Perma Dry Waterproofing Blog
Do you have water in your basement or crawl space? Is there mold or mildew affecting the air quality in your home? It's likely you need basement or crawl space drainage. Perma Dry offers a wide variety of common sense solutions to your wet basement or crawl space problems. Learn more here in our blog. When you're ready, give us a call and schedule an appointment.
One of the most common problems for basement owners related to water damage, moisture, and other organic materials are foul smells and odors. Poor air circulation, high moisture content, urine, organic material, dead animals, and a flooded basement are all the recipes for your basement to become host to various stinks.
Mold and Mildew Musty
Basements are prone to moisture and water damage, especially when they are not correctly waterproofed. This causes molds and mildews, which have a unique and musty smell to them and could cause health problems if not fixed immediately.
Molds could also form on dead animals such as mice and, when exposed to moisture, could hasten and strengthen the musty smell of decomposition. The more moisture present in your basement, the faster mold and mildew grow and spread.
The best way to prevent molds and mildews is to keep your basement as dry as possible. You could also throw out affected furniture, fabrics, cardboards, or any absorbent material. Ensure that all possible sources of water are adequately sealed, and drains are unclogged. You could also invest in a dehumidifier to pull moisture or water vapor out of the air. If the problem persists, consider hiring the right professionals to fix the issue of moisture and water damage as well as molds and mildews.
If you smell the overpowering odor of sewage, it is highly probable that it is sewer gas accumulating in your basement. In large quantities, sewer gas can be toxic and even explosive, especially in confined spaces.
The smell typically originates from sewer lines or septic tanks containing waste materials. Sewer gas contains a mixture of methane, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxides that could pose health problems to people and pets.
When you smell sewer gas, the most common cause is because of the basement’s floor drain p-trap dried up, allowing the gas to seep up. It could also be from a broken or missing cleanout plug in the floor drain. Another cause could be from cracks or leaks in sewer lines, which is a more serious problem and would require a plumber to fix.
Regularly check if your P-traps are primed with enough water in the curved section to prevent sewer gas from leaking. Locate cleanout plugs and ensure that they are in good condition. If the problem persists, better contact a plumber to help you.
The pervasive smell of ammonia in animal urine is very distinct and very difficult to remove when it attaches to porous materials like wood, wallboards, fiber, or concrete. It could make clean up complicated when coupled with moisture, which lets bacteria breed. Additionally, the longer urine sits, the harder it is to remove the smell. This also attracts your pets, such as dogs and cats, and pests to return to the affected area.
Regular cleaning using everyday household items, including vinegar, detergent, baking soda, or peroxide, would only work to a minimal extent. DO NOT combine bleach with ammonia as this would produce hazardous fumes that, when inhaled, could lead to health problems or even death.
The best remedy for woods, wallboards, and fibers is to throw them out and replace them. However, if you do not have the budget to buy new ones, you could use enzyme-based products to break down the bacteria in urine and neutralize the stinky odor. This also works for concrete surfaces, which are harder to replace.
If all else fails, you could always call professionals for help.
One of the worst smells you could encounter in your basement is the stench of decomposition. Combined with high moisture, rotting organic matter would be a good breeding ground for molds and fungi. This is why you also have to ensure that your basement is waterproofed.
There is nothing much left to do but to locate the source and dispose of it. However, if the decaying dead animal such as a rat or bat were inside a crevice or wall, time would be the only solution.
Keeping A Fresh Basement
Now that you know what could cause the smells in the basement, here are tips to keep your home smelling fresh.
- Ventilate your basement properly with exhaust fans and air ducts.
- Waterproof your basement thoroughly. You could do it yourself, or for better results, call professionals for help.
- Repair all leaks and plug any holes in walls that could host any pest.
- Keep it clean so as not to attract unwanted visitors a.k.a rats and other pests.
- Control humidity and lessen moisture.
Let’s say you have an unfinished basement and you want to turn it into usable livable space, but you have one serious problem. And that problem is this water, more specifically water seepage from the outside coming in and it’s wetting everything. If that sounds like your basement, then you will need a drainage system installed as a primary solution.
If what are dealing with is simply excessive humidity, generally caused by vapor drive, through walls and floor. Well, there is a simple solution to that, and it’s a solution that you can complete in a weekend. This solution is Drylok Masonry Waterproofer. It’s so easy to put on, and again, you can put it on in a weekend. It works on cement block walls, and all types of masonry.
