Basement Waterproofing Problem Signs
A basement that consistently leaks or floods can cause severe damage to your home and property while also creating health issues such as mold and mildew growth.
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Condensation is a sign of excessive humidity in your basement and should not be ignored. It can be a sign of serious issues at work in your home.
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If you want to prevent seepage throughout your basement, you’ll need to take steps to prevent water from getting into your home.
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Basements are susceptible to their fair share of flooding issues being that they’re a below-ground area of the home.
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That chalky white residue on your basement walls may seem harmless, but efflorescence could be the telltale sign of damage and dampness in your property.
Does your basement leak during a heavy rain? While it’s commonly believed that normal basements always deal with leaks, excess humidity, and even musty odors, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Letting your wet basement sit can lead to mold, poor air quality, and structural issues in the long run. That’s where basement waterproofing comes in; by fortifying your basement to withstand the worst of any weather or soil type, you can confidently move forward with finishing it or using it to store your appliances and other valuables.
Wet Basement Causes
Your basement can leak and sustain damage for many reasons. Here are some of the common causes of your wet basement.
Basement windows are great for helping bring some natural light into the basement area that is mostly below-grade, and egress window systems are vital for safety and building code requirements. But the exterior window wells that are part of these fixtures can lead to basement problems. If the well is not properly sealed, is clogged with debris or water, or there is a problem with drainage, water can collect inside the well and leak into the basement. This is common, as window wells are exposed to the elements.
A home’s hot water heater is typically located in the basement, as are other appliances like washing machines as well as plumbing pipes. Appliances including your hot water heater and washer can wear out over time and sustain other damage including rust, corrosion, leaks, and failure. Any plumbing pipes running through your basement also can loosen, freeze, crack, break, and leak. All of these instances allow water to collect in your basement to damage stored items and other belongings, as well as lead to the total flooding of the basement.
During the construction of your home, footing drains were placed in the ground next to your foundation footing. These drains are meant to collect water that saturates the soil and keep it away from your foundation. As long as these drains are intact, your home is safe. However, the buried pipes can easily clog with dirt and other debris or be crushed by the weight of the surrounding soil. Water can then leak into your basement at the cove joint.
Likewise, gutters and downspouts often are your home’s first line of defense in intercepting excess water and draining it away from your foundation. But these channels can fill with leaves, twigs, dirt, nests, and other debris. They also can rust, separate, overflow, leak, and not have a proper pitch. Without properly functioning gutters and downspouts, rainwater and snowmelt can collect directly next to your foundation and leak inside your basement.
Having a properly functioning sump pump is an important piece of your basement waterproofing system. But it can fail over time or without proper maintenance. The system could clog, burn out, and give out with age. Without free-flowing pipes, functioning internal components, and power, a non-functioning sump pump is just as bad as not having one. Water that the system is supposed to pump out can leak into or flood your basement and lead to damaged possessions and mold growth.
Mitch was a very good salesman—didn’t rush us to make a decision which we appreciated. Larry and his crew did a great job installing our carbon strips to support our basement walls. They went above and beyond, and did a great job cleaning up…
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Good experience, Rayville, Daryl, Jaden very polite and professional. Took time to explain and keeping us updated. Definitely would recommend!
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Great crew, super quick, great cleanup. All done in 4 hours. Recommend Larry, Richars, Rayshawn, and Marcus highly!
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The crew they sent, Larry, Rashon, Richard and Marcus did an outstanding job on my basement. I highly recommend this company and crew.
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UPDATE: Almost a year later & our basement is bone dry. It smells so much better with the air filter/dehumidifier that was part of the package! I highly recommend this company. Our experience started with an estimate from Luke Wilson, who was…
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Nick J and Eric M were amazing! Talked with us about everything they were doing. Highly recommend.
