Health Risks Caused By a Wet Basement

A wet basement cannot only create major long-term problems for your home but it is also a potential health risk for you and your family. From a health perspective, dealing with basement leaks and general dampness is also extremely important.
Wet basements are a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Dealing with basement leaks when it rains and fighting the mold and mildew that result from a constant moisture problem in your basement can feel like a never-ending battle. When our Team commit to a project, one of the first things we want to address is an health concerns that moisture in your basement and mold can cause. Molds are responsible for a number of health issues, especially allergies (which can range from mild to life threatening), and can adversely affect the overall well-being of you and your family without you even being aware of the source. Even if there is no visible signs of mold, don’t ignore the fact that mold may be present. Our Team will be able to get your basement dry and keep it that way so that you can enjoy your home without worrying about these health issues.
Be sure to inspect basement furniture and stored materials in a basement where mold is suspected, such as cardboard boxes and their contents and the under-side of furniture and game tables. Often we find serious mold growth on the un-finished surfaces of wood objects, probably because the absence of a coating means that such surfaces take up more moisture than other sides of the same item. Mold can grow under your carpet and many other places in your basement that you may not be aware of. These are health risks caused by a wet basement.

Wet Basement Why?

To answer that question, let’s first look at conventional wet basement waterproofing and how it is supposed to work.
If you imagine how a basement is first built, when the plans are drawn up, the following happens; the contractors dig a hole in the ground. Next, the foundation is laid out. Next, the walls of the basement are built by typically pouring concrete. Finally, the rest of the house is built on the foundation.
The most important point is the first one in the list above – the foundation, that great big hole in the ground. When the walls of the basement are built, there is always a gap left outside the walls, which needs to be filled. Typically, this void will get filled with loose backfill. Here in lies the problem, water will look for the path of least resistance, and since you have only a huge pile of loose backfill, it will still be able to run down to the bottom, no matter how well it has been compacted. Since the water now has nowhere else to go, it will continue to seep into this area.
The basic basement waterproofing provides some form of drainage pipe for the water to drain away, but the problem with this method is that often these pipes can often get clogged with silt. When these pipes get filled with silt the system can overload and cause a lot of water pressure against the outside walls of the basement. So while the walls of the basement may be waterproofed in some way, water, as you probably already know, can find a way to get through the tiniest of gaps.
This type of problem does not usually go away because the pipes that are supposed to take away the excess water gradually worsen over time. The lack of access to these pipes is a huge oversight.
A Pressure Relief System basement waterproofing system, works by getting rid of the water pressure on the walls and the hydrostatic pressure from the floor. Water is controlled, collected and allowed to flow through the pressure relief system to a sump pump where the water is pumped away from the property.
When a good basement waterproofing system is installed it will:
• Basement waterproofing your home will improve the value and salability.
• The basement waterproofing job will be a permanent solution.
• Basement waterproofing will not typically disturb decks, driveways, patios, landscaping, driveways, etc.
• Drain tile basement waterproofing will often be substantially cheaper than other basement waterproofing methods.
Choose a professional and experienced basement waterproofing contractor when protecting your home. Remember, it is economically foolish not to waterproof, because the increased value from waterproofing will definitely exceed the cost of the basement waterproofing project itself. Look at basement waterproofing not as an expense but as an investment in the value of your home.