Test For Seepage And Condensation
Before you apply Drylok, though, you need to make a simple test tape. The test tape is a 12 inch by 12 inch piece of aluminum foil taped tightly on all four edges to an interior basement wall. Remove it after several days. When you remove the foil square, check it on the inside for moisture. If you find that you have vaper drive. water on the inside of the foil or on the wall, you have vapor drive. You have water coming through from the outside. Drylok will help mitigate the vaper drive concerns. There are reasonably priced test kits available on Amazon.
If you have water on the outside of the foil, then you have condensation. And by the way, both condensation and seepage can occur at the same time. If you do have condensation, then you may need a dehumidifier in that room. If you find that you have a vapor drive problem, you’ll want to go outside and check for drainage issues that might create this seepage. Check for leaky gutters and downspouts that block drainage pipes first. Check for improper grading that directs groundwater runoff towards your foundation. In the Pacific Northwest the primary consideration is often water pressure on the structure that is unseen. This water pressure comes from seasonal water table ascension due to the geology of the region and cumulative saturation issues. Again, if this is your basement then a drainage professional and drainage system will be required.
Prepare Your Basement Walls
Once you’ve done what you can to identify and prevent the seepage from the outside, and/or had a drainage system installed if needed, it’s time to prepare your basement drainage walls on the inside for Drylok. Prepare the surface to be waterproofed by removing any loose mortar, dust and dirt with a wire brush. A good tip before using a patching product is to wet the area where you’re going to be working, fill any holes and cracks with a fast setting, hydraulic cement. Be sure to seal the floor and wall joints, which are often overlooked as a source for water seepage. With all products, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
The worst enemy to waterproofing product is efflorescence and it appears as a white powdery residue on the surface. efflorescence comes from natural occurring salt that’s already in this masonry and makes it’s way to the surface. We need to get rid of all of it before we do any waterproofing. To get it off, use muriatic acid according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to follow the warning labels. Since you are using an acid rinse thoroughly and allow it to dry.
Apply The Barrier Thoroughly
Now we are ready to waterproof. To do this, you’ll want to use a good quality synthetic bristle paintbrush. You’ll take the Drylok and apply the brush. It’s not like putting on paint. You need to really work Drylok into the pores of the block. Rather than just brushing on light paint, you’ll want to go back and forth. Get in all the contours and fill them in really well. Drylok works by penetrating the surface pores. It fills them and expands as it dries. By expanding into the pores, it becomes part of the wall to form a tough waterproof barrier. That’s guaranteed to stop water, even under pressure. I don’t want to leave any pinholes open or spread it too thin. That’s all there is to it!
After 24 hours apply a second coat with either a brush or a roller. So you see, there really is no reason that you have to live with a drab wet basement. We did all of this in just one weekend using Drylok Masonry Waterproofer, and you can do the same thing too.
Remember… if not simply vaper drive then you will likely need a drainage system professional to install a more permanent solution.
Mold is a common concern for homeowners. Black mold specifically is very concerning. We’ve been hearing more and more about black mold and the negative health effects associated with it. It often shows up where you can’t see it at first. If it’s showing up in building materials and items in your basement, then you can see the mold most of the time. However, some of the areas that you can’t see are hiding an even bigger problems.
Mold Is Bad For You And Your Home
In addition to the indoor air quality concerns, mold is also bad for your home. When mold starts growing on building materials it feeds off of organic materials. Anything that was was once a tree is at risk. Any 2x4s, 2x8s, paper facing on the front and back of drywall, structural beams, structural joists, your sub floor, all of these things are susceptible.
The reason why mold is able to grow in the first place is the elevated relative humidity in and around wood building materials that are exposed over long periods of time. These materials are also susceptible to being weakened by the penetration of that moisture and vapor into the wood.
Mold Can Cause Structural Damage
Many times we’ll see homes that have sagging floor joists or sagging beams. That’s creating uneven an unlevel floors on the main level of the home. If you are experiencing musty smells in your basement, or if you’re experiencing kind of a damp feeling in your basement, or any musty or moldy smell, that could indicate a risk of mold. If your allergies are acting up more than what they have in the past, or even triggering some asthma flares then it’s a good idea to have someone come out and test your air quality. There’s a chance you have mold.
