The best way to waterproof a basement

The best way to waterproof a basement

Ever wonder what is the best way to waterproof a basement?  If you have googled the question you have seen many DIY products.  You also certainly have seen several ads from basement waterproofing contractors.  It can be a daunting task to identify the best solution for your specific issue.

The answer to the question of the best way to waterproof a basement depends on the specific problem.  There are two components to an original basement waterproofing system.  The builder would have sealed the foundation wall and installed foundation drains during construction.  Therefore all dampness or seepage issue are related to a failure of the original waterproofing system.

The best way to waterproof a basement  Do you have wet basement walls?  Wet basement walls indicate seal failure.  Paint failure and mold on basement walls are also indicators of seal failure.  Because the original coating applied to the foundation eventually erodes away, all basement walls eventually need to be resealed from the outside.

Do you have dry basement walls but water on the floor?  This is an indication of drain failure.  Often times the bottom row of block may get wet with drain failure as well.  These foundation drains are referred to as footer drains because they are installed next to the footer.  The footer is like a cement sidewalk that is installed first.   The foundation blocks are then stacked on top of the footer.  The footer drains collect ground water and moves it away from the footer.

Can you waterproof from the inside?

First identify what type of problem you have and then look for a solution that directly addresses that problem.  The best way to waterproof a basement that has water coming up from the floor may be an interior solution.  Interior basement waterproofing consists of installing interior footer drains.  These drains collect and move the water to a sump pump.  The water that is collected is then pumped up and away from the foundation.

You can achieve a dry basement from the inside even if walls are wet.  Installing full wall waterproof panels keeps the water and dampness out of your basement.

Exterior basement waterproofing

Exterior basement waterproofing is often the best solution.  Installing exterior waterproofing stops the water from getting to your foundation from the outside.  This method involves restoring the seal on your foundation with sealers and a membrane to keep the foundation permanently dry.  New footer drains keep ground water from building up and leaking into your basement.

Either method will result in a dry basement, they just work differently.  Interior systems are often referred to as “pressure relief” systems.  Because theses systems do not keep water out of the foundation from the outside they are not true waterproofing systems.

How to find a good contractor

Check out referral sites. You may have a neighborhood site or forum.  Angie’s List and Home Advisor are great resources.  You can read verified reviews on Home Advisor and Angie’s List.  Ask friends and relatives if they have experience with and waterproofing contractors.  The BBB is a good place to see data on companies like when they opened for business and if there are any complaints against them.  Keep in mind that the BBB gives all contractors A or A+ as long as they abide by the protocols, even after a history of multiple complaints.

Contact Pioneer today for  free consultation

Foundation Repair Companies – How to Find the Right One

Foundation Repair Companies – How to Find the Right One

When it comes to something as crucial as your home’s foundation, no doubt you would agree that it is important to find the right foundation repair company for the job.  Foundation work is tricky and tedious and there are many things to take into consideration when work is being done.  There is also a lot of risk and liability involved.  So, the purpose of this article is to help homeowners know what to look for and help them to choose the right company.  Although this article is geared toward foundation repair companies, the same principles apply when choosing any contractor to work on your home.

Foundation Repair Companies

Years in Business

It is always best to choose a company that has been in business for a while.  Some newer companies try to get around this by advertising “years of experience” instead of the amount of years they have actually been in business.  If a company offers a guarantee, what good is it when they have only been in business for a few years?

Online Reviews

There are many websites now for customers to share their experiences.  Some of the most common are Google, Facebook, Angie’s List, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau.  When looking for reviews, it is important to look at reviews across multiple sites.  Why?  Review sites such as Google and Facebook are helpful, but there is no filtering process, which means ANYONE can leave a review, whether they have had work done or not.  Angie’s List, The BBB, and Yelp are more reliable because they have ethical requirements for businesses.  So make sure to look at reviews on various websites before making a decision.

Industry Reputation

Consider talking to professionals such as engineers, building officials, realtors, etc.  Such individuals are more likely to have heard recommendations for various foundation repair companies.  Many of them are familiar with the reputations of local companies.

