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Basement Waterproofing

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Is your basement unusually damp? Do you hear water dripping, but can’t seem to find the source? What about unsightly cracks in the floor? If you replied “yes” to any of these questions, then you are most likely in need of basement waterproofing. Water is a powerful force and can easily leak in through the soil surrounding your basement. Water damage can ruin any personal possessions you may have stored in the basement. That is why it is important to hire those specialized in basement waterproofing, to keep your belongings and living environment free of unwanted moisture. 


CAUSES OF A WET BASEMENT

Some of the most common causes of basement moisture problems:

Ineffective grading causes unwanted water in the basement. If the ground around a foundation is level or slopes toward the house, water finds its way into the basement. Basement water issues become more complicated when too much water collects near the basement walls. Waterproofing contractors can assist customers in basement waterproofing solutions. As for landscaping, placing barriers, or adjusting the slope around the house can help reduce basement water issues.

Clogged gutters and downspouts lead to the accumulation of rainwater around the foundation perimeter. Adding gutter extensions can help direct rain away from your basement walls. Additionally, be sure to check for any debris, such as leaves and twigs. Lastly, clear any material that collects in your downspouts over time.

Improper drainage in your basement or around your home can cause serious problems. Standing water can result in high humidity, condensation, mold growth, and wood rot. Our waterproofing contractors can provide the best advice and methods for moving water away from your basement.

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Is Basement Waterproofing the Right Solution for Me?

Leaks in your basement can cause damage to your belongings, as well as issues within your living environment. Musty odors can quickly form when there is moisture in your basement. This can spread through your house causing an unpleasant smell to linger. Mold can also begin to grow, especially in a moist environment, which can potentially cause allergies and asthma to flare up. Any type of water in your basement should be caught and a solution should be found before further damage can occur.

If you notice moisture in your basement, contact our basement waterproofing experts at AFS to assess the problem. We have waterproofing systems that are proven to be effective at fixing wet basements. Regardless of if the water is coming down from your stairs or through cracks in the basement, we can figure out the best course of action. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out to our technicians if you’re experiencing water in your basement. 

FAQs

If your basement condensation constantly settles over your basement, it can start to affect other things around your home, too. Because condensation issues are often the result of high humidity levels, you can bet that all that excess humidity can create other issues around the rest of your home too. 

The Stack Effect 

The hotter the temperature, the more humidity there will be floating in the air. This is why you might notice your basement feeling a lot muggier in the summertime. Additionally, hot air tends to rise, which means if you have a humidity problem in your basement, that humidity is likely to rise up to the upper levels of your home, too. You might find that your home is suddenly a lot hotter than it used to be and crank up your air conditioner as a result. 

Conversely, any cold air that manages to slip through any cracks can also cause issues. Cold air is far denser than hot air, which means it can push any warm air from your heater up and out of your home. You might then turn your heater up higher to compensate for this chill. Both of these can result in your energy bills skyrocketing. 

Foundation Damage 

These flooding issues can easily slip through to your foundation as well. It is possible that the soil supporting your foundation has washed out due to all this excess moisture and caused your foundation to settle into the remaining soil. It is also possible that the constant floods have also created immense pressure on your foundation from all sides and made it crack as a result. 

Conversely, a foundation or basement floor that has already cracked may also flood your basement from below. Thus, this damage can work both ways, which is why you need to call a basement expert at AFS to inspect your basement every year to prevent this damage from growing worse. Our experts can also implement quick repairs to both the basement and foundation to prevent any condensation issues from attacking your basement. 

When most homeowners notice issues within their homes, they will often try to fix them themselves. Basement waterproofing issues are not something just anyone should undertake, however. It is always best to leave any repairs you might need to the basement experts at AFS. 

Why DIY Repairs Are Not Recommended 

Your local home improvement store will likely sell a lot of different basement waterproofing solutions that they claim will get the job done. However, you might also find yourself applying the same solutions over and over to treat the same problem, which can cost you a lot more time and money in the long run. This is why you need to invest in a permanent solution that can protect your basement for years to come. 

Additionally, any dehumidifiers you might find at a department store will also not be powerful enough to deal with the dense amount of humidity in your basement. Our dehumidifiers are not only capable of handling lots of humidity, but you can also adjust their settings to reach a humidity level you like. Our dehumidifiers can also filter out any mold or mildew spores that happen to infiltrate your basement as well. 

If you like to DIY your home, ensure any repairs you do try to implement to not interfere with your foundation or other concrete structures much, if at all. If you accidentally damage your foundation while you work, this will only cost you even more in the future. You should always try to leave any necessary repairs to the experts at AFS if at all possible. 

Calling the Basement Experts at AFS 

The basement experts at AFS have plenty of experience installing and repairing any basement waterproofing repair solution that your home might need. We do it right the first time, so you can enjoy your home without any worries.  

Many homeowners get confused when they see standing water in their basement, especially after there hasn’t been a lot of rain. If you check your pipes, your washing machine, and other sources of water but there are no leaks, it’s possible that the water is coming in from the outside. 

