Morris County, NJ | Basement Waterproofing - Foundation Repair

Black Mold in Basement Could Be Causing Your Rash | Morris County, NJ

Do you have dry, itchy skin? Is your skin inflamed in some areas? Your skin condition could be an allergic reaction to black mold in your basement. No amount of topical lotion or tablets will help you get rid of your skin condition until you deal with the mold in your basement.

Black mold and allergies

Black mold is a type of fungus that is everywhere. However, when the conditions are right, a mold infestation can be established. These conditions include high moisture or humidity levels as well as the presence of organic matter.

Wet or humid basements present the perfect environment in which mold infestations can be established. When mold grows, it releases spores into the air. These spores are distributed throughout the home. These spores can be inhaled without knowing it.

Mold spores can cause allergic reactions in people once inhaled. However, because the symptoms of a mold allergy are similar to those of other allergies, many people are unaware that their allergies are the result of exposure to mold spores.

how to kill mold spores 300x199 Black Mold in Basement Could Be Causing Your Rash | Morris County, NJ

Common mold allergy symptoms include scaling, congestion, runny nose, itching, dry skin and sneezing. They can also replicate hay fever symptoms as the spores are airborne. They can also make symptoms of asthma much worse. On rare occasions, mold spores can cause an allergic inflammatory response known as allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA).

If you want to know whether your skin rash is the result of an allergic reaction to mold in basement, you should get in touch with your doctor. Skin tests, blood work and a physical examination of the rash will reveal the truth.

What to do after diagnosis

If your rashes are determined to be the result of an allergic reaction, you will be prescribed medication. You may also be advised to take antihistamines. These will help to deal with the inflammatory response caused by the mold spores.

This however, isn’t enough. If you don’t want to suffer the allergic reaction anymore, you should get rid of the mold. This means investing in mold inspection and remediation as soon as possible. This will ensure that the infestation is removed.

You should then take measures to ensure that the mold infestation does not recur in the future. This means keeping humidity levels low and ensuring your house is dry. You may, therefore, need to invest in a foundation repair or waterproofing.

Contact the professionals at Select Basement Waterproofing! (800) 593-8379

crawl space waterproofing

A Short Guide to Crawl Space Waterproofing in Morganville NJ

Crawl Space Waterproofing in Morganville NJ

The crawl space happens to be one of the most neglected parts of a home. Most of these spaces, especially in older homes, are vented to allow moisture removal through ventilation. However, this has been found to be a counterproductive strategy as it leads to mold growth, condensation and pest infestation. The main problem with crawl spaces is the fact that 60% of the air in these spaces eventually flows to the upper levels of your house.

Risks of Crawl Space Flooding

On the surface, crawl space moisture might not look like a big issue until you consider the consequences. High moisture presence will lead to rusting of utility piping and other appliances such as furnaces. This might necessitate expensive repairs in future. Worse still, wood rot affects the integrity of the foundation and this can ruin your home.

Due to high moisture levels, toxic mold growth poses a big risk to the occupants as it may lead to respiratory issues such as asthmatic attacks. The presence of moisture also attracts pests which can be a nuisance in your house. To avoid all these problems, it is important to invest in crawl space waterproofing.

If you suspect that your crawl space is flooded, it is important to call in an established contractor for a free inspection and treatment of the problem.

Ideas for Crawl Space Waterproofing

Waterproofing this space is not only beneficial to the occupants but also protects your precious investment. There are different methods used in crawl space waterproofing. These are:

  1. Crawl space encapsulation: This involves sealing all the space, including the walls and the floor, with overlapping polyethylene sheets. The material is waterproof and prevents entry of water and vapor through the earthen floor and wall cracks.
  2. Sump pump installation: A crawl space sump pump is installed at the center of the floor in combination with an interior drainage system along the inner perimeter of the foundation walls. All water collected is pumped away from the property.
  3. Vapor barrier: A vapor barrier is used to prevent entry of moisture and gases through the walls. The barrier should also cover all utility wires and other obstacles including the boiler.
  4. Dehumidifier: This is installed to ensure the crawl space remains dry irrespective of the weather. A safe humidity level is important to improve the indoor air quality (IAQ) in the rest of the house.

