Ann Arbor, MI | Select Basement Waterproofing

Maximize Your Basement Space with Waterproofing Techniques | Trenton, NJ

Basement Waterproofing

If a basement is comfortable and well ventilated, that is all it needs in order to be used like the other rooms in your house. It doesn’t have to serve as a storage space; it can also be an extra bedroom or a play room. The space in any basement requires more attention and care due to its location. Additional lighting has to be provided too since very little natural lighting gets there.

Homeowners are often faced with problems of wet and flooded basements, especially during the rainy seasons, which is actually the main reason why basements are not utilized for anything other than storage and laundry. Fortunately, there are available solutions to wet basements and it is possible to have a dry and warm basement regardless of the season. All you need to do is carry out basement waterproofing for your basement, and have a well laid out drainage system.

Control measures that a homeowner can take to prevent wetness in a basement:

Uncontrolled water infiltration into a building is a predisposing factor for wet basement problems. What a homeowner needs to do is discourage any chance of water getting to the building by taking the measures below:

Cut off all possible water leak sources

If you can establish where the water in your basement is coming from, then you can be able to cut it off and prevent it from reaching your basement. Check the basement walls, and if you notice any cracks, get them filled immediately and see if there will be any changes.

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Wash off that dirt on your gutters

If your gutters and downspouts are dirty and clogged, any water collected on them is likely to get dumped next to the foundation of your building and find its way into your basement.

Direct water in your downspouts away from the foundation of the home

Ensure your downspouts are working to keep water away from your house. If it is directing any water towards the foundation, there is a chance of causing wetness to your basement.

Dealing with a wet basement:

If water gets to your basement anyway, act on it. The longer you wait, the more the dampness will damage your basement and thus limit its use. It is also important to emphasize that a wet basement encourages the growth and multiplication of mold. Molds are known to cause respiratory problems, worsen conditions like asthma and trigger allergic reactions such as nasal congestion and sneezing.

If you want to get that extra living room, office, playroom or even a guest room in your basement, look for basement waterproofing services from professionals who have rendered similar services for many years.

Contact Select Basement Waterproofing with any questions, or concerns! Click here:

House Foundation Cracks | Morganville, NJ | Select Basement Waterproofing

Foundation Repair Challenges | Jersey City, NJ

A leaky foundation is a threat to not only the building structure, but also the property inside. When a home is built, its foundation walls are clean and easily accessible. However, with time the structure may experience problems such as cracking, gaps, and holes. Water begins to take its toll on your home, and if nothing is done to stop it, soon you start counting losses. Leakages in a building are a matter of emergency and should be handled as soon as possible. A foundation repair, if conducted at the right time using effective restoration procedures, can save a homeowner from water damage.

Water seepage shouldn’t be confused with moisture infiltration

There is a difference between water entering the interior of a building and moisture infiltrating a foundation. Some repair procedures are meant to restore problems related with moisture infiltration and not water seepage.

For example, a waterproofing technique helps tackle issues of liquid water entering a basement through cracks, gaps, and holes, but moisture can infiltrate porous cement through pores. The right treatment for moisture infiltration, or migration, is through damp proofing and not waterproofing. These two procedures can offer different remedies in protecting a home. Damp proofing is meant to keep moisture away and may not address the problem of liquid water.

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Foundation repair techniques

A number of techniques are applied when repairing foundations. Depending on the nature of the problem, a contractor may decide to use one or more repair techniques. Foundations tend to experience cracking. It is normal for foundations to crack because cement shrinks as it cures.

Shrinkage induces stress on concrete, and that way, cracks form to relieve the stress. This is okay because foundations are designed to handle cracks.

However, if there are external forces such as settlement of the ground acting on foundation walls, it makes cracks widen and grow deeper. Common areas where cracks occur are corners of windows or in the middle of an elongated wall.

Most cracks are vertical and can be corrected using urethane foam technique. In the event that cracks run horizontally, or the wall structure has deflected, cracks may be perceived as structural. In this case, the ergo, epoxy technique is deemed appropriate.

