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Tips to Keep Your Foundation in the Best Possible Conditions

What is more important to your home than its foundation – other than providing a level platform for your house to rest upon, its’ use was designed to keep your house from slowly sinking into the ground over time. Your foundation faces pressure and stress put on not only by what lies atop of it but the ground that lies underneath and beside it.

List of Tips for a Strong Home Foundation

Here we provide essential tips on how to properly maintain your foundation and to keep it strong:

  • Repair the cracks
  • Even in the best of conditions, under that amount of pressure, any concrete will inevitably develop cracks. These can expand to become large crevasses if left untreated. It’s imperative to take note of small cracks as they appear and to ensure that they are filled with a foundation repair substance.
  • Keep moisture consistent
    Maintaining moisture levels as best as one can is critical for your foundation. Weather that is excessively dry can mean soil retracting away from it while excessive moisture can cause soil overexpansion.
  • Drain
    Ensure that your home’s gutters and downspouts are appropriately sized and in good repair. Not only that but be sure that the rain water being discharged is at least five feet away from our house if it’s built on sandy soil.
  • Maintain correct grading
    If you want your foundation to last, it’s important to make sure the ground slopes downward away from your home. This grade should ideally be between three and five percent within ten feet of your home’s foundation.
  • Watch for puddles
    Significant rains can mean significant puddles. If you suspect your yard and find any near the foundation, it’s important to divert this water away. It is ideal to have an Aqua Tech Waterproofing professional install an appropriate drain or swale to ensure that this is possible.
  • Moisture barriers mean less trouble
    If it’s not possible to repair the grade then having a moisture barrier installed at least five feet deep can help prevent significant damage to your foundation.
  • Erosion control measures
    If the grade around your home’s foundation is too steep, soil erosion can become a major problem but not one that can’t be solved. Materials commonly used to control erosion include plants, rocks, stone and concrete walls, timbers, and gravel and paving stones among others.
  • Plumbing maintenance
    Excess water doesn’t necessarily just come from rain. Leaks in your sprinkler system or sewer line can cause too much water to enter the soil. Ensure that these are inspects on a yearly basis and repairs are completed as needed.

Aqua Tech Waterproofing recognizes that not all of these preventative measures may be affordable or necessary for your home’s foundation needs. That’s why we think it important to contact us for a free estimate today.

We take a look at your home’s foundation and will be able to diagnose any possible issues, either present or forthcoming, to ensure that you are properly educated on what work is needed, if any. For more tried and true tips for keeping your foundation in the best possible conditions, continue to browse through our website and blog.

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What Is a French Drain System?

french drain systemFrench drain systems, sometimes referred to as drain tiles, are essentially ditches that are lined with gravel, stones, or rocks that help drain water away from low-lying areas. Installing a French drain system is a great means of exterior basement waterproofing, since they can be used to draw water away from sump pits or away from the basement’s walls, to a more appropriate area.

French Drain Benefits

The French drain system is named after Henry French, a judge and farmer from Concord, Massachusetts who discussed the subject of farm drainage in his 1859 book. Although, he didn’t invent it. A version of the system was first employed by the Romans, predating French by centuries. However, French helped bring the drainage system back into use, making it one of the most popular and effective ways to redirect unwanted water.

Modern French drain systems use gravity to work. The trench is slightly sloped away from the area needing to be drained, and towards the area where the homeowner wants to redirect the water. Since it’s filled with gravel, the water will occupy the space between the stones as it’s redirected, which means that not only will the water fail to escape through the ground, but that there won’t be any empty trench to pose a hazard.

Advantages of French Drains

The two main advantages of a French drain system is its affordability and its low maintenance. Since it can be covered with grass, topsoil, or even just filter fabric, it’s the perfect choice for a homeowner who wants an easy way to rid their yards of water and protect their home’s foundation in a more subtle — but reliable — way.

If you’ve ever had to pay for foundation crack repair, then chances are you’re willing to do whatever’s necessary to ensure that your basement won’t suffer any more water damage. A French drain system can protect your home from undue wetness and unwanted water damage. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

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Three Ways to Prevent Water Damage to your Home

exterior basement waterproofing,Do you worry that your basement will flood with every passing rain storm? Water can cause quite a bit of damage to your home, and repairs can be very expensive. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can prevent water damage and keep your home, and everything in it, nice and dry.

With the options of both interior and exterior basement waterproofing, you can find a solution that works for your home.