Crawl space waterproofing is a great home improvement idea. It will improve the overall indoor air quality in your house and this space can be used for storage. Contact us today!


5 Techniques for Effective Moisture Control in Your Home

Moisture Control

Are you frustrated with dealing with basement and crawl moisture problems? If so, you are not alone. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) says 87% of homes over 10 years old suffer the same problem. As a homeowner you will concur that nothing is more disgusting than a damp space which always has a musty odor.

Not only does a leaking basement devalue your precious investment but also poses a health risk to your family.  Growth of toxic black mold on the floor and walls will lead to increasing respiratory health issues especially among your children. Moisture also compromises the strength of your foundation walls which again jeopardizes your home.

These are good reasons to learn a few solutions for this vexing moisture control problem. Here are some ideas:

  1. Foundation Walls Repair

Surface water is the main culprit in basement leakage and you should thus have a professional look at your foundation walls. Most likely there are hair cracks that are allowing water to flow in.  Indeed, hydro-static pressure according to the Concrete Foundation Association (CFA) is responsible for over 94% of water-related problems in these spaces.  Sealing these cracks using epoxy or other materials is the first step in remedying the problem.

  1. Foundation Walls Waterproofing

This is the surest way of moisture control in your home.  Not only is it a durable solution but it also adds extra protection to the walls. There are different materials available for external and internal waterproofing. They include polyurethane sheets and waterproof foams sprayed on the outer walls.

  1. Extend the Downspout

Your downspouts could be causing your basement moisture nightmare. If the discharge pipe is not well positioned or if it is short it will drain water right next to the foundation walls.  Water flows using the easiest path and if your walls have cracks you will have a problem on your hands. You should thus get a contractor to clean the downspout and extend the discharge pipe away from the walls.

  1. Improve the Grading

Naturally a house settles within months or a few years and this will create a clay bowl situation. This means the area around the walls will slope inwards and surface water will in turn stand here.  Such standing increases hydro-static pressure on the walls and water eventually seeps through cracks and gaps. A landscaping contractor reworks the grading to let water flow away from the walls.

  1. Sump Pump

This according to the National Foundation Repair Association (NFRA) is the ultimate moisture control solution for your basement. A sump pump pit collects any rising ground water and then the pump directs it out of the room through a discharge pipe. This keeps your basement in pristine condition.

Well, you must leverage professional help if you want to deal with moisture problems permanently. They have the skills and tools to make your basement a pleasant place to visit.

crawl space vapor barrier

Enjoy a Healthier Home with a Crawl Space Vapor Barrier

A Healthier Home Starts with Installing a Crawl Space Vapor Barrier

According to the EPA, our indoor environment is two to five times more toxic than the outdoor environment. Since forty percent of the air you breathe comes from your crawl space, a crawl space vapor barrier is an improvement you should consider.

Often, people don’t want to venture into their crawl spaces, since they’re damp, dark, cold, and often unfinished. Since they’re humid, they can invite threats that go unnoticed until they become serious. These include mold and wood-boring bugs, which, in turn, might invite rodents and other pests.

A Solution for Moisture

Moisture naturally emanates from the soil, and a crawl space vapor barrier, sometimes called an encapsulation system, can mitigate moisture. It’s a thick, plastic liner installed over the dirt floor and up the foundation walls. We perform these installations at Select Basement Waterproofing and ensure:

  • The vapor barrier has a good “perm” rating number, which measures the transference of vapor through the product (the lower the number, the higher the product’s resistance)
  • Proper liner overlapping
  • Correct taping of seams and anchoring to the foundation

Other Remediation Suggestions

Of course, the list above is a simple overview. It’s also important to look at the overall site and offer other remediation suggestions. Insulation may need removal or replacement. Leaky pipes, dryer vents, or outside sources may be causing moisture and need repair. If there is mold, it will need removal before installing the crawl space vapor barrier.

crawl space vapor barrier Enjoy a Healthier Home with a Crawl Space Vapor Barrier

If you suspect or know of outside sources of moisture intrusion, you may want to discuss remedying those as well. French drains, for example, are efficient systems for drawing water away from homes.

