A wet basement could very well be a home owner’s most feared and dreaded experience. Horror stories are told of massive water damage and an incredible costs to stop the damage. Most home owners call a Basement Waterproofing company at the first signs of a wet basement. Before calling one of the Waterproofing companies, read the following information, it might save you some money and aggravation.
Water gets into a basement from three different sources:
Condensation is directly related to the amount of moisture that exists in the basement air. The air can not hold this excessive moisture and condensation occurs showing up as water droplets, puddles or wet spots. Mildew on walls/ceilings. musty odors, sweating pipes, and dampness in the air are all symptoms of condensation problems. Several steps can be taking to reduce the amount of condensation in a basement:
Make sure clothes dryers and basement bathrooms vent moist air to the outside
Insulate cold water pipes and well tanks with appropriate insulation
Keep humidity down by installing a dehumidifier
Increase ventilation by opening a window
Runoff water problems are mostly caused by external rain and melting snow entering the basement. MOST of the basement water problems fall into this category. The goal to prevent this type of water entry is to direct the rain and melting snow AWAY from the home. Check the following items:
Gutter Issues, make sure gutters/downspouts and extensions are installed, clear of debris and operational. Extension and splash blocks should be installed to direct the water at least 4 feet from the home. If you have underground drainage pipes attached to the downspouts they can become clogged. Gutter Protection/Guard devices can be installed to prevent constant gutter debris cleaning. Gutters systems that are not functional will allow water to accumulate too close to the foundation of the home.
Improper grading, make sure that the ground outside slopes away from your home (this includes the driveway and sidewalks) . When water lands on the exterior, you want it to naturally move away from the home.
Basement windows that are below grade often have wells that allow water to accumulate and enter the basement. These windows should have plastic hood covers installed to prevent water entry.
Basement door and stairways are another cause of water entry. Drains or covers can be installed to prevent water entry.
Seal any cracks inside and outside of the basement.
A very small percentage of basement water problems are caused by Subsurface water entry. This problem is usually caused by a high water table around the home. If your basement is constantly wet long after a storm, you probably have a subsurface water problem. This type of problem can usually only be cured by a Professional. They can install sump pumps, additional drainage systems and waterproofing.
If you need to call a Professional Waterproofing company, make sure the contractors are insured and guarantee their work. Get several estimates from different companies and also contact their references to get a better indication of their past work