We can test your relative humidity. We can test the contents of your basement, and the building materials in your basement to see how much moisture they are holding. This will allow us to assess the risks that you have. Preventing vapor and groundwater intrusion from your home or crawl space, and dehumidifying your home with a proper basement air system will protect your home from mold and dust.
Today we’re talking about a house that was built about 20 years ago. behind one wall we had a little bit of growth. We’re not sure what it was. Some black stuff growing on the paper, facing the dry wall. You could actually see just a little bit of it right on the base of the wall. It’s kind of a blackish stuff. Again, we don’t know what that is. It may be mold. It may not be, but we know how to solve it.
Mold Needs Three Things To Grow
Here’s the deal. Anytime you see mold growth in a house, mold needs three things to grow. It needs a temperature, It needs a food source and it needs a water source. Our houses are full of food sources. The more broken down the cellulose is, which is a great food source, the more mold is going to like it and grow on it. The facing that’s paper on your drywall is a great spot to grow mold. You’re going to see more mold growth on the paper of the drywall than you would on a 2×4. More mold growth is going to happen on OSB than plywood. The more broken down the wood, the more the mold likes it. Number two, we need a temperature. Mold likes an elevated temperature. Typically the temperatures that we like or the temperatures mold likes as well. At 70 degrees and above, you’re going to have more mold growth. The hotter it gets, the more active it’s going to be.
While we can’t do much about the food and temperature, water source is the biggest factor we can control as a builder or as a homeowner. Number one, we want to make sure we don’t have any bad water leaks. We want to make sure our windows are not leaking. We want to make sure our houses don’t have roof leaks, or lots of condensation. All those things can lead to mold growth. We didn’t have that issue with this house. What we had here is an elevated humidity level. We’re in this basement waterproofing company space. The walls are fully underground and we’ve had a really wet couple months. Likely the concrete walls and floor are going to be fairly wet.
Bring The Humidity Down
Some of that moisture is migrating into the space and it’s not getting relieved by the HVAC system. I saw a humidity in this room of about 70%. Anytime we get above 60% in our houses, that’s when mold’s going to have be more likely to grow. And the higher we get to 80% or above, it’s really going to be active. Now we put a dehumidifier in the room a couple of weeks ago, it’s been pulling water out of the space and now we’ve been able to get the humidity down to 41%. We’re not going to have any activity at 41%. This situation has been totally taken care of. However, the house has a couple of other areas that are issues that may be contributing towards this mold problem. The next place we need to check is the attic upstairs.
This attic had some problems as well that were exacerbating the issue down in the basement. Number one, air leakiness. When I opened these attic stairs, I noticed right away, there was an uninsulated staircase. It would be as if we left our front door open on our house and expected our HVAC system to catch up. This is a terrible system in so many houses and needs to be insulated. It needs to be weather stripped and air sealed.
An Uninsulated Attic Causes Issues
The next thing I noticed was there were several areas in this attic that were either uninsulated or we can see directly into the house. We’ve got a bunch of air sealing that needs to happen up there. And why does this need to happen? What happens when we’ve got an un air conditioned attic like this with duct work running through? In the summertime, this attic’s going to be 130 degrees. We’ve got air conditioned air inside this duct work at 55 degrees, and there’s going to be some small cracks and holes in the duct work. All duct work has some amount of leakage. When this duck turns on and blows air through it, that air leaks out. It depressurizes the house.
And now the house is sucking air, basically wherever it can. That air is getting sucked right through the staircase. Now, when the air leaks out there, we’re suck in 130 degree air, right through the staircase area. That’s adding to the humidity load for the space. It’s adding to the heat load. It’s terribly inefficient and terribly uncomfortable, and probably is going to add to that high humidity issue. Humidity, is of course was the problem in the basement.
Energy Efficiency Is Key
We’ve made sure that our envelope is as airtight as possible. We’ve conditioned and filtered the air. We’re going to take care of that microbial growth, but we’ve also increased greatly our comfort in this house. And then we’re going to make a big impact on the energy efficiency here, too.
If you’re building new, the takeaway for you is bring those ducks into your condition space. That way you won’t have a lot of these problems to begin with. Also, do the best job of air sealing you can while it’s under construction. Air sealing your house is much harder to do after the fact. If you’re reading this and you’ve got an old house like this, there’s houses like this all over Washington State, you might consider adding separate dehumidification.
