Nearly three years ago we established this Learning Center to share information about basement waterproofing and foundation repair. Thousands of readers have benefitted from this blog – we’ve heard from homeowners all over the United States, Canada and points farther away. I guess that despite all the world’s differences, one thing is the same all over the globe – everybody gets a wet basement once in a while.
Of course, our motives in doing this haven’t been completely altruistic. Many homeowners in our home town of Chicago have turned to us for help because of what they’ve read here and those that we have worked with have been better informed about what’s wrong with their home and how to fix it.
However, we rarely write about ourselves in this space. We dedicate it to unbiased information about the ways homes can suffer seepage and structural foundation damage, how to fix it, what to expect and how much it may cost. It is only on special occasions that we blow our own horn and I thought that this, the 500th article in our Learning Center library, qualified for a toot or two.
But, enough of that. I want to get down to business and share some of the most popular and helpful articles we’ve published here. Space allows only a recap of each but there are links to the full articles and the entire archive is available on our website.
Basement Waterproofing (and Foundation Repair) Explained
When a homeowner discovers water in the basement, the first thing they do (once they put away the Shop Vac) is to call a basement waterproofing contractor. Typically, the company will send out an advisor who will inspect the basement, diagnose the problem and give the homeowner a written estimate. What should the homeowner expect from that estimate?
Then there are the aspiring homeowners who think that they have found their dream house – until they go into the basement. It smells musty, feels damp and there are signs of water damage. Should they walk away? There are a number of things a homebuyer should know about basement seepage.
The majority of foundations in the U.S. are constructed of poured concrete and the most common source of water in a poured concrete basement is a crack in the wall. Ever wonder how these cracks happen? Or how they should be repaired? What happens when your basement is already finished?
Speaking of finished basements, we have always encouraged homeowners who are planning to finish or remodel their basements to plan for basement waterproofing before they drive the first nail.
One of the best ways to stop or prevent water in the basement is to install drain tile, a mysterious concept to most homeowners. What is drain tile, anyway? Does it go on the inside or outside of the foundation?
What about when water isn’t the problem but the foundation itself is in danger from structural damage? What kind of damage can a residential foundation suffer? Is settling a normal thing or a cause for worry? How does the average homeowner discover foundation damage? Can it be fixed?
There are things that every homeowner can do to prevent or lessen the impact of water in the basement or structural foundation damage. Most involve preventing soil close to the foundation from becoming oversaturated by extending downspouts, keeping gutters clean and making sure window wells are covered and in good condition.
And, finally, how does a homeowner find the right basement waterproofing company or foundation repair contractor? Can they trust the reviews on Yelp? Should they use Angie’s List? Can they get reviews and company information from the Better Business Bureau?
If we haven’t yet covered the topic that interests you or applies to your home, keep reading. We will continue to share our expertise in this space and we’re happy to provide free, in-home advice to homeowners in Chicagoland and northwest Indiana. Just ask.