Concisely, before any foundation repair is undertaken, the cause of the problem should be identified. Foundation cracks develop because of shifting ground, improper compaction, too much moisture, and too little moisture. Other cracks may be caused by tree roots growing in close proximity to a building.

Jersey City, NJ | Select Basement Waterproofing

How to Mess Up a French Drain Installation | Jersey City, NJ

French Drain Installation

French drains are a wonderful solution to a wet basement problem. Based on an old invention designed to move water via gravity, they have been in use for nearly 200 years. So while they are a great solution to wet basement problems, they can (and often are) installed wrong, and fail to work as designed.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Because when a French drain is installed correctly, it can save your basement from drainage problems, and pretty much fix any wet basement problem that you have.

With that, here are some typical ways to screw up a French drain installation.

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Wrong Way Facing Holes

When installing your perforated piping, you face the holes upward instead of down, which is completely opposite to the point of a French drain. This error stops entry water from routing out of your home, and allows it to stagnate and sit idle. Always check that the holes or slots are pointed towards the ground so optimal drainage can take place.

Too Little Gravel Beneath

Gravel beneath your perforated pipe is as important to the process as the pipe itself. Because without adequate gravel, water does not drain. Too much dirt and not enough gravel stops up the holes and prevents water from removing itself from the situation. Always ensure that you are using the right amount of gravel for your French drain so that they work as intended.

Bad Pipe Slope

This part isn’t tricky, but for how a French drain functions, it’s perhaps the most important. If you fail at having enough slope (or fall) on the drain pipe routing water away from your home, you’re going to have a bad time. The pipe absolutely needs to drain downhill, far away from your home’s foundation. The last thing you want is to go through all that work just to find out that the water exiting your basement is just seeping back in a few hours later.

Installing a French drain is a great solution to a basement water problem. But when done incorrectly, can end up costing you more than just simply paying a professional from the start.

For more information on how we can help you, please contact us any time.

Somerset County, NJ | Select Basement Waterproofing

How Sump Pump Discharge Lines Function | Somerset County, NJ

Sump Pump Discharge Lines

Our sump pump discharge lines are often the last things we consider when we talk about basement waterproofing systems, yet are a very important piece. Your sump pump discharge lines can have a direct impact on how well your basement waterproofing system performs, and should be evaluated to increase system efficiency and prevent backup.

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Problems with improperly set-up sump pump discharge lines

One of the more common things we see with improperly set-up discharge lines is an overabundance of angled fittings. Understandably, some basement and crawl space layouts don’t necessarily allow for a nice, short, straight exit out of the home, but you certainly don’t want a “pipe-rollercoaster” downstairs. This can lead to severely decreased water output, and strain on your sump pump’s motor.

Another item to consider is winter freezing. During the wet Spring months, you may want the water to discharge far away from your foundation, so you extend the line far away. During the winter months however, this can increase the risk of freezing. A frozen discharge line can mean a freshly burned out sump pump, as well as water backing up into your home. Reduce this risk by shortening your discharge line in the winter, and check it periodically.

How often does your sump pump burn out? Share your experience below in the comments! Contact us today ( (800) 593-8379) for a FREE Estimate on sump pump installation.

Hudson County, NJ | Select Basement Waterproofing

Symptoms of Possible Foundation Leaks | Hudson County, NJ

Your home’s foundation is the most important part of its structure. Ensuring your foundation is in good condition will ensure that your home offers a safe environment for your family. Repairing a foundation can be quite costly especially if the damage is extensive. It is, therefore important to regularly inspect your foundation for any signs of a foundation leak.

The following are some obvious signs of a foundation leak you ought to look for:

  1. Musty odor

Is there a musty odor coming from your basement? If so, you may have a foundation leak. A musty odor is indicative of the growth of mold in your basement. Mold can be a problem as its spores can pose health problems to your family.

