Common Problem: Mold & Mildew

basement waterproofing

Seeing mold and mildew in your basement or crawl space can be worrying. Not only is it a sign of water damage, it can be a health problem for anyone living in the home. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just clean up the mold & mildew. Without fixing the root of the problem, the mold will just come back over time. There are a few things that may have caused this problem. Likely, you also have foundation cracks which may be letting in water. The slightest bit of moisture in your basement can be a problem. It is a warm, dark place where mold thrives. Even small cracks need to be taken care of. Luckily, we can help you there!

Basement Waterproofing Fixes Mold & Mildew

mold & mildew

Contact us here at Midwest Waterproofing and we can provide you with a free in-home inspection and free estimate to determine exactly what your problem is and how to fix it. We will sit down with you and explain the issues and what options are available to fix it. We understand a budget, so we will work with you to find the solution that best fits your budget but also provides safety for your foundation.

Foundation cracks can be fixed a few different ways. One of the most cost-effective and efficient ways is polyurethane crack injection. We will inject the crack with a polyurethane solution that will expand and fit into all the small nooks and crannies in the crack. It is a water proof solution that will keep moisture out of your foundation. Once these repairs are taken care of, the mold & mildew can be cleaned and it will no longer come back! Give us a call for more information or book online if you are interested in getting rid of mold & mildew in your basement.

Why Do I Need A Back-Up Sump System?

sump pump installation

I’ve been in thousands of homes in my waterproofing career and some have very expensive finished basements. I’ll always ask if a client has a battery back-up sump pump. I ask because a properly sized back-up system can be a very inexpensive insurance policy against a flooded basement. Many homeowners think insurance will cover the damage. It might. Have you checked? Often the details reveal a different story.

Even if you have coverage, imagine your beautiful basement flooded. Everything is ruined. Everything needs to be torn out and thrown away. Lost priceless family belongings. The smell is overpowering, not to mention the mold and the invasion of workers doing cleanup, remediation, and rebuilding the basement. Scheduling, noise, dust, inconvenience, time off work…all this because your sump pump failed.

Why Do I Need One?

Water never stops. Gravity never stops. The weakest point of any waterproofing system is the mechanical part. During a powerful storm is when you need your system the most. Ironically, that’s the exact time when your system is most vulnerable to power outages. Our Battery Back-up Sump Pump System kicks on automatically when the power fails and can function flawlessly for several days. Also, a Midwest Waterproofing Battery Back-up System will operate in the case of a primary pump failure and alert you to the issue. You are never without an operational pump.

Can I Install a Battery Back-Up Sump Pump Myself?

Invariably I hear the homeowner say, “I’ll just pick one up at Home Depot.” This is not a good idea. A cheap, undersized back-up sump pump can be rendered useless if not installed correctly, maintained regularly and tested often. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a full day or weekend, the tools, materials, and experience to install a battery back-up system?
  • Extra PVC (1-1/2″ or 2″ pipe), connectors, primer, glue, freeze stops and check valves laying around for added discharges?
  • How about your electrical skills? Can you install a dedicated outlet and a new circuit breaker?
  • Are you willing to pour acid into the battery, charge the system and check the water levels regularly?  
  • Do you know if your pit and pumps are sized correctly with the appropriate GPM’s and head pressure to handle the water in your system?
  • Do you know the building codes in your area and how to keep your discharge system from freezing and the water away from the house?  
  • How about the warranty? Will you be standing in line at Home Depot with your “Limited Warranty” pump during a storm trying to get a replacement while your basement fills with water?

 Hmmm….

A professionally sized and installed battery back-up sump system will keep your system functioning seamlessly for several days without power. Your Waterproofing Expert will use a formula to calculate the amount of water your system produces based on several factors. System length, Gallons Per Minute, Head Pressure, and more go into calculating an appropriate Battery Back-up Sump System.  We professionally install the entire system and it comes with an in-home repair or replacement warranty.

Our Battery Back-up Sump Pump Systems start at about $1000 and can exceed $5000.  We have the expertise to install a system for the average home or an elaborate system with dual pumps and pits, back-ups and connection to the sewer system.

Now is the time to contact Midwest Waterproofing to discuss a Battery Back-up System with your Waterproofing Expert. Click here to Book Online or call 815-245-6890

Crack Repair using Sodium Bentonite in Crystal Lake

crack repair sodium bentonite crystal lake

Part of the process for diagnosing seepage in a client’s home is walking the perimeter of the home with the homeowner noting the location of cracks in the foundation. Look very closely at the picture to the left. Notice the vertical crack directly above the work area? These can be difficult to spot but our Waterproofing Experts have a very keen eye.  Many times, these cracks correspond with the area of seepage in the basement. Your Midwest Waterproofing Expert may also run a hose to determine if the crack is the source of the seepage.

In some situations, such as with a block foundation, Sodium Bentonite is not an option. Your Waterproofing Expert will explain the reasons and offer alternatives.

If the crack is clearly visible like in the photo above and is free of obstructions, The Midwest Waterproofing Expert may recommend a process called a “post hole dig” repair using Sodium Bentonite as an alternative to an epoxy/urethane injection from the inside

Sodium Bentonite is an effective, low-cost methods of sealing foundation cracks from the exterior.  Also, it is environmentally friendly because it contains no toxins. Perfect for clients with pets and children

Crystal Lake and the surrounding area has a particularly good soil for using Sodium Bentonite called Crystal Lake silt loam.

