How to fix a wet basement

water seepage through bottom of basement walls

water seepage through bottom of basement walls

Searching Google for how to fix a wet basement you will find several basement waterproofing companies pop up. It may be confusing to know what basement systems or which one specifically would be the best solution for your leaky basement.  Or maybe you are not looking for the best solution, you just want to stop the water from coming in so you can sell the house.  Let’s review the different basement systems and what each one accomplishes to help you determine how you can fix your leaky basement.

All basement waterproofing companies fundamentally do one thing the same; they all collect water into some type of drain and direct it away from your foundation to keep your basement dry.  Those drains can be installed (I know captain obvious!) either on the outside, or the inside, or a combination of both.

Not all drains are created equal though, so be aware of two basic categories of foundation drains: footer drains, and drainage troughs of some kind.  Footer drains are installed below floor level NEXT to your footer.  For those who don’t know, the footer is like a cement sidewalk that is below your basement walls…the basement walls are built on “footers” so they have a solid base.

Footer drains can be installed with a pitch so that water can drain down hill towards the collection or evacuation point.

There are several companies out there that install interior drains ON TOP of the footer, even if they are installed under the concrete floor, they are NOT footer drains.  Installing drains on top of the footer means they are installed on a LEVEL base.  Your footer is level.  In this type of system, water enters the drain at the base of the wall, as the water fills the drains it will naturally seek to be level.  As this leveling occurs of the water it will spread out and fill the drains until it reaches the final collection point (sump pump) or evacuation point like a floor drain.

So on that note, interior basement waterproofing systems can be installed to dry up your leaky basement.  These systems are best suited for those basements with water coming in at the bottom of the basement walls and the basement walls are otherwise dry.  Interior systems collect ground water that can build up around your foundation and drain it away relieving the hydrostatic pressure that would otherwise build up and cause the basement water leaks.

If your basement walls are damp further up that the bottom row or two of block, you might better off with exterior basement waterproofing.  With an exterior system the walls are excavated to the bottom of the footer on the outside, then the walls are waterproofed and new exterior footer drains are installed.  This system will restore your original basement waterproofing… or in most cases “damp proofing” to better than new.  Damp proofing is the minimum building code in many areas and has been for decades.  This can be as simple as a thin coating of mortar and some “black tar” painted over the walls.  This black coating if exposed to the soil will biodegrade in a few years and you are left with the thin coating of mortar which is susceptible to cracking and leaking.  Today’s technology for waterproofing basement walls on the outside is far superior to methods used even just a few years ago.

There may be obstacles that you do not want to remove or other conditions occurring with your basement that would make it a good candidate for a combination of interior and exterior basement waterproofing.   For example you have one area where the wall is wet but the rest of the basement water leaks are coming from the base where the wall meets the floor.  You could excavate and seal the problem wall on the outside and do the rest on the inside.

Look for a basement waterproofing company that is a true full service contractor able to do any and all types of basement waterproofing so that you are sure to get the best fit for your problem. Companies offering “patented” systems are marketing their same system over and over to every customer they meet, and they can have pretty impressive sales presentations to convince you theirs is the best.  Be weary of that and use the guidelines above.

In northeast Ohio contact Pioneer Basement Solutions by clicking the “get information” button for a free no hassle, no sales gimmicks consultation.

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Contact us today to learn more on how to fix a wet basement!

Exterior basement waterproofing system vs. interior

Exterior Basement Waterproofing System

Exterior basement waterproofing system vs. interior basement waterproofing system.  That is the most common question we get from homeowners wanting to solve a wet basement issue.  Take a look at some of these signs of an exterior problem.

If when in your basement you see wet basement walls that are wet higher up, like dirt level and down that could be an indication the original seal on your foundation is worn off and water or dampness is seeping into your basement walls.  Most basement walls have an original basement damp proofing system consisting of a thin coat of concrete over the blocks and then a tar or similar liquid material applied.  Over time the tar will breakdown and dissolve in the wet soil outside and then you are left with the thin coating of concrete on the wall.  The coating will crack eventually letting dampness or water to get into the basement walls which causes all the symptoms you see inside.

exterior basement waterproofing system

Chronic paint failure like bubbling, discoloration, mold growing in the paint are all signs that the foundation wall is holding dampness.  This dampness from behind is getting to the back of the paint and causing it to fail.  Basement waterproofing paint like dry-lock will not stop these conditions from occurring and can only be used on unpainted cement block.

