Browse Tag

Basement

Wet Basement

Improper Grading

During grading of the construction site, if the slope is inclined towards the walls of your home, then water will get directed towards the basement. As a result, the soil used during the construction process will get loose and settle around your home.

Solution: Fill the slope with a lot of dry sand so that it directs water away from the basement. Once the soil takes place of water, the problem of a wet basement can be solved.

Structural Defects

Cracks in the concrete blocks can lead to accumulation of moisture. Also, if floor joints are not properly connected to the foundation wall, it can lead to movement of the wall and allow water to enter the basement.

Solution: You must take utmost care while building the foundation and footings. Also ensure proper connection between the foundation wall and the structure above it. If the foundation of your home is damaged, you must contact a foundation repair contractor and obtain his expert help.

Defective Drainage

Missing or defective gutters and downspout from the roof redirect water directly to the basement. Also, if a downspout has no extender, then a huge amount of rainwater will be deposited at a single location near the base of the foundation.

Solution: Downspout should be fitted correctly at required places where rain water gets collected. Take care of leakage from downspout using correct waterproof sealers. Extensions, if any, should discharge water at least a few feet away from the walls of your home. If possible, build concrete slopes around the foundation walls to avoid water collection.

Poor Construction of Window Wells

An improperly constructed window well can be the source of a wet basement. It will direct water towards the basement, rather than away from it. It might also lead to a situation of severe flooding.

Solution: If you want to build a window well, make sure that it is covered properly so that it doesn’t allow water to come inside the basement. You must check the cracks in the window well and seal them regularly.

Basement Lowering Technique

The basement lowering technique is beneficial for homeowners in the following ways:

  • It will increase living space for you and your loved ones.
  • It can be used as a rental space and help you earn extra income.
  • It will increase the overall value of your home.
  • A healthy basement will keep the home free from molds, cracks, mildew and odor.
  • It will allow you strengthen the foundation.

There are many benefits of employing the basement lowering technique. So, is it advisable for every homeowner? Remember that it is expensive. You will have to hire an experienced basement lowering contractor to supervise the work. So, it is necessary to employ the technique after thorough consideration. If you are on the fence and want to make a decision, consider the following points:

If your home is too old, basement lowering technique can prove to be a savior. It will not only strengthen the foundation of your home but also provide you with extra living space. If your home is more than 30 years old, chances are that the basement was not constructed with the purpose of utilizing it as a living room. You can employ the technique and increase the height of the basement. It will help you to create additional living space in your home.

Harsh weather conditions can ruin a well-constructed building and damage the foundation. It will lead to problems such as basement flooding, entry of moisture, foundation cracks, water leakage, etc. If the foundation of your home is damaged, you can opt for the basement lowering technique. By employing the technique, you will be able to repair the foundation as well as improve its structural strength.

The basement remains a neglected space in homes. But if you pay attention and make minor changes, you can transform it into a useful living space for your family. The basement lowering technique will help you increase the basement area and allow you to use it according to your will. You can create an entertainment area for the kids or create a home-office for your spouse.

Ways Water Enters Basement

The Footer

(A Footer is a 12-Inch-Deep by 16-inch-wide slab of concrete around the bottom of you Foundation) From a bird’s eye view the Footer looks like a side walk around your basement. It is place in the hard pan clay of the bowl in which your home’s foundation is built.

Cracks in the footer are caused by pressure from water forcing its way underneath the footer washing away the clay and gravel surrounding the footer. As the earth beneath the footer moves the footer cracks and moves.

Floor

(Floor is a slab of concrete poured after the Footer and Walls are placed in the home.)

Newly poured concrete and dry concrete do not bound together. Since the floor is poured separately after the footer and walls are built there is a natural seem between the wall, footer and floor. This is where water first appears. Usually you will see water in the corner near the where the wall, footer and floor meet.

The reason this occurs is due to the hydrostatic pressure that is created when water forces its way around the walls, underneath the footer and pushes on the floor. Hydrostatic pressure is pressure that is exerted at equilibrium at a given point within fluid due to the force of gravity. Hydrostatic pressure increases in proportion to depth from the surface due to the increased weight from the fluid exerting downward force from above. This pressure causes water to enter through the natural seem between the wall, footer and floor as well as push water up through the center of the floor.

The Wall

(Wall is usually made from Cinder Block, Poured Concrete, Brick or Stone)

Wall cracks are created through several different ways:

  • Lack of Parging and Tar – When you home was first build the builder puts a layer of parging and tar on the outside of your foundation wall. Over time the tar wears away just as the asphalt on you roof wears away and needs to be replaced. As the parging and tar disappear, water and ground acidity have direct access to your foundation wall.
  • Improper Backfill – When the builder used a bull dozer to push in the backfill around your foundation the pressure against a wall caused a crack.
  • Ground water – Water accumulates in the backfill area of your home and starts to pressure on your wall. Ground water gathers the Acid in the ground and deposits it against the wall of your home. Acid starts to eat away at the wall of you home and creates cracks in the foundation wall.
  • Settlement – When the home settles in to the ground clay the walls move slightly and crack.
  • Water is absorbed into the foundation wall and the area above the freeze line. The depth of the freeze line is 24 inches in Virginia. As the temperature cools and warms the wall expands and contracts. This causes cracks in the foundation wall.

 

Fix A Leaky Basement

Fixing a leaky basement is very important to prevent it from creating further damage. If you have the right tools and materials, you can fix the leakage on your own. Follow these simple and easy steps to fix a leaky basement:

  • Find the source of Leakage – The first thing you should do is to find the source of the leak. Examine your property thoroughly both from inside and outside to find cracks in the wall. The reason of leak can be a broken pipe inside the wall. You can also use a damp meter to track the leak.
  • Inspection – If the reason of leakage is a broken pipe; you should call a plumber to fix it. If the leakage is caused by a crack, you can easily find and fix it on your own. Use a hammer and a chisel to open the crack and remove any loose material from inside the crack using a metal scraper. It is important to clean the crack properly with a brush to remove dust and debris to allow the cement to stick properly.
  • Fill the Crack – You should first dampen the area with water using a spray bottle. In the next step, use hydraulic cement to fill the crack. Prepare the mixture after reading the instructions written on the pack and apply it on the crack properly. You can fill the gaps using small pieces of stones. Use a scraper to make sure that the cement is in level with the wall. You should then let the cement to dry.
  • Use a Sealant – You can apply a waterproof sealant to protect the walls from dampness and moisture. Use a dry-lock paint sealant and be careful to wet the walls before applying the sealant. You should let the sealant dry properly before applying the second coat.