Mold is not always visible. Mold and mildew tend to grow in dark areas and therefore may grow out of sight. The first sign of their presence is the musty odor. Be sure to investigate for further signs of leaks when you notice a musty smell in your basement.

  1. Damp floors or walls

Moisture on the walls or floors of your basement is a sure sign that you have a foundation leak. Moisture may not always take the form of a standing pool of water on the floor. It may be water stains on walls or floors, condensation on the basement walls or damp spots on your carpet or flooring material. Be sure to check any plumbing running through the basement for leaks before calling a licensed waterproofing contractor to investigate the problem further.

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  1. Cracks in the floors or walls

By the time cracks in the floors or walls of your foundation become visible; the problem in the structure of your foundation is serious.  Cracks in the foundation are obvious signs of a structural issue in your foundation.

Avoid applying band aid solutions to cracks in the foundation such as filling cracks. The problem may run deeper than a superficial crack. It’s best to call in a professional waterproofing contractor to inspect the foundation and provide you with the best possible solutions for foundation leak repair.

Your foundation plays a vital role in your home. Considering this, it is important to be aware of the signs of damage. This will ensure that you get the problem fixed early and avoid it escalating; the more serious the problem, the more complex and expensive the repair.

Bergen County, NJ | Select Basement Waterproofing

Here’s Why You Should Be Concerned About those Tiny House Foundation Cracks | Bergen County, NJ

Here’s Why You Should Be Concerned About those Tiny House Foundation Cracks

Homeowners often get concerned when they notice large house foundation cracks and rightly so. These cracks will not only result in moisture problems in the basement, but can also cause structural problems in the home.

Homeowners, however, aren’t too concerned when they notice small cracks. This is because many believe that cracks should only be dealt with when they are very large.

What happens when you ignore small cracks?

Small cracks may seem innocent enough, especially when they are not leaking. However, these small cracks are still a good reason to call a waterproofing professional. Ignoring these house foundation cracks will result in:

  1. The problem only becoming worse

Foundation cracks, both large and small, are often a sign of an underlying issue affecting your foundation. Ignoring the cracks won’t make the problem go away. In fact, you will only be allowing the problem to become even worse. foundation crack 150x150 Here’s Why You Should Be Concerned About those Tiny House Foundation Cracks | Bergen County, NJ

If you notice small cracks in your foundation, get in touch with a waterproofing contractor as soon as you can. They can help you resolve the issue before it becomes worse. This will save you a lot of money in repairs.

  1. Water penetration

The cracks may not be letting water in now, but they eventually will. There are many instances where homeowners have ignored cracks that were dry only to find their basement flooded after some weeks or months.

If you want to avoid water penetrating the basement, deal with the cracks as soon as you notice them. Small cracks are easy to repair, especially when they are still dry.

  1. Growth of mold and mildew

Even small cracks can let moisture into the home. You may not notice this when you examine the cracks. However, you may notice a musty smell in your basement as you continue to ignore the cracks.

The growth of mold and mildew is not only detrimental to the air quality of your home, but will also result in the destruction of your property. Getting rid of mold is expensive and intensive. You can avoid all this loss by having the cracks repaired as soon as you notice them.

Repairing house foundation cracks

There are different methods that contractors may suggest for the repair of the cracks. The methods depend on the size of the cracks, their location, whether they are leaking, and the type of foundation. Be sure to choose a method that will give you long-term results.


House Foundation Cracks | Middleton, NJ | Select Basement Waterproofing

Changes In Foundation Walls Can Cause Cracks | Mercer County, NJ

Have you spotted cracks in your foundation? The sight of foundation cracks can be disheartening for any homeowner. It can also be a cause for great anxiety. You may start to wonder what type of damage your foundation has undergone and what can be done about it. Your top fear will probably be how much it will cost to repair the foundation.

Before you go into full panic mode, take some time to call a waterproofing contractor. A full inspection of your basement will help to determine just how bad the situation is. Many homeowners find that things aren’t as bad as they seem and repairs are often done quickly and affordably.

