in, it is your basement. Any little fissure, crack and crevice is fair game to attract incoming moisture.

So that means the leak might not actually be coming from your window wells. It could be coming from your windows!

Knowing this possibility may be enough for you to find the leak and get it fixed.

But if it isn’t, keep reading...

Uncovered Window Wells Are Leaks Waiting to Happen

The main reason window wells become problematic is that they are left uncovered.

You might think covering them defeats the purpose of having window wells, which are supposed to allow light into your basement.

But when you use a clear window well cover that is also watertight, the sun can still get in but the rain can’t.

Even better, when you pop a window well cover on, outside debris like leaf litter, tree seeds, weeds, etc. can’t get in to block the light and degrade the seals around your windows.

Your outdoor cat will never mistake your window well for a kitty litter box. Birds won’t nest there, rabbits and frogs won’t get stuck in it, and rodents won’t try to burrow into your basement from within the window well’s relative safety.

If a window well cover fixes your leak, you are good to go. But what if the leak still keeps on coming?

Basement Drainage Solutions Are Not for Amateurs

Every year, many homeowners purchase new homes with basements for the first time. These homeowners may have never lived in a home with a basement (or even a crawl space) before.

This can be a steep learning curve!

If you are just getting acquainted with the special maintenance needs of your average basement, we have a scary statistic for you.

Ninety-eight percent of basements in North America will take on some level of water at some future point.

Perhaps you wish you could un-read that sentence. But we truly believe it is better to know than not know. When you know, you can make sure to do everything possible to minimize your chances of basement or home water damage.

The average basement water damage claim runs the average homeowner at just under $7,000.

The typical preventive maintenance to keep water out is nowhere near this pricey (and can potentially lower your homeowner’s insurance premium costs as well).

What Type of Basement Waterproofing Protection Can Stop Window Well Leaks?

We are glad you asked!

When you have a window well that appears to be leaking, but none of the fixes you have tried stop the leak, it is time to look deeper.

The most common source of these “mystery leaks” is often the basement drainage system.

Basement drainage has three main facets:

  1. Sump pump (with backup)

  2. Up-to-date home and basement drainage system

  3. Interior basement waterproofing

Let’s take a look at each now.

Sump pump

Like window wells, sump pumps can get clogged. They can also get overworked. During power outages, they can stop working completely.

You never want this to happen. If your sump pump doesn’t have a backup system in place, now is the time to add one.

Drainage system

Your basement drainage solution actually starts in your home aboveground. Take a close look at grading, downspouts, gutters (with guards or covers), and basement drains.

Basement waterproofing

Interior basement waterproofing is economical and fast to install. It doesn’t matter whether your basement space is finished or unfinished.

However, sometimes there are leaks coming from fissures or cracks. Other times there may be rotting insulation or problems with floor, wall or ceiling joints.

These problems must also be fixed to ensure the waterproofing treatment can do its job well.

Get in Touch

Are you at your wit’s end trying to end window well leaks? Our solutions are economical, maintenance-free and virtually indestructible, which gives your home’s resale value an easy boost!

Use our free EasyQuote service to find out more about adding value to and protecting your basement. Get a quote with no obligation from one of our friendly, knowledgeable technicians!

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

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3 Simple Steps to Keep Your Basement From Flooding in Winter

drain pipe extension

“Basement flooding.” These two words are near-guaranteed to cause homeowners to break out into a cold sweat.

Perhaps this is because the homeowners insurance industry predicts 98 percent of homes with basements will eventually discover their basements have taken on water.

Buying a home with a basement means that, at some future point, you may find yourself enrolled in a crash course in interior basement waterproofing whether you like it or not.

This is why we say a better strategy than intervention is prevention. In this timely blog post, learn three simple steps to keep your basement from flooding this winter – and any winter yet to come.

1. Revisit Your Home’s Exterior Drainage and Grading

Contrary to popular belief, one of the most common ways that water gets into your basement in the first place isn’t actually from the surrounding soil!

Rather, that water seeps in from above, often due to poor landscape grading near your home’s foundation.

“Grading” is a term that reflects how water is routed around your home above ground. In a perfect world, your grading would route water with a gentle downhill slope away from your foundation so it can run off elsewhere more safely.

But over time, and especially after a series of severe winters with heavy rain and snowfall, that gradual slope away from your home’s foundation can transform into a gradual slope toward your home’s foundation.

This is where problems start to seep in...literally.

Luckily, there are several strategies that can be used to address this. And many are surprisingly affordable!

For example, you could simply add downspout extenders to help direct runoff from your roof’s gutters away from your foundation.

You could build up the ground nearest your home with extra dirt – just be sure to leave at least six inches of clearance between your home’s foundation and the start of the dirt grading (check with your local building codes for the most up-to-date requirements here).

If your basement has windows, be sure to install window wells and well drains so you don’t inadvertently bury your windows as you repair your home’s grading!

