,

How Serious Are Cracks In The Basement Wall?

Cracks in the basement walls are usually due to leaks around the foundations or are a first sign of structural problems with the house or the property you currently reside in. If you don’t nip this problem in the bud earlier on you’ll probably find yourself in a long line of home owners who eventually have to dish out thousands of dollars to get their property fixed.

Now the first thing you might want to take note of is the fact that your basement walls have considerable earth pressure pushing down on them constantly, this pressure is inward especially when considering the exterior grade and its positioning. In the olden day’s basement walls were made out of concrete and did not have any vertical refinements, thus they were capable of resisting pressure due to their borderline strength.

However if in case you are in a position where your basement wall seems to have cracks in and around it, note that for each kind there is a different kind of remedy.

A rule of thumb when considering basement cracks is that they are mostly due structural problems, your contractor either didn’t put in enough concrete or otherwise they didn’t bother leveling it out with the ground your house now stands at from the foundation and upwards. If you note a horizontal crack in your basement right in the middle of the wall you will need specialist intervention and sooner rather than later. However if the crack is bowing you might just get away with pasting a whole lot of concrete in and around it. But be careful you still want to call someone in to ensure that the concrete or cement your applying doesn’t latter on cause other problems.

Similarly in a concrete basement cracks will normally appear about six to eight inches from the top of the wall. And in most cases these will be a hairline crack which are a result of the reinforcing bars at the top not being placed properly. Now these cracks can cause a number of problems, the most common of which are:

  • They weaken the wall structure in itself

  • They allow moisture to seep in and penetrate through the wall

Now repairing this problem will involve you breaking out all of the spilling concrete, clearing the rust caused due to the moisture and water and eventually replacing the spilled concrete with repair mortar grade concrete. In each of the cases mentioned above you might just want to take on an expert opinion before you get to work. However basement cracks will appear either due to a weak structure or moisture making its way in from the foundations.

,

Winter Suggestions To Protect From Water Damage

Usually when winter rolls in dry weather can wreak havoc but so can wet weather, to protect your home and ultimately yourself from the damage wet weather can have it is generally thought to be a good idea to give your home’s exterior a once over to make sure that the moist and wetness doesn’t find its way in. In doing so there are a lot of ways and touch points you can give a nudge at least once to make sure your home is protected. After all you don’t want to find yourself in a conundrum of sorts where you have drippy ceiling or a flooded basement.

Now as mentioned earlier the problems usually occur first in the exterior of your home, and there are ways to spot problem areas earlier on. What you really need to do is think like water would as it makes its way across the concrete and wood you’ve so proudly assembled.

Windows and Doors:

Usually a good spot to start at are the windows and doors. If your façade is open and you have a number of windows installed to bring in that fresh air and sunlight – that’s fair enough but to protect the inside from weather extremities like rainfall or snow you need to ensure that you have adequate covering on top of each exterior window or door. It might seem like a simple enough solution but mind you if you aren’t vigilant enough what will eventually happen is that rain water and snow will directly impact the window face and same goes for your doors. Another point to note is the edges where the window or an outside door is installed or put it. You might want to redo the cement or even ensure extra padding is installed which would hinder water seeping in through the cracks if there are any. This needs to be planned well ahead of time or you’ll run into a lot of repair works once the wet weather is gone.

Gutters:

The gutters around you humble abode are there for a reason, although many people think they are an eye soar. Carefully placed pipes around your property and the margins of your home to be more precise will ensure that water doesn’t stay on the roof tops and is guided right to the ground. Therefore to welcome the wet weather and winters even if you don’t do anything else make sure your gutters are clean and the pipes aren’t clogged. No doubt it is a tedious task but do it once a year at least.

Foundations:

Now that we have the basics out of the way, give your perimeter a once over. After you’ve ensured that the gutters are well regulated the next thing you need to make sure of is that the water isn’t finding its way in your foundations. This is easy enough to avoid by simply making sure that it doesn’t stay at any point, to do so you might want to build slopes where you’ve noticed that water stands right of your gutters.

,

How to Budget Basement Waterproofing Costs?

