When Disaster Strikes: Five Steps to Take After Your Basement Floods

February 12th, 2018

When Disaster Strikes: Five Steps to Take After Your Basement Floods
Customers frequently contact us after discovering water drainage problems. What steps should you take immediately if water begins pooling in your home’s basement? Unfortunately, this type of emergency sometimes occurs with little warning. Consider following these guidelines during the aftermath of a home flood:

Basement Floods

One: Think Safety First!

If your basement begins flooding, you’ll want to make the safety of yourself and your loved ones your top priority. Water collecting inside a residence potentially causes many problems. Make sure you evacuate your household members and your pets from the basement.

If necessary, you may need to contact emergency services in this potentially dangerous situation. Pay especially close attention to electricity and electrical outlets in the basement; water in contact with electricity can cause serious injuries because it will transmit an electrical charge. In fact, wet electrical wires sometimes start house fires! So even if the water pooling in the lower level of the residence does not appear life-threatening, you’ll want to proceed cautiously. Try and avoid allowing anyone to come into contact with the water as you evacuate your basement.

Two: Evaluate The Scope of The Problem

It usually makes sense during the initial phase of addressing a flooded home to prevent electricity from entering the basement. An electrician can help you perform this task safely. Also, especially if you have not yet ascertained the source of leaking water, you’ll find it helpful to shut off the water to your residence until you can assess the extent of damage. Most houses contain a shut-off valve accessible from the yard.

After ensuring electricity and water can’t impact anyone in the basement, take a flashlight or hand-held lantern and evaluate the water level. Is the water still rising after you’ve closed the emergency valve? Under no circumstances should you wade into a flood! If leaking water in the basement rises above ankle level, you’ll want to speak with your local municipal sewer department about the best way to remove this wastewater. Follow their instructions. Then contact your insurance agent. Although in many cases homeowner’s policies won’t cover flood damage, in some situations you may obtain assistance. If you enjoy coverage, you’ll likely need to document the extent of the losses for your agent. Make that phone call before initiating a cleanup!

Three: Obtain Effective Water Cleanup

In many cases, resolving a basement flood simply involves allowing pooled water to flow out through an existing floor drain. If your basement lacks this feature, you may find it useful to hire a water damage restoration company to help you clean the premises. These types of firms specialize in sanitizing and restoring homes and businesses following severe flooding. They use specialized equipment to sop up large quantities of water and dry out personal belongings correctly.

Extended damp conditions in flooded basements allow mold and mildew to flourish. You’ll want to take appropriate action to ensure you completely dry and clean any belongings and household surfaces impacted by the water. (If your insurance coverage provides assistance in this situation, follow your insurer’s directions in regard to the clean up process.)

Four: Seek Waterproofing Assistance

After you’ve removed the pooled water and cleaned the premises, you’ll want to take action to prevent a recurrence of flooding, if possible. Many homeowners benefit by seeking experienced professional waterproofing assistance at this point. The company you hire will inspect and evaluate the conditions in your basement. Ask the firm to provide detailed recommendations for useful improvements.

This list may include installing an interior drain system, floor drains, sump pump, or possibly modifying landscaping features. For instance, your expert may suggest installing a French Drain in the yard to help prevent water pooling near the home. Today a variety of useful tools assist waterproofing. Implementing these measures helps protect residential basements and foundations.

Five: Correct Underlying Causes of Water Damage

Homeowners should consider taking action promptly to obtain dry basements. Flooded basements sometimes create significant hazards. In many situations, waterproofing proves surprisingly affordable!

If you’ve encountered flooding in your home in the past, you may find it helpful to confer with your insurance company and your mortgage company. Inquire about the best ways to finance comprehensive waterproofing. Often drawing up a written proposal for implementing waterproofing recommendations and attaching supporting documentation proves useful when discussing this issue with lenders.