The best possible solution for wet basement walls is a full excavation of the walls, repair all cracks, re-coat the wall and install a waterproofing membrane like Delta MS.  This membrane is completely waterproof not just damp proof and no water will penetrate the three layer membrane.  New exterior footer drains are to be installed and discharged away from the foundation to keep your basement walls dry once and for all.  This exterior basement waterproofing system will give you a lifetime of a worry free dry foundation.

Interior basement waterproofing systems are effective for ground water issues.  If you have dry basement walls but see water seeping through the base of the wall at the floor seam, this can be a sign of ground water build up that has no where to go.  Under prolonged heavy rains and or snow melts, ground water can build up around and under your basement and without proper drainage you will see water in your basement at the seams.  Often this condition continues even after the rain stops until the ground water is working its way down.

Interior basement waterproofing systems consist of an interior sub floor footer drain that catches the ground water as it is building up and directs it away from your foundation.  This lowers the water level and prevents it from building up to the floor and leaking in.  Be cautious of systems that install drains on top of the footer as these can not be installed with a pitch for drainage.  They rely on water building up and seeking a level, pushing its way around to a drain or sump pump location.

Contact us for a no obligation inspection and consultation of your basement.  We will review all options and types of basement waterproofing solutions to help you determine what the best fit is for you and your home. Learn more about exterior basement waterproofing system by clicking the get information button below and completing the contact form today.

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Basement Waterproofing Medina Ohio

Basement waterproofing Medina Ohio

Searching for basement waterproofing Medina Ohio you will find ten pages of results from contractors and info based sites.  It can be very challenging to select who to call out for a free estimate or consultation of your basement concerns.  There are several key factors you may want to consider in your qualifying potential basement waterproofing contractors or foundation repair contractor candidates…

Let’s start with, when was the company established?  Watch for ads that state “years of experience type of language.  This can be a tell tale sign that they are adding up the employee’s individual experience in the basement waterproofing industry to come up with an impressive total of several years.  Also, take a look at reports like the BBB or Angie’s List that will tell you when the company opened to compare with the claims.

Are they a full service basement waterproofing company and foundation repair company or do they sell a specific solution to everyone? This one can also be tricky.  Several companies out there are claiming to be full service but actually have sales presentations that steer their prospective customers to their “patented” solution.  It seems like a logical choice after listening to their pitch, but again…if they are ending up with a patented system you can bet they are not a true full service basement waterproofing contractor.

Reputation.  In today’s age of information on the internet it is pretty easy to research contractors before inviting them into your home.  The BBB is a good start but you have to be careful not to simply look at the grade or rating.  You will find that there are basement waterproofing contractors in Medina Ohio are that have an “A” with the BBB but on a second look you will see multiple if not dozens of consumer complaints.  The reason for this is contractors can maintain an “A” by simply responding to all of the complaints they get.  Be sure to dig in and read the complaint types and consumer feedback on the companies before calling.

Angie’s List is a great way to find a basement waterproofing contractor in Medina Ohio.  The grade achieved is a reflection of the report cards that are submitted by members who have used the services.  And you can read specific information regarding promptness, professionalism and even get price information.  Look for Super Service Awards which indicate a pattern of an overall “A” report card.

How do they present their pricing? All basement waterproofing contractors price their work based on a measurement just like carpeting suppliers all price by a measurement. You will see that there is a measurement of the length of the basement walls which will total up to liner feet of work to be performed.  Add to that fixed items like sump pump systems, battery back up systems, dehumidification etc…  Look out for sales gimmicks regarding basement waterproofing cost such as the “stand by” or “flexible schedule” discount.  If you hear about how there are gaps that come up and they need someone to be available to be on call to do the work, be cautions.  This is a common closing tactic used by sales people to get a signed contract on the first appointment. Anytime you get a discount that is good “now or never” you should consider that a red flag.

