Basement Waterproofing Questions and Answers
Discovering that your basement is wet and needs to be repaired raises a lot of questions. From how much repairs will cost to which company you should hire, there is a lot to consider before making decisions.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you navigate the world of basement waterproofing.
How Do I Know I Need Basement Waterproofing?
Your basement needs waterproofing if it has cracks, water seepage in mortar and cove joints, standing water or bowed walls. In some cases, cracks might be on the exterior of the home. Other ways to tell is if your windows and doors are not aligned or the basement floor is sinking.
How Long Should I Wait Before Waterproofing my Basement?
It is not a good idea to postpone waterproofing the basement. The longer you leave it unattended, the more damage leaks can cause to the basement and the entire home. Water leakages can destroy the structure of your foundation, increase humidity and even cause health problems.
How Does Water Get Into the Basement?
There are several ways water seeps into your basement. One common cause is hydrostatic pressure. This is when water from melted snow or rain accumulates in the ground and the weight creates pressure around the basement walls and floor. In time, the pressure drives the water into your basement through cracks and other entryways.
Another cause of leaks is when water from the soil outside and on top of the basement gradually makes its way in. Soil is absorbent and takes in moisture from rain, snow, gutters and yard irrigation. If the soil is gathers on top of your basement, it may seep in.
Can I Waterproof the Basement Myself?
Without professional waterproofing expertise, fixing it yourself might enhance the damage and cost you more in future. It is highly advisable to seek the services of a trained contractor. Contractors can trace the source of the issue and apply appropriate solutions.
How Do I Choose a Basement Waterproofing Company?
Your choice of company is a decision not to be made lightly. You need to check credentials, industry certification and work experience before hiring. It also helps to learn the company’s history as well. More often than not, waterproofing companies with more than 10 years of experience usually have the expertise to do a quality job.
In addition to industry experience, you also need to ask for references and read reviews online. A quick Google search or searching for the company on Angie’s list can provide the testimonials you need. Reputation is the second most determining factor of competency after experience and credentials.
How Much Does Basement Waterproofing Cost?
Costs obviously vary from company to company. However, what really determines the cost is the source of the leaking basement. A few cracks in the wall might be less expensive than installing a drainage system. It really depends on what the real problem is and the best solution to fix it.
Ask your waterproofing company for a quote. If you don’t want to commit to one company s yet, you can request a rough estimate of how much the job will cost overall. Make sure contractors actually visit your home for an inspection before accepting the quote.
What Happens After I Accept the Quote?
If an inspection has already been conducted and the quote accepted, you might need to make a small deposit for contractors to start the work. The rest of the payment is usually due after the job is complete.
How Long Will It Take to Waterproof the Basement?
It depends on the solution recommended by the company. While some techniques like wall bracing might take 24 hours, others can take weeks or even months. Lengthy procedures might not be ideal but if they are necessary, it will be worth the wait.
What Kind of Waterproofing Solutions are Available?
Basement waterproofing solutions are chosen according to how effective they are at fixing a specific problem. A crack in the wall might not be treated with the same solution as one in the floor. Again, it all depends on what is causing the problem.
Cracks in basement walls are usually sealed with epoxy/urethane injections. For bowed walls, a professional might recommend wall bracing or helical tie-backs. Drainage problems might need a sump pump installed. In serious cases where your foundation is shifting, more complex techniques like metal piers might be the solution.
What Do I Do If the Problem Persists?
Before you hire any basement waterproofing company, you need to check their warranties first. It is also wise to visit the business’ offices once or twice so you know where to reach them if anything goes wrong.
Basement waterproofing is a necessity in any home. Hiring qualified contractors to seal your leaks can protect your property from damage, boost its value and eliminate future repair costs.