2. Give Your Sump Pump Setup an Overhaul

Sump pumps don’t usually attract a lot of attention unless they stop working. Yet this happens frequently enough that they probably deserve more attention than they get.

A working sump pump is perhaps your number one defence against basement flooding, whether minor or major.

But since the majority of primary sump pump systems require electricity to work, guess when most sump pump-related basement floods occur? (If you just guessed “during power outages,” give yourself a gold star!)

Even the most modern, high-capacity, high-efficiency sump pump is only as good as its power source. This is why we always recommend revisiting your sump pump setup and asking yourself what you will do if the power goes out during a storm.

You have more than a few options to address the threat of a basement flood during a power outage and all of them are good ones.

One of the most popular choices is to install a backup sump pump system that runs on a battery or backup generator or even an old-school sensor.

You could simply install a backup generator to power key essentials around your home and include your sump pump in that setup. Today’s backup generators can be programmed to automatically sense power outages and power right up to keep essentials working.

If your sump pump is getting up in years and you’ve been considering a replacement anyway, switching to gas or propane (where available) can also help keep your sump working when the electricity goes out.

3. Repair, Insulate and Waterproof Your Basement

Naturally, basements age just like homes do. Over time, that brand-new construction basement will start to show signs of wear and tear even if you have been vigilant with basic preventive maintenance.

A big part of this is the nature of concrete itself. Concrete, the most popular material for basement construction, is naturally porous. It settles after pouring and again over time. Water from above and from the surrounding soil is attracted to porous materials such as concrete. It will find its way inside, seeping in as far as it can go.

Freeze-thaw cycles can widen tiny fissures in the concrete walls, floor and ceiling, allowing more water to seep in. What was a fluff of efflorescence (mineral salts left behind after water evaporates) then becomes damp walls. Damp walls in turn become beads and then trickles of water. Finally, the day comes when a trickle becomes a stream and then a flood.

If you’ve ever wondered how much it costs to waterproof a basement and assumed it was beyond your budget, it may be time to reconsider how basement waterproofing can help you save and even make you money over the long term.

For example, taking preventive steps now to repair developing fissures and cracks, adding support for sagging walls and separating floor joints, applying protective humidity-proof insulation and affordable basement waterproofing can boost your home’s resale value and lower your homeowners insurance premiums.

And if you later decide you want to rent out your waterproofed, temperature-controlled finished basement apartment, this treatment can easily pay for itself over a single lease cycle!

Get in Touch

Are you seeing signs that your basement may be taking on water? We can help!

Get your fast, FREE EasyQuote for making timely basement repairs and upgrades that will protect your peace of mind and your budget over the long term.

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

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4 Main Types of Basement Waterproofing and What You Need to Know About Each

exterior basement waterproofing

If you own a home with a basement, the thought of potential water damage may not keep you up nights, but it has likely crossed your mind, say, during winter thaw or torrential rains, or if you live close to a body of water that tends to flood.

The unsettling truth is, nearly 98 percent of basements throughout North America are likely to be impacted by moisture at some point.

In this article, learn about the four main types of basement waterproofing and when to use each if your basement takes on damp or water.

What Causes a Basement to Take on Water?

A basement may take on water for a number of reasons, only some of which are under your control.

Here is a list of the most common reasons that basements may take on damp or water, so you can think through the best way to protect your investment.

Weather

Severe weather such as the type we have been seeing more frequently in Ontario in recent years can sometimes trigger power outages.

If your sump system doesn’t have battery backup, it may fail and your basement may flood, especially if the weather brings with it heavy rains.

Sump pump failure

Speaking of which, sump pumps, like all appliances, only last so long. Installing a backup system can extend the useful life of your sump.

Burst pipes

Frozen pipes are a known hazard especially in winter. But underground pipes can give way at any time of year due to tree roots, rust and other causes.

Rising water table

Sometimes the water table in your region begins to rise and this may bring water into your basement.

Hydrostatic soil pressure

Water content in the surrounding soil can create pressure against your basement walls and floor. This water is seeking an exit and may find its way inside your basement through fissures and micro-cracks that can widen over time.

Humidity

The entire ecosystem of a basement space is always going to be different from that of your home above ground level.

Because moisture levels tend to be consistently higher, this causes the humidity to rise. Sometimes this causes mould and mildew damage to stored items or furnishings.

Inadequate drainage

Window wells and drains are typically installed during the process of building a new basement space. However, over time these important features may become broken or blocked.

In the same way, shifting soils may cause grading around your above-ground home to shift.

If there are no gutters or the gutters become clogged or blocked, or if downspouts aren’t well-placed to route water away from the home, all of this can create water that has nowhere else to go but down into your basement.

Wall or floor cracks

Concrete is the building material of choice for basements today. Whether poured fresh or stacked from pre-existing bricks, concrete tends to be naturally porous, which means you can absolutely expect some micro-cracks and fissures as your basement settles.