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We had Ohio Basement Systems do our crawl space repairs. They were prompt and cared that we were happy about what was done. Jeffrey the foreman, made sure to advise us everyday on where he was with the job. The other two workers Zack & Alec were…
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OBS was quick to assess the needs of my home. The sales rep, Mike Roberts was knowledgeable about the issue and my concerns, as well as about the solutions available. The installation crew arrived and was extremely professional, personable and…
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The crew (*************************** and ******************* III) were absolute wonderful. They were knowledgeable and skilled as well as professional and interested in the areas that needed work. Thank you, ***** and ******, for a great job. …
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Tommy Hurt III and Robert Zartman were skilled and knowledgeable. They did a great job and were very professional as well as caring and interested in solving the concrete issues of my driveway. Thank you!
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Experience was excellent from the first contact. Michael, the Salesperson was knowledgeable and good at explaining the work to be performed. Pricing was as expected. Work crew of Larry, Rashawn and Richard did a very nice job. Area of work was…
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Rayvell, Jayden, Darrell Rakic were great to work with and very professional. The work was done very well, and explained during and after if I had questions. Definitely recommend them
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I give the guys from Ohio Basement Systems 5 stars because they were on time, answered all my questions, and showed me every step in the process of the project. The sales rep explained every step in the financing process. Thank you so much Jay,…
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Was very pleased with the work completed on my home. Also very pleased with the two men who did the work. They were Nick F and Kris M. Both were careful and respectful of my property.
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Awesome work 👏great team of guys ( Rayvell , Darrell, Rakie, Jayden that worked very well together . Very hard workers . Got here on time and finished the job in a very timely manner . Looks awesome ! Give them guys a RAISE !!! They definitely…
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Phenomenal team. Our basement is old and dated, which lent to moisture and mold issues. OBS resolved all of our worries. They have a great product and excellent field crew. I highly recommend this firm.
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Wynn and his team did a Fantastic Job!! Very knowledgeable, professional, and willing to answer any and all questions we threw their way. 10/10 highly recommended! And yay, DRY BASEMENT!
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Rayvell, Jaydell, and Derrell came out to work on our foundation last week and I was very impressed with their professional manners and quick work. They were very communicative with my wife and I about when to expect them and what was going on at…
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Great job, nice crew. Eric M, Nick J, Curtis J, and Ethan K were all great and respectful of possessions.
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Ohio Basement Systems raised and stabilized the slab of our family room. LeAndrew C. and Darnell W. were professional and friendly. They explained everything that they did and did a fantastic job.
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Basement Waterproofing Solutions
Ohio Basement Systems makes it possible to have a dry basement. We solve all kinds of basement water problems, including those caused by condensation, runoff, and subsurface drainage issues.
Ohio Basement Systems
The egress window well is an ideal option for egress access. With its all-natural look and a durable, covered design, it maximizes natural light in your basement, while creating a beautiful addition to your finished space.
Ohio Basement Systems
A sump pump is the heart of a basement waterproofing system. When the water level in your sump pit rises, your sump pump must come on automatically and eject the water to the exterior.
Ohio Basement Systems
A dehumidifier from Ohio Basement Systems makes it easy to control humidity in even the most challenging basement conditions.
Ohio Basement Systems
The BasementGutter™ basement waterproofing system from Ohio Basement Systems is an innovative interior perimeter drainage channel designed to effectively solve basement water problems.
Is Basement Waterproofing the Right Solution for Me?
Basement leaks, when disregarded for too long, can spiral into expensive and dangerous structural damages. All our solutions are customized to serve every home’s unique needs.
Our certified field inspectors are experts in all things basement waterproofing and survey your whole home to find the root of the damage. We believe that honesty is the best policy; that means giving you the full picture of what waterproofing solutions you need, or even telling you that you don’t need any at all.
It’s easier to set up a free inspection now to rule out basement issues than it is to attempt to pay them off in the future.
There are a lot of moving parts in a basement waterproofing system, and it’s key that you’re able to install the system properly. That’s why Ohio Basement System offers installation options for all customers. If you’re having issues with basement waterproofing,request a free estimate to free yourself from these problems.