A waterproofing contractor will help you evaluate the foundation cracks and determine the cause of the cracks. They will help you determine the best way to repair the cracks and deal with any other problems.

Shrinkage Cracks

Foundation walls aren’t static. They change in size and shape as they cure. They also shift in reaction to environmental conditions including temperature, groundwater and other such conditions. Cracks can occur in foundations as a result of the stress of shifting and curing.

Shrinkage cracks occur in different types of foundations:

  1. Poured concrete foundations

Shrinkage cracks occur in these foundations as a result of rapid curing, poor mixing of concrete as well as poor reinforcement of the foundation with steel. Changing temperatures can also cause shrinkage cracks when concrete expands and contracts in reaction to temperature changes.

  1. Brick walls

Bricks aren’t commonly used for the construction of foundations in modern houses. However, many old buildings feature these types of foundations. Shrinkage cracks in brick foundations occur in the mortar between the bricks. The bricks themselves never shrink but continue to expand.

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  1. Block foundations

Shrinkage cracks in these types of foundations appear as cracks of uniform width at the center of the wall. They occur as a result of curing as well as variations in temperature.

Repairing Shrinkage Cracks

Shrinkage cracks in poured concrete and block foundations often aren’t structural. Their repair is therefore not as intensive as when dealing with structural cracks. Shrinkage cracks in brick walls are often a sign of a structural or support problem in the wall.

It is important to talk to a foundation expert in order to determine the best method for repairing the foundation cracks. Ignoring the cracks will only make matters worse. They can easily progress to pose a structural threat to your home.

Morris County, NJ | Select Waterproofing

Is Your Sump Pump Discharge Line Working Against You? | Morris County, NJ

Sump Pump Discharge Line

The sump pump discharge line is the pipe that gets the water out of your basement.  The sump pump is tied into the discharge line that goes up and out of the basement and from there filtered through another drain pipe and out into a drainage area in the yard.  If your sump pump system is designed correctly, it can keep your basement dry.  If it isn’t, your discharge line could be working against you.

Pump Strength with Discharge Line Length (or head)

First, make sure that the pump is the right size and strength for the length of the discharge line and the amount of water you need to be pumping.  The efficiency of a pump is figured by how many gallons of water it can pump out per hour.  The length of the discharge line, or head, is factored into the equation. Sometimes when a pump states the amount of gallons per hour, it is at zero foot head. That means that is how fast it can pump out the water at the floor level.  If a pump says it pumps 2,000 gallons at an 8 foot head (which is about what you need to get the water out of a typical basement) that is a good, strong pump.  A professional basement waterproofing contractor can help you determine the right pump to install in your system.

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The Force of Gravity

Another way a discharge line could be working against you is with gravity.  The discharge line is usually vertical and goes up the basement wall. If you don’t have the proper check valve on the discharge line (and backup check valves in place) water will start going the wrong way back down into the sump pit or liner.  Generally one third to two thirds of the total water pumped will slip back down if you don’t have a one-way valve to stop the water from going back down into the pit for the pump to pump it out again.  Make sure your check valve is working properly and your discharge line isn’t working against you.

Keep the Discharge Line Clear

While the sump pump is the heart of the waterproofing system, the discharge lines are the veins and arteries. If either part fails, your system is in trouble.  If the water can’t exit the basement due to clogged or frozen discharge lines, the whole system won’t work to keep the basement dry.  There will be water backed up, and even if the pump is working, your basement could flood.  It is important to take precautions to make sure the lines don’t freeze or clog.  Regular check and maintenance on the discharge lines will make sure they don’t get full of debris. The vertical discharge line and the lines on the outside of the house should be in good working condition for the system to work effectively.

