Basement water caused by water leakage is one of the most common problems found in houses. While basement foundation damage caused by water leakage is not common, basement water can be a major inconvenience, and often causes damage to basement flooring and stored items.
In addition, odors caused by mold and mildew can be particularly offensive to some people and can even be a source of allergic reactions. It has been documented that at least 98% of all basements will leak at some point as a house ages and settles.
Basement water leakage is one of the most common defects identified during an inspection for resale of a home. And can also be one of the most preventable. Basement water leakage is very often the result of improperly laid exterior grading, where the surfaces of a driveway or patio have settled and cracked to form a conduit for water to seep into your basement.
Combined with a lack of proper gutters and drainage, basement water can become a major nuisance. But very often, preventing basement repair is as simple as thinking ahead. If the home that you own or are considering purchasing has a basement, you need to know if there has ever been water or dampness in the basement and where it comes from.
If you find basement water, the first step in curing a basement water problem is to determine the source of the water. Basically, you can divide potential basement water sources into three categories:
- Surface water is a flow of water whose basic source is primarily water from run-off, rain, snow, or poor drainage. This type of water problem is generally restricted to the top four feet of soil.
- Ground water is a flow of water produced from high water tables, springs and rivers, and can be made worse by poor soil. This type of water problem can extend from the surface and then run down past the level of the basement floor.
- Other water comes from different sources and can originate from inside or outside of your home, due to condensation, temperature differences, and plumbing leakage.
To solve your basement water problem, and before you start basement repairs, think about whether basement water shows up after only heavy rains, or every time it rains. Is the leakage usually confined to one specific area, and if so, can you associate an external source with this area, such as a window well, or a poorly sloped driveway?
Once you have isolated your basement water problems, then any basement repair, basement refinishing and basement remodeling become easier. Basement waterproofing is important, because basement water and the damage that it can do to your home is nothing that any home owner wants to suffer from.
Hidden Benefits of Fixing a Wet Basement
You would like to call in a professionalg. But you are not sure about expense of waterproofing versus the benefits.
Benefit #1 – Increased your property value of your home. Nothing drops the resell price of house like a wet and smelly basement. Just think, if you don’t like the idea of messing around in a wet basement, then neither will your potential customers. By waterproofing your basement you can increase the value of your home by much as 25%.
Benefit #2 – Increase the structural integrity of your foundation. The most significant cause of foundation failure is long-term and chronic water damage. If you think waterproofing is expensive, just do some research and have a look at the price of redoing a few walls in your base. You will quickly see why waterproofing a moist basement can turn out to be a great bargain.
Benefit #3 – You may get a healthier home for your loved ones. Wet basements increase the humidity all through your residence. The increased moisture are perfect breeding grounds for molds, mildews as well as dust mites. Each one of these conditions can lead to health problems such as asthma, sinusitis, respiratory difficulties in addition to permanent damage to the automobile immune system.
Benefit #4 – Have a warmer house in the winter and save on heating bills. Humid air is more difficult to heat then normal. Whenever your house is damp due to a wet basement, your heating system must work overtime to warm any moisture laden air. This is turn pushes up your heating costs. This may be quite expensive over the long term. The money you spend in hiring someone from a business like Atlantic waterproofing can be made back in heating bills savings.
Benefit #5 – Enjoy your new living area. Once you get that wet basement fixed it is possible to turn that new area into a playroom, home office, family room, exercise room or save in case for secure, dry storage area. By waterproofing your basement, you boost your living room by nearly twice. The design possibilities for this new space are endless.
Benefit #6 – And lastly the most significant advantage: you will have peace of mind and a more comfortable home. Just think, no longer worrying about the basement every time it rains. No stress and hassle of moving things around in the cellar from wet spot to dry. Your cellar is an rediscovered addition to your house and no longer an eye sore and secret problem.