Once moisture is no longer a problem in your crawl space, you’ll be free to use it for storage or other purposes. In any event, you’ll gain peace of mind in knowing your home is a healthier place than it was. If you’d like a professional evaluation, contact us.


5 Basement Remodeling Tips that Keep Moisture in Mind

There is nothing worse than working hard on a basement remodeling job only to find out that it is prone to usual basement moisture problems, rendering all of your hard work useless.

A refinished or remodeled basement is a great addition for any home. The valuable extra square footage is a game-changer when it comes time to sell. So it’s important that when you are planning a basement remodel, you take some extra steps to ensure that your job is done right the first time.

Basement Remodeling

Here are 5 tips to help you along in your basement remodeling process.

1. Check that your basement is candidate for the job. Mitigate mold, water, and other moisture problems early on. If there are obvious signs of moisture or water (especially pools of water), talk to a professional before you begin.

2. Know and follow building codes, if applicable. In many municipalities, a building inspector has to approve major changes. So be prepared if structural changes require permits, and research what is needed in advance.

3. Consider adding a vapor barrier to finished walls. Even after you take care of moisture problems, a vapor barrier is like added protection against any future water entry.

4. Add offset walls to stop any moisture issues. A slight offset between your basement wall and any wall framing that you do, not only stops the appearance of moisture, it helps level wavy and uneven masonry.

5. Leave the utility area of your basement untouched. It is unsafe to surround water heaters, HVAC units and furnaces with finished materials. Plus, building codes are often set for how much open area needs to surround them, so leave their area untouched.

Doing a remodeling job? Need help with your basement waterproofing? Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you make have.

crawl space waterproofing

Take a Minute to Appreciate the Risks of Crawl Space Moisture in East Brunswick NJ 08816

An article published on Contracting Business in 2013 posits that over 30% of all new homes built in low lying areas in the U.S are built on crawl spaces. This might not look like a big issue until you factor a study by Basement Health Association (BHA) which reports over 70% of such structures have crawl space moisture problems.

Why then do contractors allow such spaces underneath your home? The answer lies in the water table level. If it is high, building a basement would be akin to building an underground indoor swimming pool filled with filthy ground water.

The Water Leak Problems

The viability of this mode of construction is a debate that has been ongoing for years in the industry. In the meantime, you need to deal with moisture leakage promptly. Such issues arise in case of:

  • Standing bulk water: This arises mostly if you have a leaking drain tile, clogged pipes, poorly laid downspouts, poor grading, among other issues. The water thus drips to the easiest basin which happens to be beneath your home.
  • Moisture evaporation from the ground: Crawl spaces feature an earthen floor which is prone to evaporation. Over time, soil becomes saturated and water starts collecting posing danger to your property.
  • Condensation of outdoor air: If you have a vented space underneath your structure, it is most likely that your contractor convinced you the issue of moisture collection is solved. Well, the National Association of Realtors (NAR®) reckons that warm air flowing into the space raises relative humidity eventually leading to moisture collection.

Dangers of Crawl Space Moisture in East Brunswick NJ 08816

To appreciate the gravity of the matter, consider some of these risks that your home faces:

  1. Health hazards: BHA reckons that high humidity levels beneath leads to toxic mold growth. These spores eventually find their way indoors leading to allergic reactions among other respiratory complications.
  2. Structural damage: Most homes lay on wooden joists which are prone to water damage. With rotting of these supporting beams, your home will be at risk of collapse hence the need for prompt corrective measures.
  3. Pest infestations: Rodents love areas that are moist and if you should not be surprised if you start noticing mice and other vermin crisscrossing your property. These carry diseases and also cause untold damage to utility lines

What do you do then about crawl space moisture in East Brunswick NJ 08816? The fix must start with a diagnostic test by a certified contractor. These professionals can then choose from among a range of solutions such as interior French drain tile, sump pump installation and encapsulation of the entire space, grading, metal flashing, among other effective measures.