Waterproofing Services

When you require assistance obtaining a dry basement or sealed crawl space in Raleigh, Southern Pines, or Fayetteville area, consider contacting Drainage & Waterproofing Solution,LLC” for fast, experienced service. We help homeowners and businesses implement effective solutions for drainage and waterproofing problems. Our company offers free quotes. Contact us at 919-235-5219 for assistance. We look forward to helping you!

Useful Information:

1. https://www.hunker.com/12487258/what-happens-when-electrical-wiring-gets-wet

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your French Drain System

January 23rd, 2018

Many homeowners choose to install French Drain Systems to redirect the flow of water. These drains will carry rainwater and melting snow away from undesirable areas (such as locations adjoining the foundation) and transport the flow in a preferred direction after sending it through a gravel-filled underground channel. Since this technology has existed for hundreds of years, even older properties sometimes possess one (or more) French Drains. These landscaping features typically require periodic maintenance to remain effective. Here are three tips to get the most out of your French Drain System :

 

Tip One: Pay Attention to Water Movement Across Your Yard

You’ll want to remain alert to the appearance of your yard during the course of the year. Do soggy spots develop in certain locations after a heavy rainstorm and remain visible for weeks or months afterwards? Have you noticed pooled water on the grounds? Does the soil around you home’s foundation always feel wet?

If you keep noticing these conditions, you may benefit by taking action. The time may have arrived to request a French Drain inspection. By ensuring you prevent water from pooling near your home’s slab or foundation, you’ll help safeguard the available lifespan of the dwelling. Standing water in this site may ultimately damage the building.

Tip Two: Request a Biannual French Drain Inspection

Drainage & Waterproofing Solutions,LLC” suggests property owners with functional French Drain system should consider seeking an inspection on at least a biannual basis. You’ll want to make certain French Drains continues to operate as intended. Over the course of time, these drains eventually cease working, one reason why some older properties often contain multiple French Drain sites.

French Drains are highly effective tools in many settings. They help extend the useful lifespan of man-made structures. Today, these underground channels often perform important landscaping roles. For example, a French Drain may prevent one section of a large yard from becoming a dank mosquito habitat during most of the year. This ancient technology continues to serve a very useful purpose!

Schedule a French Drain System Inspection

Did you know, Drainage & Waterproofing Solutions,LLC” offers valuable assistance to property owners in the Fayetteville, Southern Pines and nearby areas by inspecting existing French Drains? If you’ve already invested in this feature, you’ll want to ensure you maintain it in good working condition. We can help you ascertain whether or not this type of drain still works correctly to help protect your home by providing effective water relocation.

Tip Three: Inform Your Real Estate Agent About French Drains on The Property

If you do decide to sell or lease your residence in this area, it remains a smart idea to let your real estate agent know about the existence of any French Drains on your property. Providing maintenance records assures your agent and prospective buyers or renters you’ve taken steps to maintain this feature in good working condition. Disclosing this information could help prevent miscommunications or misunderstandings at a later date.

During recent years, property inspections prior to closing real estate transactions have become more common. Although the condition of the residence remains the primary focus of this activity, it makes sense to let an inspector know about the location and condition of French Drains. The inspector should appreciate the function of the drain; if not, you’ll want to clarify this issue. A well maintained, properly working French Drain testifies to the care and attention you’ve invested in the condition of your real estate.

Request French Drain Information During a Real Estate Purchase

As a preliminary matter, if you’ve considered purchasing a residence in Raleigh, Fayetteville, Southern Pines, or outlying areas, you’ll want to ask your real estate agent about the presence of any French Drains on the property. Request permission to review the seller’s maintenance records for this type of drain as you evaluate the real estate. Often, home owners do not keep these materials available. However, if the seller can supply this information, you’ll learn the full details of the location and condition of working French Drains on the property.

For all your French Drain and Waterproofing needs

Call us at 919-235-5219 to request a consultation.