Adherence to Local Building Codes

Is the company willing to pull permits for the job if required?  Are they willing to work with an engineer?  These are important questions to ask before you hire a company.  If the sales person dodges the question or doesn’t give you a straight answer, you may not want them to work on your foundation.

Warranties

Most companies offer a warranty or guarantee on their work.  Make sure you get all the details and fine print. Some contractors charge a yearly fee to keep the warranty active.  Others give a warranty but then do not respond when a customer needs service.  The Better Business Bureau is a good place to look to see if a company has any complaints in this regard.

Insurance and Bonds

Any reputable company should have no problem providing proof of bonding and insurance.  This is very important for liability reasons and is for your protection as much as it is theirs.

Doing the Research Pays Off!

It may take time to filter through so many different companies, but the benefits are priceless!  Once your foundation is serviced, you never want to have to worry about it again.

Please feel free to explore our website to learn more or contact us if you have any questions.

We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

basement waterproofing contractor ohio

We are “Super Service Award” winners from Angie’s List.

We hope this article was informative and helps you make the best decision in choosing a foundation repair company.

Bowed Basement Walls and How to Fix Them

Bowed Basement Walls and How to Fix Them

As a foundation repair contractor, one issue that we see frequently is bowed basement walls.  When a basement wall begins to bow, it causes a horizontal crack that goes down the length of the wall and usually has stair step cracks near the corners.  The purpose of this blog is to discuss what causes basement walls to bow in the first place and our solution to fix bowed basement walls.

bowed basement walls

What Causes Basement Walls to Bow?

There are several factors that cause this problem.  In most parts of the midwest, our weather patterns consist of cold winters and warm summers.  During winter time, the soil directly up against the outside of your foundation wall goes through a freezing and thawing pattern.  When the weather warms up, soil gets soaked with rain and then dries out.  Because of these patterns, soil is constantly expanding and contracting.  This process puts a lot of pressure on foundations.  The way a wall is constructed also has an impact.  If a foundation has weak areas or wasn’t built to current building codes, it may be susceptible to issues later on. Large tree roots nearby can put pressure on a basement wall.  A settling patio, stoop, or concrete steps can also cause pressure on a basement wall.  Gutters that are clogged and spilling over exasperate the problem even more.

How to Fix Bowed Basement Walls

At Pioneer, we utilize carbon fiber technology from Fortress Stabilization.  Fortress manufactures carbon fiber straps that adhere to the basement wall with epoxy.  They are applied to the wall vertically.  The top and bottom of the straps are anchored down to prevent any further movement.  This provides a solution that is stronger than the original wall and it is stronger than steel.  Let us explain how the product works.

The Fortress System

Installing carbon on a wall and making it look good is easy. Having it perform well, however, is an entirely different matter. The forces that cause walls to bow in the first place will most likely return. The difference between a carbon reinforcement system that works and a system that may fail is a multifaceted set of controllable variables. Fortress tests each feature of their system to address the external forces that will continue to work against the basement wall.

Bowed Basement walls

Are All Carbon Fiber Products the Same?

Carbon fiber must be under tension to get the benefit. It is imperative to apply carbon straight to achieve the correct tension. Fortress cures its carbon straight and without wrinkles, making it rigid enough to lay over the mortar and small cracks, not curve into these depressions.  Wrinkled carbon may not continue to hold throughout the life of the home. Over the years, a gradual increase in external pressure on non-tension carbon could cause the carbon to separate from the concrete and fail to hold the wall.

Fortress uses a unique manufacturing process to engineer the carbon wall reinforcement system so that each unit is straight.  Pioneer Basement Solutions can select any product to install but we choose Fortress because their product and manufacturing process is superior to their competitors.  For example, other manufacturer’s carbon fiber product consists of a basic weave pattern that does not allow the strands to remain straight. The strands can elongate and loosen over time.  Thus creating the same problem all over again!

Anchored for Ultimate Strength

Anchoring wall systems at the ends are necessary to utilize the full strength of carbon. Fortress engineers each plate anchor to out-perform the home’s foundation and withstand tremendous shear forces, keeping the carbon straps in place and the basement wall safe. A rigid plate anchor and legs prevent shear forces from moving the wall.