But over time, such initially small cracks can widen, especially with consistent hydrostatic pressure as water keeps threading through the cracks. These cracks can then turn into major leaks under some of the other conditions mentioned here.

4 Main Types of Basement Waterproofing

There are four main types of basement waterproofing.

Each comes with its own pros and cons as well as recommended times for use.

If you have an existing basement, focus your attention on the last three types of affordable basement waterproofing.

1. Exterior excavation

Because exterior excavation basement waterproofing is so invasive and cost-prohibitive, it typically makes sense to take this approach only during new construction.

This method involves installing an exterior drain around the outer basement perimeter and often applying paint-like sealant around the outside walls as well.

If you are planning a new build or if yours is currently underway, talk with your contractor about the feasibility of exterior waterproofing.

2. Interior subfloor drain

Installing an interior subfloor drain is a relatively simple proposition compared with exterior excavation and can be done with a new or existing basement space.

Here, the term “subfloor” indicates the drain is installed underneath the floor of your basement.

The drainage system runs along the walls and can be set up to collect runoff from window wells and walls along with exterior floor moisture, which is then sent to the sump pump for removal.

3. Interior baseboard system

The interior baseboard system is easy to implement inside your basement whether the space is unfinished or finished.

It doesn’t require any jackhammering or other invasive methods. The drainage system is installed inside along the floor so water is collected and sent to the sump pump for removal.

4. Negative-side sealant

Negative-side sealant is a type of paint-like cement coating that can be applied to your basement walls and floor in a similar way to how paint is typically applied.

The sealant literally seals out moisture from the inside. The best time to use negative-side sealant is before you finish your basement space, although it can be done at any time with only minimal disruption to existing furnishings.

Get in Touch

Do you need guidance for affordable basement waterproofing to protect your investment? We can help!

Our free, no-obligation EasyQuote system is designed for maximum peace of mind and minimal stress. One of our polite, prompt and highly trained service technicians will meet you at your home to evaluate your basement, talk through options and provide you with a quote. It really is that easy!

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

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Sump Pump Smarts: Does Yours Need Repairs or Replacement? 5 Signs to Look For

sump pump repairs

Sump pumps are definitely the unsung heroes of dry basement spaces. In fact, as with most major appliances, most people don’t pay them any mind at all until they stop working properly.

Of course your sump system can’t speak to you and say, “Hey, I am getting worn out and need to be replaced.” Instead, it will “talk” to you by giving out warning signs that you must notice and correctly interpret.

This is not an exact science, to say the least. We have proof in the sheer number of calls we’ve received over the years from frustrated customers who say their sump system gave out without any warning at all.

The truth is, if you don’t know the warning signs to look for that your sump pump needs repairs or a replacement, it will feel like a major repair or failure came without warning.

This post aims to remedy that by giving you the most common signs that your sump pump needs repair or replacing.

Sump Pump Basics: What Is a Sump System?

There are two basic types of sump systems: pedestal and submersible. As their names suggest, one system sits above the ground and the other one is submerged. It is pretty easy to tell which type you have just by looking at it.

The heartbeat of any sump system is its motor. The motor works to push water out of the sump pit (holding area) and away from your basement space, keeping it clean and dry.

A Basic Sump Pump System Test You Can Do Yourself

This easy test will take only a few minutes and can alert you to any brewing troubles with your sump operation.

  1. Fill a bucket with water.

  2. Pour it into the sump pit.

  3. Watch what happens next.

If the pump powers on, quickly drains out the water and then turns itself off again, your sump pump is working as it should. If anything else happens, it is time to call a pro.

If you have a battery-operated sump or backup system, this is also a good time to do a simple battery test.

Simple Sump Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

Over time, the sump pipes and pit can accumulate gravel, dirt and debris.

You can use a scoop or your hand to remove this debris so it won’t clog the pit or the drainage lines.

As well, if your sump pump doesn’t have a lid, adding one now can be a smart move to prevent more debris, dirt or gravel from entering your sump system.

Warning Signs of Sump System Malfunction

It usually isn’t difficult to tell when your sump pump stops doing its job correctly. What can be more challenging is to figure out if the malfunction warrants a repair or a replacement.

In many cases, moving parts like the float switch may simply need to be replaced. But in some cases, it may be your sump itself that has reached the end of its lifespan.

In either case, watch for these warning signs to signal when it may be time to call in a pro.

1. The noise level increases when your sump powers on

As a general rule, the pedestal-type sump system is noisier than the submersible sump system. However, if either system starts to get louder than usual when it switches on, this can be a sign there is a pending repair issue.

Here, noises to watch for include increased vibration, strange clangs or bangs, odd pauses during an operational cycle and rattles or grinding.

2. The sump pump never seems to stop running

If your sump system is running continuously, especially when the weather remains dry, there could be multiple possible causes, including a small leak you are not aware of.

