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What You Need to Know about Basement Waterproofing

by Charlie Brown on Feb 26, 2016

A wet, leaking basement is a seller’s, buyer’s and homeowner’s worst nightmare. A leaking basement can be a health hazard; it weakens the foundation of your home and with time becomes a source of toxic molds. A wet basement is basically unusable.

Start from the top

Did you know that waterproofing your basement starts with the roof? Surprised?    The main reason for your home to have a good gutter system is to prevent the foundation of your home from being saturated with water after a downpour.

The best gutter system should be able to handle the amount of water that will run down the roof when it rains. The gutters should be installed on every roofline parallel to the ground. The gutters should be well-installed and sloped properly towards the downspout.

A good gutter system can also be inadequate if it is not properly maintained. You need to clean the gutters regularly, removing leaves and any other debris that will inhibit free movement of water.

The downspout system is also as important and you should use a large enough gutter that will handle the volumes of water in any downpour. The bottom of the downspout should face away from your home’s foundation; this should be between 6-10 feet away on a grade sloping away from the house.

Leveling of the ground

The best leveling is where the soil slopes away from the foundation. This is not always possible. In this case, the best thing is to use a French drain system; this helps divert water away from the house. If the land around your home slopes towards your house, ditches should be installed where the slope touches your property.

While installing driveways, porches, patios and sidewalks, it’s important to ensure that the concrete or any other material used slopes away from the foundation of the house. The adjoining areas should also be adequately sealed.

Damaged Floors and Walls

When you see inward bulging of your basement wall and visible cracks on concrete walls, these are some of the signs that you need basement waterproofing. The bulging might not be so obvious and the best way to tell is if you see cinder joints sticking further from the surrounding ones and loose mortar joints.

There are so many recommendations that can be made by contractors; replacing the entire wall, reinforcement and wall plate anchors. Wall beam reinforcement should be approved and is not the best for finished basements. Replacing an entire wall is very expensive.

Using wall plate anchors is the most economical and efficient. This installation can be done faster than other solutions and the result is more visually pleasing.           

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