Fortress puts over 1,000 lbs. of tension into their top anchors at the time of installation, preventing future movement. Other systems don’t provide this level of necessary tension. Like a tightly tensioned ratcheted strap, the Fortress top anchor provides the necessary tension to take up any slack and keep the wall true.

Installed with Forever in Mind

Pioneer Basement Solutions offers guarantees on our work.  This means a lot when we have been in business since 1979.  It means that we stand behind our work and the products that we install.  Fortress Stabilization is a U.S. company and offers a lifetime guarantee on their carbon fiber straps.  When we install these straps, they are a permanent solution for bowed basement walls.

For more information on bowed basement walls, click here.

How to Prevent Basement Flooding

How to Prevent Basement Flooding

The best and most effective way to prevent basement flooding is to first of all waterproof your basement.  Having a waterproofing system in place is your first and best line of defense against basement flooding.  Are there other steps that you can and should take as well?  Absolutely!  Basement flooding can be a devastating event and in Northeast Ohio it is very common for heavy rainfall to occur from time to time.  This article is to help you learn the best ways to keep your basement dry.

Maintain Sump Pump

It is very important to perform routine checks on your sump pump.  Sump pumps do not last forever and as is the case with any small appliance, they can fail mechanically as they age.  Make sure that yours is still pumping properly when water begins to rise in the sump crock.  If you have had past basement flooding, or if your home is susceptible to flooding, you should consider getting a sump pump battery backup system.  Often, storms cause power outages.  Having a battery backup will prevent sump pump failure in the event of a power outage.  Many homeowners choose to install one just for the peace of mind.  Keeping your sump pump in good working order is one of the best things you can do to prevent basement flooding.

Keep Basement Floor Drains Clear

If your home is older or has big trees nearby, you’ll especially want to pay close attention to your basement drains.  Backups are a common cause of basement flooding.  Tree roots can cause blockage in the main line that leaves your home.  A portion of the drain can break and cause a blockage as well.  Heavy rainfalls that temporarily raise the water table can overwhelm drainage systems.  Since the basement is the lowest point in the home, this is normally where a drain line backs up if a blockage occurs.  You can have a plumbing company perform maintenance from time to time by snaking the line as a precautionary measure.  Installing a “backflow preventer” or a “backwater valve” is an effective solution to prevent water or sewage from backing up.  When water tries to flow back into the drain, the valves closes and prevents water from entering.

Maintain Gutters and Downspouts

Prevent basement flooding

If you have read our past blogs, you have probably heard us talk about this one before.  That is because we cannot stress enough how important it is to maintain your downspouts and gutters.  They play an important role in keeping your basement dry.  Your basement can be completely waterproofed, but if your gutters are clogged, your basement is susceptible to flooding.  Make sure to routinely check gutters and downspouts, especially if there are large trees near your home.

Proper Grade

One step you can take to prevent basement flooding is to make sure the soil around your home is graded properly to flow away from the foundation.  For obvious reasons, this preventative measure can help reduce basement moisture from entering.  This is important, but just one aspect of several measures that should be taken.

In Conclusion

As was mentioned, the above suggested maintenance along with basement waterproofing will help keep your basement dry during even the worst storms.  If your basement needs some assistance, feel free to contact us for a free* consultation.  We offer interior basement waterproofing, exterior basement waterproofing, as well as combination systems.  We can help you figure out what is causing your basement problems and fix them for good.

*Free for homeowners

Learn more about how to prevent basement flooding by keeping up with our blogs and by following us on our Facebook page!

What to Expect with Basement Waterproofing

What to Expect with Basement Waterproofing

You did your research, found the right basement waterproofing contractor, and signed the contract…now you want to know what to expect with basement waterproofing.  We are here to help!  Many homeowners feel uneasy about their upcoming basement waterproofing project.  Some common concerns that we hear are: How big of a mess will it cause?  How long is this project going to disrupt my home?  Will there be a lot of dust?  How much noise can I expect?  Will the noise scare my dog?  Our goal in this article is to address some of those common concerns and hopefully put your mind at ease so you can feel fully prepared for your upcoming project.

