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Repairing Basement Water Damage_1

Preventing and Repairing Basement Water Damage

Repairing Basement Water Damage_1

Combatting Basement Water Damage

Homes with basements allow for more storage and provide shelter during bad weather, but they also can be a creepy space. Prior to being finished and livable they can have cob webs, stealthy spiders, mystery debris piles, dampness and odd smells. Hollywood often highlights this in many of its horror movies, making them especially suited for dead bodies and zombies. Fantasy aside, some wet basement problems can cost so much to fix, homeowners would rather tangle with a zombie before dealing with repairing basement water damage.

WATER ALWAYS WINS: Anytime unwanted water enters a home it will typically affect the basement of the house, as that is the lowest space. If an upstairs bath room has a toilet that leaks it goes into the basement. Water damage from a refrigerator supply line will as well deluge down to the basement. Repairing basement water damage can be necessary from even a minimal amount of water if it gets to drywall, flooring and wood trim. Basement water damage from sewage backups and sump pump failures can damage basement walls, flooring, permanently damage carpets and pad, ruin furniture and lead to mold growth. 

Silent Sources For Basement Water Damage

Moisture Condensation in clammy basements produce air with high moisture content ideal for mold growth. Over time the moisture heavy air begins to condensate on surfaces that become wet such as wood structures and stored boxes and paper products. Many times this will go undetected for protracted periods of time, finally being discovered in the form of mold and smells. At that stage repairing basement water damage can be more costly to remedy.

Regularly investigating the basement can keep you informed on newly developing issues that can be corrected before becoming alarming. If you notice moisture in the basement it is advisable to purchase a small dehumidifier and run it continually to keep humidity down. In some extreme instances a ventilation fan can be useful as it will eliminate the stagnate air that is often responsible for elevated moisture levels. Moving air is amazing at altering the conditions that produce mold and will correct many moisture issues.

Sources for Elevated Moisture in Basements 

FAULTY DRYEWR VENTS can be a source for elevated basement moisture. Many are located in basements and if not properly vented can be responsible for elevated humidity. If your dryer vent becomes disconnected or loses its seal, it will not channel the humid air from the home but directly in the basement. Over time the moisture can begin to affect wood substrates or even the concrete walls compromising structural integrity.

WATER PIPE CONDENSATION is another factor in elevated basement humidity allowing for moisture rich air to condensate on water pipes and drip water to the area below. If this area has absorbent building materials such as wood, drywall or boxes then mold is likely to follow due to the availability of a favored food source, cellulose. This condition needs to be found and remedied so the likelihood of repairing basement water damage is eliminated.

BASEMENT ROD HOLES are located on the exterior of all poured basements with concrete walls. Over time these holes can allow small amounts of moisture into the basement during minor and heavy rains. Anytime water infiltrates the soil whether through rainfall or even a running water hose, the wet soil outside the basement wall can allow water in through these holes. Basement water proofing companies can fix these rather affordably and correct the leak.

BASEMENT WALL CRACKS are often are harmless and keep water out for many years with no water intrusion in the basement. However, eventually these compromises in the foundation can allow water to seep in and bring unwanted water into the basement. Catching these before they leak can eliminate costly repairs. 

GUTTERS & DOWNSPOUTS need to be functioning correctly if unwanted water is to be kept from a basement. Make sure these mechanically necessary devices are connected and channeling water away from the home when it rains. If there is a compromise and water is building up in the surrounding soil, water may get into the basement. Additionally make sure your gutters are clean and working properly so they don’t overflow and contribute to the saturation of soil adjacent the basement walls. 

GRADE THE LANDSCAPE around your home so water naturally is channeled away allowing for the soil directly around the home to not over saturate with water. In rare situations some homes may need to have a drain tile system installed in the ground to carry unwanted water away from the home. Following these tips can avoid the cost of repairing basement water damage.

