Why Basements Leak
leaks are common problems in most areas.
Determining where water enters
the building is an important step in diagnosing
the problem. Structural problems, an area’s
soil condition, grading around a structure
and many other factors can contribute to
a water problem. The three areas that influence
the proper diagnosis of a water problem
are the basement floor, the foundation
walls and the sill area of a house.
water rises above the level of the basement
floor it is commonly referred
to as hydrostatic pressure. This phenomenon
is caused by either ground or perched water.
Perched water is water that is trapped
in soils before entering into the aquifer.
Usually after heavy rains perched water
levels are at their highest. Pressure caused
by perched water can find itself into basements
through cracks in the basement floor, seams
caused by construction and cracks or imperfections
of a foundation wall. Ground water, or
the water table, is a water level that
usually remains at a constant depth. Increased
periods of precipitation or influence by
tidal surges can cause fluctuations in
this level. Improper drainage at the lowest
point of your basement’s foundation
can lead to flooding.
What Is "Sick Home Syndrome"?
Source Website: http://www.aracontent.com
- Sick building syndrome has become such
a big problem in the United States
in recent years, it's a phrase you can
now find in the dictionary. It is defined
as an illness characterized by skin irritations,
headache, and respiratory problems that
is caused by indoor pollutants, inadequate
ventilation, and microorganisms, which
Toxic moulds have been making
people sick since biblical times, but the
the problem really came to the forefront
in 1996 when tests by the Centers for Disease
Control (CDC) revealed the probable cause
of the mysterious illness that killed one
infant and sickened nine others at a Cleveland,
Ohio, housing project. The babies, who
lived within close proximity to one another,
all suffered from the same rare lung disorder
characterized by pulmonary hemorrhaging.
The likely cause: Stachybotrys chartarum,
a greenish-black mould. It was found in
every one of their homes.
In recent years,
the same toxic mould has been responsible
for countless other incidents
of sick building syndrome at schools, public
offices and even single family homes. "Part
of the problem is our current construction
practices," says Seth Norman, CEO
of Walled Lake, Mich.-based Mold Free,
a nationwide mould inspection and remediation
service. "We close our buildings tight
to make them energy efficient, and as a
result, building materials exposed to moisture
never get a chance to dry out."
mould can be cleaned off surfaces with
a weak bleach solution. Mould under
carpets typically requires that the carpets
be removed and replaced, but what do you
do about mould in the insulation or wallboard?
It goes without saying, they too have to
be replaced, but how do you know you have
a mould problem behind your walls?
"That's the first place we look if
there aren't any other visible signs of
what's making someone sick in their home," says
Norman. Signs of mould exposure include
eye irritation, wheezing,
fever and even shortness of breath. People
with chronic illnesses, such as obstructive
lung disease, may develop mould infections
in their lungs.
Mould enters the home through
open doors and windows or on clothing,
shoes and pets.
Inside, mould can grow on virtually any
surface when moisture is present. According
to the National Association of Mould Professionals
(NAMP) and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation
of America (AAFA), you can reduce mould
growth throughout the home by:
humidity below 40 percent.
Using an air conditioner or dehumidifier during humid months.
Making sure your home has adequate ventilation.
Drying any water leak within 24 hours.
Removing carpet in bathrooms and basements.
Disposing of mouldy materials immediately.
hard surfaces regularly with mould-killing
products. Allergy or asthma sufferers should
ask non-sensitive people
to apply cleaning
Solutions of soap and water
may remove mould stains, but can leave mould spores
behind. Those remaining spores, which are
often invisible to the naked eye, can then
quickly re-colonize. To decrease mould in
homes, clean regularly with products designed
to kill common household moulds.
What is That White Powder On My Foundation
That white powder is known as efflorescence
and is caused when soluble salts and other
water dispersible materials come to the
surface of concrete and mortars. It's induced
by low temperatures, moist conditions,
condensation and water. It can occur very
soon after exposure to moist or cool conditions
or gradually, especially when it comes
from within the concrete or from the sub
material containing portland cement results
in efflorescence. The most usual
reaction occurs when calcium hydroxide
(lime) formed in the hydration reaction
of portland cement (approximately 140 pounds
per cubic yard of concrete) is transported
by water to the surface through capillaries
in the concrete. There it combines with
carbon dioxide from the air to produce
calcium carbonate (an insoluble material)
and water. But efflorescence can also be
caused by hydroxides and sulfates of either
sodium or potassium, which are much more
soluble in water than calcium. And they
form efflorescence more rapidly than calcium
hydroxide. These salts can come from cement,
aggregates, water, or admixtures.
Questions and Answers
I have water in my basement… what
should I do?
Remove the water and dry
the area immediately. It is best to hire
with the proper dewatering and drying equipment
to prevent a mould problem in the future.
If unable to hire a professional use a
wet/dry vacuum to remove the standing water,
some towels to dry any remaining water
and fans to accelerate the drying process.
Take note of where you see the water and
call Waterproofing Solutions so we can provide a solution
for your problem.
Q: This is the first time
my basement has leaked. Why has it started
More often new foundations
that go into the ground can cause changing
with the flow of surface and sub surface
water and cause water levels to rise.
new construction must have adequate dry
wells to handle all water run off from
that property. This forces additional water
into the perched water table, which can
affect nearby buildings.
Increased periods of rain and
many other factors of our environment are
every day. These can lead to elevated water
tables or areas being saturated that are
Failure of Existing Waterproofing
Exterior foundation coatings may
have failed due to age, plant growth or
movement. Dry wells can eventually clog
or become overwhelmed during a large period
of precipitation. Additionally interior
systems placed in an area of high iron
ore or silts are prone to becoming clogged
and more frequent pump failure.
Leaders and Grading
Often referred to as “Waterproofing
101” gutters, leaders and the grading
around a structure can have a large impact
on water infiltration. Gutters and leaders
allow the large amount of water collect
off the roof to be directed away from the
structure. Along with grading these items
help direct water away from the foundation
Age of a Structure
Concrete and other building
materials deteriorate over the course of
concrete ages it can crumble and the lime
can be pushed out by hydrostatic pressure
resulting in more porous concrete. On many
occasions we have repaired block foundation
walls that suffered from the outer course
of block being completely absent.
do I know what waterproofing method will
resolve my problem?
An Waterproofing Solutions™
representative will be glad to come and
identify the source
of your water issue. Primarily Waterproofing Solutions™ treats the problem
at the source.
If the wall has a crack and leaks during a rainstorm a drainage system is
probably not the correct answer. Call us today for
a free estimate
will be moving soon, should I still
fix the problem?
Yes! The value of your
home can decrease up to 25% if a structural, environmental
(mould) or water problem is discovered. Water evaporating into the air can
cause increased humidity levels throughout the entire house causing additional
Q: Why does my basement smell musty?
Foundations “sweat” when
the dew point is reached. This is common
in any foundation and is similar to filling a glass with ice water on a hot
day. The optimum humidity level for a basement is 45%, this can be achieved
with a high-efficiency dehumidifier. Do not be confused by exhaust fans that
are on today’s market or underpowered smaller units typically purchased
at a department store. Click here for more
information on indoor air quality