Waterproofing your basement can seem tedious, or even like wasting money, if you’re not using the space. In reality, a moisture problem in your basement causes far more than just unsightly stains and a musty smell. Water is the number one cause of foundation issues, and leaving it untreated is inviting serious and costly damage.
For most of us, our home is our greatest investment. But maintaining a house in its optimal condition can be a genuine challenge. Where do you find a trustworthy contractor to do the needed repairs? How do you know if they’re using the best solution for your situation? Or if they’re charging you too much?
Acculevel is a family-owned and operated company that specializes in waterproofing and foundation repair. Since our start in 1996, we’ve repaired over 30,000 homes throughout the Midwest. We believe every homeowner should have access to quality products and services, as well as clear and open communication with their contractor.
So in this article, we’re going to review the kinds of damage water intrusion can cause, how to diagnose these early, and the best repair methods to use. We’ll also provide you with additional resources to use, to help you find a quality contractor, know what reasonable pricing is, and to teach you as much about waterproofing as you want to know.
Why is Water Bad for Your Foundation?
I mentioned that water is the primary cause of foundation problems. Erosion can cause your foundation to settle unevenly, which creates structural damage throughout your home. We talk about that in detail in this article, which helps you identify symptoms of settling damage.
But if you have water intruding into your basement, your problem is hydrostatic pressure. This pressure forms when the soil around your home becomes over-saturated with water. The excess water can’t be absorbed, so it accumulates and tries to force its way into and through any obstacle- including your home.
Hydrostatic pressure can create cracks in basement walls, and over time with enough force, it can make those walls bow inward. Cracking and bowing walls should be repaired promptly, to protect the strength and stability of your foundation.
This photo was taken by an Acculevel project manager during a free estimate appointment. The wall has developed multiple cracks and is bowing inward at the center.
A Wet Basement Creates Health Risks
If water is getting into your basement, it’s providing the ideal environment for some nasty things. Mold, bacteria, and viruses all flourish in a humid space. Mold can make anyone sick- even healthy adults without preexisting conditions. Research has demonstrated damp environments can increase your odds of developing asthma.
However, if your household includes asthmatics, anyone with pulmonary issues, or a compromised immune system? Mold is going to exacerbate their medical conditions. Disturbingly, studies have also shown that exposure to mold spores contributes to children developing respiratory disorders.
And we have all learned way, way too much about viruses from COVID-19. But did you know that managing humidity levels can limit- or even eliminate- viruses and bacteria?
Information taken from a study performed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.)
Waterproofing your basement and installing a dehumidifier will have a powerful impact on the health and quality of the air in your home. That translates directly to a better quality of life for you and your family.
A Dry Basement Improves Your Resale Value
If you sell your home with an unfinished basement with moisture issues? The home inspector will flag it for your buyers. If the basement is clean and dry, prospective buyers will see its potential, not smell a problem.
But if your basement is in good condition, it will add to the overall value of the home. This is because a waterproofed basement can be upgraded, remodeled, and/or finished with a wide variety of additional living spaces: an inlaw suite, home theater, fitness room, you name it. Updating your home like this generally produces a 70% return on home value. To optimize the return on your investment, it’s recommended that you keep your basement budget below 10% of the existing home’s value.
Determine the Best Waterproofing Method for You and Your Home
Customers often ask, “how can I get the best pricing possible?” The number one answer is to be well-informed. Homeowners who understand what causes their basement damage and the repair options available are harder for unscrupulous companies to deceive.
We consider answering our customers’ questions part of our responsibility as an ethical contractor. Our detailed guide to basement waterproofing covers all of the topics you are wondering about: drainage types, installation methods, pricing, warranties, and more. Please bookmark this page and use it as a reference as you prepare to invest in your home.