The Water percolates down through the top soils until it hits a harder soil, which has peaks and valleys, the water will accumulate in a valley. If that level of earth is pitched in any way, it gets into an artery capillary or vein that runs underground. You see the different colors in the soil. The soil at the top would be your top soil. And then you have a sand and a clay layer.
Digging Foundations Disrupt Soil
Whenever a builder builds a house, he creates a hole. Because the earth has been severed and the layers have been disrupted, the water will pour out all to the bottom. The flowing water will then hit that footer at the basement waterproofing Seattle of the foundation. The water seeks its own level. It’s going to work its way all the way around the house and then accumulate and fill like a pool. Even though the home has been backfilled for 30 or 50 or 100 years, the earth around the foundation is just a loose soil. This earth prior to being dug up has been here since the beginning of time.
Because of the reasons described above, rain water will saturate the soil around the foundation of your house. It will just sit against the walls of your foundation. Water has acid. The acid will break down this original tar. That will eventually introduce the water to the concrete of your foundation. That block is porus. The water is going to start to penetrate inside of the wall. Once the water penetrates through the outer block, it will begin to accumulate within and fill up the hallow core. As the inside of the blocks fill, the water will move from block to block, all the way around the house. That process will eventually create hydrostatic pressure inside of the walls.
Concrete Becomes Soft
Concrete block, and cinder block corrodes over time and becomes soft. How does that happen? Well to make cement, you take a limestone. By cooking and crushing up the limestone, you’re left with a powder or limestone dust. This limestone dust was sold to farmers back in the day because Lyme is a natural neutralizer of acid. These farmers would often apply the lime dust on the soil. The dust would neutralize the acid and cause crops to grow better. When you make cement, you take one part of powder and three parts of common sand.
If you mix that together you get cement, but a very weak cement. However, if you take a third of a third of the lime dust, and add that to the mixture, you’ll get a much stronger mixture that can stand the test of time. The problem lies with the acid in rain water. This acid, over many years, will break down the lime dust and weaken your cement walls. When the lime in cement begins to leak out, that creates the white powder that you often see on older cement walls.
Unfortunately, The more that lime dust leaches out, the weaker the original mixtures becomes. The cement structure becomes soft as it corrodes over the years. Small pinholes begin to form and water begins to make its way inside the home. Eventually the bottom of the walls can become soft too which will cause structural damage to the house.
You could usually spot signs of foundation wall bowing quickly, even in their onset, if you periodically inspect your basement. The most common indications of bowed walls are cracks and water leaks caused by unstable soil, water buildup, or tree roots pushing from the outside.
Most of the time, developing cracks between basement walls made of concrete blocks follow the joints creating a “stair-step crack” or a horizontal crack near the midpoint. Meanwhile, the cracks often follow a diagonal path for poured concrete walls starting from the corners going into the center. In any case, when combined with lateral loads from the outside, inward tilting and bowed walls frequently follow after such cracks appear.
Such issues usually take a slow and gradual process that could worsen over time if left alone. They could quickly bring down your house’s real estate value and create safety hazards, which are expensive and time-consuming to resolve. Cracks are also one of the leading causes of basement water damage, and having a bowed foundation wall could pose a severe problem.
This article looks into three common ways on how to repair bowed walls.
Methods For Repairing Bowed Walls
To determine the method best for repairing bowed walls depends on how extensive the wall is bowing. More advanced damages would require more expensive and time-consuming solutions. To avoid this issue, it means that you need to take action as early as possible.
However, for your best interest, you need to know that repairing bowed walls does not always mean it goes back to its original position. The purpose of such repairs is to secure and stabilize the wall avoiding further damage.
Based on the extent of the problem, there are three widely used methods for repairing bowed basement walls: carbon fiber straps and staples, wall anchors, and helical tiebacks.
Carbon Fiber Straps And Staples
The simplest way of reinforcing bowed walls is to use carbon fiber straps or staples. They are a good choice when the damage is minimal with less than two inches of bowing. This method is also the cheapest and fastest remedy to install, preventing further complications. It also involves no excavation making it less labor-intensive.
When cracks appear along your foundation walls, it is advisable to use straps or staples after filling the voids with either polyurethane or epoxy injection. Made with high tensile strength carbon fibers, these materials help hold your walls together, keeping cracks from progressing.
