8/13/2010

Dry out Basement Gym Flooring with a Dehumidifier - Reader situation / Question

Every spring and summer it feels like similar questions come into the site. One of the more common ones is about how to dry out a basement after flooding. This particular reader asked a more specific question about the gym flooring he/she had in their basement. They asked if a dehumidifier is the right way to dry out a wet basement gym floor:
The answer is: Partly.

As I've mentioned before in several posts, one being this year after the massive floods in Rhode Island during March 2010, a dehumidifier can easily deal with moisture in the air, but it's not very good at dealing with puddles.
Should I use AC or Heat to dry up a wet basement?
If you're basement has truly flooded and have had it pumped out then you're working with a good starting point. Many professional flood cleaning companies use high powered submersible pumps in addition too large fans, dehumidifiers, and the heat from your furnace. That's right, adding heat from a furnace can help to break up the puddled moisture by helping it to warm up and evaporate into the air - the dehumidifier can easily handle the humidity and moisture.

This can go for the gym flooring. Hopefully you have a tile system (these are the easiest and most cost effective way of doing it.) and can take it apart. I know, no one wants too, but when there's moisture trapped under the tiles, or between the seems it's easier to dry everything if it's all taken up. Looking for Basement Flooring?

I'd recommend stacking them with cloth or washcloths in between to draw out any moisture. These stacks should be put in your furnace room, or close too it. Turn on the furnace and the dehumidifier and let the room heat up. Eventually the moisture will come out on it's own. This will also be helpful as you tackle the rest of the area that might still be wet.

If you have a question about your basement that you'd like to have answered, or have a situation you need help with, feel free to drop me a line, leave a comment, or visit the Pioneer Basement Help Forums to ask your question. If the question is good I'll share it here on my blog with the answer for my readers. Keep Dry!


Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!
Basement Waterproofing - So you never have to deal with it again!

8/10/2010

Pakistan floods, possible sign of things to come.

photo credit: edition.cnn.com

Scientists have already speculated about the warmer conditions on the planet causing future problems with weather. As reported by FoxBusiness.com today, Pakistan's floods are being considered connected to that same future.

Even though current conditions haven't been able to be directly linked to the flooding that's been causing large problems in China and the United States, flooding, in general, is on the forecast as the climate warms.

As of today over 14 million people have been directly impacted due to the severe conditions in Pakistan. With aid coming slow from other countries, the government is doing the best it can with the limited resources left in the hardest hit areas.CNN reports the death toll is currently at 800 and rising.

Pakistan Floods shows threat from warmer world

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

8/09/2010

Grate Drain vs. Iron Bacteria 2 - control and protect the basement

iron bacteria build up in a pipe and stone drainage system
Iron Bacteria build up in a Pipe and Stone
Drainage system ruins a finished basement
As I’ve mentioned before about the Grate Drain, many of it’s features help to control iron bacteria and keep it at bay. This post I’ll focus on another series of benefits that the Grate Drain has over other french drain systems when it comes to Iron Bacteria.

No Gaps - Total Connection
One of the hard parts to defend against is the bacterias ability to cling to jagged surfaces. Many open back systems on the market have rough entry holes and rough surfaces in and around the drain. This is especially a problem at joints, where two pieces of drain meet. Bacteria has an easy time of grabbing a hold of that ridge and building on itself and eventually clogging a drain. The Grate Drain has nothing but smooth, seamless edges. It’s one continuous piece that is built to fit - so there are no gaps, edges or breaks at joints.


Pitched System.
Water requires gravity to flow properly, which is why every Grate Drain system is pitched to a sump location. This not only helps the water flow, but it makes it harder for bacteria to hold on. More importantly, if iron bacteria does build up somewhere, during a Hot Flush Maintenance, the water volume will carry the rest of it away due to the pitch of the system.