Useful Information:

1. https://www.drainagenwaterproofing.com/french-drains/
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_drain
3. www.popularmechanics.com/home/outdoor-projects/a27541/open-up-clogged-french-drain/

Damp, Wet Basements And Crawl Spaces Promote Insect Hazards

May 29th, 2017

Waterproofing Helps Maintain Property

No one appreciates discovering water flooding through the lower levels of a residence. Even damp, occasionally leaky basements promote unhealthy living conditions by enabling the growth of mildew and mold. Water seeping into the interior of a home can damage drywall, wood and other building materials. It sometimes triggers power outages, or, in the worst situations, contributes to electrical fires. For all these reasons, most property owners place a high value upon basement and crawl space waterproofing measures.

However, waterproofing holds another benefit which frequently escapes the attention of residents unless wet conditions help precipitate problems. Dry basements, foundations and crawl spaces offer better protection against some insect infestations. Two insects which thrive in damp basement environments cause severe problems for property owners: mosquitoes and termites. Under some circumstances, by ensuring you obtain expert waterproofing you may decrease the chance you’ll need to obtain assistance eliminating these pests.

Mosquitoes

Today, mosquitoes have become a widely recognized public health threat in many parts of the United States. While numerous species of these insects thrive in tropical areas, a number of varieties of mosquitoes inhabit temperate regions, also. All mosquitoes share some features in common: the females feed by biting animals and people. They use a long, pointed proboscis to pierce the skin and consume blood.

In addition to causing unpleasant, itchy bites, mosquitoes threaten public health because they sometimes serve as vectors for transmitting serious diseases. Mosquitos may spread these diseases:

  • Malaria;
  • West Nile Virus;
  • Zika Virus;
  • Chikungunya;
  • Dengue Fever (sometimes called “Breakbone Fever”)

Most of these blood borne ailments produce fevers, headaches, and other influenza-like symptoms. Although healthy people may not suffer long term adverse effects, contracting illnesses from mosquitoes sometimes proves devastating for the elderly, infants and patients with impaired immune systems, such as people with HIV. The Zika Virus has proven especially worrisome recently in some places; it can potentially cause serious birth defects in newborns if mothers contract this illness from mosquitoes during pregnancy.

Why do damp basements frequently attract mosquitoes? Many species of mosquitoes lay their eggs in shallow pools of water. In some locations, a dank, wet basement or crawl space offers a perfect habitat for mosquito populations. If you’ve sprayed your yard and grounds against these insects, you’ll also want to take steps to maintain waterproof conditions indoors.

Termites

Termites pose a completely different type of potential threat to people residing in homes with wet or leaky sites. Although maintaining a dry basement or crawl space won’t ensure your property will never experience a termite problem, allowing the lower levels of the home to become damp on a regular basis may seriously increase the risks of termite infestations.

Termites somewhat resemble ants in appearance. They eat through wood and reside in large, social colonies. In nature, termites perform a useful function by consuming the remains of fallen branches and rotting tree stumps. Their activities following natural disasters such as floods or forest fires help clear away debris.

Unfortunately, when water leaks into basements and crawl spaces, it may cause wood in a residential structure to rot and weaken. Termite colonies do not distinguish between decaying wood on a forest floor and the wood used in doors, window frames, attics and other areas of human dwellings. For instance, if your home includes ground level windows in the basement and the window frames become damp and begin rotting, termites from the nearby area may attack the wet, weakened wood. Property owners can protect their residences more effectively by ensuring basements and crawl spaces remain clean and dry throughout the year.

Some termite species nest in vast underground colonies and scavenge for wood on the surface, while others reside in nests located inside stands of wood (such as tree stumps). Eliminating a termite infestation from a residence usually requires the assistance of a licensed exterminator. Resolve now to waterproof your basement or crawl spaces in order to make these areas less appealing to termites!

Further Assistance

Waterproofing assists property owners in maintaining basements, crawl spaces and foundations in safe, secure condition. Call us to obtain fast, experienced help resolving a variety of waterproofing problems impacting real estate.

Window Wells: A Useful Waterproofing Tool

April 20th, 2017

In some locations, asking a waterproofing specialist to install window wells beneath some types of basement windows represents one of the smartest investments a homeowner will ever make in a property. This deceptively simple technique has helped save some households literally thousands of dollars and hours of aggravation repairing rotting basement window frames. It can help reduce the heartache which accompanies a messy, but necessary, basement cleanup effort in the wake of waterlogged conditions.

