What are the warning signs of a leaking basement?
You probably have a basement leakage problem if you can spot one or more of the following eleven danger signs in your basement:
- Water seepage from the walls or floors
- General dampness or a musty odor in the basement
- Tile lifting from the floor
- Warped paneling or dry rot
- White powder on the walls
- Cracks in the walls or floors
- Rust on the furnace, water tank, or lolly columns
- Mildew or fungus
- Termite or other insect infestation
- Peeling paint on the walls
- Buckling walls
You probably have a leaking basement if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and a professional inspection is a must as some causes of serious below grade basement damage are easily overlooked.
Why does my basement leak?
To understand why this leakage occurs, think of the hole that was dug when your home was constructed as a kind of “bowl”. With every rainfall this “bowl” fills with water, searching for weak areas in your home to enter as it seeks to level itself.
The most common cause of serious problems is rainwater leaking through the basement floor or below-ground-level walls. In a mild case, the water will slowly seep through porous walls and can be difficult to detect. In an extreme case, the water enters through visible holes and cracks and accumulates in deep puddles on the floor. Unfortunately, it’s the water you can’t see that causes the most serious foundation problems. That’s why it is very important to have an experienced waterproofer inspect your basement and make recommendations to correct the problem before the problem becomes worse.
Is basement water leakage a common problem?
Yes. According to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), an estimated 90% of all homes whose basements have cinder or cement block walls will leak in the first 25 years of life.
Our basement was dry for over 5 years then one day it began to leak. How did this happen?
Problems can develop even in the most well built homes. Over time, walls settle and crack, protective coatings that were applied during construction to help make the home watertight may crack, and exterior drainage systems fill up with silt. Homes that were originally built to be watertight can begin to leak without notice.
Do I need to take care of my wet basement problem now?
Many homeowners postpone waterproofing their basements because they are unaware of the severe damage that can be caused by water penetrating the foundation. Neglecting a basement water problem can result in costly foundation structural repairs. It is wise to have a professional waterproofer inspect your basement if there is any question that you might have a water problem.
Will waterproofing my basement increase the value of my home?
According to an article in the Chicago Sun Times, money spent for a permanently dry basement typically pays off in an immediate increase in the market value of a home.
How do I choose the right contractor to fix my basement?
Choosing the right contractor can be frustrating and confusing. A few tips you can utilize to help the decision process:
- Request references from the prospective contractor. Make sure they have satisfied customers from your area. Aquaguard has 1000′s of references available.
- Go to the NAWSRC.org website and confirm that the contractor is a member of the National Association of Waterproofing and Stuctural Repair Contractors. If the member is certified they have demonstrated the highest industry standards and a dedication to continuing professional education.
- Search the contractor on the internet. Many consumer protection sites on the internet will report problems the contractor has had in fulfilling their contracts.
- Always receive a written contract. If any promises are not in writing don’t assume they will be done. Aquaguard has a separate agreement attached to the contract outline everything we will do and any additional services.
- Don’t always look for the lowest bid. A contractor’s bargain price may be more attractive than his finished product. Aquaguard offers competitive quotes that are standard in the industry and has a fixed price list.
How long have you been in business?
Aquaguard has served the D.C. Metropolitan area, Baltimore, Maryland, and Northern Virginia for more than 50 years. Based in Beltsville, MD, Aquaguard has thousands of satisfied customers in Washington, Maryland and Northern Virginia.