Is It Going to Make a Big Mess?

During any construction process, it is normal for things to be a bit out of sorts for the duration of the project.  If your project involves interior basement waterproofing, as part of the process, we must break up concrete with a jackhammer along the perimeter of the basement.  Therefore, a good amount of dust will be stirred up and unfortunately this cannot be completely avoided.

Keeping the Dust Under Control

What do we do to try to counteract this?  As part of our process, we make efforts to cover your belongings with plastic sheeting.  We also work to keep the areas where we enter and exit the basement clean and free of debris.  This may mean putting plastic or another material down on the floors and steps to properly cover them.  This not only helps keep the floors clean, but also prevents any scratches or damage.  Sometimes, despite our best efforts to keep dust under control, a small amount may be left behind during the process.  If you have high value items in your basement or irreplaceable family heirlooms, it may be best to secure these in a different location for the duration of the project.  We do have a rigorous cleanup process and we try and make sure our customers are fully satisfied before we leave.

To learn about the step by step process of interior basement waterproofing, click here.

what to expect with basement waterproofing

Belongings are covered with protective plastic

Is My Yard Going to Be a Disaster?

What if you have an exterior basement waterproofing project?  What should you expect with basement waterproofing then?  Well, the best first step is familiarizing yourself with the process of exterior waterproofing.  You can learn about exterior basement waterproofing systems by clicking here.  During the course of waterproofing on the exterior, we must dig along your foundation wall on the outside.  We do this with a piece of machinery.  If you have landscaping along the foundation, we will have to move it.  While we cannot guarantee the survival of landscaping, we do make every effort to place them back once we backfill.  During the process, we take all safety precautions necessary to ensure that our customers as well as our employees stay out of harms way.

Why Bother Waterproofing from the Outside?

Some waterproofing companies will tell you that it is not necessary to waterproof from the outside and that it makes too much of a mess.  But when the job is done correctly by a skilled expert, there is no reason why your yard cannot be put properly back in place with little indication that any work was ever done.  Additionally, some basements must be waterproofed on the exterior if you really want to address the root of the problem and keep the basement dry permanently.  So it’s important to remember the reason for doing the waterproofing and the good outcome that will come as a result.

How Much Noise Can I Expect?

Unfortunately, there is no way to break up concrete quietly.  We must use a jackhammer and jackhammers are noisy.  The noise will come and go while our worker’s are completing this portion of the project.  If you have dogs or young children that are highly sensitive to noise, please notify the job foreman and request a warning before they begin jackhammering.

What to Expect with basement waterproofing

Cleaning Up During the Job

What About After the Project is Completed?

Once the project is finished, the job foreman will check in with you to explain any last minute details.  He will also give you the opportunity to ask any questions.  He will leave you with all the necessary paperwork for your project.  You will receive a guarantee to go along with your waterproofing system.  Our company does not charge a yearly maintenance fee.  You do not have to “register” your warranty online or jump through hoops to receive the warranty.

A Final Word

We hope this article helps you to prepare for your project and gives you a better idea of what to expect with basement waterproofing.  We want to assure you that our crew will make every effort to make your project as painless as possible.  Our company has numerous online reviews where we have received commendation for the way we conduct our jobs.  Please feel free to explore our website to learn more about our company as well as our process.

Follow us on Facebook to keep up with us!

What to Expect With Basement Waterproofing

Signs of a Bad Foundation

Signs of a Bad Foundation

In some cases, the signs of a bad foundation may be very obvious.  You may have been in a house or a building before where all of a sudden you feel like you are walking downhill. In most cases however, the warning signs may go unnoticed for a time.  It is important to pay attention if a warning sign presents itself.  What exactly are some of the signs of a bad foundation?  This blog will focus on some things to look for in your home that can indicate a foundation problem.

Stair Step Cracks

signs of a bad foundation

When a section of a house is settling, it pulls the basement wall down with it, separating it and causing a “stair step” or zig zag crack to occur along the seam of the blocks.  Stair step cracks are typically found near corners.  If your basement ONLY has stair step cracks, it is usually indicative of a settlement issue.  However, if there is also a horizontal crack leading up to the stair step crack(s), this is a different story.  The next point discusses this.

