This page is designed to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the problems, applications, and expectations regarding wet basements, waterproofing systems, and foundation repair. Have a question? Ask our waterproofing experts!
Why should I care about basement waterproofing?
A wet basement might seem like a small problem, but it can lead to much bigger ones. A leaking basement, or a basement that generates a lot of moisture, can attract toxic black mold or cause structural damage to your home’s foundation.
A leaky basement also runs the risk of soaking any belongings you store there, increasing the risk of black mold. Basement waterproofing can stabilize your home’s property value and provide great peace of mind. Visit our basement waterproofing page for more information.
What are the signs of a basement leak?
Leaking basements offer a few obvious indicators, like pools of water on the floor or water trickling down the walls. But there are several other ways water damage can show itself as well:
- A rapid increase in mold or mildew
- Musty odors
- Damp spots on the walls or floor
- A white, chalky substance on the walls
- Cracks in the walls or floor
- Peeling paint or bubbling wallpaper
- Rust on appliances or other metal objects
- Dry rot
- Warped paneling or wood
What causes a leaking basement?
Water can seep into your basement through cracks in the walls or floor, but there are plenty of other places it can break through. Look for weak spots around your basement, such as mortar joints (spaces between bricks or concrete blocks) tie rods that reinforce masonry, the junctures where the walls meet the floor (known as a “cove joint”), the top of your home’s foundation, or window wells. Water can also come from leaky plumbing.
What may contribute to my mold and/or basement waterproofing problem?
Commonly, wet basements occur in homes that lie in low-level areas at the bottoms of slopes or hills, but the everyday shifting or settling of your home may also cause leakage. Other potential causes may be poorly-mixed foundation concrete or improperly designed drainage systems. New swimming pools or home additions (whether in your yard or a neighbors) may also cause problems.
What kind of basement waterproofing can I do on my own?
The best way to keep water ourof your basement is to keep it away from your home’s foundation, and there are several ways to do this. Keep the ground around your house sloped away from it, and free from shrubbery or plants that might prevent sunlight from drying out the soil. Install gutters and downspouts, keeping them regularly clean of debris, and make sure they drain well away from the foundation (either by piping it underground or extending the gutters away from your home). Keep your home’s window wells covered so they don’t collect water.
How do the professionals at Rightway determine what is causing my basement leak?
Whether you’ve got wet basement walls, an obvious leak, black mold or some other problem, our representative will be qualified to assess it. He’ll give you a free, on-the-spot verbal recommendation regarding your problem, and how it can be addressed. We’ll follow up that verbal recommendation with a written proposal.
Why would my drainage system need a battery backup?
Sump pumps are electrically powered, and sometimes need battery backups. Trust us: A rainstorm that’s strong enough to cut your electrical power is definitely the kind of storm you’ll need a battery backup sump pump for. This pump is powered by a marine battery and is in addition to your primary pump. It will also come in handy if your primary pump fails-the battery backup pump will serve as the main pump until you can service the primary pump.
What will it cost to solve my black mold or basement waterproofing problem?
Ultimately, the price will depend on the solution. Standard system installations, like French drains and exterior gravity systems, are priced by the foot. Installations of backup pumps, dehumidifiers, and other features may also affect the total cost of your job.
Can I fix one small area?
In most cases, the answer is yes, but it really depends on your particular problem. Unlike some waterproofing contractors, we do not push you into waterproofing the entire basement if it is not necessary (unless you prefer it). As a full-service waterproofing contractor, we offer several solutions, both from the interior and exterior, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all system.
Our trained and experienced consultants are there to give you options. In some cases, there really is only one option, but in most cases, you will have two or three options for solving your basement water problem. Sometimes no waterproofing solution is needed because our consultant may discover that something else (like broken pipes) is causing the water issue. It pays to have a reputable waterproofing contractor-like Maryland Waterproofing to visit your home and recommend the most economical and practical solution for your individual situation.
Our Basement Advisors are trained to recommend the most practical and economical solution. They average over ten years of experience and will help steer you in the right direction to make an informed and educated decision.
WARNING SIGNS OF A DAMP BASEMENT?
Here are answers to some of the questions we hear most often. If you have a question you think we should include here, or just want to discuss your basement waterproofing or home improvement project, please contact us.
What are some warning signs of a damp basement?
The following are all signs of a leaky or damp basement:
- Musty odor
- Mold & mildew
- Cracked walls
- White, chalky substances or damp spots on the walls
- Peeling paint or warped wood
- Dry rot or furniture damage
Why does my basement leak?
Basements leak for a variety of different reasons. Your problem may be a result of poor craftsmanship, rising water tables, foundation settlement, or capillary attraction. Only a trained and certified inspector can tell you for sure what is causing your water problem.
Why does my basement smell musty?
Mold and fungus spores floating in your basement’s air and accumulating mildew cause musty odors. The spores can cause asthma and allergy problems and should be dealt with properly in order to remove them from your home.
What are the potential dangers of having mold in my basement?
The link between mold and serious health effects has been widely studied, and there is no longer any question that mold causes respiratory problems, asthma, and allergic reactions. Studies show that nearly all of the chronic sinus infections are due to mold.
Other adverse health symptoms that can be caused by mold include symptoms such as headaches, sore throat, and eye irritation. Young children, pregnant women, and the elderly are most at risk of the effects of mold
How much will it cost to waterproof my basement?
The cost of waterproofing your basement depends on a variety of different factors.
If you live in Southeastern PA or NJ, please call us today at 215-295-7417, or use the form on our website to arrange a free home inspection.
Do you offer warranties for your work?
At Maryland Waterproofing, we waterproof basements the right way, and guarantee your dry basement for a lifetime!