Preventing Water Damage in Your Basement
The wet basement can develop into a complete disaster especially since many maintenance systems are installed in it. For example: electrical wires, water and sewage pipes, garbage disposal etc. Read these following guide lines to learn how to prevent water damage caused by HVAC systems, ventilation systems, pipes condensations, sump pumps, walls, ceiling, and the foundations.
Be thorough when performing these inspections and be sure to inspect your basement regularly
Heating and air conditioning systems must be inspected frequently. Check the drain pans and remove debris to allow free flow. Inspect the filters and replace whenever needed. When inspecting the HVAC, look at the ductwork and seal deteriorating insulations.
Pipes condensation is a common plumbing problem caused by sweating pipes. This problem promotes mold corrosion and rot if ignored. Insulating your pipes will reduce condensation.
Sump pump systems assist in keeping unwanted water out of your home. When checking the pump, make sure the outlet pipe is not frozen or clogged and that it directs water away from your home. Clean the air hole in the discharge line and make sure that the motor is running well. Test the pump by filling the sump pit with water to make sure the pump is working properly. Check that the pump is actually pumping out water.
Walls and Ceiling
Check the walls and look for moisture signs. Moist walls may indicate an internal leak. Look at the walls and search for stains. If you detect stains, follow them to locate the source of the problem and fix it. Even the smallest sign for a leak in the basement must be treated promptly.
Foundations are not always waterproof. Gaps and cracks are created as the house shifts and settles over time. Landscape is also changing over time and may lead to excessive water in the soil around your home. Seek professional help if you need to make any landscape or foundations repairs.
When checking the ventilation systems, be sure to inspect all ventilation systems including water heater, exhaust fans, dryer vents etc. if you suspect any failure in these systems, repair it right away.
Wet Basement/Crawlspace, Foundation Movement, Mold Growth – Checked Your Sump Pump Lately?
Sump Pump importance
How many of us understand the importance of the sump pump in keeping water away from the foundation of our homes? When was the last time you checked your sump pump for proper operation? Notice any foundation cracks around your home? Ever make the connection that your sump pump may be the cause of this cracking….? Think again. Water is the #1 enemy of a home. As a homeowner, your maintenance checklist should include checking the key items that ensure all surface and sub-surface water is directed away from the home.
This includes controlling surface water, controlling sub-surface water, and a properly operating and maintained sump pump discharge system. The following components are an integral part of a water control program for every homeowner;
1) Surface Water Control
• Gutters & Downspouts
o Ensure no obstructions are in the gutters and ensure downspouts push out away from home
• Lot Grading
o Ensure landscaping does not slope back towards the home
2) Sub-Surface Water Control
• Perimeter Drain System
o Surface water can move along the foundation wall
o This water is collected by the perimeter drain system and sent to the sump pump for discharge away from the home
3) Sump Pump Discharge System
• The sump pit gathers water from the perimeter drains, allowing this water to flow away from the foundation
• When the level reaches a set height, the sump turns on and discharges water away from the home
Sump Pump Problems
• Stuck floats & pump failure are the #1 sump problems
o If your float is stuck, or the pump fails, the sump will not come on and will not discharge the water
o This fills the sump, traps water in the perimeter drains, and traps water against the foundation walls of the home
Sump Pump Failure Results
• The results of sump failures can be dramatic and costly:
o Foundation wall movement (due to expansive soils)
o Flooded basement
o Mold growth
Sump Pump Testing
It is important to check your sump pump regularly to make sure that it is in proper working condition.
•Remove the cover and slowly pour water into the sump tank.
•Watch for the “float” to rise and trigger the pump.
•Once the pump is engaged, the water level will quickly lower and the float will shut off the pump.
Simple maintenance steps are all it takes to prevent costly problems from developing. After a hard rain or heavy snow melt, take a look at your sump pump. Check the level and pump operation regularly. When purchasing a home, look closely at these areas, or ask you home inspector to focus on these areas in a separate walk through of the home. The cost of an inspection will be well worth the peace of mind in knowing that these components are functioning and installed properly. Using simple observational analysis and visual inspections can be the difference between solving a problem early on, and being faced with extensive, costly repairs.