What Can I Use to Repair Basement Leaking?

If your basement walls have cracks in them, it’s not unusual for them to be leaking water. However, even small amounts, dripping in when it rains, can cause big problems down the line. Mold, bacteria, and pests are just some of the results of leaking basement walls. So, what can you use to repair basement leaking? The answer may not be as simple as you hoped.

Find the Source

The first thing to do is find the source of the leaking. If you’re looking for repair solutions, you probably already know where the water is coming from. If a basement window isn’t doing a great job of keeping out water, you likely need some window well waterproofing. This process is fairly simple. We install something you could call a tray, which catches any water collecting in the window well. The water is then redirected away from the house.

However, if your basement leaking is caused by cracked basement walls, there’s a bit more to be done.

Don’t Fill Cracks

What most people end up looking for when trying to DIY repair basement leaking is something to fill in the cracks in their walls. However, you should never try to fill in basement wall cracks from the inside. 

Because water leaks in from the outside, filling the cracks from the inside ends up trapping water within the walls. The water will then expand and contract with the weather. This will cause a lot more damage to your walls than if you’d left them.

Determine Severity

The next step is figuring out how severe the issue is. During the worst weather of the year, is the leaking simply causing moisture on the inside of the walls, or is it running down and pooling on the floor? If the worst the weather can do is give you some moisture on your interior walls, you likely just need damp proofing. However, if water is coming in enough to pool, even in tiny rivulettes or puddles, you’ll want to go the waterproofing route. 

Both methods involve accessing the basement walls from the outside, which means digging a trench along the side of the house. However, they each offer a different level of protection.

Basement Damp Proofing

When damp proofing, the real culprit is the cracks in the wall, allowing regular ground moisture in. So, when you hire POM Waterproofing to damp proof your basement walls, we fix cracks from the outside and then coat the exterior of your basement walls. The crack repair will build the integrity of the walls back up while the coating will keep moisture from getting in or forming new ones. 

Basement Waterproofing

With basement waterproofing, the culprit is the amount of water trying to get at your basement walls. A high level of ground water will cause damage to otherwise intact walls. This happens when rain collects along the basement wall and erodes the stone.

When we waterproof your basement walls, we do the same process as damp proofing, but take it a step further. Once the wall has been smoothed and coated, we apply a solid membrane and adhere it to the wall. This membrane provides a solid barrier between ground water and your basement. Then, we install a track that collects and redirects ground water that finds its way to the membrane. The water will then be redirected away from the house, ensuring it doesn’t just pool against the membrane.

Give us a call today if you’re interested in protecting your home from invasive water. 

My Basement Flooded – Now What?

Finding your basement flooded is one of the most stressful situations a homeowner can experience. For most, the immediate response is, “What do I do now?”

Luckily, POM Waterproofing has plenty of experience in the area of basement flooding. Let us walk you, step by step, through what you need to do in the aftermath.

Get Rid of the Water

The first step may seem obvious but, when in a panic, the obvious is often foggy. The first step when you find your basement flooded is getting rid of the water. You can do this one of three ways:

  1. A Bucket
    This method is not easy, nor is it fast or effective. You should only attempt to bail out your basement by hand if you have no other option, financially. It can also be dangerous as flood waters can contain disease and parasites and bailing with a bucket usually leads to contact with the water.
  2. A Wet Vacuum
    A wet vacuum is a vacuum that’s able to suck up liquids. Because this requires the same amount of hauling water outside as bailing with a bucket, it’s also not the most recommended. It does save on time, however, as you can suck up water with the hose, instead of trying to scoop it – which gets difficult the lower the water level gets.
  3. A Pool Pump
    You’ve probably seen one of these before – if not in person, then in a movie. Pool pumps are those long, wide hoses that are used to suck all of the water from a pool when it needs maintenance or is going out of commission. Using one of these can clean up the pooled water in your basement in no time, minimizing long-term damage to your foundation and structure.

Begin Item Recovery

When the basement is clear of pools of water, it’s time to begin salvaging your belongings. Take everything out of the basement. It’s recommended to lay out a tarp on the lawn by the exit nearest your basement. This will allow you to sort through what you recover without spreading flood water and mud all over your house.

Remove Remaining Moisture

When everything is out of the basement, it’s time to get rid of any moisture left. It’s recommended to buy or rent a heavy duty dehumidifier and leave it running in the basement. This will suck up moisture in the air, allowing the space to dry faster.

For any surface you can reach, it’s time to take out your entire closet of towels and begin drying. Save sanitation for later. The goal for now is to get things dry to avoid molding, bacterial growth, and pests.

Ensure Safety

When the basement has been completely dried, let the dehumidifier keep running and begin sanitizing the space. Break out all of your favorite cleaners and use them on every surface that was within a foot of the flood water. This will kill any bacteria that made its way in in the water.

When you’ve cleaned up to the best of your ability, you’ll want to have a professional come out and inspect your basement. Someone experienced in basement flood recovery will be able to spot any areas that may need further help, such as waterlogged wood that may rot. Without an inspection, certain red flags may slip your notice and leave you with hefty remodeling bills down the line.

Avoid Another Flood

If your basement flooded just by severe weather, it’s time to prepare for future flooding. If it can happen once, it can happen again. Therefore, if there was a specific source for the flood water, such as a window well, window well waterproofing could save you from another disaster. However, if cracks in your foundation or basement walls are the culprit, it’s time to invest in basement waterproofing. Keep your house lasting as long as you do by investing in your future.