To achieve the best results for carbon fiber straps, they need to be connected to the basement wall’s foundation and the sill plate above. This distributes the stress on the center of the bowed wall evenly from top to bottom.
When the bowing of your basement wall exceeds two inches, you have to consider using steel wall anchors to secure it. This method requires more labor and time to install than carbon fiber straps, as you or contractors need to work both inside and outside of the basement.
Installing wall anchors entails a certain amount of excavation of at least 10 feet outside the affected basement wall. This means that there should be enough accessible and usable space to safely and adequately place the steel plates into the ground. You would also need to think about the elements impacted by the digging, such as porches, decks, sidewalks, and other structures.
A steel shaft connects a steel plate or channel attached to the inside of your basement wall and the one buried outside in the ground. Tightening the rod pulls the inside anchor along with the wall towards the outer plate, creating tension and locking it in place.
Contractors usually recommend placing anchors roughly 5 feet from each other along the bowing wall.
If you have limited space outside your basement to install anchors, you could consider using helical tiebacks as the next best option. This method is used for basement walls with more than two inches of bowing. However, helical tiebacks are the most expensive of the three systems.
Contractors would drill a screw-like steel shaft from the basement wall’s inside at an angle through the earth on the other side. The shaft attaches to large vertical steel channel fastened to the floor and runs upward near the top. This restores the structural ability of the wall without the need to excavate.
Keep in mind that as soon as you spot signs of a bowed wall, you should immediately act and address the issue before it leads to more significant problems. If you see cracks and leaks, consider the possibility that you might be having a bowing wall. You can always consult experienced professionals to identify and help solve the problem, especially when repairing such issues involve using non-household tools and materials.
There are multiple reasons for your foundation walls to crack and give you water damage problems. It could be the shifting earth causing the house to move or settle, rock pockets in the wall which overtime let water enter your basement, or shrinkages from concrete curing. Whatever the case may be, one thing is certain cracks on the inside, or the outside of your foundation walls would give you a headache if left alone.
Leaking walls can form for various reasons and come from various sources, and not all repairs are the same or as reliable. This article would look into wall crack repairs, precisely the difference between using a polyurethane injection method and an epoxy injection method.
Polyurethane Crack Injection
Typically, polyurethane is used for non-structural cracks such as vertical and diagonal cracks less than a quarter of an inch wide. Polyurethane injections could be done by either low pressure or “surface port” injections (around 20 – 40 psi) or at high pressure (usually between 1500 – 3200 psi).
Surface port or low-pressure injections involve the use of surface-mounted injection ports to insert polyurethane into cracks. Meanwhile, high-pressure injection uses an electric injection pump to fill the voids in walls with activated polyurethane.
The material fills the cracks through the foundation wall’s entire thickness and expands 5-10 times its original volume. This effectively creates an airtight and waterproof seal. Its flushing process, which cleans out the crack, allows the material to adhere to the concrete wall.
Advantages Of Polyurethane Crack Injection
- Polyurethane injection’s flushing process cleans out cracks before injection, making it ideal to use regardless of the crack and the weather condition.
- The expansion of the polyurethane makes it effective for filling the void within your foundation wall’s width.
- The high-pressure method of injecting polyurethane allows you to fill very fine cracks and pores associated with concrete.
- Meanwhile, low-pressure polyurethane crack injection provides you or the technician with visual confirmation that the crack has been filled completely.
- Water accelerates the curing process for polyurethane, making it beneficial for actively leaking cracks flooding the basement.
Disadvantages Of Polyurethane Crack Injection
- In some cases where cracks are exposed to excessive tension, unreinforced polyurethane would tear, allowing water to seep inside.
- Improper formulation of polyurethane could lead to a powdery or rigid material unsuitable to cracks. So, before making a DIY, you could seek professional help to get better results.
Epoxy Crack Injection
Like Polyurethane injections, epoxy injections could also be applied using low-pressure injections. Epoxy typically works better on horizontal cracks wider than a quarter of an inch. These types of cracks indicate a potential structural issue requiring the added strength of epoxy.
Unlike polyurethane, the epoxy injection does not expand like foam and would not become flexible. The material fuses the crack back together, creating a bond strength much greater than the foundation wall.
