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A Rainy Summer May Mean House Repairs This Fall

wet basement solutionsThis summer brought a particularly bad set of rain storms with it, and people from the East Coast to the Midwest experienced the damage and destruction that often accompanies these torrential downpours. As the last few days of summer come to an end, many are focused on the home repairs this summer has left them with.

Common Fixes for Heavy Rain Flooding

If your house was a victim of heavy rains and flooding, it may be in need of the following fixes:

Wet Basement Solutions

Water damage will affect some 90% of basements, according to experts, and if you experienced major rain storms this summer, your basement is probably one of them. A wet basement can cause extensive damage to furniture, carpets and floorboards and can also lead to expensive repairs. Therefore, it is essential to clear the water out and prevent it from coming back in. Some wet basement solutions include installing a basement sump pump, basement window well covers and waterproofing interior basement walls.

Landscaping

Heavy rains can cause major flooding in your yard, especially if your yard doesn’t drain well. Not only does this mean you have a pond in the back of your house all summer, but it can also mean expensive damage to your home’s foundation. There are a few things you can do to ensure your yard keeps water away from your house. Your yard should slope away from your house so that water does not sit around the foundation. If it doesn’t, you should consider having someone come to look at and fix your lot grading. You can also install a French drain system, which diverts water away from your yard through a series of underground pipes.

Gutter Repairs

Gutters are meant to clear water away from your home, but when they become clogged with sticks and leaves, they can’t perform this essential task. What’s worse, this sitting water can leak into your home and cause all sorts of water damage. It is important to make sure your gutters are cleared of any debris. You should also ensure that there is no structural damage to your gutters. If gutters have holes or they are not leading water a safe distance from your foundation, make sure to fix them right away.

If you were a victim of torrential downpours this summer, it is a good idea to look around both the inside and outside of your house for potential damage. You may need to think about wet basement solutions, fixing your yard and repairing damaged gutters.
Fixing problems sooner rather than later can save you from bigger, more expensive issues down the road.

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Could the Summer Prove Even More Harmful for Permafrost-Ridden Climates?

concrete foundation repairIt may seem like all the recent warm weather is a blessing, given the harsh winter that just passed, but a new study is showing that the heat and humidity could cause some severe problems in parts of Russia.

According to a United Nations Environment Program report, almost a quarter of the Northern Hemisphere is covered with permafrost.

Permafrost is soil that has a below-zero temperature, and is therefore completely frozen. Recent studies are showing that permafrost thaw is increasing at a rapid rate, leading to several concerns for Russia’s urban infrastructure.

Not only does permafrost release methane and carbon dioxide as it thaws, but it begins to cause a shift in the foundation of buildings within a city. The problem with this is that the ground begins to soften and move beneath the surface of large structures, and these buildings are not designed to handle these shifts.

How a Water Thawing Can Affect Your Home

Foundation shifts are known to cause potentially serious water damage. Even with a basement sump pump, a battery backup sump pump, a French drain system, or interior basement waterproofing, water can still seep in through cracks in the foundation. Without immediate concrete foundation repair, the shifted building could face increasing devastation.

In addition, Gunnar Bjørnnson, a student from Norway who is studying the effect of rapid permafrost thaw, explained that water damage is not the only problem.

“When you have an unstable foundation that starts to crack, it can break and destroy pipelines, sanitation, sewage, water access. It can cause a lot of complications, repair costs, and maintenance costs,” he said.

A report by Barents Observer shows that concrete foundation repair can cost from $5,000 to $7,000 for major issues, and about $2,000 for some minor cracks. But for entire cities in Russia, this could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in concrete foundation repair.

This month, George Washington University, Moscow State University, and the Barents Institute joined forces to work on a project that analyzes these trends. Students from these institutions found that permafrost thaw is also impacting Arctic climates in Canada and Alaska.

Consequently, even if building owners remove excess ice, snow, or water from around a foundation, there is no guarantee that permafrost won’t affect the concrete and soil surrounding the structure.

Ultimately, the aim of these studies is to ensure that builders are able to work with the rapidly evolving soil.

“We look at engineering aspects, but we don’t tell an engineer how to build a house. Instead, we can teach them what are the methods to adapt this city, region, or even a particular building to natural and climatic conditions as they change,” said Dmitry Streletskiy, a field school instructor. “It helps to know how to consider climate and local natural conditions when they build on permafrost.”

How to Prevent Basement Flooding Fast and Easy

Now we all look forward to spring and there are certain characteristics about this time of the year which brings out the best in us, birds chirping, flowers blooming all over, the sun shining right at us, overall increased day light – Yes! We couldn’t be happier! But then there are those things which we do not look forward to, a less happy characteristic of spring is a flooding basement, full of water – you stand there thinking what to do?

Although the weather has its perks, spring bring along with it the sorrow of flawed grading and weakened foundations. Now if you are facing this issue for the very first time around – there are remedies you can take in order to avoid these instances in the future, ensure that it never repeats and get things back in order.

The first thing to do is of course to get rid of all that water! Now if you follow us regularly, a couple of articles ago we recommended that home owners should invest in a sump pump. But don’t despair if you don’t have one as of yet – you can always rent one from your local home improvement store. And if you have more than just a few inches of water to get rid of it might be worth your while to call in a professional. They know what they’re doing and have the equipment to match.

So with that done, the next thing is to get rid of all the moisture left behind. Dry things out, make sure the area is properly ventilated so as to decrease the chances of molds forming at all the wrong places. Increase air circulation and open up all the windows and doors leading to your basement.

And since spring is here, it might be good to do some post spring cleaning. Get rid of anything and everything which is wet or of a porous nature. These will includes old newspapers and card board boxes – you can always restack once done with drying of your basement area. If you have carpeting, which can be dried of quickly, so be it – otherwise clear it out.

It can be a cumbersome task to clear out and dry your basement properly. Now that you know what needs to be done, it might be useful to follow these steps and avoid unnecessary damage to the interior of your basement.

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.

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.