Horizontal Cracks

Cracks that travel horizontally down the basement wall are caused by external pressure of soil.  In Northeast Ohio, soil frequently freezes and then thaws, freezes and then thaws.  Then in the summer it is dry and then wet, dry and then wet.  Soil constantly expands and contracts.  When gutters are clogged or not working properly, it makes the foundation vulnerable because the soil right next to the foundation will be heavier and wetter.  The way a foundation is constructed also plays a part.

A horizontal crack is likely to be accompanied by stair step cracks near the corners.  If you have a horizontal crack, take steps to have it inspected by a reputable foundation repair expert.  Do your homework on foundation repair companies and look into their suggested repair techniques.  Some companies will recommend a beam or some other method, even if the structural integrity of the wall is compromised and it cannot be repaired.  Always ask the company if they pull a permit.  If not, they are not adhering to standard building codes.

Vertical Cracks

Vertical cracks that go straight up and down indicate sinking or settling of the foundation.  The soil underneath of your foundation also goes through the expanding and contracting process.  If you have a vertical crack on one wall, you will almost always have a vertical crack on another wall.  During summer when soil tends to be dryer, houses may settle and sink faster than during colder times of the year.  For companies that offer foundation repair, this is a busier time of the year simply because more houses are settling during this time.

Basement Floor Cracks

What if you have cracks in the basement floor but no cracks in any of the basement walls?  Is this a sign of a bad foundation?  Possibly.  This could be caused by hydrostatic pressure or water pressure.  As water builds up, if it has no where to go, it creates pressure, and may crack a basement floor.  A basement water issue could lead to a foundation issue and should be monitored.

Doors and Windows That Will Not Close Properly

When a foundation shifts or moves, it affects not only the basement walls, but also all of the construction that sits on top of them.  If doors and windows stick when you try to open and close them, this is an indication that the foundation has shifted.

Cracks in Drywall

If you have noticed settlement cracks in your basement, take time to inspect the rest of your home.  Look at the drywall throughout the house to see if you can find any cracks.  Cracks in drywall often go hand in hand with foundation settlement cracks.  These types of cracks may not stand out as much because they may be hairline cracks close to the ceiling that simply go unnoticed.

So You Have the Signs of a Bad Foundation.  Now What?

If you have noticed any of the above symptoms, don’t procrastinate!  Take immediate action.  If you catch a foundation problem early, you may be able to stop the damage in its tracks. If you put it off, the issue may become worse and therefore more costly to fix.

Are you concerned about your foundation?  Feel free to contact us for a free estimate.  If you truly do have all the signs of a bad foundation, we can present you with the solutions to fix your foundation permanently.

Stay up to date on the latest news by following us on Facebook!

Water in Basement After Rain? Now What?

Water in Basement After Rain? Now What?

You walk downstairs only to realize that there is water in your basement after a rain storm.  How frustrating!  Now what should you do?  Knowing how best to fix the problem can be tough if you haven’t done your homework before sitting down with basement waterproofing contractors.  The purpose of this blog is to help educate the homeowner to be prepared for interviewing potential contractors.

Water in basement after rain

Generally, if your basement is only leaking after a rain storm, this is a good indication that surface water is entering your foundation from top to bottom.  Some people will try to build up the soil around the home to slope the water away.  This may or may not improve the situation.  Exercise caution and make sure to raise the waterproof coating outside as well.  Otherwise the problem may become worse.  Most likely, water in the basement after rain means the original foundation seal is damaged.  Contractors that only install interior basement waterproofing may recommend that interior is the best fix.  Granted, you may achieve a dry basement by installing an interior system.  HOWEVER, to fix the cause of the problem in this case, the best solution is to stop the water from the outside.  You can do so by installing a new exterior basement waterproofing system.

How Does Exterior Basement Waterproofing Work?

