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Three Ways to Transform Your Dark, Gloomy Basement Into the Coolest Room in Your Home

stop basement leaksFor many people, the basement of their home can be likened to a dark, musky dungeon that is to be avoided at all costs. As scary and unappealing as basements can be, isn’t this just a little bit sad?

We often spend a lot of time and money fixing up the other rooms in our home, yet we neglect the one room that is in need of the most TLC! There are many things you can do with all of that space, so instead of pretending like it doesn’t exist, why not do a basement renovation? Turn the room that no one wants to step foot into the room that no one wants to leave!

Ways to Renovate Your Basement

Below are three fun ways you can renovate your basement, and make it the place to be. But before we go there, a quick note on preparing your basement for its grand transformation:

The room most likely to suffer from water damage in your home is the basement, and there are a number of things that can cause water damage. Plumbing issues, high levels of condensation, foundation damage and poor landscaping can all contribute to water damage in your basement. It is important to stop basement leaks before putting your hard earned money into a newly remodeled basement.

You can stop basement leaks a few different ways, including installing a french drain system, blackwater valve, basement window well covers and a battery backup sump pump. Water can cause significant and costly repairs, so don’t skimp when it comes to preventing water damage in your basement!

List of Three Fun Ideas for Renovating Your Basement:

  1. Movie Theater – Turning your basement into a movie theater is one great way to make it the coolest room in your home. You can include a large screen, comfy chairs and a projector to make your basement just like a real movie theater.
  2. Game Room – This is a great option if you have young kids. Pool tables, air hockey machines and dart boards are all great toys to include in your very own game room.
  3. Guest Room – Entertain friends and family frequently? You can turn your basement into a luxury guest room to make sure your guests are comfortable when they visit. Having the guest room in the basement adds a sense of privacy to give your guests the best experience possible.
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Basement Remodeling Begins with Dependable Waterproofing

Many houses have basements, but few people really take advantage of all that space.  Some are dark, dank areas used for storage or laundry at best.  If you’re not getting much use out of your basement, you might think about remodeling it.  Yes, this will take some money, but it can give you a huge useable space that can be used as a spare bedroom, an exercise room, a game room, and more.  There’s a lot that goes into remodeling a basement, of course, and it all starts with making certain that everything is waterproof.

While it may be okay for your basement to leak a little bit if you’re not using it for much, you certainly don’t want it to leak if you’re going to put down nice flooring and have furniture in it.  Many basements, especially those in older homes, are known to have small leaks from time to time.  Many people simply patch them with some kind of low-quality patch that holds for a while, but it eventually starts to leak again.  That’s why it’s very important to have dependable waterproofing installed before you start to remodel your basement.

Waterproofing Your Foundation

By waterproofing your basement, you’ll help protect the foundation of your entire house.  If your basement constantly leaks or holds water, the walls will weaken, and you may have to deal with a lot of structural issues.  There’s also the problem of mildew and mold growing in the walls.  That can lead to illness and allergies.

The first step in waterproofing is to install a drainage system to make certain that if there are leaks, the water will at least drain out instead of standing in the room and ruining things.  You will also want to make sure the room has been sealed using waterproof foundation materials.  This actually does more than just help protect the things you put in that room.  Once the walls have been sealed, you shouldn’t have to worry about water leaking into the room.

Consider a Water Pump

You may also need to invest in something like a sump pump.  This piece of equipment will help remove any standing water from your basement and prevent water from building up in the future.  If your walls have been waterproofed correctly, this shouldn’t be an issue, but if they haven’t, you might need to have a sump pump on hand just in case.  If you currently have a basement that leaks, you will definitely need a pump to use before you start waterproofing it so you have a completely dry area to work with.

If you’re considering remodeling your basement, you may want to hire a company to handle the waterproofing.  You do not want to complete your entire remodel only to find that there’s a leak somewhere in the wall.  Hiring a professional may add more to your budget, but it can also save you a lot of money in the long run if there are issues with leaks.  Even if you plan on doing the remodel yourself, just remember that the very first step is making sure your basement is completely waterproofed so the rest of your work isn’t a waste.

