Water intrusion and leaks occur for several reasons. Most leaks are due to water entering through the house or basement walls. In some cases, it is due to a rising water table or other topographic features such as natural springs pushing water through the foundation. Be it older houses made of cinder block, where hollow spaces and deteriorating cement allow water in or newer houses with poured concrete walls that leak, we have engineered solutions tailored for each case. We specialize in repairing the problem and guarantee our work with tried and proven solutions. Our goal is to address each water intrusion individually and correct it with a holistic approach that encompasses all factors causing the leak. We determine the cause of the leak, how to go about dealing with each unique situation so it never occurs again or is satisfactorily addressed. We keep our clients informed of the progress of each project on a daily basis and what to expect as the job moves on. We document each project with pictures and inform our clients of any needed changes as the project progresses to ensure that each job is completed in a timely fashion.
Due to the porous nature of cinderblock and brick walls, pressure and erosion force water through hollow spaces and most times enters the basement at the floor level or higher up the wall through larger cracks. In many cases it leaves tell-tale efflorescence along the cracks in the wall and crumbling of the block in worse cases. In many cases mold is also present, causing other concerns such as a risk of health problems associated to inhaling harmful mold spores. Cracks may also form on the outside of aging walls from excess humidity and hydrostatic pressure caused by poor grading (negative grade), insufficient surface water management, clay soils or poor soils, old mortar/concrete around pipe holes, trees planted too close to the house, or a combination of these. Costly structural damage can eventually occur if water leaks are not caught and repaired early enough. Years of wear create eroded pathways or “conduits” where water flows into the house at a faster rate over time. If left without repair, structural damage such as bowing walls, failed walls, and settling walls can occur. All drainage solutions and systems we install are engineered and guaranteed by structural engineers and covered by our DES warranty.
One way to address and repair a leaky porous wall is to waterproof the wall from the outside, and fix the problem, so no more damage occurs. After excavating the leaky wall we clean off the wall using wire brushes, and in some cases we may power wash the walls. This exposes the entry points and creates a clean surface that the waterproofing coating can adhere to. Once our trained supervisors inspect the walls, we pinpoint and seal the cracks/holes with hydraulic cement and other sealants. We then waterproof the entire walls with state of the art waterproofing coatings to ensure it is waterproofed. We then install additional buried liner systems to eliminate pressure and moisture along wall. These membranes and liners are thick and keep soil and moisture off the walls. In many cases we use gravels and other materials to backfill the walls as needed. These items also help the structural integrity of the walls, by alleviating hydrostatic pressure. Once the walls are waterproofed, we test the work and install new footer drains or repair/restore existing footer drains when additional relief is necessary.
We also have techniques to waterproof walls from the inside if exterior excavation is not an option. Depending on what type of water intrusion is present, we have the ability to seal interior walls with new waterproofing technologies to keep water out. Sealants are applied that create crystalline bonds to the walls and don’t allow water in. This technique also involves scraping the wall coating off the cinder block wall and sealing any cracks before the product is applied. It offers clients an alternative if interior solutions are the only way to go about a wet wall.
Another option for waterproofing a basement or house is an interior sump pump. Although this is not a fix, it does keep water off the floors. It is a good option if exterior excavation is not possible, and is particularly effective if the water intrusion is substantial. This option requires a channel to be cut along the walls leading to a sump pump through pipes. We then seal the channel back up with gravels and concrete. If an interior sump pump system is installed, we highly recommend a back-up battery sump as well to prevent intrusion if the electricity goes out, or the pump fails. We also install back-up battery systems to existing pumps.
Don’t hesitate to call us as soon as you notice any water intrusion into your house. We will inspect the area where the water is coming in, and will also investigate all the possible causes for the intrusion. Usually poor grading, downspout erosion, roof gutter malfunctions and many different erosion patterns lead to the end result. We will give you a full report with our findings and a comprehensive approach to repairing the issues. On a typical waterproofing we will also address and correct poor grading, improper or clogged downspout extensions, and suggest other items such as French drains to guarantee the intrusion or erosion does not continue to occur. We haven’t found a problem we couldn’t fix, and waterproofing is our specialty.