How to Repair a Damaged Foundation

A damaged foundation is bad news for anyone. Your home’s foundation is what keeps it “alive.” Without it, the rest of the structure would quickly fall victim to shifting ground and instability, making the building dangerous to live in. So, how do you know if your foundation is suffering? What happens if it is? Can you repair a damaged foundation? POM Waterproofing has answers to all of your questions and more. Let’s take a look!

Is My Foundation Damaged?

The first step to anything foundation related is knowing if it’s damaged to begin with. There are obvious warning signs from both inside and outside of a building.

Signs from the interior include:

  • Cracks in your sheetrock/drywall
    (Not your paint. Old paint get’s little cracks in it over time and this is harmless.)
  • Cracks in your flooring
    This is most noticeable with tiling or the cement floor of an attached garage.
  • Doors or windows that aren’t aligned correctly anymore
    Have you ever noticed your doors suddenly closing more or less easily during certain seasons? This is due to shifting in your foundation.
  • Floors being uneven
    Your foundation was built to provide a flat, even surface for your house. If the floors of your house are not completely flat, the foundation has shifted.

Signs from the exterior include:

  • Cracks in exposed parts of your foundation
  • Gaps between exterior doors or windows and the exterior wall
  • Displaced moldings, doorframes, and window frames
    If there is a gap between the frame or molding around a door or window and the wall that it should be sitting against, something is amiss. 
  • Cracks in exterior brick or stone walls
    Cracks in the mortar between bricks is bad enough, but any shift in the foundation that can apply enough pressure to crack the bricks themselves is noteworthy.

How to Prevent Damage

If you’re not seeing many of these signs, your foundation is probably fine. However, if you see one or two things that seem like they might indicate the beginning of a problem, there’s a way to prevent that problem from getting worse.

To prevent a damaged foundation, you should heavily consider damp proofing or waterproofing for your exterior. This process is somewhat involved. It aims to install a barrier between your foundation and the surrounding ground. This is very effective at stopping damage from groundwater and moisture. It can also be used to prevent moisture from leaking into basements, which is a leading cause of basement mold.

Can A Damaged Foundation Be Repaired?

The amount of damage a foundation can accrue before it is irreparable is quite extensive. Repairing a foundation actually comes with many solutions. This is especially true if you catch the damage early on. Foundations that are beginning to shift position due to the shifting ground beneath it are some of the easiest to repair – though the process isn’t simple nor cheap.

How to Repair a Damaged Foundation

If you need help repairing a damaged foundation, you’ll need to contact a local specialist. The repair will typically involve digging into the surrounding soil to expose the foundation. Your specialist can then repair it from beneath by applying supports. This uses a method called slabjacking.

If you have questions about damage prevention, waterproofing, or damp proofing, you can get all the help you need right here. Call us at POM Waterproofing and we can help you avoid any future need for foundation repair.

How Damp Proofing Can Protect Your House Structure

The #1 thing that destroys houses is simply time. Or, specifically, it’s the environment with the addition of time. This is the exact reason why abandoned buildings fall apart. With no one around to mitigate the damage done by the environment, they simply fall apart. Do you want to protect your house structure from the environment and minimize the amount of upkeep it needs to remain its best? Damp proofing is exactly what you need. Now let’s jump into why!

Ground Moisture Destroys Foundations

You might expect rain and wind to be the biggest environmental opponents your house has to withstand. However, the real opponent is much more insidious. Wind and rain can do a great deal of damage to parts of your house that are cosmetic or easily replaced. However, ground moisture has a much bigger impact on your house structure. The parts of your house that are hurt by ground moisture are difficult, or even impossible, to fix once damaged.

Let’s look at your foundation, for example. The foundation of your house is possibly the most important part of it, structurally. Without the foundation, your house would only last a few years before succumbing to moisture damage, ground shifting, and more. After a few years, any foundation will begin to get microscopic cracks in it. These are no big deal with they’re small. They show up from the earth around the foundation shifting slightly with each passing year. The changes are so small that their effect is really very small.

However, when these tiny cracks appear in your foundation, it creates a place for moisture to hide. The moisture in the ground around your foundation will seep into those cracks and make them worse. There are 2 ways they do this:

  1. The moisture flowing from crack to crack erodes the foundation the same way a river can create The Grand Canyon.
  2. Changes in temperature lead to that moisture expanding and contracting, which forces the cracks to widen and spread.

Structural Integrity

As you can imagine, the faster your foundation deteriorates, the faster other parts of your house structure do. For example, a damaged foundation makes it harder to protect your house structure from mold.

Houses with basements will experience the same struggle with basement walls as they do with their foundation. The difference is, the cracks in your basement walls will easily reach all the way through. This can lead to basement moisture problems and mold.

Mold is a particularly dangerous thing to allow a foothold. Once mold growth begins in your home, it’s very hard to get rid of. This is especially true when mold manages to make its way into your house structure, such as the wooden framework. It’s nearly impossible to protect your house structure and framework from mold once it’s taken hold. The best way to protect your house structure is to prevent damage to your foundation and basement walls before it happens.

A Long Lasting Home

If you want to keep your foundation and basement walls from falling victim to moisture damage, it’s time to look at how damp proofing can protect your house structure. Damp proofing creates a barrier between your foundation and the ground, keeping water and moisture from reaching it in the first place. POM Waterproofing does damp proofing for the entire Toronto area, and we can do it for you too. Give us a call if you want your home’s structure to remain its best.