Archive for the ‘Drainage’ Category

Benefits of Waterproofing with French Drains

Drain SystemA home is built for your comfort—to stay dry when it is rainy outside and cool when it is hot outside. But how can you do that if water has finally found its way into your home, say in the basement? And so, you have to keep this from continuously happening not just because you are no longer comfortable in it but also because neglect on this post more severe problems in the future. Among these problems you will eventually be dealing with is the growth of health endangering organisms and damage on your home foundations. Besides, solutions for this problem are available like installing French drains among many others. You will find a lot of benefits of waterproofing with French drains, but first you just need to know what this method is all about to better understand why it is a better choice of solution.

A French drain is a system of piping network that runs along the perimeter of your basement with a sump and pump that intend to pull away water content from beneath it and especially the foundation. Installation of this systematic drain requires cutting and removing a width of at least a foot from the basement floor and excavating about another foot deep. The drain will go into that trench but it has to be surrounded by gravel and then concrete for reinforcement. Also, the finishing will also be in concrete to bring back the original appearance of your basement floor. The only difference now is that there is already a French drain installed beneath its perimeter.

Now that you already know why the French drain is the best solution to basement degradation, you should know the benefits of waterproofing with French drains. Here are some:

  1. It is the most permanent solution ever. As you have already learned, the French drain is the most scientific solution to basement water intrusion compared to other types of waterproofing methods. This will physically change the structure beneath your basement, which is where the problem is actually originating. And with the sump and pump doing their functions very well, you can rest assured that everything will be taken well care of permanently.
  2. It can be done in no time. The French drain can be done by your handyman in no time, especially if the necessary tools and equipment for the task are available. In fact, you can do the chore on your own although you need to have a little knowledge with piping systems and sumps and pumps to do this correctly. But if you are really up for the challenge of doing this task, you can simply ask for a sound advice from your trusted home builder or provider. You might even get a detailed manual for the installation if you choose the right brand that offers them.
  3. It costs less. Compared to other short term remedies and the frequency you need to redo the same short-term solutions, the French drain is definitely low-cost.  Don’t go bankrupt fixing temporary solutions or replacing a damaged finished basement.


Basic Steps of Installing a French Drain

French DrainThe moment you notice moisture on your basement floor or walls, you should know better than think that these things are normal. Of course, this occurrence is not because the fact you built a home in complete concrete is an indication that such happening is not a welcome thought for you. But you don’t have to worry so much as you can simply install a French drain to counter this unfortunate happening. This drain is a pipe system that will be rigged around and beneath the basement floor and then connected to a sump and pump that will eventually work to drain water from beneath your basement floor where water content are definitely originating.


The installation of this waterproofing drain is going to be a muscle work, but if you think you are up for the challenge, here are the basic steps of installing a French drain beneath your basement floor:


  • Cut a foot wide strip from your basement floor. And do this continuously around the entire perimeter of your basement flooring. You might need power tools for this like a jackhammer or do it the hard way using a large, sharp file and hammer.


  • Dig a foot deep trench. Once the width of the strip is set along the perimeter of your basement floor, the depth needs to be established. For this, you need to dig another foot with the use of a shovel or a hand shovel.


  • Add a layer of gravel into the trench. You will need gravel to support your piping system. Use medium coarse type so the cement you will use will be able to fill all the voids these stones will leave and compact them before you lay your piping system onto the gravel bed.


  • Install the piping system. Place the continuous piping system on top of the gravel bed, making sure that all connectors and elbows are properly secured and free of any irregularities where leaks may eventually become possible.


  • Add another layer of gravel. Pour another layer of gravel that will completely enclose the piping system. Doing this will keep future intrusion of water drenched soil on the pipes that will cause tear and wear on them over time. Compact them again but since the pipes are already laid beneath it, do this carefully so as not to damage those pipes.


  • Pour cement. Now, pour your cement to complete the pipe system support. This should be able to completely find its way to the voids of the gravel bed, thereby locking out any possibility of damaging intrusions in the future.


  • Finish your basement flooring. You can’t just leave your basement floor roughly finished and with the entire pipe laying details exposed, so you better finish it in the same way your entire basement flooring is finished. Doing so will ensure that everything is taken well care of and your basement is completely intact but with a new drainage system this time right beneath the slab.