Advantages Of Epoxy Crack Injection
- Cured epoxy typically has a tensile strength of around 7000 psi greater than that of concrete at around 300-700 psi. This makes epoxy ideal for structural crack repairs for foundation walls.
- Epoxy can withstand contractions due to thermal cycling or excessive loading of the foundation.
- Like polyurethane, low-pressure epoxy injection provides you or the technician with confirmation that material filled the cracks completely.
- You could also use varying viscosities with variable curing time to fill cracks ranging from very fine to very wide.
- You could also use carbon fiber along with epoxy injection for further reinforcement of your foundation wall.
Disadvantages Of Epoxy Crack Injection
- Moisture, wet surfaces, or actively leaking cracks would prohibit the epoxy paste from adhering to the inside surfaces of cracks, making it unreliable. These conditions would also create an insufficient bond strength between the injection port and the wall surface.
- You cannot reinject epoxy to previously injected cracks that remain leaking. In cases such as failed crack repairs with epoxy, you could use polyurethane to fill the remaining voids remaining.
- The varying viscosities of epoxy could also pose a problem as it may take hours for the epoxy to cure completely. You would need to make sure that the containment on both sides of the wall does not have any gaps, as epoxy could bleed through, rendering your efforts useless.
Still, wondering whether to use polyurethane injection or epoxy injection? In any case, you should consider the characteristics of the cracks and each injection carefully as both would dictate which method to use. However, the best way to determine which method to use is to ask experienced professionals for help. This would save you time and reduce the risk of your repairs failing.
On a side note, it is better to combine different methods of waterproofing, such as drain tiles, with wall crack injections to mitigate or prevent any water damage problems in your basement.
Basement waterproofing is a vital component of any new or existing homes, and when installed correctly, you would not encounter problems with flooding or any water-based damages. One such method for residential basement waterproofing is the use of drain tile systems.
Here is everything you need to know about the drain tile.
What Is A Drain Tile?
A drain tile, however the name suggests, does not actually involve using a tile in the system. Instead, a drain tile contains a network of rigid or flexible perforated PVC piping, mostly 4 inches in diameter, laid underground around your home’s foundation.
The drain tile system functions as a water removal system around the exterior of your foundation or inside your basement. This network of pipes directs water away from your house, keeping your basement safe and dry. Nowadays, most local building codes require you to install a drain tile during new home construction. However, even if it is not regulated, it is smart for you to install it in your basement.
How Do You Install A Drain Tile?
Before installing a drain tile, you may want to consult a waterproofing professional capable of determining the best solution for you. They could supervise you as to the trench’s width and depth and the location of the perforated pipe around your home.
Residential constructions typically install drain tile systems around the perimeter of the basement before any further construction. The drain tile would be laid around the foundation footer’s perimeter, and walls in a trench dug five or six inches deep. Gravel is then placed above and beneath the perforated pipe to filter out soil and other sediments from clogging the drain tile.
The pipe network leads to a sump pump which drives the collected water back to the surface, or they go through a downward sloping drain system that leads away from your home to the surface where the water can safely drain away. Some opt to place a porous fabric for a second layer of filtration before covering and completing the drain tile installation with a sufficient amount of soil.
You could also install a drain tile inside your basement using the same steps for exterior drain tiles. However, the interior drain tile system would be located just below the floor of your basement.
What Are The Pros And Cons?
Pro: The nature of the drain tile’s installation makes it relatively inexpensive when done during initial construction. It is easier to access the sides of the foundation footing and walls. Additionally, when the local code requires a drain tile, you could factor in the cost of the installation and the sump pump along with the foundation and basement of your home.
If done correctly, drain tile systems effectively divert water away from the foundations and walls of your basement.
Con: If you have an existing basement in need of a drainage system and choose to install a drain tile, you could encounter an expensive installation. For exterior drain tile systems, you would need to excavate all soil around your home until you reach the footings’ depth. This entails the use of heavy machinery and equipment to dig trenches and a collection pit.
Meanwhile, you would need to dig a trench in the perimeter for an interior drain tile, requiring you to break the basement floor.
Improper drain tile would give you more problems than solutions. They would tend to clog over time with inadequate filtering systems requiring you to replace them, costing more money.
What If You Want To Install A Drain Tile In Your Existing Basement?
If you are wondering if you could install a drain tile in your existing basement, then the answer is yes. If you already waterproofed your basement and want additional security, drain tile systems could be the best fit for your home.
