Avoiding a Leaking Basement in the Winter

leaking basement

Winter can be hard on your foundation and your basement. During the fall, rain and flurries can make the soil moist, causing it to expand and put pressure on your foundation. This can cause cracking. Any rain or melting snow can leak through these cracks, leaving puddles in your basement.

In the winter, the soil will freeze, causing it to contract and pull away from your foundation. This can leave voids underneath your foundation. Without the support of the soil, your foundation can crack or even settle into the voids. This can cause a variety of issues for your foundation and your basement!

Leaking Basement and Other Foundation Problems

leaking basementThe easiest ways to tell if you are experiencing foundation problems is to keep an eye out for cracks, sticking doors or windows, sloping floors, bowing walls, and leaks around your basement. In order to avoid these problems, especially the ones having to do with leaks and water, make sure your home is waterproofed. Having a sump pump is vital, but you may want to consider an exterior waterproofing membrane. This will keep all moisture out of your basement. Our products are made by Earth Contact Products (ECP), which are of the highest quality, as well.

Another way to prevent or remove these issues is to look into foundation repair. Foundation repair will often fix cracks that let in water. Patching a crack may be a good temporary fix, but it won’t fix the root of the problem, which is foundation settlement. Until that problem is fixed, your cracks will only continue to grow.

We here at Midwest Waterproofing provide both waterproofing and foundation repair services. Contact us today for a free in-home inspection and estimate. We want to make sure your foundation is safe for you and your family, so we will give you options that will fit your budget. We also have options for financing. We understand that these services are not cheap, but we want to make sure your living space is safe and secure! Give us a call today to learn more.

Common Problem: Foundation Wall Leaks

crack repair

In many homes, one of the first times that we notice waterproofing issues is when we have water coming in from the walls. This seepage or foundation wall leak can be due to many different things, but the main reason is usually because of foundation cracks. However, how are these cracks caused? How can they be resolved? Let’s find out!

Crack RepairHow are Foundation Wall Leaks Caused?

Usually, foundation wall leaks are caused by cracks in the foundation. This can be due to a multitude of issues. One of the most common is from hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is when soil becomes saturated with water and pushes against the foundation walls. The weight of the soil can cause unnatural pressure on the walls which then causes cracks. These cracks can let in anything from water to pests. Plus, a leaking basement can lead to even worse issues like mold and mildew which can affect your health. Another way cracks can be caused is by tree roots invading the structure. Cracked walls can even be caused by old age or poor initial construction. In any case, cracks are a serious foundation and waterproofing issue that may even lead to bowing walls which are threatening to the stability of your home.

Crack RepairHow are Foundation Wall Leaks Resolved?

One of the best ways to resolve a foundation wall leak is first to clean up the mess. The water, mold, or mildew needs to be cleaned up before any work can be done on the foundation. We don’t want to trap that mold or mildew behind any encapsulation or inside the walls. So first clean up will be done and any mold will be removed. Next, we will start on the foundation repair. A urethane crack injection is the preferred method of repair. This is because of its lower cost and no need to excavate the foundation wall. Another advantage of the urethane material is that is expands to fill the entire crack, effectively stopping the water on the exterior of the building. However, this material is also flexible so it allows for changes in the seasons. If you have a finished basement, you may want to choose an outside option. There are two typical options for exterior foundation leak repair, a waterproof membrane or a sodium bentonite clay application.

What’s the Next Step?

If you have a foundation wall leak and are experiencing a leaking basement, it’s time to call the professionals at Midwest Waterproofing. We’re happy to come out and give you an estimate of what it might take to resolve issues with the foundation. Contact us today for more information.

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