CYAN-AOOOMAGENTA-OAOO YELLOW-OOAOBLACK 012908
My basement is wet; now what?
Few things can cause moredamage to a home than water.
Leaks and ooding can causevarious structural insufciencies
and may lead to unsafe condi-tions in a home. Panic often setsin when water enters a home.Some homeowners live in areaswhere a high water table inevi-tably forces groundwater up andinto subterranean living spaces.Others may live close to coastalareas or rivers and streams that
can overow and cause homeooding. Still others who may
not have had a water problem before learn that a heavy rainfall,and perhaps inadequate drainageoutdoors, can cause water dam-age to a home.Compounding these issues isthe fact that very often a home’sutility systems are located out of the way in basements, or these
spaces may be nished to create
additional living space. Water ina basement can be much morethan a nuisance. Water can leadto thousands of dollars in dam-age.Moisture or several inches of water in a basement is nothingto take lightly. Furnaces andwater heaters damaged by water can be costly to replace. Wiresthat come in contact with water can become hazards and cause
an electrical re, and water in
a basement may be a harbinger for bacteria and viruses, creatingunsanitary living conditions inthe home. Mold spores that havedeveloped in a damp basementcan spread to other areas of thehome thanks to a heating andcooling forced air system. And acool, damp spot can be the per-fect habitat for insects.When a basement develops awater problem, it is best to call ina professional. Although it mightnot be cheap, calling a profes-sional can help you to remedythe situation faster than if you try
several methods to x the water
problem yourself. When looking
for a waterproong company,
seek recommendations from people you trust. Only do busi-ness with licensed professionalcontractors who are willing togive you a free estimate. Youalso can check out businesses bycontacting consumer advocacygroups. You may be able to readup on their business practices andlearn if there have been any com- plaints lodged against a companyin the past.Hydrostatic pressure, poor foundations and cracks can eachcause water to enter the house.Each situation is different, and
a combination of exterior and
interior changes may need to bemade. In order to alleviate some
water problems, certain modi
-cations must be made. While thefollowing solutions may not beapplicable in each situation, theyare some of the more common
modications plumbers suggestwhen xing ooded basements.•
Sump pump: In some cases,the installation of a well anda submersible pump may beall that’s needed to keep base-ments dry. When water riseshigh enough to start the pump,
the sump pump will then expel
the water out through a pipe toa drain or the street. Sometimesa sump pump works in concertwith a French drainage system,which is a channel around the perimeter of the basement thatfunnels water to the sump pumpwell.
Vapor barriers: Vinyl, plasticand paint encapsulation systemsmay be applied to the interior of foundation walls to serve as a barrier system. This prevents wa-ter or condensation from reach-ing the interior of the house. A
vapor barrier may extend below
the foundation to direct water runoff into a drainage system.
• Exterior xes: There are ma
ny ways to address ooding from
outside the home. These includeusing outdoor vapor barriersand paints, having grading is-
sues corrected so water will ow
away from the home, digging of a swale to catch water away from
the basement, exterior drainage
systems, and utilizing specializedrain gutters and downspouts todirect water further away fromthe home during rainstorms.
Plumbing repairs: Sometimeswater issues may be the result of a pipe backup or a faulty appli-ance and not necessarily an out-door water issue. In these cases,repairing the source of the leak may be all that’s needed.
Sunday, August 18, 2013