After the cold weather has passed, you may be noticing some unpleasant changes in the basement. Are you seeing damp spots on the walls? Are there cracks appearing in the mortar joints of your cinder blocks? These could be signs that water made it into your foundation and froze over the winter. The expanding ice would have pushed the blocks apart and created cracks in the foundation.
Signs of moisture aren’t always a problem, unless it becomes a chronic issue or you are seeing a lot of water coming inside. When these things occur, your foundation can wear down fast, requiring major foundation structural repairs.
Why is Water Coming Through My Basement Walls?
When your home was built, a layer of exterior basement waterproofing should have been applied to protect it. This is usually some type of asphalt coated sheeting or plastic membrane. With time these materials can break down, allowing moisture in the ground to come into contact with the foundation. This water can soak into the cinder blocks, which is especially problematic in winter as the moisture freezes and expands inside the concrete blocks causing further damage.
But, it’s not that much water right?
Wrong, there can be a surprising amount of water inside your home's foundation. Imagine a modern cinder block. Each one has two large openings in the center to lighten them. Once moisture finds its way into your foundation, which is made with hundreds of these blocks, it collects in these holes with no easy way to escape. When winter comes along and freezes that water it expands, cracking the mortar and shifting the foundation blocks around.
Options to Maintain and Repair the Foundation
When you have moisture problems, there are a few effective ways to deal with them. You could dig up the yard around your foundation and apply a moisture barrier to keep water from entering in the first place. However, this is a big, expensive project that isn't viable for most homeowners.
You could also apply basement sealing products to the interior walls of the foundation. However, this won't last more than a decade before water starts seeping through again.
Another option is to install weeping holes and a French drain to direct that excess water out of the basement via the sump pump. This project can be done inside in a fairly short amount of time, but leaves you with efficient, long-lasting results.
Here's how it's done:
- A 12-inch width section of the concrete floor around the perimeter of the basement is removed.
- A trench is dug into the ground underneath to provide room for the drain.
- Drainage holes are drilled into the foundation walls below floor level.
- A layer of gravel is spread over the exposed ground.
- A perforated metal drainage pipe or flat, wide tube is placed on the gravel.
- More gravel is placed on top of the metal tube.
- A layer of concrete can be reapplied over this to restore the floor.
- Foundation crack repair is performed to restore the walls.
The French drain will collect all of the water that comes out of the weeping holes and direct it towards your sump pump.
If your foundation is in need of some TLC this summer, turn to Basement Waterproofing Solutions. As one of the premier waterproofing companies in NYC, we can help with basement waterproofing and sealing now to stop moisture and cracking in the future. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to get started with a free quote right away.
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