If you have ever had the disaster of a flooded basement, you know how much time and money it takes to clean up the mess. If you haven’t had a wet basement, count your blessings. There are many homes that haven’t been waterproofed and in most cases, it is only a matter of time before they experience some type of water damage. Many insurance policies don’t even cover damage or clean up caused by flooding. It’s too common for the insurance companies to remain profitable, so they don’t usually cover flood damage on a standard homeowner’s policy.
The most important thing to do if you get water in your basement is to immediately begin working on getting it dried up and cleaned. It may not seem like a wet basement is really a big deal, especially if your basement is unfinished. The truth is a wet basement can cause a lot of damage to the structure of your home, along with any belongings that may be stored in the basement. The physical health of you and your family are also in danger if your basement is wet.
The longer a basement is left with water or high moisture content, the costlier it will be to repair and remediate the damage. Even if you jump on the problem as soon as it happens, the wet carpet will probably have to be torn out and thrown away. Discarding the damaged carpet is usually cheaper than trying to thoroughly clean it. Damaged drywall and woodwork will have to be torn out and replaced. If any electrical systems were touched by the water, it would be a good idea to have it inspected and then replaced, if it is damaged. You don’t need a fire or accidental electrocution due to water damaging wiring or breaker boxes.
Even if the water seems to be clean, it can quickly become contaminated with chemicals or bacteria. The bacteria can cause serious health problems and no one needs to deal with that. If bacteria begins to grow, you will have to have the area decontaminated, adding to the cost, hassle, and time of cleaning and repairing your flooded basement. Most experts state that bacteria growth can begin in less than 24-48 hours, so you don’t have a very big window to extricate any water that may be in your basement.
Groundwater or flood waters can be very dangerous and should be treated carefully. Try to limit any direct exposure to the water to minimize the chance of bacteria or other contaminants causing you health issues. We can’t express how very important it is that you have flood-damaged basements decontaminated and sanitized by a professional outfit. Until it is sanitized, it is unsafe to enter the area. A basement that isn’t properly dried out will be the perfect home for mold and pest infestations. The mold can damage furniture and any wood structures. Pests like ants and termites can also damage belongings and woodwork. Over 50% of the air you breathe in your home comes from the basement, so if there is mold there, you and your family are in danger of breathing in the mold spores, causing a wide variety of health issues, some serious.
Rotted wood supports endanger the structure of your home. Joists and beams can weaken, causing floors to sag or even collapse. If the structural integrity of your home is compromised, the costs and time to have it repaired and to make your home safe again are exponentially higher.
There are many causes of basement flooding:
A professional company, like Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing, can help prevent your basement from flooding. You can do some things like making sure your gutters are clean and the downspouts are draining away from the foundation. Other things take an expert like sump pump installation, crack repair, foundation repair, interior and exterior waterproofing, and dehumidifier installation.
If you notice flooding or pooling water, water stains, water damage, rotting wood, musty odors, or other signs of a wet basement, make sure you contact someone you trust for basement wall repair and basement waterproofing. Keeping your home safe and stable is important, along with keeping your family safe and your home’s value strong. Contact us today to learn more about Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing can do for you.
1. Extend your downspout discharge lines away from your foundation and out into the yard or into an underground dry well. Downspout lines often fail even in newer homes so making sure that the roof water is being properly diverted is essential.
2. Use Drylok on walls that only have minor dampness. This product, and some that are like it, can be an effective short-term solution to keeping dampness isolated. They only work for a few years in some instances and can chip and flake if the water problem becomes worse.
3. Adjust the grade so the outside soil line by the home’s foundation wall slopes away from the house.
4. Make sure that you don’t have any plumbing issues. Upstairs leaks and those that are occurring inside of walls are often hard to diagnose and can appear as basement waterproofing issues since water flows down and tends to accumulate in unpredictable places. A professional plumber should be consulted where this may be in question.
5. Check your gutters at the roof line to make sure that the downspouts are fitted correctly and are fully sealed. Leaks can occur at the roof and water can sometimes find it’s way up underneath the shingles and down through the walls of the home. That will often find it’s way down to the basement’s footing wall joint and appear as basement seepage.
6. Control your interior airspace by closing and sealing any wall cracks or places that are exposed to the outside. Clean and dehumidify the basement’s air quality with a high-performance unit.
7. Make sure the exterior soil level outside the home is below the top of the wall on the inside of the basement. That is otherwise known as where the sill plate is. If the outside mulch bed is higher than the top of the inside basement wall, water can seep through and wash down over the wall. Telltale signs are mulch colored stains on the inside walls.