Hints for a Water-Proof Home

If you’ve noticed that your ceiling is dripping, or your basement leaks when it rains, consider these helpful hints for keeping water out of your home:

  1. Keep Gutters Clean – One way to prevent water from leaking into your home is to regularly clear out your gutters to allow for proper drainage of rain water. Leaks can occur when water builds up, causing damage to the roof and ceilings in your house. Also, ensure that gutters are facing away from your home. This prevents water from gathering around the foundation, which can lead to leaks in your basement.
  2. Proper Lot Grading – The land around your home should slope away from your foundation to keep water from gathering next to your house — and seeping into it. Another form of exterior basement waterproofing is to install basement window well covers. This prevents water from gathering in wells, which can lead to — you guessed it — unwelcome moisture in the basement.
  3. Install a Battery Backup Sump Pump – The basement is, of course, one of the rooms most prone to water leakage in your home. Therefore, interior basement waterproofing methods are just as important as those on the exterior of your house. One way to ensure that your basement stays dry, even when the power goes out, is by using a sump pump with a backup battery. Thunderstorms can wreak havoc on your house, but backup battery sump pumps ensure that water continues to filter out of your home even in the worst storms.

No one likes a leaky ceiling or flooded basement, but with so many ways to prevent water from getting in, you no longer have to worry. If your home is at risk for extensive water damage, consider your waterproofing options and don’t let the rain ruin your day!

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The Difference Between Structural and Non-structural Foundation Cracks

foundation crack repairBasement cracks are a common sight, and most homeowners have probably noticed small cracks in their basements before. While some types of cracks don’t pose a major threat right away, they can lead to bigger, more expensive foundation crack repairs down the road. They can also allow water in the basement that causes all sorts of damage, from water-logged carpets, furniture and ruined electronic equipment to the growth of dangerous molds.

List of Differences for Foundation Cracks

Most small cracks in basement floors and walls are non-structural and can be repaired fairly easily. Others are structural cracks that can jeopardize a home’s well being and require expensive foundation crack repair.

So what’s the difference?

Non-structural Cracks

Non-structural cracks in foundation walls tend to appear near windows and doorways. They are typically small and are usually no bigger than 1/8 of an inch wide. Non-structural cracks are caused by pressure from soil outside the house. These cracks may not be as damaging to the structure of the foundation, but they can lead to wet basement problems. When the soil gets over-saturated with water, these cracks can leak and cause moisture in basement walls. Luckily, non-structural cracks can be fixed fairly easily with the help of a waterproofing expert.

Structural Cracks

Structural cracks can often be differentiated from non-structural cracks just by looking at them. Structural cracks tend to be either horizontal or in a pattern, and they are also usually bigger than 1/8 of an inch wide. These types of foundation cracks may not always leak water, but they can mean major structural damage to a home’s foundation. Structural cracks are caused by either pressure from soil or a sinking foundation. Regardless of what is causing structural cracks, they require foundation crack repair by a professional. If left alone, the integrity of the house’s structural base could be compromised.

Being able to distinguish between structural and non-structural cracks is helpful in determining what type of issue homeowners are looking at. Recognizing the problems and dealing with them as soon as they arise can help homeowners avoid major house foundation repair costs.

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Preparing for Your Basement Waterproofing

A home is an investment that takes most of us years of dedicated savings and living on lean budgets to finance. It takes quite a plan to settle on owning a house but it should not end there. Have you planned on how to waterproof your basement? You have been living in this house for a while, and now you badly need some additional living space. Space that you can only get from remodelling and finishing your basement, but do you really have a plan on how to go around the whole basement waterproofing idea?
These are good questions, and the best way to go about answering them is to be prepared before basement waterproofing would ever begin.

Preventive Measures

Don’t sit back and wait for the actual flooding to occur for you to start thinking of how to mitigate against the issue. Doing so may leave you with the extra work of draining the water. In basement waterproofing, be proactive rather than reactive. Start taking steps that will lead to mitigation of the seepage. Identify construction flaws, such as a faulty gutter system, soil sloping and landscaping, and wall paint quality, early enough to avoid having water seepage issues. With proper diagnosis before actual flooding takes place, you are in a better position to take charge of the situation.

Having acknowledged that you need to waterproof your basement, you can contact experts earlier, before the actual mess happens. This accords you the luxury of scouting for the best experts available and also those that you can offer a bargain. Rushing when the house is already flooding creates a panic, where you may not necessarily take precautions to scrutinize the credentials of the experts you want working on your basement.

This could lead to poor work being carried out, which in the long run, negatively impacts on you in terms of costs involved. In fact, most companies in this sector offer estimates on the cost of time and materials needed for your waterproofing project, free of charge. You can have several companies do the evaluation and then compare their capabilities, allowing you to choose the best.

Assessing Your Waterproofing Options

Having taken proactive steps and contacted an expert, you can now scout for bargains in the products that are needed for your waterproofing process. Materials, such as sealants, suction pumps and drainage systems that may be required, can be found at a bargain at some online stores, if you are able to look before you need the parts. Local stores also sell some of them at a discount when the items are not quickly moving. This will save costs on your side and offer you quality materials to waterproof your basement.

Having considered all these things before hand, you can now make a decision on which expert you will be hiring, what materials you will use, and also have a rough estimate of the kind of costs that will be incurred for the entire process to be completed.

A plan is one of the most important things in carrying out any activity. Without a plan, you may end up without a way to keep your basement water-free.