You know how essential water is. We need it to stay healthy and hydrated, and it’s a staple for cooking, cleaning, and bathing. But other than coming out of faucets, you do not want or need water leaking in your basement or anywhere else in your house.
True, not every single home has a basement. While basements are common in Denver and other parts of Colorado, it is estimated that less than 20% of western Colorado homes were built with basements. They may be few and far between, but we at Foundation Repair of Western Colorado have seen our share of basements.
Basements are great areas to store belongings, keep laundry and HVAC units out of the way, and even use as an additional bedroom or living space or a fantastic “man cave.” But they also have their problems.
If you have this below-grade area in your home, have you taken a good look around it lately? Do you avoid it because it’s dark, dingy, damp and smelly? If this is the case, you’re helping make those matters worse. Whether or not you are regularly in your basement or think of it as out of sight and out of mind, you need to know what’s going on down there.
Leaking water in your basement means trouble for you, your family, and the rest of your home. It can ruin anything it touches, as well as lead to mold growth and unpleasant odors.
Would you want your loved ones exposed to these unhealthy and unsafe conditions? If you notice an increase in humidity, see a puddle of water on the floor, or have a complete flooded mess in your basement, it’s important to address these issues right away.
And the expert team at Foundation Repair of Western Colorado is here to help you! We are proud to serve Grand Junction, Montrose, Carbondale, and the surrounding area.
On this page, we’ll address common questions and concerns we hear from homeowners like you about wet basements and basement waterproofing.
Let’s start with typical problem signs indicating basement water intrusion in your home.
There could be a variety of reasons why your basement is experiencing these problems. One major culprit is the ground on which your home is built.
There are many soil types throughout the country, but there are three main ingredients in soil – sand, silt, and clay. Colorado has hundreds of soil types, and many of these are rich in clay. Clay soil expands and shrinks in volume dramatically with changes in moisture. It also absorbs and holds onto water more so than sandy or silty soil. This is seen in other ways soil affects a home.
When construction started on your house, a sizeable hole had to be dug in the ground to accommodate the foundation. The foundation walls were built, but a gap remained between the walls and the existing earth. The excavated soil was then replaced or “backfilled” around the walls. This soil is fluffy, looser, and not as dense or tightly packed as undisturbed soil farther away from the house. Because of this, when water collects in the soil immediately surrounding your house, it creates a “clay bowl” of sorts. This water and the saturated soil then push against the foundation walls, causing cracks and allowing water to seep inside.
The constant force exerted on the walls by saturated soil is known as hydrostatic pressure. When this force becomes too much for the walls to handle, they will begin to crack and bow inward. Water can easily find its way in through any cracks and openings, and your home’s structural stability is affected.
As the backfilled soil around your home settles, it can sink towards your foundation at a sloped angle. This allows water to easily run next to your foundation and contribute to hydrostatic pressure.
A footing drain was installed just outside the foundation walls during your home’s construction to help keep water away. But it can easily clog and allow water to collect by the walls. Preventing this is difficult, and so is cleaning and flushing the drains.
Having a functioning sump pump is essential in keeping a basement dry. Sump pumps commonly are installed in metal basins in the floor with lids that rest on top of the basin and have openings for the discharge pipes. Some may not have lids at all. These are ineffective systems that will cause more problems. The metal basins can easily rust and corrode, and partial or nonexistent lids allow water back into the basement. This can lead to flooding as well as unpleasant odors and moisture issues that defeat the purpose of the sump pump. Debris and other items also can easily fall into the system and damage the pump if the sump pit is not completely covered.
If you have clogged or above-ground exterior drainage pipes, water can easily puddle next to your home and find its way inside any crack or gap in porous block foundation walls. Above-ground downspout conductor lines also are tripping and safety hazards, so placing these lines in the ground and directing them far away from your home is the best way to keep water from these lines out of the house. Some traditional downspout conductor lines buried underground have no outlet for drainage. Since they are sitting in the ground, they could become clogged with dirt and other debris. This could lead to back-up or overflow of water that will cause additional headaches.
Mother Nature can be unpredictable, and Colorado sees its share of wild weather. Heavy rainstorms can dump a lot of water on the ground with nowhere to go, and wintertime snowmelt results in runoff water. This water can then find its way inside through saturated soil and wall cracks.
After learning about some of the symptoms and causes of your wet basement, are you ready to tackle these issues once and for all?
Your basement is part of your home’s foundation, and a dry basement is important to your home’s health. If you have a wet basement, it’s uncomfortable, can increase your energy bills, and even cause health problems.
These are some of the ways your home and your family will benefit from basement waterproofing:
Mold loves wet, damp areas. If you’ve got water in your unfinished basement or even behind drywall or paneling, odds are there also is mold growth. By addressing seeping water with reliable solutions, you’ll keep mold and unpleasant odors from taking over your home. Choosing to have a dehumidifier installed also helps prevent mold growth that can lead to issues like asthma and allergies, and it will improve the overall air quality of your home.