What are the details of the warranty? Look for a lifetime no strings attached, no cost warranty.  Several companies offer a so called lifetime warranty but after further explanation the lifetime warranty is really a one year warranty with an annual fee that is required to keep it going for a lifetime.  If you do not renew the warranty even one time the warranty is null and void letting the contractor off of the hook.  Anyway, why would a company who is supposedly fixing your basement waterproofing issue correctly only cover it for a year at a time and charge for it?  You will find the companies that do this are the ones with the most consumer complaints, go figure.

What type of labor is used? Be sure to set your eyes on a copy of the liability insurance and workman’s compensation insurance of any basement waterproofing company you are considering in Medina Ohio.  Companies that use employee labor with low to no turn over are the ones that offer the best protection and the best most consistent finished product and results.  If the contractor you are hiring uses sub contracted labor be sure you are protected form potential liability claims in the event of an accident.  Subcontracted labor can also result in a lien on your property if the basement waterproofing company does not pay their sub.

Do they have pictures of the work? Look at the finished work performed to get a good idea of what your basement waterproofing project will look like.

If you are searching basement waterproofing Medina Ohio be sure to call Pioneer for a no pressure, no sales gimmick consultation.  We use employee labor and offer a free for life lifetime warranty.  We have an impeccable reputation with the BBB and Angie’s List with Zero complaints since we’ve been in business, over 35 years! Click here for our contact information. 

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basement waterproofing medina ohio

New cement block foundation with basement waterproofing Medina Ohio

Repair bowed basement walls

Repair bowed basement walls

If you are wondering how to repair bowed basement walls you are likely considering one or two of the following options for your  foundation fix: wall anchors or carbon fiber foundation reinforcement.

repair bowed basement walls

The older technique of installing a wall anchor involves a large bolt that goes through your foundation mounted to a plate inside and a fixed point outside in the soil.  This works like a giant clamp holding the bowed basement walls to the dirt outside.  You will not be able to finish your basement with this type of foundation repair because it will need routine maintenance to keep the bolts / wall anchors tight due to expanding and contracting soils.  Another downside is the clamps only hold the areas where the plates are installed in the wall, an area about 1 x 2 feet ever six feet apart.  This technique if used to try to straighten the walls will create a wavy effect due to the fact the point being moved is just behind the wall anchor plate.

The most current technology in foundation repair is the carbon fiber meshed with kevlar strap system.  With this system the engineered straps are embedded into the face of the foundation with an epoxy from the floor to the top of the foundation wall.  Once cured, these straps do not stretch or tear and they create a web effect on the  bowed basement walls to lock them in place permanently.

The best way to straighten bowed basement walls is full excavation to remove all pressure from the wall.  The wall will then need to be stabilized since it has fractures (thus the bowed basement walls) to ensure the walls to not simply return to their bowed state or worse.  Using the carbon fiber and Kevlar mesh straps in this scenario is best case since they allow for no movement.

For more information or guidance in how to repair bowed basement walls in the Northeast Ohio area such as Akron, Canton, Medina, Kent, Cuyahoga Falls etc… Call Pioneer Basement Solutions at 1-877-321-4889.

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Popular sales gimmick to watch out for from basement waterproofing contractors

Let me start by stating the obvious which is true of all types of businesses not just basement waterproofing contractors.  You cannot run a successful business of any kind without knowing what it takes to deliver the desired result to the customer. Basement waterproofing contractors know almost if not exactly how long it will take to perform the work and solve the basement water leaks.  Any company that does the same thing over and over for a long period knows just about if not exactly what it will take to get the work done.

I often find myself looking at basement water leaks and talking to homeowners who seem very leery of me due to the treatment they have had from other basement waterproofing companies .  There are some pushy sales people out there trained by the basement waterproofing contractors to “close the sale” on the first appointment, pulling out all the stops to get a commitment.  I will touch on the most popular one here so you can be on the look out.