The purpose of exterior basement waterproofing is to stop water from entering your foundation from the outside.  The process starts with excavating dirt away from the basement walls.  We dig to the bottom of the footer to expose the entire foundation.  We then repair any basement foundation cracks and/or weak points.  Afterward, we apply a full seal coating to your basement walls along with a unique dimpled air gap membrane that is bonded to your foundation walls.  The result is a guaranteed dry foundation wall.  To top it off, we install new PVC footer drains and cover them with gravel.  Once drains are installed, the soil is put back and graded away from the foundation walls.

Water in basement after rain

Water in Basement After Rain

When an Interior System May be the Right Answer

What if water only leaks into the basement after heavy rain storms that have persisted for a while?  What if the walls are mostly dry especially up high and the seepage happens around the bottom of the wall?  If this is the case, an interior basement waterproofing system may indeed be the best solution.  Under this scenario, ground water rises after a heavy precipitation event or a heavy snow melt to the point that it builds up around the base of your foundation.  Interior basement waterproofing will catch ground water as it builds and prevent it from ever seeping in.  Many homes do not have drains under the basement floor to carry this water away.  Homes that have drains may have been installed without proper sloping and water cannot flow.  Homes built in the 1970’s through the early 2000’s may have black corrugated drain pipes.  These can become easily clogged.  In fact, current building codes no longer allow this type of pipe to be used.

How Pioneer Can Help

At Pioneer Basement Solutions, we do not believe in a one size fits all solution.  No two basements are identical.  We thoroughly review each basement before making recommendations.  We have been doing business since 1979 with a long track record of customer satisfaction.  Check our our company on the Better Business Bureau.  We are ten time Super Service Award winners on Angie’s List.  That water in the basement after rain may be frustrating, but don’t let it scare you!

Basement Waterproofing Products and Systems

Basement Waterproofing Products and Systems

If you have done a simple google search for basement waterproofing products, you may find that the options are overwhelming.  There are many types of products on the market that claim to eliminate basement water intrusion.  There are various types of systems all with the goal of eliminating water seepage or channeling water away from the foundation.  It can be quite difficult to sift through all of the different products and systems available.  The purpose of this blog is to cover some of the more common approaches to basement waterproofing.  We will explain how certain basement waterproofing products work, which ones make the most sense, and which ones to avoid.

Dehumidifiers and Ventilation Systems

A dehumidifier works by drawing air into the unit, removing moisture, and then expelling the dry air back into the room. The excess moisture typically gets discharged into a bucket or directly into a drainage system, or may be pumped out of the unit.  There are many different models and brands of dehumidifiers and ventilation systems. They can range in price anywhere from $200 to $1,500 or more.  You can purchase a basic, free standing dehumidifier for a small area of a few hundred square feet.  Or you may choose a “whole home” style moisture control/ventilation system.  Such units tend to have more options and additional add-ons and features for more advanced settings.  You can purchase an independent unit as well as units that connect to your existing furnace system.  Dehumidifiers and ventilation systems are beneficial to have for chronically damp basements.

You can learn more about humidity control and ventilation here.

Waterproofing Paints

Waterproofing paints are made to be applied to the interior of basement walls.  The idea behind these products is that they are supposed to keep water from penetrating the foundation wall and entering into the basement.  Many of these products make all kinds of crazy claims.  They also market that their product is a permanent solution.  The issue with these types of products is that it doesn’t actually get to the root of the problem.  It does not eliminate nor does it redirect water away from the foundation.  Certain basement waterproofing paints also attract mold growth.  Many of them contain warning labels on the container advising of this.  Although it may mask the issue for a time, it does not actually fix the problem.  Therefore, using this product is not really basement waterproofing.  It is a temporary bandaid at best.

Sump Pumps

basement waterproofing productsSump pumps are typically used hand-in-hand with an interior basement waterproofing system.  How does this type of system work?  A trench is dug alongside the home’s footer and drainage is installed to direct water to the sump pump.  The sump pump then takes water out and away from the basement.  For such a system to work properly, the footer drains must have appropriate sloping so that the water can flow properly.