Catastrophic Basement Water Damage

Sewer backups are often sudden and catastrophic placing the basement in a state of extreme emergency. Buried under your yard is the main sanitary line, which may be made of outdated clay material. These older systems leak over time inviting nearby tree roots to be attracted to the moist soil. In time they will actually grow right into the system and block the water flow. Tree root intrusion, cracked or broken sections of sewer pipe and city sewer malfunctions can trigger a backup of highly contaminated raw sewage. This toxic environment is a bio hazard that needs emergency sewage cleanup service from a certified restoration company to properly restore your home to a safe and sanitary condition.

Contacting a reputable plumbing contractor to do a video inspection of the sewer line will reveal the cause of a sewer backup. The remedy can be as easy as snaking out the sewer lines to remove tree roots, freeing up the system. In unfortunate situations however, the entire system will need to be completely replaced, costing several thousands. Scheduling a bi-annual inspection with a qualified plumber can be a cost effective way to limit the chances of a sewer backup.

Sump pump backups often occur when the water table under the home rises after a heavy rain. If the sump pump fails the hydro-static pressure of the water will come up through floor drains, floor joints and wall cracks. If the water backup is caught just as water begins to make its way into the basement, the damages will be limited. Other times water can violently infiltrate the basement completely flooding it in a short time. Contact your insurance agent to find out, is basement water damage is covered by insurance.

Although sump pumps are very effective at controlling the water table and keep the basement dry they can be subject to failing. If the AC power goes out or the pump burns up the property is at risk of having a flood and basement water damage.

Repairing Basement Water Damage –

3 Tips to Keep you Safe

  1. Get a water backup system. Because AC power can fail during severe weather, it is advisable to get a water backup or battery backup system. Battery backup systems use a DC battery feature to ensure the unit activates should the primary pump not engage. There is some routine maintenance that is required to ensure the system actually engages when the float lifts, so be sure to read and follow the owner’s manual.
  2. Keep sump pump basis clean. Making sure the sump basin is free of foreign objects annually, will make sure no obstructions will block the pump from working. Pouring about 5 gallons of water into the basin to observe the pump in action is a technique to verify the water backup is working. Make sure it fully empties the basin and turns off on its own.
  3. Tighten valve 2 times a year. Tightening all the screws on the rubber boot that connects the PVC pipe to the check valve to make sure that the regular vibration of the system hasn’t loosened the connection. If the screws become loose there is the potential for the discharge pipe to disconnect during a pumping cycle.

Tips Proven to Reduce Chances of Repairing Basement Water Damage

Whether it’s water damage from a plumbing leak, sump pump failure, or a laundry tub overflow, water damage can require a costly fix. Here are a few home and business improvements to make water damage less likely:

  • Maintain drainage system. Use of gutters and downspouts are essential to help divert water away from your home, its foundation as well as from seeping in from the roof. In some instances adding a new section of gutters or an additional downspout can increase the success of staying free of repairing basement water damage. 
  • Install a new sump pump. Many Michigan basements are equipped with a sump pump to maintain a safe level of groundwater around the home. Especially cities such as Macomb, Shelby twp. New Baltimore, Washington Twp. and others that have newer construction are known to rely on such systems. All manufacturers of sump pumps recommend replacement after 7 years as bearings, washers and electrical components wear out. Although many have a sump pump that is substantially older they are relying on borrowed time, increasing the probability of basement water damage. The best sump pumps are plumbers grade made from cast iron having a stationary float. In some instances it is advisable to also install a backup battery-powered pump in case the power goes out. Regular testing of the sump pump is also recommended twice yearly.
  • Replace water heater. Some homes are destined for a time of repairing basement water damage because of an aged hot water heater. These systems can develop leaks and even major burst when they finally go bad. It is recommended to replace them every 15 years.   

Repairing basement water damage can be avoided with some of these preventative tips. If however, you are experiencing water damage in your basement consider contacting Action Extraction property restoration today. We can help with any water damage scenario, provide 24/7 emergency service and have a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. We are Michigan’s #1 rated restoration company having served Michigan residents for over 35 years.

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