If you own an older home with a damp basement, you know the limitations that come with attempting to use that space. Damp basements are associated with high humidity levels and mold growth, so many homeowners rely on dehumidifiers and moisture-resistant containers to store their possessions there. Damp basements aren’t typically comfortable enough to use as living spaces, either. If you want to get more use out of this space in your home, you need to work with a basement waterproofing contractor. Before you get started though, find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions here.
1. What Is Grading, and Why Is It Important for Waterproofing Your Basement?
Grading is the process of creating a slope in your yard to divert water away from your home. This is an essential step in waterproofing your basement as it helps to prevent water from seeping into your home through the foundation. Your yard should be sloped away from your home at a minimum of a 2% grade in order to protect your basement from water damage, according to Bob Vila. If your grading is not correct, water can pool around your home and seep into your basement. Even if you plan to waterproof your basement, you need to make sure water flows away from your home.
2. What Are Some Common Problems Caused by Poor Grading?
Poor grading can lead to a variety of problems. Water can seep into the basement through the foundation if it’s not adequately sealed. This could cause it to flood. Additionally, you might have to deal with standing water in the yard and damage to landscaping.
3. How Can You Tell If Your Grading Is Correct?
If you’re unsure whether your grading is correct, there are a few things you can do to find out. One is to look for drainage ditches or swales in your yard. If these are not present, your grading is likely incorrect. You can also check the grade of the soil near your home; if it’s not sloping away from the house, then it needs to be corrected. It’s better to check for these things before it starts raining heavily. If you wait until after the storm, it might already be too late.
There are a few ways to determine the grade of your yard. One option is to use a level to measure the slope. Alternatively, you can use a shovel to dig a trench in different areas of your yard and see how the water flows. If water flows toward your home, your grading is not correct, and you need to take steps to fix it.
4. How Can You Fix Poor Grading?
If your yard has poor grading, there are a few steps you can take to fix it. Once you have identified the areas that need to be corrected, you can use soil amendments, such as topsoil, compost, or sand, to create a more desirable grade. You might also need to install drainage systems to properly divert water away from your home.
A drainage system consists of a series of pipes that are installed around the perimeter of your property. These pipes collect water and funnel it to a drainage area, such as a ditch or wetland. By properly installing a drainage system, you can ensure that water is diverted away from your home and does not cause damage to your property.
If you’re not comfortable correcting the grading and installing a drainage system yourself, you can hire a professional waterproofing contractor to do it for you. They’ll be able to identify the areas that need to be corrected and will know how to properly slope your yard so water flows away from your home. This could save you from costly water damage in the future and support the effectiveness of your basement waterproofing project.
5. What Is a French Drain, and How Can It Help?
A French drain is a trench, lined with gravel or rock, that collects and diverts water away from your home. The trench is usually located near the foundation of the house and helps to keep the soil around the home dry. Water is diverted to the French drain through pipes or a series of trenches dug around the perimeter of your property. French drains are typically only part of a complete basement waterproofing solution.
6. How Can I Waterproof My Basement?
Waterproofing your basement is an important step in preventing water damage. There are a few methods you can use to waterproof your basement, but the most common option is to coat your home’s foundation with waterproofing paint.
Waterproofing paint is a special type of sealant that is applied to the walls and floor of the basement. It forms a waterproof barrier that helps to keep water out. In addition to waterproofing paint, you can also use waterproofing membranes and coatings.
Waterproofing membranes are thin sheets of plastic that are installed on the walls and floor of the basement. They create a waterproof barrier that prevents water from seeping into the basement. Waterproofing coatings are applied over waterproofing membranes and help to reinforce the waterproof barrier.
7. How Do I Waterproof My Basement?
If you think your basement is at risk of flooding, or if you have already experienced water damage, it’s important to take action. The first step is to contact a waterproofing contractor. They’ll assess the situation and recommend the right solution for your home. Depending on the severity of the water infiltration, your basement may need to be waterproofed from the outside or from the inside.
8. What Kind of Damage Can Water Do to My Foundation?
Water can cause a lot of damage to your foundation. If water seeps into the basement, it can weaken the foundation and cause it to fail. In addition, if water accumulates around the foundation, it can cause the soil to become saturated and soft. This can also lead to foundation failure.
If your foundation fails, it can cause a lot of damage to your home, the most serious of which would be the collapse of the foundation. If the foundation collapses, it can cause the walls and roof of the house to fall in. Overall, a failed foundation can lead to extensive structural damage along with water damage.
Water damage can be expensive to repair. If the damage is extensive, you’ll likely need to hire a contractor to waterproof your basement and repair the damage. The techniques used to remediate water damage will vary depending on the size of your basement and the severity of the damage. It’s much cheaper to be proactive and waterproof your basement before any damage occurs.
9. Where Can I Find a Waterproofing Contractor?
If you need help waterproofing your basement, you can find a waterproofing contractor through a local or online directory. You can also ask friends or family for referrals. When choosing a waterproofing contractor, make sure to ask for references and proof of insurance. You should also ask to see the contractor’s work portfolio to get an idea of the quality of their work. Make sure to ask the contractor you choose if they are licensed and insured.
If you’re unsure how to waterproof your basement, or if you need help with any other aspect of waterproofing your home, reach out to a waterproofing contractor at A-Proseal Basement Waterproofing & Concrete Lifting today. Our team has extensive experience helping homeowners protect their homes from water damage and can save you a lot of time, money, and headache by getting ahead of the problem. Call for a free estimate!