Crawl Space Encapsulation

Crawl space sealing is also known as encapsulating your crawl space. Whichever term you prefer, the answer is yes. You want to protect your home against moisture, toxic black mold, and soil gases including radon. Because the air in your crawl space ends up in your home a sealed crawl space provides immediate health benefits by providing a dry, clean area.
Crawl space sealing is necessary to create a healthy home.
A healthy home needs a healthy crawl space. You can’t have one without the other. The area is subterranean, below ground where the bugs and insects live. Because the area is underground it has a different environment than the rest of the house. Therefore, crawl space sealing is a necessity.
A healthy crawl space should be a standard, not a luxury. The quality of the environment in the crawl space is of major concern because the crawl space environment affects the health of all the residents of the home. As a homeowner it is important to understand the health risks associated with the crawl space.
As warm air rises, cool air from the crawl space is sucked into the living areas of your home. Called the “stack effect”, it’s the same way a chimney works. This, combined with other factors, provides a significant amount of the air you breathe actually came from your crawl space.
Top Three Reasons to Seal the area.
1. Lower energy costs. The aluminized liner reflects heat in your crawl space just like wrapping a baked potato in aluminum foil keeps it warm longer by holding in the heat.
2. Creates a healthy home. By sealing out harmful gases, radon and moisture the crawl space is made healthier. One side of the liner is aluminized to diffuse soil gases back into the soil.
3. Provide a safe, clean area for storage. 90mil is a heavy duty vinyl that gives the liner strength. Each layer is separated by a polyethylene foam to aid with insulation. When all the components are laminated together, it forms the thickest zero perm crawlspace and basement liner available today

Sump Pump Checklist

At least twice a year, preferably before the local wet season, sump pumps should be checked for proper operation. Manufacturer instructions should be used as the primary guide for pump installation and maintenance, but here are some general guidelines.
With the pump cord disconnected:
Make sure there is a grounded three-prong receptacle for the sump pump.
Ideally the receptacle should be installed at least 18 inches above the floor.
The receptacle should also be close enough so that the pump cord (usually maximum 6-feet long) can be plugged directly into the receptacle.
Inspect the sump pit for any silt or debris that might obstruct the float or clog the pump impeller or discharge tube.
Make sure the pump is positioned so that the movement of the float that turns the pump on and off is not obstructed by the walls of the pit or other objects.
If needed set the float height to start the pump at a lower or higher level. The float should be set that it keeps the water toward the bottom at the normal high water line.
Check the drain line from the pump to the termination point on the exterior for any signs of corrosion, holes, damage or leaks.
Once the visual check is made, an operational check can be performed:
Confirm the pump is securely plugged directly into the receptacle.
If the sump pit is empty, add enough water, if possible, to confirm the pump turns on and off properly.
With a type sump pump with automatic preset sensor switches, if water exceeds the top of the pump before turning on, or if the pump does not shut off when water drops again, there may be a defective sensor or other problem. Refer to the manufacture set-up instructions.
If the pump uses an adjustable float switch, the pump should turn on at the set-on level and off when the water level drops.
The pump should not have to run all the time. If it does, try setting the float or pump higher in the pit. If this doesn’t help keep the water from the top of the sump; a larger pump may be needed.
Check the drain line for any leakage.
In areas subject to freeze temperatures, precautions must be taken to make sure the drain line does not freeze up or get blocked by ice or snow.
Sump pumps should not be connected to sanitary sewer systems (unless locally approved) or private sewage (septic) systems.
If your sump system is equipped with battery backup, check the manufacturer maintenance instructions. It may be necessary to check the battery water level to make sure it covers the cells.
If you have a high water alarm, it should activate when the float is raised, or if sensor type, when water hits the sensor.
Depending on the set up, an alarm may sound when the primary is unplugged or when the backup activates.
Remember, these tips are only general guidelines. Since each situation is different, contact a professional if you have questions about a specific issue.

Basement Waterproofing Estimate?

Congratulations! You’ve made the first step in protecting your home, your belongings and your family’s health by choosing basement waterproofing. Knowing what to expect during a basement waterproofing estimate is important, as it will help you choose the best waterproofing company for your needs, as well as what services will be most advantageous for your home. Each structure is unique, which is why cookie-cutter solutions are rarely effective.

For this reason, it’s important to select a company that comes to the home for an estimate instead of giving you an estimate over the phone. Until your home is looked at and evaluated, the true cost and extent of the services cannot be determined. So, at the very least, make sure the estimates you do collect are from companies that are coming to your home to inspect the issues at hand.

What Will the Contractor Look At?