When it comes to sump pumps, the old adage “you get what you pay for” proves true.  Therefore, Pioneer makes it a priority to select only high quality basement waterproofing products.  We choose quality sump pumps from reliable manufacturers.  A quality sump pump can make the difference between a bone dry basement during a heavy rain and a flooded basement!  Additionally, sump pumps are available with a battery backup system which is useful in the event of a power outage.  It is also important to check sump pumps periodically to make sure they are in good working order.

We have written a detailed breakdown of an interior basement waterproofing system in a previous blog post.

Basement Wall Membrane

This product works best along with an exterior basement waterproofing system.  Pioneer uses Delta MS, a high quality, time tested dimpled membrane board.  The process begins with excavation around the exterior of the foundation.  We place the membrane on the outside of the foundation wall.  Then, we install drainage around the bottom of the foundation and cover it with gravel.  The drainage carries the water away from the foundation.  The membrane is what keeps water from penetrating the basement wall.

You can learn more about exterior basement waterproofing and basement wall membrane here.

Crack Repair Kits

basement waterproofing products and systemsThese kits typically require injection of polyurethane or a similar material with a caulking gun.  Such kits are geared toward the DIY homeowner.  Sealing a crack can prevent a small amount of water from entering and may reduce the unsightly appearance of a basement crack.  However, sealants such as the ones used in these kits will break down over time.  Thus, this product is not a permanent basement waterproofing solution. Also, it is important to examine the reason why there is a crack in the first place.  If there are settlement issues, these need to be addressed to prevent further damage. Small cracks could be indicative of a bigger problem and should be closely monitored for changes.  If you notice cracking in your basement, do not cover them up and forget about them.  A qualified foundation expert should inspect the problem to determine whether or not to stabilize the foundation.

Patented Basement Systems

If something is “patented”, it must be pretty special, right?  Just because a product has a patent, it doesn’t mean that it is the best on the market.  Nor does it mean that the product is the right fit for your home.  Contractors that offer such systems state that their product “sets them apart” from the competition.  How do these systems work?  They are intended to be installed on top of a house’s footer.  What is the problem with this?  Your home’s footer is level.  Water cannot flow properly when it is level.  This means that water builds up in the channel, remaining stagnant.  These systems are much more susceptible to problems and failure.  Particularly during a heavy rain when you need it to work the most!

Additionally, interior basement waterproofing is not always the best fit for every home.  Most companies that offer such patented systems are not equipped to perform basement waterproofing with any other method.  If a company only offers one solution, of course they are going to tell you that the solution they offer is the best!  They have nothing else to offer.

In Conclusion

At Pioneer Basement Solutions, we have nothing to hide about the basement waterproofing products that we offer.  Our basement inspectors always thoroughly explain the pros and cons.  We are honest about what works and what doesn’t.  We take an individual approach to each home and will only offer a solution that fits your exact problem.  Our goal is to educate the homeowner so that they can make the best decision.  If you would like to learn more about what we have to offer, please feel free to contact us to speak with a basement and foundation specialist.

Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our latest news and to stay up to date on the basement waterproofing products that we have to offer.

basement waterproofing products

Damp Basement? Steps You Can Take

Damp Basement? Steps You Can Take

Various things can cause a damp basement.  Where exactly the dampness is coming from can be tricky to pinpoint.  Therefore, we have created this quick and simple guide of basic things that you as a homeowner can check for.

Fix Gutters and Downspouts

An important first step to preventing a damp basement is to make sure that your house has appropriate gutters and downspouts. Gutters catch the rain and channel it to the downspouts, which direct it away from the house. Make sure the downspouts have 4- to 6-ft. horizontal extensions to move the water away from the house. If you already have them, make sure that they are regularly cleaned out. A gutter clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris can cause a leaky roof or water damage to the interior or exterior of your home. How often you need to clean your gutters will greatly depend on how many trees you have in your yard. But a good rule of thumb is to clean them at least every spring and fall.

Damp basement

Gutters and Downspouts Serve an Important Purpose in Keeping Your Basement Dry

Use a dehumidifier

Eliminating the sources of humid air will help dry out your damp basement. Many times the first thing to come to mind is to run a dehumidifier to lower the indoor humidity. But there are also some other good tips to keep your basement from getting damp.