However, as effective the system is, you should be aware of the cost and labor involved in installing them into an existing basement. Exterior drain tile systems, especially, are quite extensive to set up, as you would need to dig around your home as previously discussed. This would mostly involve using a backhoe and help from professionals to position the drain tile properly.
If you do not want to excavate around your home, another option would be to use an interior drain tile system in your basement. It may be cheaper than an exterior drain tile, but it would considerably cost more than a system put in place during initial construction phases.
Leaks, moisture, condensations, and other water-related problems in your basement could lead to time-consuming and costly repairs. If left unchecked, water in your basement could lead from toxic mold to structural damage creating a serious problem.
Each basement calls for different waterproofing solutions, so it is essential to know what type of waterproofing method to use. Here are three main methods to basement waterproofing that would prevent water damages and keep your basement dry.
Interior waterproofing methods are commonly used after you have identified existing problems, such as cracks, leaks, or moisture buildup. These steps could include sealants, coatings, and ways to prevent condensation on walls or ceilings. They are also the most affordable among the other methods.
Cracks or holes through walls, floors, and foundations are the common entryways for water or moisture to get into your basement. However, as simple as they are, these openings could cause significant problems if left untreated. Luckily, these problems could be easily remedied using sealants on the inside.
Sealants are effective against cracks as they easily fill the voids and keep humidity levels down, preventing further condensations. They also prevent spalling, which breaks down masonry surfaces exposed to constant high humidity. Strong adhesives such as epoxies or urethanes could be applied using pressure injection, which penetrates deeply and cuts off the seepage path.
Additionally, apply sealants around doors and windows to avoid moisture from traveling further inside other home areas. These special sealants often come with extended warranties, which guarantees their efficacy.
You could also use waterproof coatings for basement walls and floors in conjunction with sealants. Concrete waterproof coatings stick well to concrete surfaces creating a waterproof barrier, preventing further moisture absorption. However, sealants and waterproof coatings only work well for minor issues and cannot fix major leaks and basement flooding. You could find broader issues on the outside of your basement.
Exterior basement waterproofing is the best method recognized by the International Building Code that adequately prevents any structural damage caused by water seepage. This method, albeit costly and extensive to perform, is the preferred choice for contractors.
When you see water seeping into your basement, typically the root of the problem is located outside the basement wall. This is where external waterproofing comes in because this method’s goal is to block water from ever entering inside your basement in the first place. This could include using polymer-based products, membranes, and waterproof coatings.
Exterior waterproofing would require you to invest both time and money to protect your basement. Ideally, contactors perform this method during construction, as it would prevent major structural damage to the foundations. However, if you find yourself in need of an exterior waterproof, it is a good idea to consult a professional.
Waterproofing the exterior of an existing basement would start by fully excavating around the basement walls until you reach your foundations’ sides. After excavating, the walls are then power washed then let dry, allowing the waterproofing coating to permanently adhere to the wall. The coating would direct water down to a drainage system, which should lead away from the foundations.
As you could imagine, this method could become a labor-intensive process, requiring workforce, heavy machinery, and tools.
Having proper drainage around your home is crucial if you want to have a dry and structurally sound basement. The goal with drainage systems is to avoid water buildup and to direct water away from your house. There are mainly two types of drainage you could use, namely, interior drainage and exterior drainage.
For external drainage systems, start with identifying and examining the soil surrounding your house. The soil’s properties affect how the water would drain. The soil would also enable you to determine how you would construct your drainage. You could use surface drainages or install underground drainages such as a French drain near your foundations.
Meanwhile, if somehow water still made it inside our home through leakage or seepage, a proper interior drainage system is an excellent method to keep water under control. The Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) recognize many patented interior drainage systems effectively controlling basement water.
An interior drainage system collects water that entered your basement and directs it to an internally installed sump pump system, then pumps the water outside. We also recommended to install a water alarm and a “battery-operated backup pump as a countermeasure against possible basement flooding.
As one might imagine, using any of the three methods would require quite an undertaking. It is advisable to consult professionals when considering what type of waterproofing method you want to use and how to install them.
Termite infestation could become a big problem in your home if left alone. They could pose structural damage to your foundation, walls, and furniture. Termites need food, moisture, and insulation to thrive and multiply, and crawlspaces are a perfect place to make their base with foundations as their gateway into your house.
