Gutters, gutter guards and basement water problems

Gutters, gutter guards and basement water problemsEveryone dreads cleaning the gutters but it is a necessary evil that most homeowners tackle twice each year – – once in the fall and again in the spring.  It usually involves ladders, gloves and scoops (or dirty hands) and lots of complaining.  Most homeowners do not associate clogged gutters, or the lack of gutters, with water problems in their basement.  However, if you have noticed water spots around baseboards, your appliances are rusted around the bottom, you have standing water or you have mold on walls or floor coverings, you may have water seepage problems caused by clogged or missing gutters. Continue reading

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What are the best seasons to waterproof my basement?

Basement WaterproofingYou may not be thinking about basement waterproofing unless you are suffering from basement flooding or basement seepage problems.  Most people never consider that their basement needs to be protected from water seepage and flooding until something goes wrong.  A heavy rain causes flash flooding that floods your basement, you notice mold and mildew growing along the basement floor but there is no standing water or you begin to notice that the bottom of your appliances are starting to rust.  These are all signs that you have a water problem in your basement.  Eventually, all basements will begin to experience problems with seepage due to small cracks in the foundation or leaky pipes, windowsills and doorframes.  Do not be fooled into thinking that your basement is safe just because you do not see standing water, water stains on walls or water seeping up through the foundation.  Take advantage of the summer and winter to protect your basement now before water damages your home and you must spend thousands of dollars to repair the damages. Continue reading

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How can hydro-static pressure cause mold in my basement?

How can hydro-static pressure cause mold in my basement?In order to answer this question, we must first look at the properties of water.  Water has two basic properties – – it is self-leveling and it travels the path of least resistance.  Over time, the water in the ground around your home will flow along the path of least resistance as soil shifts and changes around the foundation of your home.  However, when water builds up around the foundation and has no way to flow away from your foundation, hydrostatic pressure builds up causing the water to press against the foundation.  The constant water pressure on the foundation and walls continues until it finds a weak spot to penetrate.  This is one of the causes of cracks in your foundation and basement walls.  Continue reading

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Spring’s Not Here Yet, But Now’s the Time to Start Planning How to Keep Your Basement Dry

How to keep your basement dry?Well, it’s been a really hard, really long winter in the Chicago area.  Actually, it’s been bad all over the Midwest, so we shouldn’t feel singled out.  Spring isn’t here yet but it’s finally on the way, so now’s the time to start planning how to keep your basement dry.  A lot of people are starting to think about their flower beds and veggie gardens, but planning for better yard drainage isn’t at the top of most of our minds.  It’s way too important to overlook, however.

In most cases, to prevent basement seepage Chicago homeowners should hire a professional basement waterproofing company.  That being said, some projects that are meant to enhance yard drainage are easy for do-it-yourself, and they give you an important way to help keep your basement dry.  Continue reading

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What Are Cove Joints, and Why Do They Sometimes Let Water Seep into My Basement?

If you’ve ever talked with a basement waterproofing contractor, he may have mentioned the term “cove joint.”  You might have gotten carried away talking about something else, though, and forgotten to ask what a cove joint is.  You also might not realize that your home’s cove joint is a specific area in your basement that’s especially vulnerable to water seepage.

Without going into too much detail, here’s an explanation of what cove joints are, and why they sometimes let water seep into a home’s basement. Continue reading

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