Do I need a sump pump?
If you have flooding in your basement and the water is entering from under the foundations slab, you will need a sump pump. If you are considering a French Drain system installation, you will also need a sump pump to complete the job. Sump pumps can also be installed as insurance. This does not mean you will never have a flooding situation in your basement. It will only prevent the water from becoming much deeper than the floor surface.
What is a battery backup sump pump and do I need one?
If you have a consistent water table and often experience power failures, you will need a battery backup system. A battery backup unit runs on a 12 volt deep cycle marine battery. This is only installed as a secondary backup system and should never be installed as a primary source for water discharge. A battery backup system is specifically designed to work together with your primary AC pump. If the power to the primary pump fails or if the primary pump malfunctions, the battery backup system will take over. All battery backup systems are wired to a charger that is plugged into your homes AC power supply. When the primary pump fails or the power goes out the battery backup will be on a full charge and take over the job. The charging unit usually has an alarm that will sound to let you know the backup system has been activated. When purchasing a battery backup, be very cautious as the prices vary tremendously. It is important to purchase a quality unit that will handle a large volume of water. Power failures are quite popular during heavy rains and hurricanes. So a unit that pumps 119 gallons per hour (GPH) will probably not be sufficient. Basement Waterproofing Solutions recommends a backup system that will pump a minimum of 1800 GPH.
What is a pressure relief system?
A pressure relief system is French drain piping installed under a basement floor/slab. When drainage piping is installed under a basement floor, it will relieve the water pressure from under the floor in a given area.
Is the small 1” space/groove between my basement walls and floor a French drain?
NO IT IS NOT!!! A basement with that groove is considered a floating slab. French drains are pipes that are installed under your basement floor.
What is a water table or high water table?
A water table is the level of water in the ground. (This should not be confused with the water level in a drinking well known as the aquifer.) A water table can vary according to specific weather precipitation. During heavy rains and spring thaw, water tables will be high. During dry weather seasons, water tables will lower.
What causes unpleasant musky odors in a basement?
- Unpleasant odors can come from several situations.
- High humidity levels -Install a quality dehumidifier will take care of this situation.
- An undetected foundation leak
- A previous flood that was not dried completely
Finishing basement to create additional living space
What recommendations do you have as I am planning to finish my basement to create additional living space?
We urge you to do a complete inspection of your basement after a heavy rain or during the spring thaw. Many times we have been told by homeowners, they never had a basement leak until they finished off their basement. In most cases, the leak was always there but no one spent any time in the basement prior to converting it to living space- so the leak went undetected.
A basement is always prone to have some kind of leak. Even if it has a drain system that is 100% perfect, there are several flooding situations that can occur. Most basements have a hot water tank or heating system, and most plumbing pipes run through the basement ceiling. Anything can happen with these items that can flood your basement.
When installing drywall, have your contractor keep it, a minimum of ½ inch off the basement concrete slab. When base moldings are installed they can be placed right on the floor covering up the ½ inch space. Drywall is like a sponge and can absorb water 4Ft up the wall. Mold loves drywall and will grow very quickly on it. The base moldings do not absorb at the same rate as drywall and do not mold up as quickly.
Can I fasten 2 x 4s or 1 x 3s directly onto my foundation wall to finish off my basement?
We do not recommend finishing your basement this way-especially on block foundation walls. There should always be an air barrier/gap between your foundation walls and finished partitions. Wood and fiberglass insulation should never touch the foundation walls. On the other hand, Styrofoam insulation boards can be installed directly on top of foundation walls. Studs fastened directly to the foundation walls can cause a complication after an interior French drain is installed-especially if the studs are running horizontally.