Foundation repairs can safeguard the structural damage of your house or property

cracked wallNecessity of foundation repairs

As we all know that house is the lifetime asset of an individual and makes him proud of its possession. A well maintained house can only remain strong and beautiful but also serves you for your lifetime. Besides, a well maintained house has a greater market value and attracts the appreciation of all. Hence it is very essential to maintain your house or building at regular intervals and guard it against any damage or destruction so that it remains strong, durable and long lasting. Therefore the most important part of house maintenance is to guard the foundation of your house from any types of damage caused by moisture penetration which may cause cracks in the walls, stains or deterioration and may even cause risk to the health and safety of your family members. Foundation damage due to moisture penetration can cause damage to the entire structure of the building and may cause bacterial infection, increase in molds and insects which may develop chronic health problems and respiratory troubles. Besides, you have to spend a huge amount of money for repair and maintenance of your house caused by foundation damage and the loss is irreparable.

Measures to prevent foundation damage

In order to assess the cause of foundation damage of your house or building and also the volume of damage, it is always advisable to appoint an expert who can suggest preventive measures to arrest the same. There are many ways to undertake foundation repairs of your house or building. Firstly, the entire drainage system and the exterior and interior walls should be coated with thick fiber wrapping. Besides, the cracks in drain pipes have to be repaired and new pipes have to be installed in order to prevent leakage of water. For foundation crack repair, drain tile repair is also suitable. Moreover, low grade bi-product like asphalt should be routinely applied on the exterior part of the basement walls in order to prevent water from entering through the basement walls. Other than the above, you also have to apply waterproofing material like epoxy or such other material which are specially meant for waterproofing.

Foundation Repair companies

For solving your problem of foundation damage, you can certainly contact a reliable company who can suggest ways and undertake job of foundation repairs. They have efficient techniques to prevent water from entering the foundation of your house or building through leakage in the basement walls by using sealers and also by making proper drainage system. Their experts can assess the cause of water leakage and can repair the leaks in order to prevent water intrusion, dampness and structural damage to your house or building. Such renowned companies who provide efficient foundation repair services also offer a variety of patented and warranted products in order to fix your cracked, settling, leaning or bowing foundation walls. Using their unmatched experience and thorough professionalism, they always ensure to provide quality work adhering to the safety methods. Their well trained and experienced staff are always ready to solve your problems so that your investment is long term and you are totally satisfied with their services.

Ways to Keep Your Basement Dry

sump pumpHomes are supposed to be comfy enough for you and your loved ones to stay in. But what would you say if your basement is already showing signs of moisture on both its walls and flooring slab. This is a serious indication that rain and ground water have already find their way onto and into your foundation and basement walls and floor respectively. Such occurrence should not compel you to leave your home and find another ‘dry’ home, though. There are so many ways to keep your basement dry and preserve the comfy state of your home especially that this is your basement only. Although you are not supposed to keep this happening taken for granted because your basement is basically where your foundations are. If this room is getting wet often, this only means that your foundations are also soaked with ground and rain water. What you should do is apply or install waterproofing on your basement.

One of the most effective ways to keep your basement dry is to apply one of those high-quality waterproofing compound sold in home building and improvement stores. These products are usually formulated to bond effectively with concrete and withstand huge amount of water from the outside. You can also waterproof your foundations by pumping in waterproofing directly to your foundations. Among the known products for this are the Hydroclay, which is a waterproofing class of clay, and Drylock. With any of these products, you never have to worry about moisture in your basement that is basically because of your foundation allowing it to happen. These are also a bit easier to do so you can save on labor if you tackle it by yourself.

But there are more permanent ways to keep your basement dry like installing drains right beneath your basement flooring. In fact, there are two most favourite types of drains you can install underneath your basement that you can choose from. These are the classic sump and the more modern French drains. The classic sump is simply the pump and cleanout that you normally see used on flooded places, only this time, the pump is permanently installed under the basement. Apparently, this drain will require you to bore a hole on your basement floor where you will install the pump in and its connectors to cleanouts. As it is a pump, it needs to be wired to a power supply or mechanical energizing module.

The same procedure is true with the French drain, or at least with the boring method. This drain type, on the other hand, will require a foot wide of excavation along the floor lines. The trench is where the continuous piping system goes, reinforced with gravel and concrete. Of course, you will have to completely fill the hole up with finishing that matches that of your original basement flooring. Like the sump, this drain type will also be connected to a cleanout that is at least 10 or more feet away from your foundation.

Bill is a DIY fanatic. He loves getting his hands dirty in household work. However, he usually can be found writing articles online. He writes for an IME Company in the Tri-State region that provides quality independent medical evaluations. He also can be found writing for a bankruptcy attorney in Harrisburg, PA that specializes in chapter 7, 12, & 13 bankruptcy filings.