It’s important to notice when this happens so you can investigate the cause before your pump motor wears out and breaks down.

3. Sump cycles are irregular

Frequent on/off cycling, erratic cycling (based on weather patterns that might indicate different on/off patterns), switching on or off at odd moments and other irregularities are also a warning sign something is amiss inside your sump system.

One of the most common reasons for irregular cycling is a pump motor and pipes that are accumulating debris and have started to clog or jam.

4. The sump housing, motor, parts or pipes start to look worn or rusted

If you see signs of discoloration, including corrosion or rust, it could be anything from a buildup of algae or bacteria to parts that have begun to rust and degrade.

5. Your sump runs when the sump pit is dry

This can seem particularly mysterious at the outset, but the most likely culprit is a clog in the drainage pipes somewhere.

If your sump is new and this happens, it could mean it is not installed correctly.

Repair or Replace: Which Does Your Sump System Need?

The typical sump system has a useful life of up to 10 years – this applies only if the system has received regular preventative maintenance and is sized properly for the job it has to do.

Sometimes, all your sump really needs is a backup sump to give it some help during heavy activity periods.

A robust backup system like the UltraSump® can protect your basement space from flooding, extend the useful life of your existing sump system and ensure your sump will remain operational even during a power outage.

The first step to repairing or replacing your sump system is to have your existing system evaluated by a professional. Once you know what is wrong, you have the knowledge to make informed choices.

Get in Touch

Have your sump evaluated for free with our EasyQuote process!

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.

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2 Types of Basement Waterproofing: How to Pick the Right Type for Your Basement

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Owning a home with a basement can be a blessing and a challenge.

When things are going well, that extra basement space is a handy source of storage, a place to stash the kids for playtime and a boost to the eventual resale value of your home.

But when things start to go south down under, suddenly that same basement space is just one more source of stress in an already stressful life.

Remembering one key fact can help you navigate those first scary signs of a basement leak: given enough time, most basements will eventually leak.

You can prepare for that day by learning about the three types of basement waterproofing so you know who to call and what to ask for when the need arises.

Why Do Basements Leak?

There is something inherently different about having a room that sits below the ground surface of your home. Instead of air, this part of your home is surrounded by soil with its ever-shifting moisture content.

Environmental conditions below the ground floor of your home can also be quite different. It is typically both more humid and lower in temperature than the other rooms above the surface.

As well, while the portion of your home from the ground floor up may be made of drywall, brick, wood, vinyl or some combination thereof, the portion from the ground floor down is almost always made out of poured concrete or concrete bricks.

Concrete is naturally quite porous, which means it lets water through to a greater degree than most other materials used in home construction. Like it or not, know it or not, the concrete used to create your basement is always letting in the tiniest molecules of moisture here and there, although in most cases this is no cause for concern.

It is concerning when that moisture finds a wider fissure, gap, crack or crevice to seep through. Because your basement is built below ground level, moisture will often trickle in from the top down as well as seep up through the soil below.

While concrete is quite durable overall, over time and with continued exposure to shifting soil, pressure from tree roots, changing water table levels and other factors, it will start to degrade. That is when larger fissures or cracks can form in the concrete walls or flooring and let in moisture.

As well, over time, inbuilt window wells and weeping tiles can get clogged, damaged or broken and stop doing their job of routing water away from your basement.

Warning Signs of Basement Moisture

There are several early warning signs that moisture is beginning to invade your basement space.

Increasing humidity

There are certain seasons each year that bring more moisture and thus more humidity. But if you notice your basement feels consistently more humid than usual, this can be a sign that moisture is beginning to invade through micro-fissures and cracks in the concrete.

Efflorescence

Efflorescence is a white, powdery dust that forms when water evaporates and leaves its mineral salt passengers behind.

Persistent dampness

When the walls or floor start to take on a sheen, you see condensation on windows or the surfaces feel somewhat damp, this is another sign of a moisture invasion.

Standing water

Of course, any standing water is cause for concern, especially if your sump system never seems to fully shut off or you actually see moving water in your basement.

2 Types of Basement Waterproofing

There are two basic methods for waterproofing a basement.

Exterior basement waterproofing

Exterior basement waterproofing is typically cost-prohibitive as well as highly invasive for an existing home.

If you are in the process of constructing a new home, however, exterior basement waterproofing can be done as your basement is being built.

Interior basement waterproofing

Interior basement waterproofing is both affordable and much less invasive than exterior waterproofing. It is the method of choice for nearly all existing homes and can be done whether or not your basement is finished.

Interior basement waterproofing can involve a number of fixes depending on the cause of the basement leak.

For example, if you have a visible crack in the wall or floor, filling the crack is the first step towards preventing future moisture seepage.