If you choose a low-quality basement waterproofing system over a high-quality one, you can definitely end up with serious negative impacts. Chief among these impacts is a seriously damp basement. If the waterproofing process doesn’t work, you’re more likely to end up with water issues, which can lead to basement flooding in the long term.
Gaining access to the most high-quality basement waterproofing system is a requirement if you want it to work well. After all, if you don’t invest in the process at all, you’re unlikely to get what you want out of it. That’s why you should only trust high-quality, long-lasting products for the entire basement waterproofing process.
A basement waterproofing system consists of three key elements: an interior drainage system, a sump pump, and a dehumidifier. When you put these elements together, you’ll gain complete protection from basement water. It’s important to have the right choice for each element to make sure they work well together.
If you have noticed a white, powdery residue on your basement floor or walls, there are a few different potential issues that could be causing this.
Efflorescence or Plaster Residue?
There are some benign reasons as to why you might find pale or white powder on your property’s floors or walls. If you have been doing work in your basement, for example, or you have recently installed plasterboard or drywall, it is very likely that any white or pale power you find is from this process. This is especially the case if it is evenly distributed throughout the room.
If, however, the powdery substance in your basement is limited to certain areas and is found in a flowering formation, the most likely cause is efflorescence. This powder or crystalline substance is not dust or plaster residue, but rather a mineral residue carried into your property by water. When the water evaporated into the air, it left the salt and minerals behind in this formation.
The Causes of Efflorescence
As we said, efflorescence is caused by a combination of water and salts or minerals. The salts and minerals themselves are often found in the water or picked up as the water makes its way through the concrete walls or flooring in your basement. In this way, the water is really the carrier for the substance that causes efflorescence formations.
The actual source of the water, however, can take many different forms. Unless you live in an area with very hard water, however, efflorescence is more likely to be caused by water that is seeping into your home from outside. As such, issues like foundation damage and seepage are far more likely to be the underlying cause of the white powder in your basement.
The work professionals can do in a leaking basement can protect the entirety of your home. What kind of work, however, do these professionals actually do? How can they protect your window wells from comparable damage in the future, too? The trick is in comprehensive care: first repairing what damage is already visible and then installing waterproofing measures to protect your home in the future.
Repairing Window Well Damage
The first thing professionals will want to do when stepping into your home is to inspect your basement. Basement inspections let professionals understand how water’s getting into your home and what kind of damage it’s already done to your property. After your initial inspection, you can count on professionals to provide you with a personalized and free services quote. This quote will detail what means you may need to restore your basement to its original, watertight standing.
Once you give the go-ahead, professionals can get to work restoring your basement. In most cases involving window well leakage, professionals will replace your window seals and install a basement window well system. This system resembles an interior drain and will deliberately guide standing water away from the perimeter of your home.
Waterproofing Your Basement
Only once your home is as watertight as it can be will professionals discuss waterproofing your basement. Trying to waterproof a basement that’s actively taking on water, after all, is somewhat of a fruitless process. If you do try to install waterproofing measures while your home’s still damp, you can shorten the lifespan of those measures significantly.
The good news is that there’s a wide variety of potential basement waterproofing measures available to anyone interested in them. Provided that they’re properly installed, you can count on them to keep unwanted moisture out of your basement for an extended period. Some of the most common basement waterproofing measures include but are not limited to:
- Waterproof insulation
- Sump pumps
- Interior drains
- Non-commercial dehumidifiers
- Window well liners
- Vapor barriers
Do note that you will need to have any home waterproofing measures installed in your basement maintained regularly. None of these measures will last forever. With proper care, though, they can see your home through the worst of Ohio’s seasonal weather.
Why Basement Waterproofing Is Needed
Poor Air Quality from Mold
When your home is suffering from basement leaks and water damage, it’s only a matter of time before mold and mildew start forming. Mold thrives in dark environments with lots of humidity—it will grow covertly in corners, behind furniture, or even on your valuables. Since mold is airborne, it won’t hesitate to spread across your home. If you notice a boost in asthmatic or allergy symptoms, then it could be a result of mold growth in your basement spreading throughout your home.