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Sometimes, Simple Leaks Aren’t the Only Cause of Water in Your Basement

basement leaks repairLeaks in the basement, in the short term, might mean just a little puddle on the floor. However, over time, water getting into your home could lead to a number of serious problems, especially if you do not invest in the proper basement leaks repairs promptly. Not only can foul odors that permeate throughout your home develop, but mold can begin to grow — mold that eventually lead to your family getting sick. In serious cases, you might even need expensive concrete foundation repairs.

Note: Both interior and exterior basement waterproofing are useful for keeping the basement dry, but you should always think about why water is entering your home in the first place.

Here is a list of reasons why water would leak into your house:

  • Busted Pipes
    Perhaps the problem that is easiest to both find and fix, is a leaky pipe. Over time, pipes can rust and seals can wear down. When that happens, every time you shower you could be adding to the amount of water that leeks into your basement. Luckily, leaky pipes are usually a simple problem that can be repaired quickly.
  • Wet Weather
    Heavy rainstorms or piles of snow melting quickly could cause water to pool up when the ground gets completely saturated. If a basement is not waterproofed, water could seep down not into the dirt, but into cracks and crevices of your basement. Water itself could lead to corrosion , but if it freezes, serious damage could develop. It might be harder to find exactly where the water is getting in, but quick repairs are vital for stopping problems from growing.
  • Sump Pump Failure
    If your sump pump is not working properly, the water that doesn’t naturally drain out of your home might get backed up and flood your basement. Calling a professional for sump pump repairs, if you don’t know how to fix it yourself, is the only way to avoid the problem again in the future.
  • Sewer Backup
    Most of the time, the basement leaks repairs you’ll need are just for the water that your kitchen sink and shower uses. Generally, the water is clean and, other than the physical damage, it isn’t all that nasty. However, when the sewers are backed up, all kinds of disgusting waste can get into your basement. This might be more rare than other problems, but is not always as easy to deal with.

Damp basements are common, and extra moisture in the air is not necessarily anything you have to worry about. However, if the floor and walls are noticeably wet, the problem might be bigger than you realize. So before issues become too serious and your home’s foundation is at risk, be sure to have a professional provide basement leaks repairs that keep your home dry and minimize damage.

Exterior and Interior Waterproofing – Differences & Benefits

Not many people are familiar with the intricacies of basement waterproofing but largely there are two fundamental approaches to the topic of how to keep water out of your basement.

One approach is to stop it at its’ source, which would be to waterproof externally, while the other is to let the water in and manage it away, which would be interior waterproofing.

Naturally the preferred method of choice is going to be to attack the source but sometimes this isn’t possible and an interior waterproofing solution must be implemented in its’ place. The severity of the issue may also give you no choice but to waterproof externally because the damage or possible damage is that severe. Here we take a look at the differences and benefits to exterior and interior waterproofing to help assist you in deciding which one is best for your basement.

Interior

An interior drain tile system is often chosen when trying to rectify moisture seeping through into your basement. This is done by digging up the area next to the wall, fitting in a plastic pipe that is perforated, installing a membrane against the wall, and connecting this to a sump pump. This will serve to reduce the hydrostatic pressure underneath your property – this is the natural pressure that pushes water in an upward direction towards your floor and ultimately through the cracks therein. If, by chance, water does find its’ way into your basement, a sump pump ensures that it is safely removed in a timely fashion.

Exterior

There are two methods generally used when a basement waterproofing professional is assessing your basement:

a) Waterproof Membrane

One doesn’t need to be a rocket science to understand the logic behind its’ use. A waterproof membrane is produced from an asphalt-modified polyurethane material and is applied over the exterior of the foundation walls to ward off water penetration. While it is easily understood, it is costly to complete and often reserved only for the more severe wet basement problems as it requires the entire foundation to be dug out to allow application of the membrane.

b) Exterior Drain Tile

Much like the interior drain tile system, this one is merely applied on the exterior of the basement wall rather than on the interior side. It functions in the same capacity.

These are the more popular methods of interior and exterior waterproofing. Depending on the severity of the problem, the cost, and the level of coverage that a homeowner is seeking, these three factors will ultimately decide which method is best for their situation. It is recommended to consult with a waterproofing expert before deciding upon a method as an expert will be able to assess the condition of your basement accurately.

Aqua Tech Waterproofing is only a call away and offers a free assessment of your basement. With a 10/10 customer service rating on Home Stars and a proven track record of over twenty-five years of high quality work behind them, Aqua Tech Waterproofing can provide more information on the benefits of interior and/or exterior waterproofing.