A thorough estimate will address all possible concerns, such as:

• What is causing the cracks?
• Where is the water coming from?
• Is there a structural problem?
• Are there any other cracks?
• What is the best method of repair?

Additionally, a contractor will want to look at both the interior and exterior of the home to get a full understanding for what the problems may be. They will want to know how long you have lived in the home, the age of the dwelling and whether the leaky basement is something new or a long-term problem.

How Long Will the Basement Waterproofing Estimate Take?

Estimates, on average, take 45 minutes. Feel free to ask as many questions as you want – you can’t make a decision until you are completely informed.

Will I Get a Basement Waterproofing Estimate Right Away?

Most contractors are able to give you a quote after evaluating the home; although some will email you a day later, especially if the issue is complex. You’ll have to ask the contractor about how firm the estimate is, as many companies leave a small window for price fluctuations, mainly for the cost of materials.

What Do I Need to Get Started?

If you like what you hear, most companies require a deposit to get the project rolling. The balance will be required at the completion of the project. Of course, take your time choosing a company. Basement waterproofing is an investment, and you want to work with a company that has positive reviews, a strong work ethic and impeccable results.

Interior waterproofing your home

Interior waterproofing your home comes in all different shapes and sizes. This is because houses do too!
To excavate and waterproof the exterior of your home’s foundation maybe an option for your home. This is how the builder of your home did it originally. Excavation is not the only way to waterproof your basement to give you a dry, healthy house for many years.
However, there are things to consider. If you have many other objects or structures up against your exterior foundation wall, those will all need to be ripped up. Your beautiful deck, your driveway, your gardens… the list goes on. Maybe you live in a townhome where that just isn’t possible or realistic. Finally, expense. Excavation can be expensive when taking into account all the extra things that have to be done and also weather becomes a factor in getting the job done on time.
Don’t get nervous, though. As there are other, permanent, ways to solve your home’s waterproofing needs. Ontario Wet Basement Solutions Inc. interior waterproofing systems that can be customized to work for your home’s needs and done when promised. In most cases the water damage on the inside has to be remove and be mould treated and redone anyways. If you are concerned about cracks in your foundation walls or water in your basement, call us to schedule your free home inspection today.

Wet Crawlspace

Why then do contractors allow such spaces underneath your home? The answer lies in the water table level. If it is high, building a basement would be akin to building an underground indoor swimming pool filled with filthy ground water.
The Water Leak Problems
The viability of this mode of construction is a debate that has been ongoing for years in the industry. In the meantime, you need to deal with moisture leakage promptly. Such issues arise in case of:
o Standing bulk water: This arises mostly if you have a leaking drain tile, clogged pipes, poorly laid downspouts, poor grading, among other issues. The water thus drips to the easiest basin which happens to be beneath your home.
o Moisture evaporation from the ground: Crawl spaces feature an earthen floor which is prone to evaporation. Over time, soil becomes saturated and water starts collecting posing danger to your property.
o Condensation of outdoor air: If you have a vented space underneath your structure, it is most likely that your contractor convinced you the issue of moisture collection is solved. Well, warm air flowing into the space raises relative humidity eventually leading to moisture collection.
Dangers of Crawl Space Moisture
To appreciate the gravity of the matter, consider some of these risks that your home faces:
1. Health hazards: BHA reckons that high humidity levels beneath leads to toxic mould growth. These spores eventually find their way indoors leading to allergic reactions among other respiratory complications.
2. Structural damage: Most homes lay on wooden joists which are prone to water damage. With rotting of these supporting beams, your home will be at risk of collapse hence the need for prompt corrective measures.
3. Pest infestations: Rodents love areas that are moist and if you should not be surprised if you start noticing mice and other vermin crisscrossing your property. These carry diseases and also cause untold damage to utility lines

What do you do then about crawl space repair must start with a diagnostic by a contractor. These professionals can then choose from among a range of solutions such as interior Pressure Release System installation and encapsulation of the entire space, grading, metal flashing, among other effective measures.
Whatever you do, never take this problem for granted least you lose your precious investment.

