At what point do you think "maybe this won't hold?"

fail owned pwned pictures
see more @Failblog

Points for style, and great shot by photographer!
Subtract points for devistated home. :-(
Then again who'd be able to say they ever 2-wheeled a crain before?


40% of the Air you breathe, YES, comes from the basement!

Percentages range, but studies all over the world support the fact that yes indeed air moves from your basement up to the rest of the home. 40% or more of the air you breathe on a regular basis comes from the basement.

That link is another one of my articles, recently published, on stack effect, and air quality in the home. Your basement's current state effects the rest of your home more than you know. And if you're looking for a good investment and project to do during these times to not only better the air in your home, but protect your basement, family, and foundation then this is a good article to read.

If you want to browse more in my blog here:

Air quality, affected by basement
Stoping water coming through your Foundation Walls

What is Wicking:Clearing the noise in basement waterproofing Terms

My recent article on Wicking is yet another article written to help to eliminate confusion.

There are many terms that we throw around on a daily basis and we know the differences. Seepage, bubbling, wicking, dribbling, arcing; all to discribe water. And in the thick of it, our language can be confusing and a down right turn off.

This article I tackled Wicking, what it is, and what it means. I also included a small detailed explination of how water can actually wick up your foundation walls from your footing, why it happens, and what it can mean for you.

Related Posts:

Wicking, Seepage and Cracks: Basement Waterproofing
Standing Water in your basement


Spring Time = wet, mud, drenched, soaking, lawn, soil, driveway, basement time.

With spring’s arrival comes the relief that we’re no longer in winter, summer is around the corner, and change is happening.

For many people that I deal with on a normal basis, however, it’s the time of dread. With the rains in New England comes a dedicated amount of time plugging holes, bailing, mopping, dry-vac-ing, soaking up, cleaning up, tearing down, and spending way too much intimate time with the water in their basement.

It’s a lot of stress, and for many, it’s so much stress that it literally keeps them up at night (I didn’t believe that line until I met a few in person who actually physically couldn’t sleep when it rained.)

Readers of this blog know that I work for a basement waterproofing company in Massachusetts that I’m very proud of. Readers also know that I try to make it easy for them to approach me with questions and problems. It’s personally hard for me to see people go through this Spring Time anguish when the rest of the world is seemingly on cloud 9 because of all the flowers, and picnics, and butterflies and all that lovey-dovey crap.

This Spring I’m urging everyone who reads this to call me, to email me, to join in the topics on the forums and to reach out and get help for these wet basement problems. It’s not fair to you to have to suffer through “dealing with it.” You don’t have to deal with it! You can save your knees, your back, your arms, and your hands from having to battle and fend off the seemingly endless stream of water that happens every spring in New England.

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"Aura" Self Priming Paint Amazing Review: Benjamin Moore Paint

If you've been in the market to redecorate your home simply changing the wall color can make a huge difference. I have (personally) about 3 years of professional house painting experience under my belt and I have to say Aura from Benjamin Moore blew me away! (Lots of flash on the site, just FYI)

My mother decided to paint over this deep rustic brown color that the living room was with an off White yellow. She showed me the paint chips and asked me how long it was going to take us to get the job done.

I sighed out loud doing the math in my head "2 coats of interior primer, 1 hour dry time between coats, edging, 2 coats of paint, 1 hour dry time...Mom it might take us 2 days to get it all done depending on how fast we work this weekend."

She was shocked.

Her first reaction was to go to the local paint shop (they know her by name there she's changed the wall colors so much) and relayed my story. Thank God for the guy behind the counter introducing her to Aura.

This self-priming paint not only dries in 30 minutes, but also goes on thick, smooth, and is easily controllable. I have never worked with paint like this. You also needed to use a slightly different technique getting it on the wall. You can't technically paint back over it while it's still wet. It, like traditional paint, picks itself back up on the roller, but it seems to be extra sensitive. I found myself rolling in single directions ether up, or down, from the center of the wall...rather than up and backtracking down the wall. Edging was much the same, brush strokes in 1 direction, never brushing back over the same spot twice.