Improving existing drainage systems is another key to the success of interior basement waterproofing. This can mean repairing blocked or damaged window wells, installing a French drain and a back-up sump pump system, improving gutters and downspout routing outside your home, and landscaping to guide moisture runoff away from your basement.

Sealants are another key element in interior basement waterproofing. Different types of sealants can be used depending on the moisture issue you are experiencing and its location.

In most cases, a full interior basement waterproofing job can be completed in just a day or two with minimal disruption to your daily life.

Affordable Basement Waterproofing Is Just a Call Away

Many homeowners are reluctant to contact a basement waterproofing professional for fear of hearing bad news, and this is totally understandable.

However, basement waterproofing issues do not generally resolve themselves. Rather, in our long experience, we have found they typically just get worse.

So if there is one ironclad guarantee we can offer you, it is this: Your basement waterproofing job will always be more affordable if you do it now rather than putting it off until there’s a worse problem.

The good news is that we won’t charge you a thing to come out, take a look, diagnose the problem and generate an estimate to waterproof your basement.

Once you know what is wrong, you can make plans to fix it, whether you decide to do it today, next week or next year.

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There Is Water on the Basement Floor But I Don’t See Any Cracks—Help!

deep basement flood

After so many decades in the foundation repair and waterproofing industry, we are no longer surprised by the many ways water can find its way into a basement.

“If there’s a will, there’s a way” pretty much sums up the ability water has to seep into any crack or crevice and, from there, make its way into your basement.

It certainly doesn’t help that most basements are crafted from either poured concrete or concrete blocks, and concrete is a naturally porous material from day one.

Depending on who you ask and the type of water damage, anywhere from 60 to 98 percent of all basements in North America will eventually develop some type of moisture damage.

This means it is likely not so much a case of if but rather when you finally make that call to ask for a repair estimate for basement waterproofing. In this post, we detail the common ways water enters a basement and what to do when you discover it.

Concrete Micro-Fissures

Concrete is not only naturally porous but it tends to settle and contract somewhat as it dries. This can be a particular issue in poured concrete basements, and especially so if the concrete was not mixed properly and develops “honeycombs,” or air pockets that create tiny pathways where water can seep in.

Basements constructed from concrete blocks are not immune, however. Over time, the mortar that holds the blocks together will start to break down. When this happens, the blocks will shift and often open up other small cracks where water can seep in from outside.

Wall or Floor Cracks

Wall or floor cracks can happen for a variety of reasons. Improperly set walls without sufficient support, settling concrete, shifting soils, extreme drought or flooding that places extra pressure on walls and other issues can cause larger visible cracks to appear and let water in.

Damaged or Blocked Window Wells or Drains

Window wells, weeping tiles and floor drains are all systems designed to keep water out of a newly constructed basement. They tend to do their jobs well at first and less well over time.

Debris and damage can create blockages or total collapse, causing the water that should be flowing out of your basement to flow back in.

Shifting Soil

Shifting soil can be more of a problem in some geographic areas than others. Over time, it is natural for topography to shift somewhat, and changing global weather patterns can worsen this effect.

As soil shifts, pressure against basement walls and flooring becomes uneven, causing cracks to form and widen over time and water to seep inside.

Rising Water Table

As weather patterns become more unpredictable and seasonal storms become more extreme, there is simply more water to deal with and not enough places to put it.

When the soil becomes saturated with moisture, this can cause a rise in the water table that existing drainage systems are not equipped to deal with.

Failing Sump Pump

Sump pumps, like all home maintenance systems, have a useful life. But increasing demands can also cause a sump pump to wear out faster than expected.

A failing sump pump is one of the most common causes of serious water issues in a basement.

Plumbing or Sewer Line Leaks

The network of hidden pipes that delivers water to your home are vulnerable to all kinds of equally hidden perils—from tree limbs to animals to rust and natural wear and tear. Leaking plumbing pipes can easily cause water to enter your basement.

Similarly, over time the seals that connect your home’s sewer pipes to the main sewer lines can wear out due to age and cause a backlog of dirty sewer water to flood into your basement space.

Excessive Water Runoff

Runoff from watering your lawn and garden and from rain storms is especially prone to entering your basement.

Inadequate Exterior Drainage or Grading

Over time, it is normal for an existing system of gutters and downspouts to start aging and develop clogs, leaks or cracks. Sometimes the topography changes and soil sinks or shifts in areas that were previously level.

When this occurs, water may begin to flow back toward your foundation instead of away from it and can then pool and begin to leak into your basement.

Diagnosing and Repairing a Leaking Basement

When you think of the words “basement” and “leak,” you probably think of the words “stressful” and “expensive.”

But in most cases, the repair expense is not going to be as pricey as you think. And what you can absolutely count on is that it will only get more expensive if you decide to ignore the moisture, wait and hope it will all just go away!

The best approach is to move forward to seek an accurate diagnosis so you know what is causing the humidity, efflorescence (white powder), sweating, dampness, strange odours or outright leaks in your basement.