Bergen County, NJ | Select Waterproofing

3 Signs You Might Need a Battery Backup Sump Pump | Bergen County, NJ

Install a Battery Backup Sump Pump

Protecting your home from water damage is always a good idea and installing a battery backup sump pump will do that job well.  However, there is a cost to installing a battery backup sump pump system. A quality battery backup system costs between $1000-$1500 to have installed.  In order to know if you need one,  consider three signs and areas of concern.

1.) If you have an older primary sump pump:

Sump pumps usually have a lifespan of about 10-15 years.  Because it has mechanical moving parts, they will someday fail, and you will have to replace it.  If you have an older pump, it is more likely to fail, but there is no telling when.  The best way to transition to a new pump and also get the most out of your primary pump is to install a battery backup system.  When the primary pump dies, it won’t leave you with water in the basement. If you have an older pump, or if you have had any trouble with your primary pump, it is a sign to get a backup system.

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2.) If your area is prone to power outages:

During a rainstorm is when you need your pump working; however, during a rainstorm is when you are most likely to lose power to your house—and to your sump pump. The combination is asking for disaster.  We are pretty sure this possibility is why they invented battery backup sump pump systems in the first place.  How often does a storm knock out power to your house? Do you lose power a few times a year or once every few years?  If you live in an area where power outages are a concern, then that is a sign you might need a battery backup sump pump.

3.) The basement contents:

No matter what you have in your basement, you will want to keep it dry.  A wet basement is not something you want to deal with, and it causes more problems like mold, mildew, and rot that, of course, you want to avoid.  That is why you have a sump pump in the first place.  And the battery backup will ensure you will be protected even if your primary pump fails.  However, the urgency of getting a battery backup system will be determined by the status of the basement.  Is your basement empty? Is it full of priceless storage items?  Is your basement finished? Did you just spend thousands of dollars making it a new TV room?  Obviously, the more valuables you keep in the basement the more you need to protect it.

Evaluate your house and determine if you need a battery backup system.

Replacing Sheet Rock After a Flood Jersey City, NJ

Flooding Can Cause Problems for Your Home

A basement flood in New Jersey is bad enough in an unfinished basement. However, if you have a finished or partially finished basement with any sheetrock as wall board then you will need to replace the sheetrock.

Flooding can lead to wet sheetrock

Sheetrock absorbs water. If it comes into contact with any amount of water (or even moisture for that matter) you have a problem. Sometimes you will only need to replace part of the sheetrock on a wall. You can cut out the wet portion and replace it with new sheetrock. Sheetrock will not dry out on its own before you will have a problem with mold behind the walls. If you leave wet sheetrock, mold will grow behind the wall because mold is using the material in the sheetrock for food. Add the water and the dark, damp spots behind the wall and a serious mold problem could start to grow in no time.

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How to deal with wet sheetrock

If you are trying to save part of the wall, you will need to determine how high the water has traveled up the wall. The longer the sheetrock sits in the standing water, the higher the water problem will be. Typically, water travels up the sheetrock 3-6 inches a day. If it is left for a few days, the water could be halfway up the wall.

One way to check for water damage in sheetrock is to slice the wall with a razor. It will cut easier if the wall is wet. You will notice the blade slide quicker and easier through the wet wall compared to the dry sheetrock. Find where the wall is dry, and cut a straight line there to remove the wet sheetrock.

Like we mentioned above, it is important to remove all wet sheetrock to avoid a potential mold problem. Never leave wet sheetrock after a basement flood in New Jersey or discovered water problem.

Have a professional contractor help fix the problem

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A professional basement waterproofing contractor can help you in this process. He can remove the damaged sheetrock after a basement flood in New Jersey and help you install a basement waterproofing system to help avoid any future problems.

The other option is to replace all the sheetrock in the basement with waterproof wallboard. So, if there is another basement flood in New Jersey, you won’t have to replace the walls again. The EPA says basements should be finished with waterproof and water resistant materials. Think tile instead of carpet; plastic waterproof wallboard instead of sheetrock. The basement is inherently wetter and should not be finished like the upstairs even if you have a basement waterproofing system installed.

Contact us for more information about basement waterproofing!