Select Basement Waterproofing FAQ
Undoubtedly you have questions regarding the process of waterproofing and cleaning your home for our team of professional New Jersey Basement Waterproofers. Select Basement Waterproofing wants to addresses your concerns and ease your fears every step of the way.
Here are many of the questions you may have for us, answered right up front:
What is the best way to find a Trustworthy Waterproofing Contractor these days?
References are certainly helpful. However, if you can visit a project while in progress – is certainly more impressive. Besides, you can really appreciate all the hard work the goes into basement waterproofing. Another good resource is: The Better Business Bureau and the Division of Consumer Affairs. Most of their records date back 3-years. Keep in mind most contractors have 1000’s of past customers, choosing a contractor with a clean slate is better than speaking with several 100’s of customers. A clean slate is hard to achieve these days, wouldn’t you agree?
Will a French Drain solve all my seepage and moisture problems?
It’s a good start, however it will not solve all your issues. You will need to HydroTex the walls and floors for a 100% “Dry all the time” design.
The nickname “French Drain” is so misunderstood. Most people think they have a “French Drain”, regarding to the gap around the perimeter of their basement floor. This is really called a HydroGap – known as a floating floor. A French drain is a sub-soil (sub-floor) piping system parallel to the footer (not on top of the footer) connecting into a sump pump.
Did you know? Henry Todd French, designed the first ‘French Drain” (hence French drain) in 1845 in Massachusetts – (Fun Fact: most people we interviewed thought it came from France…. now you know better too!). The first French Drain pipe was made of clay tile, with no holes in the pipe. I guess your next question is “how did the water get into the pipe?” Simple, it was spaced ½ inch apart, and pitch on a downward slope (gravity) to the exterior.
Is there anything I can do to solve my problem before I call a Waterproofing Professional?
Yes, call your builder and complain. Cleaning your gutters, extending down spouts, and re-grading sounds like good proactive steps; if it only rains on your roof. But, truthfully, you’re better off buying some waterproofing dirt. The dirt (soil) is the problem. The loose backfill packed around your foundation walls is the path of least resistance. Let’s go all the way back to the day they built your home. Your builder dug a hole and put your home in it – without sealing the walls, the footer, the cove joint and slab – before back-filling. In addition to: never addressing the false table of water, which is the more problematic issue – /contributing to hydrostatic pressure.
So, what are my options, and what can I do?
A) Rent a back hoe and dig around the perimeter of your foundation down to the footer. Keeping in mind – for every 2 feet you dig down, you dig 1 foot wide. Then power washing all the dirt and debris. You can start apply a rubberize coating and a backer board. Next, you will install an exterior drainage system. Back filled with ¾ inch stone. And forget to wrap all the stone a pipe into a burrito with a filter membrane. The next step is very important. Make sure your discharge lines can be gravity feed to daylight. Now you’re ready to proceed to the interior. So, exchange the backhoe for a Jack Hammer.
B) Roll up your sleeves, rent a jack hammer, open the perimeter of the basement floor, remove 10 ton of concrete, carry 10 ton of concrete, rent a dump truck to haul, 10 ton of concrete, dig a trench 9″ deep and 12″ wide, parallel to the footer, dig the sump pits 24″ deep, connect the sump to the discharge line, install the check valve, lay the membrane, install a drainage pipe – on a 3 degree bubble, backfill the trench with 3/4 washed blue stone, (drill weep holes in every cavity if you have a block wall) install a Mira-drain, mix the cement, re-concrete the floor, rent a machine to coat the walls with a rubber membrane – or hire my company to do it all in one day. Priceless.
Is there a “quick-fix” for my water problem?
Yes! Move somewhere else, back-fill the basement, or fix it in one day. Things like waterproofing paints and submersible pumps will only handle the symptoms. Waterproofing paints can cause the problem to get worse. “Facing the Facts” written by Consumer Reports states, “Waterproofing a basement is time-consuming, messy and expensive. Many homeowners are stubborn procrastinators and “know it all-s”.. And therein lies a trap – of a specious promise of an easy solution”.
Aren’t all Waterproofing Guarantees the same; lifetime and transferable?
Absolutely not! And the best guarantees are the one’s you never have to use. However, most waterproofing companies We know do not guarantee the foundation walls to be dry. Why you ask? Good question. How can you guarantee something you have never touched?
If you look deep enough, their guarantees only covers the wall cove joint area. Make sure that the warranty clearly states that the foundation walls, wall cove areas and the entire basement floor are covered against water penetration. And that the length of the guarantee is not time sensitive.
If I have a water problem but do not see any visible mold should I still use fungicide?
A wet/damp basement is a prime breeding ground for mold. Mold problems can sometimes be undetected unless you are a microbial specialist. Are you familiar with that basement smell? That smell is a mycotoxin. Mycotoxins are gases produce from certain molds. Most basements reek of mycotoxins between late April and October, do to high levels of relative humidity. If you don’t own a hygrometer – you’ll never know how much moisture you really have – but your nose will. Mold and mycotoxins go hand and hand when the relative humidity spikes above 50%, you got mold. Here lies in the problem. If it never rains again for another 100 years, you will still have a relative humidity issue do to thermal bypass. Thermal bypass is the air omitting through the basement walls, mixing with the ambient air in the basement. In layman’s terms, cold air mixing with warn air; hence condensation. Allow me to explain: the thermal temperature 4 foot below the surface is 55-degrees, the average temperature in the basement is 69-degrees. Combine a cold and warm temperature – bingo, moisture or better yet, Water you can’t see.
What is the best way to resolve a mold problem?
Remove and abate all contaminated items. Stop the water, fungi, Hepa Vac, control the relative humidity below 44%, remove the food source, coat the walls and floors with an antimicrobial EPA register product, and dehumidify into a self contained unit that empties into a sealed sump. Please note that bleach should not be used to resolve a mold problem on porous surfaces. Bleach is 94% water and 6% chlorine. The chlorine will dissipate in 15 seconds, and water in 45 seconds. What you have just cleaned – you just feed.
If I clean out my basement before the work is performed can I save some money?
The answer is yes, if you are planning a yard sale of a flea market in the future. Otherwise, all we require is a 6-foot path around the perimeter – so please move all personal items and furniture to the center of the room. Do expect some dust, even though with will do our best with ventilation machines.
Every professional will stage negative air machines and containment, in addition to, covering your items with 6ml plastic – but again, do expect some dust from jack hammering the floor. We do recommend removing all electronic equipment from the basement prior to work scheduled. If you are unable to perform any tasks promised – don’t worry, we will move them for you at a reasonable fee.