Below are seven simple ways you could use to prevent an infestation of termites.
Never Let Moisture Collect Around The Foundation
Termites love moisture, and the more there are in the soil, the more attracted they would be. They thrive in a moisture-rich environment, and its presence near or around your foundation is an invitation to enter your home. Therefore, it is important to get rid of excess moisture to keep termites at bay.
Identifying possible sources of water is an excellent place to start in eliminating excess moisture. Grade or slope the ground around your property and foundations so that water drains away from them. Properly direct downspouts, gutters, and splash blocks to avoid water to pool. Repair leaking pipes, faucets, or air conditioning units that might add more moisture.
If you cannot avoid water from accumulating, make sure to install a proper drainage system. You could also use tiles around your property.
Have Proper Ventilation For Your Crawlspace Or Basement
Reducing moisture and humidity in areas around the foundation, such as your basement and crawlspace, is a great way to help prevent termites from invading your home. Properly ventilating these spaces would aid you greatly in the fight against termites.
Most building codes require one square foot of vent opening 150 square feet of crawlspace area with a vent within three feet of your house’s exterior corner. Ensure all vents are free of any obstruction such as debris, leaves, dirt, or vegetation. You could also install vapor barriers such as polyethylene sheeting over the soil to lessen evaporation from the soil.
Additionally, if you live in a humid environment, a dehumidifier would come in very handy.
If You Can Help It, Avoid Wood-Soil Contact
As wood is the number one food source for termites, direct contact with soil allows these pests to access your home easily. Termites could easily tunnel through wood, which loses its integrity over time. Combined with moisture, wood could quickly rot and encourage more termites to attack.
Eliminating wood-to-soil contact may require supporting posts or steps with a concrete base, pulling soil back from the foundation, or cutting or raising the bottom of wood sidings. If you decide to install wooden flower boxes, make sure not to let them touch foundation walls.
Keep Wood-based And Cellulose Firewood Away From Your Home
Never stockpile your firewood, lumber, or any cellulose product such as cardboard boxes against foundations or inside crawlspaces. Not only do these materials provide food for termites, but they could also provide safe and hidden entry to would-be invaders. Wood-based materials located around foundations would act as bridges bypassing surrounding soil treatment.
Keep your woodpiles elevated several inches from the ground and keep them several feet away from your home, if possible. Avoid or remove vines or other dense plantings touching foundations that might act passages for termites. If any, remove dead roots, tree stumps, or any residual wood beneath and around your home before treating your crawlspace.
Not Too Much Landscaping Mulch
If you have landscaping on any open space around your home, you might have used mulch to make it look pleasing and keep your plants healthy. However, as mulch has ingredients such as wood and cellulose, improper usage could attract termites.
Despite its low nutrition quality for termites, landscape mulch has excellent moisture-retaining and insulation properties. This makes it perfect for termites to live and breed. Use mulch sparingly with only two to three inches deep and at least 15 inches away from your foundations. Also, make sure to rake it back away from vents, sidings, or any frame, especially if they are made of wood.
Certain mulches contain resins, which defend against termites. Although the resins’ effects fade after time, it makes little difference in the type of mulch you use. Just remember to use them wisely.
Seal All Cracks, Holes, Crevices, Or Joints
Termites could enter your home through little cracks, holes, crevices, or joints in foundations or walls. If they cannot enter directly, they would build tunnels made of mud along surfaces until they find an entry point.
Seal all possible entries, however small, to prevent termites from marching in your home. Apply a fresh coat of paint, preferably with waterproofing properties, if necessary. This would not only deter termites but also prevent moisture from causing problems.
For vents, install bug screens with a small mesh to protect crawlspaces further.
Call For Professional Help
Consider reaching out to professionals to have your crawlspace treated for termites and moisture. They have the proper knowledge to deal with such issues, saving you from a lot of trouble. Pest control professionals could inspect your home and adequately apply termiticides or other steps to prevent infestation.
Sometimes, you would also need to call a professional builder to waterproof your home and damp-proof your property to avoid excess moisture discouraging termites from invading. These procedures stop water from seeping into foundations and walls, preventing further termite problems. Our professional waterproofers could help you apply waterproofing materials, fix leaking pipes and damaged walls, and replace drywall. Contact us now to learn more.
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