While smelly odors may seem like a commonplace trait of the average basement, it’s actually so much more than a basement quirk. Musty smells indicate the presence of mold, mildew, and standing water all stemming from basement leaks and structural vulnerabilities. While it’s a small symptom, it’s one of many ways that your home will speak to you about these basement issues.
High Energy Bills
When basements have undetected passageways from the outside for water to trickle in, outside temperatures and humidity also will sneak in. You may notice that your basement is excessively cold during the winter or exceptionally hot during the summer. When basements have these entry points for outside weather to infiltrate, it requires your HVAC unit to work harder to regulate the temperature of your home. If you’re noticing higher electricity bills, the cause of it may be coming from your basement.
Common Basement Waterproofing Tips & Mistakes
- Positively Grading Your Yard
A positive yard grade means that any water flowing in your yard during heavy rain will stream away from your home, as opposed to toward it (negative grading). This encourages healthy moisture levels of the soil around your foundation; when water is free to pool around your home, it will overwhelm the soil, exerting hydrostatic pressure which causes leaks, cracks, and structural damage.
- Considering Exterior Drainage
Basement waterproofing consists of a suite of solutions, like a wall vapor liner, sump pump, interior drainage system, and more. In conjunction with all of these interior solutions, our certified field inspectors will also recommend exterior drainage systems in conjunction. Exterior drainage systems can include a FreezeGuard™ for your sump pump discharge lines and gutter protectors. These encourage water to flow away from your home so that there’s less pressure on your basement and waterproofing measures.
- Install Waterproofing Measures Before Finishing Your Basement
It can be extremely tempting to want to cover up your cracking, leaking basement by finishing it with drywall. This out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality can be extremely damaging not only for your basement but for your wallet as well. If you plan on finishing your basement, we highly recommend waterproofing it first, then installing your valuable cosmetic fixes. Otherwise, you risk a wasted investment on furniture, electronics, and interior design as cracks, leaks, and mold persist.
- Do-It-Yourself Basement Repair
While many YouTube videos or online listicles will urge that basement waterproofing can be done at home, any expert will urge you to go with professional-grade waterproofing. At-home fixes like water-resistant paint, crack filler, and other remedies are only bandages for major issues caused by soil and weather conditions. Waterproofing experts at Ohio Basement Systems specialize in permanent foundation repair and not temporary bandages. You can trust us to get the job done once so you can feel at peace with your basement again, and not in search of the latest antidote.
- Not Investing in Backup Measures
We stand behind our permanent solutions at Ohio Basement Systems, however, we cannot control the weather over the years. If your sump pump or discharge line gets clogged over the years or you experience a power outage, your sump pump will fail and you may experience flooding. Investing in solutions like a backup sump pump battery or a FreezeGuard™ can ensure that even in the coldest of Ohio winters or rainiest of days, you can trust your waterproofing systems.
- Not Maintaining Gutters
Gutters play a huge role in the health of your basement; ensuring that they are free of debris, are draining water healthily, and that downspouts are properly placed can be the difference between a healthy basement and a leaky one. If your gutters are malfunctioning or overwhelmed, water is free to pool around your foundation, leaving your basement more vulnerable to leakage and hydrostatic pressure.
Find your service area
From lake effect snow to summer rain, the weather in Cleveland is likely wreaking havoc on your home’s basement or foundation. Our waterproofing experts can help.
Poorly drained silty and clay soils in Youngstown and surrounding areas can mean trouble for your home. We can find the one-of-a-kind solution that fits your home.
Akron-Canton Metro Area
Akron-Canton homeowners endure snowfall and melt cycles several times throughout the year. It’s not only a headache—it can cause water damage and structural problems.
Mansfield is home to a diverse number of soils vulnerable to poor drainage. This can cause structural issues to your property down the line—is your home protected?