To Do Before Basement Finishing

before basement finishing

To Do Before Basement Finishing

Many people ask us about what they need to do before basement finishing. Many homes in Ohio are older and have old basements. Finishing the basement can add a lot of livable space to your home. There are a lot of things to consider before basement finishing whether you are going to DIY or hire a professional.

1) Bring in a basement waterproofing company to do an inspection. If you have slight leaks or cracks that could get worse, they could quickly ruin your basement refinishing effort. Always start with an inspection of your foundation walls and flooring.

2) Have the electrical inspected. If you are going to be finishing walls that are currently not finished, now is the time to replace or add any wiring that might need work. It is much easier to do before you finish the basement.

3) Check beams for insect or water damage before basement finishing. You do not want to cover up support beams that might have termite or other types of damage. This kind of damage can weaken the core support of your home and be a serious safety issue.

4) Inspect the entire foundation for cracks, holes or ways that animals, water or dirt can get in. Have these things fixed before you cover the area up. A bee’s nest in the wall is not a welcome find.

5) Clean and fumigate the entire space before basement finishing. Make sure it is dirt, mold and bug free before you begin your project. Mold or mildew growing behind your new walls is going to make the newly refinished basement musty and moldy again if you do not solve these issues.

6) Choose materials wisely. Carpet is most likely not a great choice in the basement. Instead, a tile floor and an area carpet is safer and can be a very similar environment.

7) Replace bowed basement walls before basement finishing. If your walls are bowing, usually due to water issues, you need the walls replaced and supported better. Covering them with a frame and drywall will not stop the basement wall from collapsing. This can be a very serious risk to your home and safety.

Pioneer is an award winning company with over 40 years in the basement waterproofing and foundation repair industry.  Check out reviews by clicking on the logos below


Many basements in Ohio can be refinished to be beautiful extensions of a home. However, make sure you go through our checklist of things to consider and inspect before basement finishing.

exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?

Wet Basement? What is the Cause and Best Solution?

Wet Basement? What is the Cause and Best Solution?

Ever wonder what causes a wet basement or what the best solution is? Having a wet basement and trying to figure out the best solution can be quite stressful to a homeowner.  First of all, lets discuss what causes a wet basement.  To put it simply, there are two sources of basement seepage; ground water and surface water.  How can you tell the difference between the two?

Some basements may have wet walls, which includes moisture on more than just the bottom row of block.  This is an indication of water getting into the foundation from surface water activity.  The best way to dry out the basement in this case is to restore the waterproofing seal on the outside of the basement walls by installing an exterior basement waterproofing system.

fixing a wet basement

Exterior Basement Waterproofing

On the other hand, if your basement walls are dry but there is seepage where the floor and wall meet, it is most likely a ground water problem under the foundation.  You may notice heaved floor cracks or discoloration in the cement.  When ground water builds up under a basement floor, the best way to fix a wet basement in this case is with interior sub floor footer drains.  This allows diversion of the water before it builds up to floor level.

Fixing a wet basement

Interior Basement Waterproofing

How Can You Find the Right Contractor?

Look for a basement waterproofing contractor that offers all methods of basement waterproofing.  Beware of companies that tell you that there is only one way to fix a wet basement.  They may claim to be a full service waterproofing company, yet they only offer their “patented system” and tell you that this is the best and only option.  Many of these companies claim to be full service.  They train their sales force to review the options they don’t actually install in a way that would cause you to say you do not want them, such as exaggerating the cost or minimizing the benefits.

There is no “one size fits all” solution that works for everyone.  Each type of basement waterproofing system works differently so it is important to know what the cause of your issue is.

Call Pioneer Basement Solutions for a zero-obligation quote and basement evaluation.  We can offer a no-nonsense solution to fix your wet basement.  We do not use pushy sales techniques nor try to use scare tactics in order to intimidate homeowners.  Contact us today and learn more about fixing your wet basement permanently and correctly!

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.


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

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.

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