Whatever you do, never take this problem for granted lest you lose your precious investment.

mold in the basement

How to Beat Mold in the Basement This Spring

Get Rid of Any Mold in the Basement

The key to mold control is simply moisture control. In other words, the best way to beat mold in the basement is to prevent it in the first place. 

If you are spring cleaning and find mold, you need to remove it and fix the water issue. Whether it is a leaky faucet or high humidity levels in your home, you won’t have mold without a moisture issue. If you clean up the mold and fail to fix the water issue, then you haven’t really fixed the problem. The mold will come back!

Moisture is the perfect breeding ground for mold

Mold comes in many colors, as well as white and black. There are hundreds of types of mold however they all have one thing in common: they all need moisture and oxygen to grow. Mold is an important part of the natural environment. Outside in nature, mold breaks down dead organic material like dead tree and fallen leaves and aids in the decomposition process. Mold produces tiny spores when it grows and reproduces. These mold spores float through the air. Mold can begin to grow inside when these spores make it indoors. A mold colony can start to grow in your home if there is water, oxygen and an organic food source. Organic food sources are easy to come by in your home. Mold uses wood like the framing in your house, carpet, and sheetrock. 

Eliminate moisture in your home

Because mold is a natural occurrence mold spores are in our environment. It is impossible to keep mold spores out of the air in your home completely. That is why the best way to control mold is to control the moisture. We obviously can’t eliminate air or the presence of mold spores, therefore the only element we can control and eliminate is moisture. Control the water problem and keep your relative humidity level at 50% and you will be able to control your mold issues.

Call a contractor or professional mold remediation specialist

It is important to understand if you have a mold problem: DO NOT WAIT. Remember, mold is decomposing agent in nature. It will eat away whatever it starts growing on and the longer you wait the more damage it will cause. According to the EPA, the rule of thumb is if the moldy area is less than 3 feet by 3 feet than you can handle the clean up yourself. However, if there is a lot of water damage or the mold growth covers a larger area, you need to consider the health risks of removing such a large area of mold. You may want to consider hiring a contractor or professional mold remediation specialist to do the cleanup for you. They will have the right respiratory gear and mold removal products to safety remove the mold. If you suspect the HVAC system is contaminated with mold it could spread throughout the whole building. It is important to consult a specialist to have the mold removed.

Ultimately, when you have a mold problem, deal with the mold issue and the source of the water issue. Remember, if you have a mold problem, you will always have a moisture problem as its partner. Don’t forget to find the moisture problem and fix it. If your mold issue is in the basement, a basement waterproofing contractor can help.

basement leak

5 Signs You May Have a Basement Leak

Basement Leak Warning Signs

Standing water is not the only evidence of a leak in your basement. Leaks can be slow, seasonal, and dry up before you even notice. You may never catch puddles on the ground even though you indeed have a basement leak. Sometimes your basement is letting in a small amount of water in the form of moisture, water vapor, or humidity. Water in the air is still water and can cause problems in your home.

Here are five signs your basement may be leaking:

1. Odors

That common dank, musty smell in the basement is a sign your basement may be leaking. Those odors are commonly caused from biocontaminants created from a wet environment. Sometimes the smell is from mold and mildew growing behind the walls or under the carpet pad. While you may not be able to see the problem or find a visible and active leak, the musty smell is a sign of trouble. Even though you may be tempted to fix the symptoms don’t try to mask the odors with air fresheners. That will not solve your water problem. A professional waterproofing contractor will know where to look and where to find the problem in order to solve it.

2. Water Stains

Sometimes you may have a leak but never see anything but water stains on the concrete floor or foundation wall. Even though it is dry right now, a water stain means that “water was here”. Don’t ignore the problem because if water was there, it will be back.

3. Visible White Powder 

Efflorescence, the white powder on a concrete block is formed when water reacts to the cement block. If you see this efflorescence on your foundation wall inside or out, it is a sign you may have a basement leak.

4. Rust

Rust is another scientific reaction that needs water to form. If you see rust forming on the basement floor or under metal chair legs, it may be a sign that your basement may be leaking.