So what is my point, right?  Here it is…the “stand by” or “flex” or “on call” sales tactic is used after trying other “closing techniques” and is usually introduced by “I just thought of something that could save you a lot of money”…but you have to decide right now. The premise is that the basement waterproofing contractor cannot predict how long a project will take to complete.  So this creates “gaps in the schedule” and if you are willing to be on call on a 24 hour notice to fill the gap it really helps our production flow…blah blah blah.  This sounds very convincing coming from a sales pro (who probably told you when he got there he is not a salesman but they are so busy he had to come out of the office or where ever and help cover the appointment) who has practiced it over and over and has a logical explanation of how it works.

It is a gimmick.  You should never be persuaded by a basement waterproofing company to sign right away.  Take time to explore your options of different basement systems from different basement waterproofing contractors and check out their references.

For a no pressure free consultation, call us at 1-877-321-4889 or complete the email request Get-Info

Basement Waterproofing In Winter?

People often ask if basement waterproofing can be done in the winter and it depends on the basement systems being used.  Exterior basement waterproofing is where the perimeter of the home is excavated to the bottom of the footer most always with an excavation machine.  This type of work is messy and definitely fair weather work; however, exterior basement waterproofing can be performed during winter months as long as the weather is fairly dry.  In fact dry and cold is better than warm and wet.

Other basement systems designed to waterproof basements from the interior are performed year round with very little to no exceptions.  Interior basement waterproofing involves removing a small area of the perimeter of the floor to allow access to the footer from inside the foundation.  Interior footer drains are then installed to collect and direct ground water to a pump system that keeps the foundation dry.

Other basement systems are some sort of combination of interior basement waterproofing and exterior basement waterproofing methods that are usually performed all year round.  In fact winter months can be an ideal time to get your basement waterproof project completed based on availability of basement waterproofing contractors and dry weather conditions.  This will also prepare your foundation to stay dry during wet spring rains.

To learn more about different basement systems and what basement waterproofing system is best for your foundation, call today at 1-877-321-4889.

Perfect customer service from basement waterproofing contractors in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

Pioneer Basement Solutions has earned Perfect Customer Service records for over 35 years straight in Cuyahoga Falls, Akron, Stow, Kent, Medina and surrounding areas of North East Ohio.  Not only a Better Business Bureau rating of A+ but Pioneer Basement Solutions has never had one complaint filed in the history of the company. Check out our review here.

Pioneer Basement Solutions has also been awarded the coveted Super Service Award from Angie’s List several years in a row.

Pioneer is a full service basement waterproofing contractor offering all types of basement waterproofing systems from interior basement waterproofing, full exterior basement waterproofing and combination basement waterproofing systems customized to fit each specific scenario.

We will perform a thorough inspection of your foundation to determine what the root cause is to your leaky basement or foundation problems.  Once we have identified your problem we will review all potential basement waterproofing and foundation repair solutions in detail so you can make an informed decision on how you want to fix your basement.

We work all year.  Many people ask if basement waterproofing can be done in the winter and the answer is yes!  Exterior basement waterproofing can be performed all year round and in fact, it is better do do it when it a little colder and more dry than when it is rainy.  Interior basement waterproofing systems can naturally be installed all year.

No sales gimmicks and no sales pressure are at the top of the list of why people choose Pioneer to waterproof their basement.  Pioneer takes a no-nonsense straight forward approach and treats each prospective customer the same as they would friends and family.  Fair pricing with no games such as phony last minute or one time only discounts are what you get from Pioneer, unlike the other basement waterproofing contractors in Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, Kent, Medina and surrounding areas.

Call us today at 330-773-0109 or 1-877-321-4889 for a free estimate.

Basement Waterproofing Contractors Akron Oh Awarded Angie’s List Award

Basement Waterproofing Contractors Pioneer Basement Solutions serving North East Ohio since 1979 awarded the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award and the BBB’s Gold Star Award several consecutive years in a row for perfect customer service with zero complaints.

Check out the BBB review here:cbbb-badge-horzcbbb-accred-a-plus

And the Angie’s List reviews here: ssa_logo_small_2013

No basement waterproofing contractors in the Akron, Medina, Kent, Stow, Cuyahoga Falls and surrounding areas can compare to the customer service record of Pioneer Basement Solutions.  Founded in 1979 on principle of integrity, honesty and fair pricing, Pioneer Basement Solutions offers a no sales pitch, no sales pressure straight forward approach and never recommends more than what is required to fix a leaky basement or foundation repair needs.