Water could be finding its way inside through wall cracks and gaps, which also means the safety of the structure could be at risk. Why would you want to subject your loved ones to and environment that could cave in at any moment? By properly waterproofing your basement, you are also ensuring a longer lifetime for your home.
Below grade areas like basements tend to be cool and damp, and those with leaking water will experience even more of a temperature decrease. This can lead to the above floors feeling cold and the need to keep cranking up the heat for a more comfortable living space. This, in turn, leads to higher energy bills. Why waste money on the latter when you can invest in permanent waterproofing solutions that will save your home and your wallet in the long run?
There are many different factors that can impact a home’s real estate/resale value, but it’s important for you to be aware of the condition of your home regardless. By having trustworthy waterproofing solutions installed, you’re ensuring your home’s health and value for today and tomorrow. A clean, dry home is more attractive to home buyers as opposed to a house with leaks and mold. Colorado homeowners must complete the Seller’s Property Disclosure form, and some items on the checklist that need to be documented are past or current issues with moisture and water problems, flooding, and drainage. It’s important to be honest about any known issues when it comes to leaks and waterproofing, as this sets clear expectations regarding the quality and condition of the home.
You might be eager to rush out to your local hardware store to buy the latest home improvement product you saw advertised on TV so that you can take care of your basement problems yourself. But please stop and hear us out. While there are so many resources at your disposal these days in the repair arena, the best thing you can do instead of dabbling in different projects is to educate yourself about more permanent solutions. Even if you’re a handy “jack of all trades,” basement waterproofing and repair is serious work that is best left to a professional contractor.
Sure, you could apply a wall sealant or paint yourself, but this is only a temporary bandage that is not going to completely or permanently address the problem. These cheaper quick fixes will pop and flake, indicating a lingering moisture problem. Water also follows the path of least resistance, so even if you “seal” off one leakage point, it’s going to find another way in.
In short, waterproofing repairs are not DIY projects. Don’t waste your time and money on fast fixes that will only require more effort and funds to continue to patch things up over time. Why not fix it right the first time with trustworthy solutions from a reliable contractor?
You may have heard horror stories about awful experiences with contractors, so it’s easy to understand why you’d feel wary of working with one yourself. But don’t let a bad apple completely influence your decision. Before hiring a contractor, make sure you do your homework and are comfortable with who you bring into your home. There are many other factors to consider when choosing a basement repair contractor such as the company’s integrity and track record, and how the employees carry themselves.
Here are 10 tips for selecting a reputable contractor, courtesy of Popular Mechanics:
We at Foundation Repair of Western Colorado are proud to meet and exceed expectations on these points. If you’re not sure how to get started, don’t panic. Our expert team is here to assist you! Read on to find out more about us!
You won’t have to stress about the waterproofing process when you choose to work with us. You will be in good hands. We have highly trained, professional teammates whose No. 1 priority is you. Your safety and satisfaction with the job are what matters most to us, not trying to make a sale.
Once you contact us for a free inspection and estimate, we’ll work with you to schedule an appointment with one of our expert inspectors. During the appointment our inspector will:
When you decide to have us complete a repair project, we will schedule the work with one of our experienced installation crews. The crew will treat your home with the utmost care and respect as they install the best solutions proven to protect your home. If something comes up during the process, there’s no need to worry. We won’t leave you hanging. Our team works until the job is done right and you are 100% satisfied. We also offer service and maintenance opportunities to ensure the systems we installed continue to operate at a high level to protect your home.
In our commitment to you, we only install the very best solutions that are proven to permanently fix your wet, leaking basement. The products we use are manufactured right here in the United States, and they are designed to work together to give your basement the complete protection it deserves.
Our professional basement consultants will work with you every step of the way to design the best basement waterproofing solution to uniquely fit for your home’s repair needs.
Here are the solutions and how they work:
We’ve saved the best for last. Cost is one of the most-asked questions we hear from homeowners. And rightly so. Your home is a significant investment, and you want to be sure you’re using the best, cost-effective solutions to protect it.
Homeowners can expect to spend around $4,000 on basement waterproofing, on average, with various projects ranging between $2,000 and $10,000. The return on investment from basement waterproofing is estimated to be around 30 percent. But the health and structural and safety benefits, not to mention peace of mind, are priceless.
Every home is different, and each project calls for different solutions. We are able to customize solutions specific to your repair needs. Your inspector will take into consideration your repair goals, the severity of damage or problem areas, square footage, and your budget. It’s not just a “one size fits all” fix. So, what worked for your neighbor down the street may not necessarily be what your home needs.
Contacting our team for an expert opinion is your best bet. We will not try to throw bandages on the problems, push you to buy “everything but the kitchen sink,” or offer sub-standard quick fixes.
So, what’s holding you back from a project that will protect your home and your family? Be proactive and let the experts at Foundation Repair of Western Colorado give you a hand! We are eager to help you create a safer and healthier living environment!