8. Expose any finished basement wall sections that are showing signs of water damage. This could be spotted on wooden baseboards or on the drywall itself. Another sign of problems with finished basements is bad smells. Insulation can absorb water and lead to mold issues behind finished walls that don’t have sealed vapor barriers and proper drainage prior to their installation. Identifying bad sections should be done by a professional if there is any doubt at all.
9. Create a Curtain Drain in the yard where water is accumulating. This is a non-warranted job by professionals because they nearly always become clogged after a time. They can provide temporary relief of basement water issues by collecting and diverting the marshy wet places to lower sections of the yard.
10. The construction of a new house is the time to properly seal the house for life. The old standby of plastic wrap and Styrofoam sheeting to protect does work. But it is almost always destroyed during the back-filling of the foundation, causing it to leak. This way of sealing no longer meets the international building code, along with many state, country, or city building codes. If you’re building a new home, it’s wise to have a good interior and exterior drain system put in place during the initial building process.
Disclaimer… The above information is intended for informational purposes only. Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Services does not warrant or imply that these basement waterproofing tips will solve the common issues described. A professional waterproofing expert is always recommended before attempting any remediation work.
When people think of wet basements, they may think of standing water and soggy carpeting. And, while a flooded basement is not a treat, even a little water can cause problems for your home and family.
High humidity and unseen water seepage can do as much damage, if not more, than a basement full of water. When you see that you have standing water, you know that you have to do something immediately, so you probably call in a waterproofing expert right away. If you are dealing with just a small trickle, you may not even notice that there is anything wrong.
There are a variety of problems that can occur if your home is experiencing water seepage. If it is a small trickle that you don’t notice, it could be inside your walls, weakening your supports and foundation walls. Another possible problem is that the water can cause a fire hazard if it comes into contact with electrical systems. It can cause cracks, wood rot, or mold growth.
A little bit of water or high humidity can cause mold and mildew to grow and spread. The spores are released into the air and can cause a wide variety of health problems. Over 40% of the air we breathe in our homes comes from our basement or crawlspace, so it is important that we are breathing healthy air. Spores can cause everything from runny eyes and noses to breathing problems and there are even studies that say that they can cause cancer. Children and elderly people are most susceptible to mold and mildew growth.
You may not notice actual mold growth, as this can happen behind walls or in air ducts. You may find that your home has a musty or stale odor and this is usually a sign of mold and mildew growth.
It is very important that you get your home tested for mold if you see any signs of growth or are noticing health issues in your family. The sooner you address the situation, the quicker and less costly the cleanup will be. Most companies will give you a free inspection and estimate for mold removal.
Your home is most likely resting on wood beams and a brick or concrete foundation. Water can wreak havoc on both materials. Your wooden supports can soften due to moisture or develop wood rot, causing them to weaken. You may notice your floors warping or sinking or doors and windows sticking or not staying open. Wood will swell with exposure to water, causing all kinds of problems.
Concrete can also fall victim to water seepage. Water can quickly erode concrete, weakening it. It only takes a crack as wide as a hair to allow water in and the water will take advantage and widen that crack even more. You may only see a small dribble on this side of the wall, but on the other side could be an extreme amount of water putting a lot of pressure on your foundation walls.
There are some small things you can do to keep water out of your basement. Make sure that your gutters are clear and that your downspouts are draining well away from your foundation. Trees and other landscaping should be away from your home, allowing water to drain properly. You may be tempted to go to your favorite DIY store and find something to seal your basement yourself. That usually doesn’t work out well for anyone.
Eventually, there comes a time where you just can’t (or shouldn’t) do repairs yourself. A reputable waterproofing contractor, like Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Services, will look for cracks in your ceilings, floors, or walls. They will be able to determine the cause of the cracks and the best solution for repairing them, in addition to making sure that they do not reoccur.
Solutions range from installing a dehumidifier to interior and exterior waterproofing, including the installation of sump pumps. If you have a crawl space, you may want to have the area encapsulated, in effect, sealing off the crawl space from the water source.
Before you start any waterproofing project, you need to make sure all gaps and cracks are sealed. It won’t do any good to install a waterproofing system if you don’t control the water to begin with.
Some interior waterproofing methods that are tried and true include commercial grade waterproofing coatings. These applications are thick and will bond with your concrete or masonry work. The sealers are silicate-based and will chemically react with the concrete, creating a permanent seal.
A step up from a waterproof coating may be needed. The installation of an interior drainage system will collect the water and send it away from your home. Some methods include vapor barriers, dehumidifiers, and sump pumps.
Your gutters and downspouts are the first lines of defense when it comes to exterior waterproofing. Make sure they are running clear and away from the foundation. The next step is to make sure the surface drainage is working. Check that the ground around your home is graded properly and drains away from the foundation.