The first coat looked surprisingly good, I was floored. The 2nd coat was more of a touch up coat than anything. Because of the dark underlying color it was important to go and apply the 2nd coat to cover up the brush strokes and our "learning curve" walls, which had thinner applications of the paint.

First coat took 3 hours, 30 minutes dry time, lunch, and then 2 hours for second coat with 30 minutes of drying time. In 6 hours of solid work we got done what I thought, or feared, was going to take us 10+ hours of work.

We used just under 2gals of paint for a roughly 600sq/ft of wall coverage (could be a bit more, don't have the measurements).

For $80 a gallon I felt this paint was WELL worth it. The end product was perfection. It has a very low VOC that can easily be handled with an air purifier while painting or after painting that dissipates in only a few hours afterwards.

I was HIGHLY impressed and if you're looking to save time and still get a perfect finish the extra money per gallon to me is totally worth it.

Related Reading and Links

Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make.

Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

Brad Pitt: Architectural Digest: "making it right"

In my post Organic vs. Non-Organic Basement Finishing Design I used an image from a home design that was proposed for Brad Pitt's 9th ward rehabilitation site in New Orleans.

Architectural Digest wrote an article on this project. It has a link as well to the W article/interview with Brad Pitt.

The structural designs are sound, it's good charity work, but I think the question on everyone's mind is more about the stability of the walls of the levy. Home designs, like the one in this construction area, are key to the survival of families in this area of the future.

I wanted to share these articles because they're two magazines I enjoy and the designs of the homes are daydream worthy in my opinion. Sometimes the answer for homes near high water tables and flood areas is no basements! I'm glad that more marine friendly construction is happening.


Foundation Damage: Piling snow, melting and snow removal.

Off the forums this seems to be much more of a common question than on the forums. But because this was brought up I thought it best to deal with topic directly. It’s a smart question that brings many points together.

Snow Removal:
As we all know the basic concept is to put the snow somewhere on the property, or off the property, where it won’t impede traffic or access to key areas of our land. Driveways are plowed or shoveled as well as walkways or “make-shift” paths for people to travel safely on foot.

Snow falls everywhere. Regardless of how good your gutters are you more than likely will end up with snow neatly gathered at or near your foundation. The only thing that will keep this from happening would be a generous overhang, extended roofs or tree coverage that blocks the snow from hitting the ground.

It’s generally a good idea not to pile snow close to your home (unless of course you have one of those nifty Swedish 2nd floor doors to ski out of).

Snow close to the foundation:
Every year the snow piles up and every year the snow melts. With the land being frozen and soil unable to absorb water very quickly during the thaw, this is typically the time when most people’s basements flood.

To protect against the snow becoming an additional obstacle at the start of spring it’s a good idea not to add more snow close to the foundation.

To what extent?
I’m not saying that you have to add the foundation of your home to your shoveling list. I am however suggesting that you keep an eye on it.

If snow is starting to pile higher than the sill plate (where your home meets the foundation) then remove some of the top layer and pile it elsewhere.

If the snow is covering window wells or filling window wells, you can keep those from flooding or becoming potential problems by bailing them out while it’s snow and not water. Shovel snow away from the window well so it doesn’t become the low point for the snow to melt into.

Problems with space:
Where do I put it? If the problem of your snow ending up next to your foundation is a problem it’s probably due to a lack of options on your property. Some condo associations hire companies, as do many homeowners, to plow their driveways and sidewalks. If this is happening to you in this situation simply call the company handling your property and ask them to put or remove the snow to another location away from the foundation.

Can snow actually hurt my foundation?
The answer is no. Snow itself will not hurt your foundation. It’s the water saturation that comes from the snow that can cause problems with your foundation over long periods of time.