Leaky Basement? Should You Put Off Waterproofing It?

Leaky Basement?  Should You Put Off Waterproofing It?

A leaky basement is quite an annoyance.  Basement leakage and excess moisture at the very least can cause a stinky mildew smell, mold growth, and the inability to use some or all of your basement for storage.  At the worst, it can lead to ruined personal property, worsening of basement wall cracks, a heaved up basement floor, or foundation problems.

No one WANTS a leaky basement.  But taking the time to research, interview, and hire a contractor is no picnic either.  Various contractors may all present different options to fix the problem and leave you more confused than you were before you started.  Or a high pressure sales pitch or fear mongering tactics that some companies use will make you wish you never opened your door.  Be that as it may, there are certainly downsides to putting off a basement waterproofing project and many reasons for doing so.  Let us consider just a few common reasons and try to dispel some of the hesitation you may have.

Reasons for Procrastinating

Waterproofing is really expensive – Waterproofing your basement may not be quite as expensive as you think.  Maybe only a portion of your basement needs waterproofed.  It may be possible to waterproof the part of your basement that is worst and waterproof the rest on a future date, if needed.  If a basement is consistently leaking over a period of time, the problem can and will only get worse.  When the problem gets worse, it gets more costly to fix it.  Spending the money to fix it before the problem becomes serious can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.  You may even find out that your leaky basement is caused by something simple, such as a gutter issue.

Using a waterproofing “paint” or coating will temporarily fix the problem and buy some time – In reality, waterproof paints and coatings will only mask the problem.  They will not keep water out, but they may keep you from having to look at it for a short time.  Water intrusion can cause basement wall cracks to progressively get worse.  A coat of paint will not prevent this from happening.

The leak isn’t that bad – Maybe your basement only leaks on occasion and it’s not that bad.  It would probably still be best to have a professional take a look at it just to make sure that it will not lead to any future problems.  Again, it may be best to fix the problem early and “nip it in the bud” so to speak.  This may prevent a small problem from turning into a big problem down the road.

leaky basement

Damp basement walls

What is that white powder?

That white powder on your basement walls or floor is lime.  Lime is the bonding agent in concrete.  When concrete gets wet and dries out the lime leaches out of it.  This process is called efflorescence.  Over time the loss of lime weakens the block and or floor and will cause it to get crumbly.  This decay if left unchecked will lead to structural integrity issues such as blocks shifting out of place or mortar joint rot to the point of the wall moving.

Take Action

If you are on the fence about what to do or unsure if you even have a problem, we can perform an inspection and give you a diagnosis.  We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity.  We will not try to sell you something that you don’t need.  Contact us for a free* estimate.  (*Free for homeowners)

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Damp Basement Walls? What is Your Best Waterproofing Option?

Damp Basement Walls? What is Your Best Waterproofing Option?

Damp basement walls can cause a lot of headaches.  If your basement includes a finished living area, excess moisture can ruin drywall, carpet, and more.  Dampness can contribute to mold growth, musty odors, and/or loss of use of certain areas of your basement.

damp basement walls

What Can You Do?

Damp basement walls can have many causes.  The cause may be as simple as clogged gutters or it may be as serious as a severe surface water problem that requires a full waterproofing system.  Assuming that you have done your basic home maintenance and despite your best efforts, your basement is still consistently damp, you may need to call in some professionals.

While most basement waterproofing contractors would love to have you think that there is some fancy patented system required to banish dampness for good, basement waterproofing is actually quite simple.  There are really only two ways that a house can be waterproofed.  From the inside of the house or from the outside.  So which one is best?

Interior Waterproofing or Exterior Waterproofing?

Whether your house should be waterproofed on the inside or outside depends on where the water is coming from.  If you have damp basement walls, chances are you have a surface water problem.  Other symptoms may include:

  • Paint bubbling
  • Water running down walls
  • Basement wall dampness soon after rain or snow melting

If your house fits this description, an exterior basement waterproofing system may be the best option.

How Does It Work?

We begin by digging up around the outside of your foundation, down to the footer.  We clean the walls of any debris and apply a waterproof coating to the exterior basement walls. The next step is to hang a dimpled membrane, which guarantees a dry foundation wall. Then, we install PVC foundation drainage along the footing, top it with gravel, then backfill with soil to slope away from the foundation. These steps ensure that the water is diverted away from your foundation, keeping your basement walls nice and dry.
If your basement walls are dry for the most part, or only damp around the bottom of the foundation, interior basement waterproofing may be a better option. You can learn more about that by clicking here.
Pioneer Basement Solutions has been solving basement problems since 1979.  We can confirm whether an exterior basement waterproofing system is right for you and explain the pros and cons of interior vs. exterior methods.

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Flooded Basement? What Steps Should You Take Next?

Flooded Basement?

A flooded basement can be overwhelmingly stressful and downright devastating.  If your basement is finished, thousands of dollars in building materials can be lost.  Irreplaceable photographs or priceless family heirlooms may be affected.  Once you get through the mess of cleaning everything up, no doubt you will want to take the necessary steps to not only figure out what caused the flooding, but also to prevent it from happening again.

Possible Causes

Ground Water – Hydrostatic pressure can push water in through cracks in the basement floor.

Surface Water – Sources of surface water, such as gutters or improper grading, can lead to excess water around the perimeter of the home.

Storm Water Backup – Water from municipal storm sewers can back up into the basement.

Sanitary Sewer – Sanitary Sewer water can back up due to a clog in your home’s sewer lines.

Steps to Take

  • Check gutters for proper drainage.  If gutters are clogged and overflowing, this can lead to significant water intrusion during a very heavy rainfall.  Also, make sure that your downspout is draining far enough away from the foundation.
  • Check the slope or grade of the areas around your home.  Make sure the ground or a concrete pad is not sloped toward your home.  This is an open invitation for water to enter.
  • What if your flooded basement is due to storm water or sewer water?  A licensed plumber can determine what is the best course of action.  They may suggest installing a backflow preventer or recommend snaking your drains.

Flooded basement

When the Problem is Ground Water or Surface Water…

If the flooding is due to ground water or surface water that cannot be controlled, a basement waterproofing system is probably the best option.  An exterior basement waterproofing system will redirect water away from your foundation and prevent it from entering through the basement walls and into the home.  An interior basement waterproofing system can help to keep ground water under control by draining it to a sump pump.  We offer both interior and exterior basement waterproofing as well as a combination of the two.  We can determine where the water is coming from and recommend which type of system will work best for your home.  You can learn more about basement waterproofing by clicking here.

Our service area includes the following areas of Northeast Ohio:

  • Stark County, including Canton, Massillon, and Alliance.
  • Summit County, including Akron, Cuyahoga Falls, and Stow.
  • Wayne County, including Wooster and Orrville.
  • Medina County, including Medina, Brunswick, and Wadsworth.

Contact Pioneer for a basement evaluation (free for homeowners).  We can come up with a solution to relieve your basement problems permanently so that you never have to deal with a flooded basement again!  Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on our latest blogs.