On the other hand, an incorrectly installed window well sometimes aggravates flooding problems and potentially causes more problems than it solves. Three essential elements contribute to satisfactory window wells: (1) careful installation, (2) the concurrent use of suitable basement drainage technologies and (3) suitable window well covers. Well-designed window wells assist the process of maintaining secure, dry basements and contribute to the enjoyment real estate owners obtain from their properties.

Why Window Wells Often Promote Drier Basements

The Canadian Institute For Catastrophic Loss Reduction (the “ICLR”) recommends the use of well-placed window wells as an important tool for reducing basement flooding. When situated around all the windows in a property lying close to the surface or below the surface, excavated window wells may offer valuable assistance in preventing water from seeping through windows during periods of heavy rain. Without a well, water might begin trickling from the ground through the window frame.

When installing a window well, a waterproofing contractor must always consider drainage issues. In addition to providing suitable drainage for window wells, it may become necessary to modify the nearby landscape terrain to ensure water will flow away from the well, not back towards the structure. The well itself should fit securely against the building’s foundation in order to prevent leaking. To promote better drainage, the ICLR recommends placing gravel and course soil in the bottom of the well.

Some Benefits And Hazards of Window Wells

Window wells typically permit more natural light to enter a dark basement. They may contribute to a more open, comfortable downstairs living space. By clearing the area around the window, window wells also sometimes permit easier egress from the lower levels of a home during fires. Today, building codes in some locations may require the installation of window wells around bedroom basement windows under certain circumstances.

However these structures do carry potential disadvantages, too. Uncovered open window wells pose a serious potential hazard to young children, pets and wildlife. Tragic accidents have occurred when youngsters sustained injuries tumbling into open, uncovered window wells. Wildlife also sometimes become hurt or trapped in these locations. Additionally, unprotected window wells may provide hiding areas for burglars seeking access to a home through lower-level windows. These outdoor sites also sometimes readily collect fallen leaves and other windblown debris. Fortunately, today technology exists to help maintain window wells in safe, secure, attractive condition.

Concurrent Basement Drain Technologies

Whenever you request the installation of a window well, you’ll want to ask your waterproofing specialist to ensure the basement furnishes suitable concurrent drainage. Cracks in a residential foundation might cause water to seep indoors, even when window wells promote better drainage around exterior windows.

Essentially, window wells serve as important tools promoting drier basements. They won’t eliminate the need to ensure adequate drainage exists within the basement itself. For this reason, installing a sump pump in interior drains in the basement often represents a useful preliminary or concurrent project.

Window Well Covers And Guards

To eliminate the undesirable aspects of window wells, homeowners today can rely upon innovative technology for obtaining secure, well-designed window well covers and guards. A number of companies manufacture decorative, sturdy products designed to avoid the problems sometimes associated with window wells in the past.

You can obtain sloping window well covers and guards today in a variety of styles and colors. These home accessories help ensure rainwater will flow away from the well and the foundation of the home. Comprised of sturdy, durable materials, they will prevent young children and animals from falling inside steep wells. They also enable homeowners to secure windows more effectively against intruders.

A Popular Home Improvement

Investing in window wells for ground-level or subterranean windows can increase the utility of basements. While not a “cure-all” solution to waterproofing, this helpful strategy often helps create a more comfortable, secure basement. Window wells can reduce losses and inconvenience caused by waterlogged, rotting basement window frames. They may help prevent dampness and mold from becoming serious concerns the lower levels of a residence.

For additional information about this topic, or to schedule an appointment for experienced basement waterproofing services, simply call us. We welcome your inquiries and look forward to serving you!

French Drains: Not For a DIY Project List!