A wet basement is a nuisance that can cause a number of major problems for you and your home. It can trigger a lot of serious health risks owing to the growth of mold and mildew that result from a wet basement. It can also cause damage to the foundations of your home and then cost you a hell lot of money when you think about getting the damage fixed. And last but certainly not the least, it can also cause the value of the property to reduce significantly.

The worst thing is that people often perceive the cost of basement waterproofing to be so high that they actually put off the whole job aside. You need to realize it is extremely important that you immediately look into the costs and options available to you for basement waterproofing so that you can save yourself the future costs of getting the foundation fixed or complete renovations in case the damage gets big.

Basement waterproofing costs can actually run from $500 -$5000 depending totally on the type of waterproofing method that you opt for. The most expensive procedures are ones that require excavations around the foundations of the basement and the installation of the footer drains. Footer drains are responsible for leading the water away from your home so that it doesn’t damage your basement and in case you have a major basement flooding problem then you will definitely need to get those installed. Some houses already have footer drains installed in their foundations and in case you already have them you will just have get them cleaned or repaired if they aren’t working properly.

A very cost effective option for basement waterproofing is getting French drains installed. French drains are a very viable option because they entail less work. You can get jack hammering methods rather than expensive excavating for the installation of French drains. Also you can get your basement walls treated with polymers so that they keep the water away from your walls and don’t let it soak through the walls.

Sometimes all you might need to do is keep your basement leakage free and dry. For this it is important that you get professional help and consultation before you opt for any basement waterproofing options. Professional service providers can give you free quotes so make use of the service providers available in your area. Never opt for the first contractor you come across. Prices fluctuate therefore never settle without a proper research.

The best way to budget your basement waterproofing cost is to do your homework and then opt for a service provider. You can check out reviews and then settle on the contractor who gives you an estimate that is well within your budget. Remember the cost will fluctuate and settle somewhere between both extremes. You might find it a bit overwhelming but you should know that it is going to be well worth it in the future as it will save you the cost of repairs and maintenance of the entire home and foundations as well in case the damage gets huge.

,

The Top 5 Wet Basement Solutions

If you want to prevent basement maintenance costs, protect the value of your home and reduce health risks a wet basement poses for your family, you need to consider solving your wet basement problems as soon as possible.

A wet basement smells nasty and it also poses a great risk to the overall value of your property and reduces its cost. Also when you don’t pay attention to the problems of a wet basement, they will eventually grow bigger and then ruin your floors, walls, encourage the growth of mold and mildew and also damage the foundations of your home.

Here are five very effective ways you can keep water out of your basement and prevent flooding and future maintenance costs:

  1. Addition of gutter extensions

Check whether the downspouts are dumping water close to your home. If the distance is less than 5 feet then you should get plastic or metal gutter extensions so that you can get adequate distance between your home and your basement and keep it dry. Addition of gutter extensions solves the problem immediately but if you are looking for long term solutions to a wet basement then you should get drain pipes installed underground.

  1. Waterproofing the walls

Another effective solution to a wet basement problem is waterproofing the walls. You can use good quality interior sealants or waterproofing paints to seal the walls and the floors of the basement so that no more moisture seeps through them and the humidity level in the basement is kept under control.

  1. Plugging the gaps

If water dribbles through gaps or cracks in the basement then you can seal them using plug gaps. You can plug the openings using hydraulic cement or caulk. However this solution will work only when the problem is water leaking in the basement through cracks from wet soil or surface runoff. If the water seeps through joints where the walls and the floors meet or it is groundwater that is flooding your basement, the plugs won’t work here.

  1. Installing a French drain

This is a shallow drainage system that is responsible for drawing water away from the basement of your home outside. French drains will have a drainage ditch containing pipes and will be surrounded by gravel perforating the water so that it escapes slowing without gathering in one spot and creating puddles that leak in your basement.

  1. Building up the ground

Water might seep through to your basement if the grading around your house isn’t proper. You need to have the soil sloping at least 6inches away from your house. If that is not the case then build up the ground top soil to improve grading. You can also plant deep rooted plants or grass around the ground covering your house so that it protects against soil erosion.

Keep a check on your basement regularly so that you can tackle with the problems on time and save yourself huge maintenance costs hence the problems grow.