Moisture in your basement

Without water life doesn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean it’s always welcome.

Moisture enters basements and crawl spaces through block walls.
Excess moisture, whether in the form of water or high relative humidity, is typically the number one enemy of buildings and their contents. It can wreak all sorts of havoc. Moisture causes dry rot, or decay, that weakens structural components. It also invites structure-damaging insects, such as termites and carpenter ants.
Moisture causes metals to corrode, including valve handles, ducts, HVAC equipment, and tools. Stored paper goods and clothing can become mildewed and stained when the relative humidity rises about 70 percent. In summer, excess RH causes your AC to work harder than needed. High interior relative humidity can cause building materials, like siding, to have a higher than normal moisture content. That moisture can help lift paint from siding and exterior trim. In summer, humidity will make your AC equipment work harder that it should have to.
Moisture can also create unhealthy conditions in your home. High relative humidity allows mold to release mold spores (microscopic organisms that can bypass the normal filtering of the nose) and cause respiratory problems, such as asthma and allergies. It also supports the proliferation of dust mites, another allergen.
Sources of water vapor in the home
Moisture from surrounding soil can enter crawlspace and basements as water or water vapor. From there, water vapor can migrate throughout the house. In addition, below-grade spaces are like condensation machines. Warm moist air comes in contact with cool surfaces and remoisten content as water.

Other sources of moisture include:
• Breathing: 2.88 lb/day per person
• Laundry (if not vented to the outside): 1 lb for each 1 lb. of clothes
• Bath: 0.12lb/each per bath and 0.5 lb/each per shower
• Kitchen: 3 lb. from floor mopping; 4.7 lb. per day when cooking with gas, 2 lb/day when cooking with electric, 1 lb for dishwashing
• Pets, aquariums, houseplants, humidifiers, unvented space heaters, plumbing and roof leaks, open sump basins, and new construction materials can also raise moisture levels in the home.
Prevent Mold
Dehumidification: The Anti-Mold. Besides fixing a water leak, which is imperative to preventing the growth of mold in your home, removing moisture from the air is necessary to make your home mold and mildew free.

Waterproofing the basement

Finishing a basement can give a homeowner some valuable space for a recreation room, office or even a bedroom. But if the space seems damp or musty, that’s a red flag for any contractor.
Before moving forward with any basement remodel, contractors must first ask the homeowner if their space is dry/”The contractor should definitely undertake an inspection before doing any work or even giving an estimate. The amount of moisture present and how it arrives should define how the contractors does the work.”
The risks of skipping this evaluation are real: It creates a ticking time bomb for both the homeowner and the contractor.
“Many homeowners will try to finish a basement even though it has leaks or moisture issues, “Almost inevitably—within months or years—the basement stinks and there is mold happening in the studs and along the drywall.” Both scenarios can result in an unusable and unsafe space.
Detecting moisture
In some homes, water damage and mold damage aren’t apparent so contractors must rely on the small signs of a basement moisture problem: efflorescence (white, chalky stains), condensation on windows or pipes and moisture or mold-damaged finishes. When a basement is finished, locating the source of water leakage can be difficult. One of the best ways to properly assess the problem is by using an inexpensive moisture detector that provides a meter reading of moisture levels in a wall. The drywall could be 100 percent dry, but the walls could be full of water that hasn’t broken through yet.
Causes of a damp basement
Before a contractor can assess how to repair a wet basement, they must get to the root of the problem and figure out what’s causing the dampness in the first place. There are two main causes of a damp basement; the first is a condensation problem caused by the differential in temperature between the cold, below-grade basement walls and the warm, moist interior air. This problem is relatively easy to fix: Advise the homeowner to use a dehumidifier or insulate the basement walls.
The second cause, however, isn’t as easy to fix. Water that seeps in from the exterior of the house through a crack, a joist leak or through the concrete, can be the most destructive and can deteriorate basement walls, floors and foundation over time. While quick fixes such as spray-on sealants and crack injections may stop the leaks temporarily, water will always follow the path of least resistance, finding any void it can. A more permanent fix is an external waterproofing solution or an internal draining system.
Internal versus external solutions
Once the contractor identifies the source of the leak and type of foundation, there are two solutions to fix the problem. The first and traditional way is an external solution, which involves excavating down to the side of the footing, and sealing off the walls with a waterproof product before installing a new drainage system.
“The most important thing when you waterproof is to give that water somewhere to drain to. That can mean connecting the weeping tiles to the existing storm or sanitary drain or a sump pump. The walls are then sealed with a waterproofing product such as rubberized urethane and a dimple board is installed on top.
The second, cheaper and less intrusive solution—when working with an unfinished basement—is internal, whereby a trench is dug along the affected wall along the inside of the footing, and new weeping tile is installed at the side of the footing and connected to a sump pump.
How to choose
Factors such as budget and features of the particular house (is the basement finished? Is there a deck along the affected wall?) Will influence which approach will work best. Professionals should assess each basement, and decide on the best approach. There’s no one size fits all solution: “It’s based on each situation.

