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Waterproofing Your Basement: The Basics

What are the common signs of a basement leak, and what can you do to fix one if you see the signs in your basement? A local contractor can help.

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It’s raining when you come home from a long day at work, and bam! – your basement’s flooding. Don’t panic! While the rain in Charlotte, NC, can be overwhelming, you don’t have to resign yourself to an indoor swimming pool just yet. Local contractors can help you fix any cracks that have appeared in your basement and then waterproof your home.

What solutions do you have at your disposal, though? Let’s explore the ins and outs of leaking basements so you can find the waterproofing tools that best suit your home.

Signs That Your Basement May Be Leaking

Even if you’re not seeing standing water in your basement, you may have a leak on your hands. If you suspect something’s going wrong with your basement walls, keep an eye out for some of the following:

  • Sticking Doors and Windows: Excessive dampness warps the wood in your home, making it more difficult for you to open your doors and windows. Start in the basement and test your doors. If you have to work to get a door open, you may have a leak.
  • Water Damage: If the fabric or paper products you’ve stored in your basement are rotting, your fabric is pulling up from the floor, or untreated concrete appears to be stained, you have a leak.
  • Fogged Up Windows: When water evaporates, it’ll try to escape from your basement as a vapor. This vapor may not have anywhere to go, though, so it’ll end up on your windows looking like fog.
  • Higher Electric and Heating Bills: Excessive dampness in your basement makes it more difficult for your heater to control the temperature in your home. If you notice a sharp uptick in your bill but you can’t pinpoint what may have caused it, call a contractor and look for other signs of a leak.
  • More Bugs In Your Home: If water can get into your home, insects can get into your home. Keep an eye out for signs of an infestation, and if you notice them, call an exterminator. Then call a basement repair contractor.

How Can You Protect Your Home?

Once you’ve found a leak, either on your own or with a contractor’s help, what can you do to combat it? It’s recommended that you work with a Charlotte, NC, contractor to first fix the leak via crack injection. However, if you’re looking to waterproof your home in the aftermath, you can take advantage of any of the following solutions:

  • Interior French drains – These drains actively collect water direct it to a sump pump system, other than onto your basement floor.
  • Sump pumps – Water that is intercepted by the perimeter French drain system is then directed to a sump pump. There are a variety of systems available, including ones with a backup battery, that will then pump this water out of your basement and away from your home’s foundation. This way, your basement won’t immediately flood with water again.
  • Sealants – Most of the sealants you can use in your basement are temporary solutions to a long-term problem. However, if you want to chemically direct water away from your home immediately after a crack injection, this waterproofing solution is a go-to. Be aware, however, that these are not permanent solutions, and water will eventually find its way inside your basement.
  • Vapor barriersVapor barriers work best on crawl spaces that have a tendency to flood. Made of thick, plastic-like material, a vapor barrier will not only protect your crawl space from water in its liquid form but in its vapor form as well, as the weave is so dense that most gases won’t be able to get through.
  • Dehumidifiers – Dehumidifiers are, like sealants, temporary solutions to larger flooding problems. However, if you’re only dealing with a bit of dampness in your basement, then a dehumidifier can pull that dampness from the air, convert it back into water, and store it so you can then remove it from your home on your own time. Some units are self-draining, meaning you won’t have to worry about emptying any buckets or reservoirs. Dehumidifiers also are crucial in cleaning and filtering the air in your home, lowering moisture and humidity, and reducing odors and potential mold growth. 

Don’t let the precipitation in Charlotte, NC, steal your home from you. Reach out to a local contractor ASAP for a free inspection and estimate to see which waterproofing solutions will be best for your basement.

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