5. Mold and Mildew

If you see visible mildew and mold growing on your walls, then you definitely have a water issue. Mold needs water in order to grow. It cannot live in a dry environment. Therefore, mold and mildew, even one spot, is a sign you have water issues. It may be a sign your basement is leaking or that the relative humidity is too high for some reason. Either way, a professional waterproofing contractor can inspect your basement and let you know what is causing the issues.

Don’t ignore these signs of water problems in the basement. If you leave a water issue alone, all it does is get worse! And letting a basement leak get worse will only cause more damage and cost more money to fix. Contact us for a FREE Estimate!

Wet Basement | Middletown, NJ | Select Basement Waterproofing

Signs of Basement Leaks in New Jersey

Basement Leaks in New Jersey

Basement leaks in New Jersey have many common causes. First, water that is on the ground can seep into your foundation and basement floor. Water could also leak into your basement due to issues with your gutters. Your gutters may overflow due to heavy rain, clogs, a sudden thaw, or poor installation. If you do not have enough gutters, water will also leak. Basement leaks in New Jersey are also often caused by disconnected downspouts, poor planning in terms of landscaping, and sprinklers aiming at your home. Finally, basement leaks in New Jersey are also a risk if your pipes have excessive condensation or if your interior walls have water inside them.

Signs of Basement Leaks in New Jersey

To catch basement leaks before they become serious floods, watch for these common signs.

  • Staining: Water stains on your basement floor or walls are a definite indication of a basement leak.
  • Odor: If your basement smells damp or musty, it is likely that there is excessive moisture and a potential leak.
  • Mold: Mold will also appear in a basement that has a leak, and it can come in many colors. If you suspect mold, you should have it tested.
  • Efflorescence: Efflorescence is a condition in which salt deposits are left by water that has evaporated. These may appear on your walls as gray or white ash, and it can sparkle.
  • Spalling: This also refers to salt deposits that are left behind, but spalling occurs when the surface that the salt is on begins to peel away or otherwise come off.

Contact us to get your FREE Estimate today!

Basement Waterproofing | Monmouth County, NJ | Select Basement Waterproofing

Home Equity Can Come From Basement Waterproofing in New Jersey

Basement Waterproofing in New Jersey

WaterProof Stg0 Home Equity Can Come From Basement Waterproofing in New JerseyBasement waterproofing in New Jersey is a major factor in maximizing your home equity. Fixing minor problems are easy. But fixing major flaws become very important since it is both time consuming and expensive. Although basements are not used as much as kitchens, many sellers overlook the importance of a dry basement. In today’s buyers market, a clean dry basement is a must. Most statistics say well over 90% of home buyers won’t even look at a house when there are foundation issues. With a basement comes its many problems like leakage and flooding during rainy months. Basement waterproofing in New Jersey is a good solution that can make the sale of the home easy.

The Importance of Basement Waterproofing in New Jersey

While new home buyers sometimes look at basements as an added bonus, they are very cautious of buying homes with unkempt basements. Maintaining basements through the year is difficult, but with right kind of waterproofing, it can be easily done. When hiring a basement waterproofing contractor, make sure they offer a lifetime transferable warranty. When home shoppers see the foundation is under warranty, this is a great indicator that you have kept up the maintenance on your foundation and home.

Look for Foundation Cracks

A minor fracture found in the mortar joints of concrete block walls may not just be a simple “settling crack”. That may actually be the movement of the wall inward due to pressure from the earth’s clay on the exterior. These cracks on the interior are just the tip of the iceberg as far as damage is concerned. Popular Science tells there can be 3 to 4 times as many cracks to be found on the exterior wall when one is found on the inside. These cracks on the exterior lead to water seepage into the hollows of the block. That moisture, hidden and unseen in the hollows may take a while to leak presentable water on the interior.

These are just a few of the indicators of a much more significant issue. Professional inspections can prevent much of the more significant damage caused from this moisture. An ounce of prevention can save a pound of cure. Basement inspections may not solve the problem, but their diagnosis is the first step in attaining a dry, safe environment. If you would like a professional consultation on your foundation, please contact us.