Benefits of Basement Waterproofing

Benefits of basement waterproofing. It might sound strange, and the basement might not be the most glamorous area but it’s your basement that supports your house during thick snow, heavy rain and extreme heat 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.
For this reason, basement waterproofing is a must. Rest assured your house remains healthy for many years if you include it in your top 5 list of priorities.
Physical Benefits
1. Stronger Foundation

It’s wasted space if your basement only becomes a dark storage area for old newspapers, heavy wood cabinets and unused tables. It welcomes mold growth and will only result in a weak foundation.
However, waterproofing will make it much better. Your basement may support from one-third to the entire space of your home for a longer period of time whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall.
2. Extra Space for Privacy
A basement is an ideal underground area for recreation, fitness, entertainment or laundry. In the case you don’t need it for anything, you can transform it into a guest room or in-law apartment.
3. Preparation for a Remodel
Thorough waterproofing prepares your basement for fancy remodels as well. Experts believe it’s a waste of money to renovate even a small area without fixing the water and humidity problems first.
Health Benefits
4. Bye to Health Problems
Basement waterproofing gives an assurance your house stays disease-free. A study shows a toxic black mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours. Your basement immediately suffers if it continues to spread and will result in a musty smell. If left ignored, it yields various health problems to you and to your family. Skin allergies, asthma, allergic rhinitis, eye irritation, fever, headache and coughs are expected.
5. Peace of Mind
A clean and well-ventilated basement brings emotional comfort to all family members. You don’t have to worry about flooding when it rains or snows heavily. You can also invite a group of guests over, or your children can play with their toys even in their bare feet.
6. Low Humidity
Experts believe 50% of indoor air comes from the basement. The air may feel damp but when the basement humidity is reduced, it will not produce condensation in windows. When there’s no condensation, there are no wet stains in the walls and floors.
That’s why it’s so important to keep the level of humidity low.
Financial Benefits
7. Reduce Costs

Basement waterproofing allows you to save on energy costs. Truth is; seepage forces your ventilation system to work harder during warmer and wetter months. So, make a change. Seal all leaks and cracks to increase the level of energy efficiency.
8. Protect Your Investment
Your house is your investment. It’s something to be proud of. However, this is the type of investment that needs your constant love and care. Like you feed and support your family unconditionally, your basement also needs regular inspections, maintenance and repair.
9. Increase Resale Value
A basement without leaks, cracks and musty smell will attract more renters and more buyers. You can potentially increase the value of your property by 20% if there are no traces of water problems.
10. Free Basement Waterproofing Inspection
Free inspection is the best freemium a waterproofing company can give you. This free service includes the indoor and outdoor examination, the identification of damage extent and the estimation of repair costs.

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Wet Basements Waterproofing | Crawlspace Encapsulation | Foundation Cracks Repair | Sump Pump Maintenance

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