 

Once you know what the problem is, then it becomes much easier to sit down and sort through the options to repair it. In some cases, it is possible to simply install a dehumidifier to control basement humidity for a time while you plan and budget for the necessary repairs.

But you won’t know until you ask and get the facts!

The most common basement repair needs include crack repair, installation of a new or back-up sump pump system, de-clogging and window well repair and drainage systems, gutter cleaning and downspout extensions, wall supports, additional insulation and interior basement waterproofing.

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Affordable basement waterproofing and repair options are just a phone call away. Don’t wait and let your basement moisture issue get worse!

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

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Moisture Barrier Versus Interior Waterproofing: Which Do You Need?

exterior basement waterproofing

The moment you notice a moisture or humidity issue with your basement, your learning curve begins.

First, there is a confusing set of new terms to learn. What is the difference between a barrier versus a membrane? Also, what is damp-proofing and is that the same as interior waterproofing?

Is there a better choice to address your specific issue with basement moisture, whether it is seepage or an outright raging leak?

One thing you do know, however: whatever you select, you want it to last. In this post, we discuss important differences between a moisture barrier versus interior waterproofing and the right time to use each.

Damp-Proofing, Vapor Barriers & Moisture Barriers

The best time to discuss protecting your basement space from moisture breaches is before it is even built.

Of course, in most cases this smart conversation doesn’t take place, either because the homeowner doesn’t know (and the contractor doesn’t say) or yours isn’t a new home and you are one in a succession of owners.

The terminology for protective, preventative treatments—often termed “damp-proofing”—can be confusing. Water-resistant membranes, moisture barriers, vapour barriers… they sound quite a bit alike but actually mean different things.

What is most important to know, however, is that none of these products can provide complete protection against basement moisture. If you want full waterproofing protection, you need to find out precisely what type of moisture the product blocks!

Moisture barrier

A water-resistant membrane (also called a moisture barrier) is a sheet of thick plastic that, as its name suggests, blocks moisture from entering through the foundation.

Membranes can be helpful to repel seepage, but they can’t withstand heavy pressure such as that generated by fast leaks and flooding. In this way, to say they are installed for waterproofing is actually inaccurate.

Vapour barrier

A vapour barrier is typically made of polyethylene, a type of plastic sheeting. It is often attached directly to wood or laminate flooring materials to block moisture created by overly humid air.

Unfortunately, this type of barrier is typically effective only until the moisture content in the surrounding air or soil reaches about 75 percent, which makes it ill-equipped for seasonal or storm-generated humidity spikes. And vapour barriers are not the right choice to actively repel water seepage or outright leaks.

Damp-Proofing Versus Interior Waterproofing

In the vast majority of cases, damp-proofing is installed as a preventative, protective measure during new construction or major home renovations. Here, the thought is to provide some type of minimal protection against minor settling or seepage, especially in an unfinished basement space.

In contrast, interior waterproofing is generally recommended as a way to fix an existing issue with moisture seepage or a leak, often with an older home where the basement structure itself is aging and has become compromised in some way.

This is not to say that interior basement waterproofing cannot be done as a preventative approach—and in actuality, this approach is ideal for homeowner peace of mind and for controlling future repair costs.

Interior Waterproofing Versus Exterior Waterproofing

There are two main approaches to basement waterproofing: interior and exterior.

As their names suggest, exterior waterproofing is a treatment applied around the outside of your basement space, while interior waterproofing is applied to the interior of the basement.

Many homeowners do not initially realize there are two different types of treatments—that is, until you start to gather quotes and some quotes are so much pricier than others!

Exterior basement waterproofing

Quotes into the tens of thousands of dollars are typical for exterior basement waterproofing.

This highly invasive treatment is generally only feasible or advisable to do at the same time a new basement is built, since it requires thoroughly displacing the surrounding soil and landscaping, which then creates additional costly repairs.

Interior basement waterproofing

Interior basement waterproofing is a treatment that can be applied to the inside of your basement—walls and flooring—whether your basement is unfinished or finished. If applied to an unfinished basement, the treatment will not prevent you from finishing the basement in the future.

This treatment can be used on its own to treat issues with humidity or slight seepage from micro-cracks. For larger cracks and leaks or standing water, interior waterproofing can be combined with other types of treatments depending on need.

Downspout and gutter repairs or re-routing, window well cleaning and repairs, sump pump backup systems, additional specialized insulation, crack repair, structural supports such as wall joints and braces, ventilation solutions and grading/landscaping can each do their part to provide a comprehensive approach to basement waterproofing.

Which Solution to Choose: Damp-Proofing or Interior Waterproofing

Since no one enjoys spending money to keep moisture or water out of their basement, it can be tempting to just jump at the lowest bid you receive.

But it is important to take a step back and look into the long term—how will the solution you choose today protect you from the unknown in the future and perhaps even impact the resale value of your home?

