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Debunking Six Basement Myths

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1. If water is leaking in one corner, you only have to worry about waterproofing that one corner.

Water will always find the weakest spot and enter that way. If it’s leaking in a corner, that means that corner is the weakest at the moment. But if you only plug up that corner, the water will travel to the next weakest spot and leak in there. Also, if you don’t find and fix the root of the problem, it may even come back in the same place later on.

2. You can only waterproof or do foundation repairs during the warmer months.    

We work year-round. Homeowners are less likely to notice water leakage in the cooler months because rain isn’t causing flooding. But, this is often the best time to have your basement waterproofed or your foundation repaired. When all of that snow and ice melts, it may run right into your basement!

FreezeGuard also is a great product to have for winter months. It is an outlet attachment for your sump pump drainage line that allows water to escape out of the line if it becomes frozen or blocked for any reason. It keeps releasing water even if the pipe is buried under a foot of ice and snow. This is something to consider installing before or during the cooler months to prepare for those big snowstorms!

3. If you shut the door on the crawl space, it can’t hurt you.

This is false! Air from the crawl space travels throughout the home and can cause problems not only to the flooring, foundation, doors, windows, and paint, but it also can have an effect on allergies and asthma. “Prolonged exposure to mold can actually cause asthma,” says Basement Systems owner Larry Janesky in Crawl Space Science. Approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the air circulating through your home on the first floor came through your crawl space first, and you’re breathing it!

In addition to all of that, a home with a dirt floor crawl space costs more to heat and cool. Because of the moisture present in dirt crawl spaces, your home will have damp air, and damp air uses more energy and is more expensive to heat and cool.

Therefore, closing the door on the crawl space does nothing to prevent any of these things from happening. Crawl space encapsulation and waterproofing is the way to go if you’re interested in removing all of these hazards from your basement and home.

4. “Everybody’s home settles.”

Foundation settlement is the movement your home experiences when the soil below can no longer support the weight of the structure. This occurs for many reasons because there are a variety of soil types that could be present under your home. This can be drying and sinking of the soil, wetting and softening, or compression of poorly compacted refilled soil after your home was built. No matter the underlying cause, foundation walls cracking and/or bowing inward is not a good or normal sign. We have several products which can be used to stabilize this failing foundation based on different factors.

5. Painting basement walls will keep water out.

Whether it’s regular paint or waterproof coating, it isn’t going to keep your basement waterproofed forever. This is because water and water vapor have already made their way through the wall by the time the coating or paint is applied. These will begin to push the coating or paint off the wall, and it will peel and flake and stop doing anything to protect your basement from water.

Traditional pipe and gravel drainage systems often become clogged with dirt and sediment from the ground below.

6. Pipe and gravel drainage systems work.

This is what happens with pipe and gravel systems:

  • Most commonly, water coming into the pipe carries mud and sediment in with it and clogs the drain, which blocks any other water from entering the system.
  • The drains often don’t lead anywhere, so the water just builds up and leaks.
  • The place they do lead off to is blocked, clogged or crushed, which leads to the same problems.

BasementGutter is an interior drainage system which will not clog with dirt from under the floor. Only a small amount of concrete is removed, so the pipe is not surrounded by dirt and sediment and cannot become clogged. It has large holes in the back and sides to accept water from all directions, and a special flange to catch water which may run down the walls. This is a much better option than traditional pipe and gravel drainage systems.

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