March 21st, 2017

Solving Soggy Problems

In some locations, property owners face recurring soggy spots in lawns and (sometimes) basements. A “French Drain” may provide a highly effective “last resort” solution. However, experts caution installing this seemingly simple technology requires specialized training. A typical homeowner should probably avoid tackling such a complex project, because an incorrectly placed or constructed French Drain could contribute to serious long term structural problems impacting the foundation. Hiring an experienced drain contractor typically represents a more timely, cost-effective strategy.

Pooling Water: A Concern Inside (and Outside)

Water collecting regularly in the basement of a home requires attention. Over the course of months or years, this situation causes a deterioration in the basement and the foundation. As water seeps into the interior, it gradually creates cavities and cracks. Weakened building foundations eventually lead to structural problems, potentially shortening the useful lifespan of the building.

Similarly, water pooling regularly in a yard also causes concern for property owners. Tending wet, soggy lawns proves challenging. In addition to the physical difficulty of mowing effectively in these environments, residents in some locations may experience problems with mosquito infestations. These pesky biting insects breed copiously in standing pools of warm shallow water. Yards which remain soggy for extended periods of time also create muddy, odoriferous zones around the home.

French drain system

A Versatile Approach

Fortunately, in both these scenarios, a “French Drain” often supplies an excellent solution. Due to the expense involved, it usually represents a last resort strategy. However, both basement repair companies and landscapers sometimes rely upon this option to assist customers in removing unwanted water from living areas. In fact, this popular drain has even acquired some colorful descriptive names: “weeping tile drain”,”sub-soil drain”, “rock drain” and “perimeter drain”.

In theory, a “French Drain” appears quite simple. It relies upon straightforward ditch technology to collect and carry water away from the home. An experienced contractor will install this solution either (1) inside the residence, along the edges of the basement, or (2) outside along the exterior perimeter of the basement foundation. It proves helpful to consult with a structural engineer before undertaking this complex process, of course.

French Drains Inside Basements

Unfortunately, a French Drain inside the basement does not completely eliminate water entry; this tool simply collects water as soon as possible and channels it back outside again. In damp locations, it nevertheless provides a valuable way to help minimize water pooling indoors.

A contractor with expertise in waterproofing will excavate insite around th edge of the basement in order to install an encompassing perforated drain pipe and an associated sump pump. The contractor buries the pipe in a gravel trench and then applies new concrete. In some cases, a homeowner may also choose to install a home generator to support the 24/7 operation of the sump pump during severe storms causing power outages. Although frequently costly, these efforts may help prevent some expensive basement floods.

French Drains Outdoors

When a waterproofing contractor installs a French Drain along the exterior foundation wall, essentially a similar process occurs, with one important additional step. Typically, this installation requires the use of heavy machinery to completely temporarily uncover the basement foundation. The contractor then applies waterproof sealant to the exterior of the exposed basement walls, before laying a new perimeter trench of pipe (inside loose gravel) and cutting a channel directing water away from the residence. The slope of the land around the home dictates whether installing an exterior sump pump becomes necessary to control water flows.

While usually exterior French Drains involve hefty installation costs (these projects require extensive digging), this strategy offers a wonderful tool for keeping a basement dry. When the new “perimeter drain” functions effectively, water won’t seep inside. Plus, the contractor does not need to cut into the basement floor. By involving a landscaper in the planning phase, it may become possible to use this technique to also resolve problematic soggy spots in the yard. The buried gravel trench can direct the water towards a desired exit point, such as a neighborhood storm drain or agricultural ditch.

Use Gutters And Drain Spouts

Waterproofing experts advise homeowners to use reliable gutter and extended drain spout systems in conjunction with both types of French Drains. By ensuring rainwater flowing off the roof won’t soak into the ground close to the foundation, property owners help reinforce the beneficial results of underground pipes channeling water away from the basement.

Although the process of installing a French drain often causes short term disruptions (especially to landscaping near the home), this technology sometimes helps real estate owners avoid serious problems associated with water damage. It has become a valuable waterproofing solution!