According to a recent Home Advisor report, prices can range from $600 to $10,590, which is a really wide spread!

What is most important to know here is that whatever you spend now to fix minor issues with humidity or leaks will always be less expensive than what it will cost later if you end up with a major mould and mildew remediation or deep repair job on your hands!

Sometimes it is even possible to control moisture’s impact over the short term by simply installing additional ventilation and/or a dehumidifier to remove airborne moisture and dry out your basement air.

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Are you concerned about an overly humid or damp basement? We can help!

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

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Basement Waterproofing Cost: It Is More Affordable Than You Think!

portable basement dehumidifier

Spend enough time in the company of people who own older homes with older basements and you might begin to dread the day your basement finally springs a leak.

Statistically speaking, you have a 60 percent chance of this happening to you.

Moisture in the basement is quite common for any number of reasons, only some of which you can control.

Luckily, there is a way to control basement waterproofing cost. When you learn the early warning signs your basement sends out to alert you to a moisture problem, you can act before the problem becomes a major repair and expense.

Prevention Is Cost-Effective!

If you are in the process of building a new home that will have a basement, you can build in eternal peace of mind by including full exterior or interior basement waterproofing as part of the job.

Taking a preventative approach may cost you a bit more now, but it can save you a bundle later and increase the potential resale value of your home when you are ready to sell.

Common Basement Moisture Issues and Their Causes

Here is a brief overview of the most commonly reported basement moisture issues and their likely causes.

Changing topography

This is particularly problematic with older homes. The basement is no spring chicken, and chances are good it has formed micro-fissures or cracks over the years.

Topography changes can worsen any structural degradation as the years pass. Changing water table levels, shifting soil, surrounding construction that re-routes or overburdens drainage systems and similar issues can also change how easily water finds its way into your basement.

When the ground shifts, this can wreak havoc with your home’s grading, causing water to flow back toward your foundation instead of away from it.

Failing sump pump

Sump systems, like all major equipment, have a time-sensitive useful life. Over time, your sump pump may struggle to keep up with the demands of its job.

Climate change

We have all seen how global warming and climate change is also changing our weather patterns, often intensifying storms and increasing rainfall.

This in turn can create more water pressure (hydrostatic pressure) on your basement walls and foundation as water fights to find a way in, causing dampness, then seepage, then outright leaks and standing water.

Structural wear and tear

Whether you have a poured concrete foundation or a concrete brick foundation, natural settling and mortar degradation are two common reasons moisture or water finds its way inside your basement.

Drainage clogs

Window well drains that clog up or become compromised can cause nearly as much damage as an outright flood—those wells can hold a surprising amount of water that has nowhere else to go once the drain becomes blocked.

Frozen drainage lines are another common reason why window wells, sump pumps and other protective systems can’t do their job of keeping water out of your basement space.

Control What You Can To Keep Water Out

Here are some things you can do to prevent moisture and water leaks in your basement.

Maintain your gutters, downspouts and drainage system

A well-maintained drainage system with effective downspouts and clean, clear gutters is better able to do its job of routing water away from your basement.

This includes maintaining window wells as best you can, access permitting.

Evaluate your landscaping and grading

Choosing the right landscaping and ensuring your grading is appropriately lower than your home’s foundation can prevent further basement moisture and lessen existing issues.

Install a backup sump pump

Whether your sump pump is brand-new, middle-aged or nearing its golden years, giving it a little extra support in the form of a back-up sump pump system can potentially save you thousands of dollars in basement flooding and mould clean-up and repair.

Adding dehumidification

Installing a portable dehumidifier in your basement can extract excess moisture and prevent mould and mildew from forming. Installing exhaust vents where appropriate (especially if you do laundry in your basement) can also be a cost-effective preventative measure.

Insulating and sealing your basement

Adding insulation and sealing your basement floor, walls and ceiling can keep excess moisture out and aid in humidity and temperature balancing year-round.

Controlling Basement Waterproofing Cost

Basement waterproofing can be accomplished in a number of ways. There are both exterior and interior treatments.

Some treatments are permanent and preventative, while others are more like Band-Aids or stop-gap measures.

These variances can mean that gathering quotes from contractors quickly becomes an exercise in confusion and frustration.

When you get two or three quotes with vastly different pricing, chances are good this is because each contractor is recommending a different type of waterproofing treatment. This is when you want to sit down with someone knowledgeable and trustworthy who can help you sort through your options and select the best, most cost-effective treatment.

Exterior basement waterproofing is typically reserved for new construction or major structural issues that likely will also require other invasive repairs. When the recommended basement treatment comes with a major price tag (in the tens of thousands of dollars), you are likely looking at a quote for exterior waterproofing.

Interior basement waterproofing is generally recommended for an existing basement with ongoing issues with humidity, moisture, odour and minor leaks.