Benefits of Waterproofing with French Drains

French Drain StonesOften times, a house with improper drainage will have standing water around the perimeter of its foundation. As this water saturates the ground and seeps into the basement walls and floor, it can cause damage to the structure. The simplest and most time tested method of waterproofing and draining water away from your basement and foundation is with French Drains. This is one of the main benefits of waterproofing with French Drains.

Invented by Henry French in 1859, the French Drain is basically a perforated drainage pipe embedded in a gravel channel that encircles a house or building and is designed to direct standing water away from the foundation and to another part of the property or into a storm drain system.

Typically, a trench about a foot wide by two feet deep is dug around the house or area to be drained. A water permeable landscape fabric is used to line the trench. This acts as a filter to keep roots and debris out of the gravel channel. The bottom of the trench is filled with a couple of inches of gravel and a 4 inch plastic drain pipe with small slit perforations along the bottom is placed on the gravel in the trench. The rest of the trench is then filled with gravel, which encloses the drain pipe in the gravel. The remaining exposed water permeable fabric is layed over the channel and then back filled with dirt and replanted with grass seed.

Drainage water easily flows in the gravel and fills the drain pipe, which redirects the water to a lower elevation location away from the house. Placing the drain pipe perforations face down allows the pipe to fill with water but makes it harder for any debris to enter the pipe and clog the system.

Although it is recommended to have a professional install a French Drain system, the concept is simple enough for anyone who is willing to do the work to complete. It is also more economical than other systems of waterproofing. Digging a trench manually is a lot of hard work, but there are other options.

  • A gas powered trenching tool that you walk behind will create a nice trench for your French Drain. This kind of tool will cost around $200 a day. You also have to provide for a way to transport it to and from your property. Walk-Behind Trenchers come in different sizes depending on how deep and wide you need to dig.
  • Although much more expensive, a backhoe operator can do the quickest and best job.

One of the side benefits of waterproofing with French Drain is that the dirt excavated from the trench can be used for landscaping purposes. It can even be used to create a downward taper from the base of your foundation to the French Drain. When the trench is being dug, make sure to lay down plywood or plastic to collect the excavated dirt so it will be easier to handle.

To summarize, the main benefits of waterproofing with French Drains are simplicity of installation, time tested and reliable if built with quality materials, ability to direct drainage to any desired location, and it is economical compared to other methods.

How to Tell You Need to Waterproof Your Basement

blue water drops with circular water rippleOver the past few years, new buildings and homes with basements have already been waterproofed during the foundation construction process. There are still many older homes that may not have any waterproofing in their basements. Even with a new home, there could be issues that compromise the waterproofing of your basement. There are some basic things to check for how to tell you need to waterproof your basement.

One of the most obvious signs that you need to waterproof your basement is the presence of water on the basement floor. As water saturates the soil around your house, it exerts downward pressure and forces water up through any cracks in the basement floor, as well as through the walls. Following a heavy rainstorm, this can actually cause flooding conditions in some cases, that even a small sump pump will have trouble keeping up with. That is an example of an extreme, but it does happen frequently for some.

Sometimes the presence of a musty odor may indicate the growth of mold and mildew on the basement walls. This could be from leakage or simply from high humidity or moisture content in the air. There are a couple of things to check in this case.

  1. Look for obvious signs of water leakage through cracks in the basement wall or floor.
  2. If there are no obvious signs of leakage, place a small square piece of aluminum foil against the basement wall and leave it there overnight. If moisture appears on the outside of the foil, there is high moisture content in the air. If there is moisture between the foil and the wall, then it is seeping through the wall itself.

If basement dampness is simply due to high moisture content in the air, a space heater, or dehumidifier may be all that is required in order to correct the problem.

Mold and mildew can be a serious health problem, causing respiratory illness, affecting those with asthma, and attracting unhealthy bacteria or types of insect infestations. Regardless of the source of the moisture, it needs to be dealt with.

Other indicators of a leaking basement are things like condensation on the inside of windows (if applicable), presence of rot on support beams, bubbling or pealing paint if the wall is painted, moisture on the walls in general, and warped paneling where applicable.

In colder climates, water that seeps into basement wall cracks can freeze and expand. This can damage the structural integrity of your foundation, which can lead to more serious problems for your home.

Sometimes, water seeping through basement wall cracks will leave a mineral deposit, like a white crystalline residue along the cracks. This is another sign of leakage from the outside and usually requires a muriatic acid wash to dissolve and clean before applying any sealants.

The above checks are the main ways know if you need to waterproof your basement. Fortunately, there are ways to correct all of these sources of leakage. The cost will vary greatly on a case by case basis, but many professionals will provide a cost free estimate, or in less severe cases, the problem can be fixed by the homeowner with products they can purchase for themselves.