  1. Seal leaky dryer vents with foil tape to prevent unwanted humid air from entering your basement. Make sure to not use duct tape, this will eventually fall off.
  2. Add a vent fan to your basement bathroom and make sure your family turns it on during showers.
  3. Keep your basement windows closed during humid weather.
  4. Run air conditioning upstairs when it is humid outside.  Humidity from upstairs is heavy in the air and will fall and cause a damp basement.  Air conditioning will keep your air upstairs drier making it much easier to achieve drier basement air.

Check for plumbing leaks

Routinely inspect the visible pipes in your house. If you see rust, buckling, or drops of water, this is a good sign that something is wrong. Catching an issue with the plumbing in your house early can save you time and money and help keep your basement from being damp and damaging any valuables in your basement.

DIY Options to Avoid

Thanks to effective marketing and scare tactics, many homeowners turn to waterproof paint.  The idea of this product is to paint it on your basement walls and it will block water from entering.  This method only acts as a bandaid.  It does not actually get to the root of the problem and will not divert water away from your walls.  The water is still going to be there.  Waterproof paints are not a good investment of time or expense.

If All Else Fails

If your efforts to dry up your basement on your own have not gone well, contact us for a free estimate.  One of our knowledgable basement inspectors will come up with a common sense approach that is easy to understand.  We believe in our waterproofing methods enough that we do not resort to high pressure sales or gimmicks.  Give us a call and we can solve your damp basement problem for good!

Keep up with us by following us on Facebook!

Foundation Wall Replacement – What to Expect

Foundation Wall Replacement

Addressing concerns with your foundation can be stressful and overwhelming.  The thought of totally replacing the foundation of your home may seem completely overwhelming and downright scary.  However, we would like to reassure you that such a repair may not be as daunting as it seems.  In this blog, we will discuss foundation wall replacement and go over some factors to take into consideration.

Foundation wall replacement

Is Your Wall Severely Cracked/Bowed?

Many types of foundation cracks or a bowed basement wall can be fixed with methods such as carbon fiber/kevlar mesh straps or structural piering.  But if the wall is too severely damaged, it may make more sense to replace it.  What are some signs that a wall replacement is necessary?

  • The second row of block from the bottom is sliding off the bottom row.
  • The mortar is rotting and/or crumbling.
  • The foundation blocks are separating one from another or pulling away from each other

Do these things mean always mean that the wall needs replaced?  Not necessarily.  There are many things to take into consideration.  Your best bet is to have the foundation inspected by a qualified basement specialist.

What About Cost?

The internet would have you believe that you will be further ahead taking a wrecking ball to your house and starting all over somewhere new.  There are various articles online that state that replacing a foundation is not a cost effective option.  But foundation wall replacement may be more affordable than you think.  In fact, depending on the problem and work needed, sometimes the cost of repairing a basement wall is comparable with the cost of simply replacing it.  Sometimes only a section needs replaced, not the entire thing.  It is beneficial to explore your options as to foundation wall replacement and/or foundation repair.

How Does it Work?

First, we completely stabilize your house.  Second, we dig around the foundation from the outside and remove all dirt from the side of the basement.  This relieves all the pressure from the foundation.  This keeps your house from moving and acts as a “temporary foundation.”  Once everything is totally stable, we begin removing the bad sections of the foundation.  Next, we lay the block for your new foundation.  We examine every detail to ensure that your new foundation is complete and ready to hold the weight of your home.  A foundation replacement comes with a 20 year limited warranty.  Additionally, you normally do not need to vacate your home while the work is being done.  We try to make the inconvenience as minimal as possible.

foundation replacement

Don’t Procrastinate!

If your foundation is cracked or bowed, putting off getting it fixed will only make the problem worse.  Foundations that need replaced could have been salvaged if the problem was caught early enough.  Make sure you address your foundation problem as soon as possible.  Doing so may save you from a future foundation wall replacement.  Whether your foundation is in need of some minor repair or a full foundation wall replacement, contact us for a free* inspection. We have been in business since 1979 with the good reputation to back it up!

Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with all our latest blogs!

*Free for homeowners