This service can often be done for as little as a third of the price of an exterior treatment, with the average nationwide fee ranging from $2,000 and up.

Higher quotes often include recommended repairs, such as repairing cracks, sealing leaks and improving drainage and downspouts.

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Are you concerned about moisture in your basement? We can help!

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

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Waterproofing Basement Walls From Inside

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If you have a basement or are planning new construction including a basement, chances are good you are already thinking about basement waterproofing.

Perhaps you are wondering if waterproofing basement walls from inside can protect your new basement from moisture and leaks later on.

Or maybe your question is about whether waterproofing basement walls from inside could be a potential fix for leaks or dampness in your existing basement.

Read on to learn the answers to these and other basement waterproofing questions!

Hydrostatic Pressure: What It Is & How It Causes Leaks

If you had to take a guess, how much do you think a single cubic inch of rainwater weighs as it presses against your basement walls?

According to range scientists, one cubic inch of rainwater can weigh 60 pounds or more as it presses against your basement walls. This is called “hydrostatic pressure” and it is a major cause for basement leaks.

With continual hydrostatic pressure from sprinkler runoff, storm water, underground springs or even your local water table, your walls will be hard-pressed to keep that water out forever.

What happens when there is more than one cubic inch of water in the soil surrounding your basement walls?

Imagine hundreds or even thousands of pounds of water pressing against your basement structure. How long will the integrity of the walls and floors, seams and joints withstand this kind of force?

Wrap It To Protect It: How Waterproofing Works

When you are about to head outside and see that it has started to rain, what do you do before you leave? If you are like many, you probably grab an umbrella or, better yet, a raincoat!

With the right accessories, you can stay dry even while standing in pouring water. This is the same basic concept that helped invent today’s basement waterproofing treatments.

There are two basic methods for waterproofing a basement: exterior and interior.

Exterior waterproofing is really only financially feasible when you are waterproofing a new basement-in-progress as part of a preventative measure or when you only need to treat a single wall that has been noticeably impacted from the outside by something like a tree root.

Otherwise, the cost to excavate fully around your basement walls, apply the treatment and restore the soil and landscaping is typically prohibitive.

Waterproofing basement walls from inside is the first-choice treatment for homeowners who need to address an issue with seepage, standing water or moisture in an existing basement structure.

Different Types of Inside Basement Waterproofing

The type of inside basement waterproofing treatment you choose will depend on what type of water problem you are facing.

Some issues can be fully resolved by simply applying the basement waterproofing treatment to seal your basement interior and prevent further moisture from entering.

However, some issues need preparatory repair treatments before the waterproofing treatment can be applied.

Once larger cracks or leaks have formed, this two-phase approach to inside basement waterproofing is necessary to both preserve the structural integrity of your basement and prevent further moisture from entering.

How to Know Your Basement Needs Waterproofing

Your basement has its own way to communicate with you that something is wrong. These warning signs are each indications you may need to consider waterproofing basement walls from inside.

Humidity and dampness

Humid basement air and damp walls let you know that somehow, somewhere, moisture is seeping into your basement.

A dehumidifier can offer a band-aid solution, but the only sure way to prevent mould and mildew from forming is to seal up micro-fissures and cracks with an inside waterproofing treatment.

Sump pump running

When your sump pump never seems to fully shut off, this can be a sign that water is continually seeping into your basement from somewhere.

Water may be entering from walls or flooring. In these types of situations, often basement waterproofing is combined with the installation of a backup sump pump for peace of mind.

Strange odours

Do you dread going down into your basement because it always smells...off? Musty, damp, grassy—these are some ways homeowners describe the unmistakable aroma of “dirty gym socks” that often arises once mould and mildew has begun to form.

Mould and mildew of any strain can be particularly concerning because spores can colonize in micro-fissures where no human eye can ever detect them. Over time as the colony grows, you may begin to see discolouration on the interior walls, but odour is definitely going to be your first warning sign.

Once mould has formed, it will be necessary to get an evaluation for remediation work before it is safe to proceed with interior basement waterproofing.

White powder on walls

Efflorescence is the technical term for the white powdery residue that remains once water has evaporated. The white powder is from the salt present in the water.

Seeing efflorescence anywhere inside your basement is a clear indication that water has been there. This residue must be cleaned off before your basement can be waterproofed.

Obvious leaks or standing water

The sign most likely to trigger outright alarm in homeowners is the sight of water leaking into or pooling on the floor.

Here, the first order of business is always to seal the leak before proceeding to seal the basement with inside waterproofing.

Inside Basement Waterproofing Solutions

The science of structural waterproofing has come a long way over the last decade. Today, we have so many treatments for waterproofing basement walls from inside.

Crack and fissure repair, drainage and downspout upgrades, mould-repellent insulation, sump system backups, well and window drains, damp-proofing and both exterior and interior waterproofing can give you present-day peace of mind and enhance the potential resale value of your home in the future!

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