Your basement is partially underground, meaning that it’s surrounded by soil. As much as we would like it to be, that soil that surrounds your foundation isn’t dry, meaning that your basement has to constantly combat moisture. 

  • Hydrostatic Pressure  

Hydrostatic pressure refers to the accumulation of groundwater against your basement wall. Properties surrounded by expansive soils are the ones most likely to experience hydrostatic pressure since clay soils are excellent at retaining water. If the soil was sandy, the water would simply drain away. 

The weight of the water causes your basement wall to bow inward. Eventually, when enough weight is up against the wall, cracks will begin to appear on the concrete as it weakens under the pressure of the water. These cracks make it easy for the water to simply seep through the wall and into your basement. A clear sign of hydrostatic pressure is bowing walls and water coming from where the wall and floor meet.  

  • Rising Water Table 

The water table is an invisible line that indicates where the zone of saturation begins. The zone of saturation is the area underground where the soil is perpetually saturated with groundwater. Water tables are as deep into the ground as you may think. Sometimes, basements will be built just above the water table. 

If your basement floods only during the rainiest times of the year, it’s possible that groundwater is getting in due to the rising water table. As water drains down from the topsoil to the zone of saturation, it accumulates underground until there is enough to cover your basement. If there are any cracks in your foundation, the water will get through. 

Once you learn that the only way to keep your basement healthy is by waterproofing it, it really makes you wonder: Why aren’t basements waterproof from the start? If keeping water out is so important, they should be built with that idea in mind, right? To answer that question, we have to define what basements are used for. Basements are used as utility spaces where the plumbing, boiler, HVAC unit, breaker panel, and other items are stored away. Even though many homeowners are converting their basements into a livable area, they were never meant to be used that way.

Things like proper insulation and a proper drainage system were typically never installed because all a basement needs to do is function properly as a foundation and an underground storage space. As long as it’s all built up to code, there’s no reason as to why it should have to be waterproof unless the owner of the property specifically asks for it. Some construction crews may not be proactive enough to put any waterproofing methods in place, even when they know it will harm the house in the future. Sticking to tradition can also be the reason why these construction crews refuse to build things differently. Other times, the crew simply doesn’t have the experience or the tools to do the waterproofing work.

How updated state codes are is another big reason why basements are built the way they are. If the state codes have yet to catch up to the latest building trends and ways of doing things, there’s nothing the contractors can do to make things different. Sometimes, getting the necessary paperwork to do things differently is so troublesome due to outdated codes that the contractors don’t bother and stick to doing things the old-fashioned way.

Prevention is always the best course of action. Fortunately, there are some things homeowners can do, right in the comfort of their own home, to ensure they minimize efflorescence formation. However, this is not a substitute for professional help.  

What You Can Do at Home 

Because water and moisture is the main issue surrounding efflorescence formation, you want to make sure that you are controlling the amount of water that is absorbed in the ground. This could mean regularly controlling yard sprinklers and watering plants only when necessary. Furthermore, homeowners should take the time to inspect their own drainage systems, such as their downspouts. You want to ensure that they are functioning properly because they are the backbone of home maintenance. Ensuring proper airflow in your basement will also help to minimize humidity. 

Be wary of DIY repairs or methods. If you find that your drainage system or a pipe has become damaged, it is incredibly tempting to fix it yourself to save money. However, more often than not, this can worsen the issue and may be more expensive in the long run.  

When To Rely on the Experts 

It is important to know when to rely on the experts in order to help you. They possess the proper knowledge and skills to teach you how to prevent efflorescence and to install the appropriate tools. 

AFS contractors can help you select from the numerous preventative options offered. This can include: 

  • Sump pumps 
  • Drainage systems 
  • Waterproof basement wall panels or liners 
  • Dehumidifiers 

The Biloxi–Gulfport–Pascagoula area is no stranger to flooding. Not only is this region facing the Gulf of Mexico, but it’s also located in a state that experiences frequent flooding and hurricanes. Given the climate, homeowners of the Biloxi–Gulfport–Pascagoula area are very familiar with flooded basements. Still, if you’ve never experienced a flooded basement before, it’s important that you know what you have to do. How fast you act will determine the extent of the damage and how quickly other problems will arise from the flooding.

The first thing you need to do is get the water out as fast as possible. If there’s a lot, get a bucket and start collecting the water, but if there’s only a few inches, get a wet vacuum and some towels. Once all the standing water has been dried, get fans and dehumidifiers to soak up all the excess moisture for at least a few days, depending on how much water there was. After you’ve saved anything of value, try to look around the basement to see what the source of the flooding was. If you’re not sure what to look for or can’t figure out what went wrong, contact a professional.

During the next few days, you need to take a close look at your basement concrete, drywall, and wood to make sure that no mold has begun to grow. If you notice after the initial flood that leaks are becoming frequent or that cracks have now appeared along the walls and floor, contact your local foundation repair expert and then think about waterproofing your basement. Even if you manage to avoid disaster the first time you experience a flood, there’s always a chance that the basement gets too water-damaged and begins to deteriorate. A deteriorating structure isn’t as easily fixed as a flooded basement, so don’t wait on calling a professional.