Little Cracks Can Indicate Big Structural Problems in Your Home

home foundation repairResearch conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs found that one in five homeowners will put off making repairs around the home, in part because nearly 40% of those surveyed said that it was difficult to find a reliable repair service.

However, if there are cracks in the foundation of your home, postponing home foundation repairs can be a big mistake. Those cracks could be a sign of serious structural damage; having experts diagnose the problems and make repairs right away is imperative. Prompt fixes can help you avoid more serious problems in the future.

Check Cracks in Foundation for Damage

Generally, cracks in the foundation are the most significant indicator of damage, and you can determine what they mean on your own before investing in foundation crack repairs. Renee Miller of SFGate.com notes that if vertical cracks “are wider at the top, it means that one end or both ends of the foundation have dropped, or the middle of the foundation is heaving or rising. If the cracks are wider at the bottom, it means one or both ends are rising, or that the middle is sinking. Cracks that appear horizontally in the joints of a concrete block foundation are a sign that the pressure of the soil has bent the wall and the foundation is failing.” Knowing what specific cracks indicate is important for getting the proper repairs.

There are multiple techniques that professionals can use to make effective home foundation repairs. For simple cracks, like those caused by shrinkage, at the base of walls, simple sealants and masonry patches can be used. Even if the damage is not structural, they can help prevent water from seeping in. Slabjacking is a highly specialized technique that is used to fill empty spaces below the foundation and piering, or piling as it can be known, is essentially the process of drilling steel pipes into the ground and mounting them to the foundation for extra support that prevents the foundation from sinking. The right process will make sure the foundation gets the improvements it needs.

Home Protection is the Key Against Water Damage

Skilled home foundation repair contractors will not only be able to decide on and execute the proper repair, but they will also be able to offer exterior basement waterproofing and other services that help prevent damage in the first place. Since 64% of Americans don’t have $1,000 in savings for emergency repairs, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, stopping damage before it happens is a good idea. Hopefully, those services will prevent the structural integrity of your home’s foundation from declining.

4 Easy Steps to Waterproof Your Basement

To protect your basement from water damage caused by leaky walls and foundation, it’s important that you take the proper steps to find and eliminate the problem. Whether you’ve lived in your home for years or just moved in, it’s recommended that you have your basement waterproofed, just in case the future brings a major storm that could potentially flood your basement. Below, you will find four simple steps to get your basement waterproofed for the coming rain and snow seasons.

Concentrate Your Efforts on the Source of the Problem

There are a variety of things you can do to your basement to help waterproof it, but if you currently have a leak somewhere, it’s imperative that you find it, so that you can fix it. With the help of a basement waterproofing specialist, you can have the source of the leak found quickly. Sometimes, the cracks and holes along your foundation and walls are hard to find. Once you have found out the source, you can take the proper steps to remedy the problem, such as foundation repair or sealing and cementing cracks in the walls and joints.

Redirect Water Away from the Foundation of Your Home

When water is allowed to flow to the base of your home, puddles of standing water can form, causing potential risk of damage to your foundation. Once the foundation has been breached and the water is still pooling at the outside foundation of your property, it will soon begin to flow through the cracks and holes, causing leaks and potentially major floods. By installing the correct equipment, such as gutter systems and downspouts, you can resolve this problem. The only other option would be to transform your landscape to have a slope that drives water away from your property, but this could prove to be rather expensive. You could also have water drawn into pumping and drainage systems.

Have an Interior Drainage System Installed

The outside of your home isn’t the only place where you can have a drainage system installed. After you’ve covered your home’s exterior, it’s time to develop a backup plan just in case those fail. With an interior drainage system, such as a sump pump, you can have excess water that floods into your basement withdrawn right away. The water is pumped into the pit and pushed out and away from your home. There are different types of pumps you can choose from, just make sure to have a backup battery installed as well, so that it will always have access to power, even during electrical outages.

Apply Waterproofing Paint or Compounds to Your Home’s Exterior

To further secure the exterior of your foundation from water leaks is to have waterproofing compounds applied. Any cracks and holes that are found in the exterior should be fixed and then this can be applied to provide a lasting solution for your basement.

It’s always recommended that you have an expert come to your home to help you find and eliminate problems. The professional will also be able to help you with choosing the best methods and equipment for your basement waterproofing.