Locally owned and operated, Pioneer is licensed insured and bonded.  All work is performed by Pioneer Basement Solutions’ employees, all work is insured and all customers are protected against the potential nightmares of dealing with basement waterproofing contractors that subcontract the work or use temporary labor.

Having problems with your basement such as water leaking in, mold, basement wall cracks or bowing basement walls?  We take a straight forward approach to inspect your basement foundation problems to identify causes and then review with you the solution options.

We are a full service basement waterproofing company offering all types of basement waterproofing including full exterior excavation and basement waterproofing membrane system, interior basement waterproofing systems and unlimited combinations in between.

We offer all types of foundation repair including foundation replacement, stabilization, and piering.

One sized solutions do not fit all basement waterproofing or foundation repair needs.  Be cautions of basement waterproofing companies who go through a fancy presentation and end up with a patented “one of a kind” basement waterproofing solution.

Fill out our online contact form or call 1-877-321-4889 for a free no obligation review of your basement waterproofing and foundation repair needs.

Mold in the Basement -Musty Basement Smell

Often times people tell me that they have some mold in the basement or a musty basement smell and so they want to get their basement waterproofed. Most people believe that basement mold is due to a leaky basement but many times it is not. There are many factors that can contribute to mold in the basement and that nasty musty basement smell.

High humidity is natural in basement spaces. Basements are the lowest point in the home and humidity in the air is heavy. This heavy humidity will naturally settle into the basement space and it lays at the bottom like a fog with no where to go. With no ventilation the humidity creates an ideal environment for the mold to grow on things that are fibrous in nature. Boxes, painted walls, wood and other stored items especially those stored on the floor will be great food for the mold and mildew to grow developing that unwanted odor.

If you have water held in your basement walls this may contribute to the mold growth as well. This would not usually happen with unpainted walls however. Mold needs something fibrous to grow into, and that is usually the paint on the walls. Mold due to water in basement walls is obviously more serious than mold due to high humidity levels.

Installing a ventilation system to eliminate the conditions allowing the mold to grow in the basement like a Humidex unit may be all you need. These units will create an air exchange of the basement air up to six times per hour by drawing healthy air from upstairs and expelling stale air from the basement to the outside of the home.

More serious conditions may be solved with either interior basement waterproofing or exterior basement waterproofing. You should have a professional basement waterproofing contractor evaluate your foundation and recommend the basement solutions that fit your specific needs.

If you would like to get additional information or for a no pressure consultation call 1-877-321-4889

Which Basement Systems are right for YOU?

I know that when shopping for a basement waterproofing system it may be difficult to know what type of options make sense because there are so many different opinions on what basement systems will work. Prospective customers often tell me that they get different solutions from contractors and they ask why don’t all waterproofing contractors see the problem the same way and recommend the same foundation waterproofing solution.

The answer lies in the fact that most basement waterproofing contractors focus on and only offer one solution, either offering exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing and naturally they will only recommend what they sell. They often have convincing arguments for their solution which is what makes it so difficult to choose a foundation waterproofing solution.

To know what foundation waterproofing solution makes sense you should first identify the type of problem. Do you have wet basement walls that are wet up high to mid wall? Do you have wet basement walls only at the very bottom where the floor meets the wall? Do you not really have wet walls much or at all but have water in the basement on the floor?

With the first scenario wet basement walls will most likely mean the original seal of the foundation is bad and needs restored…if accessible (that is key). This means you have surface water issues that need to be looked at and solved with exterior basement waterproofing or other solutions such as new gutters and downspout lines.

With the other scenarios there may be simple ground water build up under the foundation which is best solve with interior basement waterproofing solutions. You may even have a combination of issues and need a combination solution.

The point is you should look for basement waterproofing contractors who are truly full service offering all types of foundation waterproofing solutions.

Also, make sure you do your homework. Look at their record with the BBB and Angie’s list as well, and ask them for references to call, some newer and some older. Years in business is not always an indication of quality of service.

For a free estimate or simply to gather more info on Pioneer, fill out the contact form

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