How Do Sodium Bentonite Repairs Work?

To repair a foundation wall crack using sodium bentonite, the installer digs a small hole against the foundation using a post hole digger. He digs down to the bottom of the foundation to the footing, exposing the entire crack. The hole is then filled nearly to the top with Sodium Bentonite and is covered with soil and whatever landscaping was removed so there is virtually no sign of the repair.  The installer may use a small amount of membrane material or epoxy to seal the crack that is exposed above ground. 

The dry sodium bentonite absorbs water from the  ground which causes it to expand dramatically.  This causes the expanding Bentonite to ooze into the crack from top to bottom causing a seal that is warrantied for a lifetime. If the soil is extremely dry, the installer may add a little water to start the process. 

Because sodium bentonite is applied from the exterior of the foundation, it is an ideal choice when the crack is not accessible from the inside because the basement has been finished or there are other obstructions such as utilities.

Sodium Bentonite cannot be used on cracks in corners or when there is a permanent obstruction such as a cement porch,  blocking access to the crack. However, if a patio, sidewalk or driveway covers the ground next to the foundation, we can cut out the paving material and replace it afterward. We can also dismantle decks or porches to gain access then rebuild it afterwards. 

If you are experiencing seepage call Midwest Waterproofing at 815-245-6890 or click here to Book Online

Large vs. Small Waterproofing Companies

large vs small waterproofing companies

Large vs. Small Waterproofing Companies

A consumer has several choices when it comes to waterproofing contractors. Some are huge corporations with hundreds of employees and lots of resources and expenses. Others are franchises that utilize a standard set of policies, procedures and products that that purchase from national company. Between those extremes are the companies that are built on knowledge, experience and independence.

Big

A very large waterproofing company has the advantage of marketing and advertising on a huge scale. Their phones ring off the hook during and after rains. The downside to that is it may take weeks before a representative can get to your home for a consultation and the cost of that advertising is also priced into their proposal. If you do choose them, you may have to wait months for installation. 

Large waterproofing companies have a lot expensive of resources. Being so large they are very slow to change and their solutions are usually one-size-fits-all. You are just one of thousands of customers. And keep in mind who is paying for all those signs along the expressway. Some companies offer only one solution, the most expensive of course, for virtually every issue. It keeps their profits high but customer satisfaction low.

Franchise

Franchisees are required to use certain products and certain procedures. This tells us they know little about construction. Midwest Waterproofing only uses the best materials from trusted suppliers whose products we have been using for decades. Not every waterproofing situation is the same. We tailor your solution to your problem by leveraging our 30+ years of construction experience. Franchisees tailor their solution to your problem. They make it fit. We customize it.

Small

A smaller company offers custom solutions, are very nimble and flexible and extremely attentive to their clients. Smaller companies like Midwest Waterproofing do the same work, with the same materials from the same suppliers and offer the same warranties but for a reasonable cost. Simply put, you aren’t paying for those cute commercials and billboards but are getting the very same materials and much better customer service. And, you probably will talk to the owner at your first consultation.

Click here Book Online to make an appointment and meet with the President to discuss your waterproofing issue. Or call 815-245-6890

What The Heck Is Iron Bacteria?

iron bacteria

Chris,

“I have a question. I had a plumber out to look at my basement seepage and he said I had Iron Bacteria in my sump system. He tried to explain it but I’m not sure he understood it himself. Could you explain what Iron Bacteria is and what I can do about it?” 

 

 

I think you may have called out the wrong person for your seepage issues. Plumbers are great at what they do but for waterproofing, it is best to call the experts.

Iron bacteria are small living organisms which naturally occur in soil, shallow groundwater, and surface waters. These nuisance bacteria combine iron and oxygen to form deposits of “rust”,  a slimy material that sticks to well pipes and can render untreated sump systems virtually useless.

Found in areas with a high concentration of iron in ground water, it is more common the closer you are to Lake Michigan and very prevalent in Northwest Indiana.  Iron Bacteria, also known as Iron Ochre, can be an insidious beast know for its very bright orange color and clumps of slimy residue. It also has a strong iron odor.

 

What can I do about Iron Bacteria? 

 

With 30+ years of combined construction experience, Midwest Waterproofing has created a solution. In our interior perimeter drain tile installation, we use smooth-walled PVC pipe with clean-outs installed every 25 feet. We bring in our own “washed” gravel to reduce the contaminants in the system. We also “seed” the entire system with chlorine pellets, which are the enemy of Iron Bacteria, and prevents its multiplication. With occasional maintenance such as adding chlorine pellets to the clean-outs and the sum pit, we can provide a full system warranty.

If you have an existing drain tile system and are experiencing seepage around the perimeter of the basement, check the sump pit for the tell-tale signs of Iron Bacteria. If there is a slight tinge of orange, you might have a clogged perimeter drain tile system.

Click here to Book Online for a free in-home, no-obligation consultation with one of our Waterproofing Experts.  Or call (815) 245-6890…Ask for Chris