So, you’ve decided to renovate and remodel your basement!
Whether you’re doing it to enhance the resale value of your home, or you just have a passion project that you wish to see realized.
It’s important to make sure your basement project is done the right way.
Making your finished basement idea a reality is an expensive but rewarding project.
While picking out furniture and flooring is fine to do on your own, there are some aspects such as the best way to waterproof a basement that you may want to leave to the professionals.
One of those common aspects that you should leave to the professionals is the protection of your basement from one of its most common problems: excess moisture and groundwater intrusion.
Basement waterproofing and moisture control are crucial to preserving your finished basement.
Let’s dive into why it’s in your best interest to call a professional when it comes to basement waterproofing.
Why Worry About Moisture and Water?
Whenever it rains, water soaks into the soil around your home. This water eventually comes to rest against your foundation while raising the water table.
This buildup of water can lead to a great amount of weight and what’s known as hydrostatic pressure.
As that hydrostatic pressure increases, it places a great amount of strain on the concrete of the foundation walls and floor.
This can cause moisture to infiltrate into the concrete as well as push water into the basement through the cold joints the seams where your wall meets the footing and where floor meets the wall.
What’s more, that hydrostatic pressure can lead to cracks in the foundation, leading to leaks as well as bowing or leaning basement walls.
Along with the structural damage to a basement wall, the groundwater that makes it into your basement can damage your flooring, furniture, and stored belongings.
But those are not the only problems—intrusive moisture and water can lead to additional problem scenarios.
Moisture-Related Basement Problems
When there’s too much moisture in the basement and it isn’t promptly addressed, it can lead to a variety of problems.
Have a look at some of the common problems that occur in wet basements:
- Mold growth
- Wood rot
- Rusting of any metal equipment (HVAC/Furnace, electronic equipment, etc.)
- Increased humidity in the house
Mold in the Basement
With lingering moisture, mold spores in your basement will become active and grow.
It can be on your walls, wooden support structures, even on your furniture and flooring such as basement carpeting.
As that mold grows, more spores will be released, and your indoor air quality can become musty.
Mold spores are notorious for causing allergic reactions in some people. Certain molds can even cause a range of diseases for those with a compromised immune system.
Some of the most common molds you may encounter include:
- Black mold
There are thousands upon thousands of species of mold out there, each thriving on different organic materials. But they all share a common trait: they need moisture to flourish and spread.
Wood rot is another problem that arises when enough moisture is present. There are certain fungal species that digest certain parts of wooden materials for food.
This is part of the natural cycle of decay. But for your home, it can mean weakened wooden supports such as floor joists.
Wood rot can cause significant damage. Given enough time, wood rot can cause a wooden structure to crumble. If wood rot has significantly infested the wood, you may need to replace the affected part.
From HVAC/furnaces to the home entertainment equipment you might want to use to create a basement theater, moisture can cause any metal components to rust and be damaged.
Pests are also drawn to moisture, including termites, dust mites, and even rodents. They won’t stay in the basement forever either as they forage for food and venture up into your living spaces.
Termites can wreak havoc on your home as they infest and feed on the wooden structures of your home.
Their tunneling can hollow out a wooden support, requiring the termites to be exterminated and the damaged wood replaced.
Dust mites and rodent pests are known to trigger allergic reactions.
Ants are also drawn to moisture and can infest your home, tunneling in your walls and supports while foraging for food anywhere in your basement and home.
As moisture builds up in your basement, it will begin to feel more humid not just in your basement, but the rest of your home.
Due to the stack effect, or chimney effect, the humid air in your basement will move its way up into your living spaces.
Excess humidity in the house can affect the comfortability of your home and cause more moisture-related problems in the rest of your home.
The damage caused by any of these problems can mean more repair costs. Basement waterproofing can be the preventative measure that saves you from extra repairs and keeps your finished basement project safe.
How Does Basement Waterproofing Work?
As earlier discussed, hydrostatic pressure is a major cause for moisture and groundwater getting into the basement.
But you can take control of that water and moisture with an interior basement waterproofing system.
Here are some of the most common components involved:
- Drainage Channels
- Sump pump
- Sump pit
- Discharge pipe
The drainage channels are installed along the perimeter of the basement interior, resting either on top or beside the footer.
This allows the drainage channels to catch the groundwater before it reaches the basement. Those drainage channels then lead the water to a sump pit where the sump pump is.
The sump pump works to push any water collected through the discharge pipe and out of the house.
This can help prevent groundwater from collecting against your foundation, reducing hydrostatic pressure, and protecting your finished basement project.
Depending on your basement’s unique situation, other components can use such as moisture vapor barriers, rigid sealers, and dehumidifiers.
But it is important to account for the source of your basement’s water and moisture problems before you begin renovating your basement.
Why a Professional Basement Waterproofing Contractor?
Why not do some DIY basement waterproofing? Many homeowners get the impression that a layer of waterproofing paint is all they need to protect their basement.
Unfortunately, waterproofing paint neither takes care of the problem source, and it’s only a temporary measure.
Installing an interior basement waterproofing system requires expertise. A basement waterproofing expert will know how to reach the footer and install the drainage channels properly.
They’ll also know the right sump pump for your basement and how to create the sump pit.
Also, a basement waterproofing expert will know where to find the trouble signs that your basement is having a moisture or invasive groundwater problem.
Different problems require different solutions, and they’ll be able to formulate a plan with that in-depth knowledge.
How to Choose a Basement Waterproofing Expert
There are many basement waterproofing companies out there. But not all of them use the same materials, products, or even offer a reliable warranty.
It can seem confusing when they make similar claims about their services, but there is a way to do your research and improve your chances of getting the basement waterproofing that your basement deserves.
Here are some characteristics that you’ll want to find while researching a basement waterproofing contractor:
- Many positive online reviews
- Licensed and insured
- A strong warranty that offers a long period of protection
- Decades of experience (company longevity also means their warranty is reliable)
For one basement waterproofing company that meets these requirements, you can consider contacting ’58 Foundations.
Their services and warranty are backed by over 60 years of business. With their experience, they’ll know how to keep your remodeled basement safe against moisture and water.