Exterior waterproofing involves excavation, but the payoff is worth it. The installed drainage system doesn’t prevent flooding, but it will work with the interior waterproofing system to keep your basement or crawl space dry.
With a little work, you can protect your basement and home from damage caused by water seepage. You can reduce the chances of wall and floor cracks, weakened foundations, and mold growth. Contact the professionals today at Matthews Wall Anchor and let us help you with your water seepage problems.
As you have surely noticed as we pass the halfway point of the season, Old Man Winter seems to be on vacation this year. Over the last 30 years, the Pittsburgh area has averaged over 40 inches of snow every year. With only 8 inches of snow this year, it has definitely been a weird winter. However, in place of the freezing temperatures and mounds of snow, we have experienced large amounts of rainfall.
The National Weather Service has issued several flood advisories, watches, and warnings throughout the area. The Ohio River and the Allegheny River has been out of their banks a couple of times and the Mon Wharf in Pittsburgh was closed due to flooding. What does this warm weather and rainfall mean for your home?
Usually, when things are working the way they are supposed to, snow melts slowly, letting it absorb into the soil or run off slowly into rivers and streams. With the balmy temperatures this season, the precipitation hasn’t frozen and is going straight into the oversaturated soil.
Oversaturated soil can cause many problems to your home’s foundation. The soil can push against the foundation walls, causing them to lean or bow. This hydrostatic pressure can be very strong, so as soon as you notice a problem, you need to call Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Services immediately. It’s a lot easier to repair a bowed wall than it is to repair a collapsed one. The saturated ground can also allow cracks to form, allowing water and pests to invade your home. It doesn’t take much more than a hairline fracture to let in the elements. In addition, if water enters the crack, then freezes, the expansion will make the crack even bigger.
If water does enter your home due to flooding (or other causes), it can quickly cause a lot of damage. It can ruin your belongings, drywall or paneling, furniture, and cause foundation issues. Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Services can help protect your home from water entering your home with both internal waterproofing and exterior waterproofing. Keeping your home dry will protect your home from water damage and your family from mold and mildew.
Go ahead and savor the warm weather, we know that in this area it could suddenly be below zero with a foot of snow. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy the unseasonable temperatures knowing your home is protected by Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Services. Contact us today and learn more about our foundation repair and waterproofing services for the Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania area.
The weather has been weird this year, but as the summer winds down, you need to keep an eye on the soil around your home’s foundation. Drought and dry conditions can cause the soil to shrink and withdraw. As the soil dries out from the hot dry conditions, you may notice some changes in the surrounding earth. Usually, during the summer, there’s not only a lack of rain but hot, dry winds. The soil quickly dries out, leaving voids between the dirt and the foundation walls and also between the footings and the earth. Homes in areas that have very wet, then extremely dry conditions are especially susceptible. The constant movement of the soil leaves gaps and pushes the foundation back and forth, weakening the structure.
During droughts, your grass, garden, and trees are all fighting for the little bit of water that’s in the soil. Between the evaporation that naturally occurs and the roots sucking the water out of the soil, they being leeching the moisture out of the soil from underneath the foundation. You can avoid this by making sure that trees are planted far enough away from your home. A good rule of thumb is to determine how tall the tree will be at maturity and then plant the tree that distance from the home. So, if the tree will be 50 feet tall, then it should be 50 feet away from the house.
Another method is to plant a root barrier. This is placed between the tree and the foundation and is a 3- to 4-inch wide trench about 3 feet wide. Lined with plastic, it will stop feeder roots from moving too close to the foundation.
The ground around your home is what keeps it all together. This base of soil provides a firm foundation that holds the walls upright. When the weather is hot and dry, the moisture evaporates and the soil condenses. The soil pulls away from the foundation, leaving little or no support and walls that can crack or even collapse. Even a small crack can cause problems. Moisture can enter the crack and expand and contract, weakening the foundation wall until a collapse occurs.
If the foundation under your house cracks or fails, your house can sink, causing catastrophic damage. It is urgent for the safety of your family and your home that you contact Matthews Wall Anchor as soon as you suspect your foundation may be compromised. You will not only save money but your home and the well-being of your loved ones.
If you even suspect that your soil may be pulling away from your foundation or you have other foundation problems, call Matthews Wall Anchor today. Our team of experts can inspect your home for free and determine if your foundation has been weakened due to soil dryness or other factors. We even offer ECP Repair Now financing options for all of your foundation repair needs. We are your number one foundation repair contractor in Pennslyvania, Ohio, and the surrounding area.