Why Basement Waterproofing is Necessary

basement water damage

Personal Property Damage

Damage to personal belonging is one major reason why waterproofing your home is necessary. Most homeowners use their basement to store possessions, such as family albums, holiday decorations, and out-of-season clothes. When moisture enters your basement, it can quickly ruin anything that is not stored in a waterproof, sealed container. Leaks can come from your basement’s floors and even through leaks down the stairwell, so even items stored off the floor can be ruined. If you have renovated your basement, then expensive items – such as televisions, gaming systems, and other electronics – can be destroyed. To prevent any damage to your personal possessions, look to our waterproofing experts for help.  

mold behind corner in a basement

Mold

Mold naturally forms in dark, damp environments, making your basement a prime target. It’s important to have your basement assessed, especially if you are already noticing mold in your basement. Mold and mildew can quickly ruin fabrics and wooden furniture. In addition to ruining your personal belongings, mold and mildew can affect those that suffer from allergies and asthma, and may even cause others to become sensitive to the mold spores. If you would like to keep your home free of mold, then you must seek out technicians that are skilled at tackling what is causing the mold. We have the crew to effectively waterproof your basement, cutting off the source of the mold.

leaking, musty basement

Musty Odors

No one wants a home that smells bad, which is why waterproofing your basement is so important. As mentioned above, a moist basement can cause mold and mildew to form. Once formed, mold and mildew give off distinct odors that cause your home to smell musty. Unpleasant odors are not only embarrassing when you have guests, but it is also annoying for you, as it is affecting your living environment. Musty odors can also be caused by humidity from moisture that forms during hot summer months. Humid air can make musty odors much worse. That is why it is so important to find a crew like ours, who are equipped with the best waterproofing solutions.

Common Basement Waterproofing Tips & Mistakes

3 Helpful Tips For Waterproofing Your Basement

  • Check your basement for any cracks in the floor or walls. These are typically the sources of a leaky basement. Since your home may settle over the years, cracks may form as the foundation shifts. That is why any signs of cracks mean you should consult with a waterproofing expert.
  • Plumbing issues can also cause water to leak into your basement. So, it is important to make sure that your plumbing is up to shape. Have any pipes leading to and inside of your basement properly inspected and serviced. Having a plumber check your home’s pipes when any issue arises is extremely important.
  • If you have windows or other outer openings leading to your basement, ensure those are also properly sealed. This will prevent water from leaking into your basement. This is especially important if you live in an area that experiences periods of heavy rainfall.

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Waterproofing Your Basement

  • Ignoring any moisture in your basement can be a big and costly mistake. Homeowners that ignore water leakage in their basement often run into more problems than just water. Both possessions stored in your basement, as well as your living environment, can be greatly affected by basement leaks. 
  • Cracks in your basement’s walls and floor are not only a cosmetic issue, they are also signs that water leaking is imminent. Our basement crack repair services can help seal off the source of any leaks, while our sump pumps can remove any water that has managed to pass through any cracks. 
  • Choosing the wrong waterproofing professionals can also cause you more problems over time. That is why we are equipped with skilled technicians and innovative waterproofing solutions to ensure that any basement leaks are fixed properly and permanently. 

Find your service area

Huntsville, AL

Huntsville, AL

Water and humidity in your home can lead to structural and health issues that impact your family’s safety. AFS has the best permanent solutions tailored to your Huntsville home’s exact repair and protection needs.

Mobile, AL

Mobile, AL

A damaged crawl space and basement are common in Mobile, AL., but it doesn’t have to be that way. AFS has proven solutions to stop moisture in its tracks and restore your home's original stability.

Columbus, GA

Columbus, GA

Columbus’ clay soil and frequent rainfall create a difficult environment for your foundation. Over time, these weather and soil conditions will cause foundation damage, and AFS has the tools to repair your home for good.

Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga has sandy, silty soil and a rainy climate that can cause damage to your home's concrete and foundation, as well as the basement and crawl space.

Nashville, TN

Nashville, TN

Nashville is a popular place to live for its musical culture, but the area’s springtime storms and crumbly soil cause problems for your foundation and concrete. However, AFS has years of experience keeping Nashville homes protected from these issues.

Birmingham, AL

Birmingham, AL

Rainwater and humid, muggy air can have a big impact on the foundation of your family's home. The professionals at AFS have solutions to repair even the toughest crawl space, foundation, or concrete problems.

Knoxville, TN

Knoxville, TN

Knoxville’s clay soil and frequent precipitation don’t make a good match for your foundation. Together, these conditions cause heavy damage to your foundation and your home’s structure. AFS has solutions that prevent damage for good.

Pensacola, FL

Pensacola, FL

Moisture and foundation damage negatively impact Pensacola homes, but AFS offers a wealth of expertise and award-winning services and solutions to improve the health, safety, value, and appearance of your home.

Bowling Green, KY

Bowling Green, KY

High precipitation in Bowling Green puts your foundation at risk for damage, which causes tons of problem signs around your home. But AFS has industry-leading solutions and expertise that keep your home protected.

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