Some Positive Aspects of Encapsulated Crawl Spaces

February 7th, 2017

Encapsulated Crawl Spaces – Property owners sometimes wonder whether or not they should encapsulate crawl spaces in a home? Spending funds to address this issue may seem unnecessary (since numerous residences do not offer concrete-enclosed crawl spaces). Perhaps for this reason, builders frequently do not supply encapsulation as a feature of new construction. The process frequently requires considering some type of ventilation system for the crawl space area in order to prevent the buildup of mold and mildew; encapsulating may ultimately increase the total cost of building.

Yet seeking crawl space encapsulation services from a qualified contractor frequently holds some distinct advantages. Particularly in certain situations. Just consider a few of the most important benefits crawl space encapsulation offers:

Obtaining Additional Room For Machinery Components

Today, a growing number of consumers choose to install complex machinery assemblies in residential properties. An area set aside initially for a crawl space sometimes furnishes a suitable out-of-the-way location to place some types of mechanical components. For instance, have you considered installing a residential elevator? Or mechanical lift platform or even a large wine cooler? Depending upon the architectural design, reducing the area devoted to a crawl space may offer additional room for the placement of some bulky mechanical components. It usually proves helpful to encapsulate the remaining crawl space after conducting this type of major renovation.

In many older homes, for instance, a dumbwaiter system permits cooks to effortlessly transport meals and serving equipment from a basement or ground-level kitchen to upper floors in the building. Securely encapsulated lined crawl spaces may provide an ideal backdrop for installing this equipment. Similarly, concrete-enclosed crawl spaces themselves offer a good site for ductwork in some floorplans. These locations may supply a hidden network of channels or passageways beneath or within walls inside a building.

Discouraging Unwelcome Infestations

Horror stories abound online concerning homeowners who purchased residences without encapsulated crawl spaces, only to discover these hidden subterranean cavities beneath a home sometimes become appealing sites for nesting wild animals, such as burrowing moles or raccoons, or even vermin. Rats and field mice may thrive in open crawl spaces, in fact. Their activities and odors may eventually come to the attention of dismayed residents.

Crawl spaces also sometimes become a pivotal point of access for unwanted insects, such as termite colonies, enabling insect populations to move from the surrounding natural area through interior unseen channels within a home. In some environments, an unexpected buildup of moisture inside a crawl space may lead to rotting in damp wood, a situation which attracts termites.

Encapsulating Strategies

By encapsulating the crawl space in concrete and adding appropriate ventilation, a contractor may seek to provide a physical barrier limiting contact between the earth and wood used in framing. They also must reduce moisture buildup inside the enclosed space. Today, builders enjoy a wide array of options for seeking to create dry, well ventilated crawl spaces. Some rely extensively upon pumps, drains, plastic liners and specialized coatings to help control dampness. Homebuilders or contractors who perform encapsulation will usually set out a termite and fungicide barrier as an additional precaution before applying a concrete surface to an underground crawl space.

In recent years, some contractors have favored insulating crawl spaces against dampness in lieu of ventilating in some structures. Whether this strategy will work effectively may depend on a number of factors, including the design of the building, the specific local climatic conditions and the available construction materials. It remains very important to consult local building codes for guidance, of course.

The Future

As the Internet of Things begins transforming society during the newt few decades, big changes will likely occur in residential construction. Already the concept of a fully-Internet connected home has become trendy.

Soon crawl spaces may contain automated sensors to alert residents to issues such as moisture buildup, for instance. Just as automotive technology increasingly performs a proactive role in alerting drivers to potential hazards, real estate design may soon begin incorporating useful safeguards to let property owners know about conditions promoting the growth of mold and other common environmental hazards.

Contact An Experienced Contractor

If you’ve considered seeking the encapsulation of craw spaces in your residence, consulting an experienced local builder usually remains a wise step. You should also make sure you possess familiarity with any applicable building regulations concerning enclosed crawl spaces. Your contractor may request an engineering report prior to undertaking work on your property. The layout of the building and the location of structural support walls may enter into decisions involved in the encapsulation process. Contact us today to see how we can help with your waterproofing needs.