Frequently Asked Questions

Leaking Basements, What’s the Cause?

Leaking basements can greatly diminish the resale value of your home and contribute to a variety of other problems, both structural and health (think mold). Why basements leak is commonly one of the following:

  •  Cracks in the foundation
  • Poor drainage
  • Broken or ineffective weeping tiles
  • The original waterproofing has deteriorated
  • The foundation has defects in the original construction

Patching is one solution but usually where there is one problem area there are multiple. In most cases, even when patching, excavation is required around the foundation. It is essential to fix the problem on the outside first – interior quick fixes are usually temporary and do not address the source of the problem.

Cracked Foundation, is this my problem?

Cracked foundations contribute to many other problems around your home and need to be attended to as soon as they appear.

Here are some of the telltale signs:

  •  Doors jam or fail to latch
  • Cracks appear in walls, especially over doors and windows
  • Cracks appear in vinyl or tile floors
  • Windows are difficult to open

The most obvious sign of course is major cracks in the floor or walls by which time you know you have a major problem.

It is not easy to determine the source of problem, let alone fix it yourself because it generally requires structural repairs. There are a few things you can check before calling us in.

  • Check for bulges or curves in the foundation
  • Check for flaking or chipping of concrete. Tap the exterior with screwdriver to see if the concrete is still hard.
  • Look at posts or supporting walls to see if they are true.
  • Puddles or dampness on the floor indicates water working its way into the basement, usually through cracks in either the walls or the floor.
Reducing Energy Consumption

Reducing energy costs is the focus of many homeowners, especially those with older homes built when energy costs were much cheaper. Installing a more efficient heating system is one of the best things you can do but if the structure has a lot of air leaks, you can still be losing money out the window.

Reducing heat loss from your home is a combination of reducing obvious air leaks around doors and windows and more significant changes such as adding insulation.

Here are a few of things we suggest:

  • Weather seal around windows and doors
  • If windows are single pane glass or the frames are worn out or broken, replace them.
  • Add insulation where it will have the most benefit. Attics are a major heat-loss area, a problem that is easy to identify in winter. If you have heat loss, likely the snow is melting off quickly.
  • Insulate around basement walls, above crawlspaces and exterior walls where you have access.

Insulation commonly pays for itself within just a few years.