Access Ports - Flushing systems.
Hot Flush maintenance is important and to do this a system would require access ports. The Grate Drain has multiple types of access ports to choose from. Corner Ports and T-Ports connect long stretches of system and can be placed in a design to allow easy access to perform maintenance. Drains that don’t have access points tend to clog faster, have short life spans, and eventually fail. Regular maintenance of any interior french drain system is a must, with or without an iron bacteria problem.

Isolation - walls separate areas of the basement.
A solid wall divides the french drain into two parts. One that takes water from underneath the basement floor, and the other side takes water from the wall and footing joints. These two chambers stay separate through the corners as well, which makes isolating a bacteria problem easier. With this style of isolation, the iron bacteria will have a harder time spreading to other parts of the basement. This allows the maintenance and hot flushes to be more effective in curbing the growth and expansion of the iron bacteria.

The Grate Drain is a great invention for the basement waterproofing industry and even more so for it’s layers of protection that keep iron bacteria at bay. Read my previous post about Grate Drain vs. Iron Bacteria to learn other ways that this drain can hep to control moisture and water, while protecting the basement against iron bacteria.

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

8/05/2010

Grate Drain vs. Hydrostatic Pressure - water under the basement floor.

As I've talked about before, Hydrostatic pressure is the build up of pressure caused by water increasing in volume under the basement floor. Eventually water has no where to go but up and will force its way through gaps, cracks and pours into the basement or crawl space. There aren't many effective french drain systems that actively remove water build up from underneath a floor, however, one such system that does is the Grate Drain system from Grate Products.

There are a few key design advantages that the Grate Drain has over other products which will give your home an edge in staying dry and protected against future floods and leaks.

Grate Drain Pitch -
Pitching a system can have many benefits, however when talking about moving water, it plays one key role: Moving the water. Roman Aqueducts declined slightly over long distances to keep the water flowing in particular direction. This same method is used under the floor. The drain itself is pitched to encourage water to flow towards the direction of a sump location. This also allows the drain to remove water at different levels up to the underside of the basement floor. This gives you more protection and more of a chance for the sump to deal with more volume.

Volume of water - Large Holes
The key to any drain's success is measured by the volume of water it can displace. The more water you can get to the sump to pump out of the home, the better. Large punched holes on 2 sides of the Grate Drain allow for more water to enter the drain faster, and with less resistance. This encourages the water into the drain, and quickly carries it away to a strong sump pump to take care of removal. Remember, More Water Out - Less risk of flooding.

Speed and Control
So, more water volume moved faster protects against the basement flooding. Controlling the water, where it's going, and what options it has are also important to keep in mind. The sump location is specifically designed to be the lowest point in the system, most water will go there. But as water can continue to enter from around the foundation, the drain can control where this water ends up. Vapor barriers and high points in the drain catch water that might have found its way in. This forces the water to be collected from all angles, wall, floor joint, and under the basement. This then allows the sump to truly come in contact with all the water and moisture effecting the basement. The Grate Drain will deliver the water to this point, but it'll be up to the speed and strength of the sump pump to move the water out of the house faster than it coming in.

The Grate Drain is a powerful french drain system for the interior of your home. Protecting your basement or crawl space against leaks, flooding, or occasional moisture/humidity is what it is specifically designed for. This makes it an essential home improvement project for any home where the basement can be used.

Read more blog posts about the Grate Drain
Read more blog posts about the Grate Sump Sump Pump basin


Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

8/04/2010

Grate Drain vs. Iron Bacteria - how it can help control and protect.

The GrateDrain french drain system has the best set of protections against iron bacteria issues in the basement.

The GrateDrain System installed on the inside of a Basement.
Iron bacteria is prevalent in America, with approximately 1 in every 5 basements having contact with iron bacteria in the soil it's a very real problem for households.

Iron bacteria, or iron ocher, can cause pipe clogs, kill sump pumps, and render most drainage systems completely useless. The Grate Drain on the other hand is one of the best solutions for waterproofing a basement while an iron bacteria issue is present.

Drainage holes
The openings in this french drain are specifically designed for iron bacteria situations. They are wide and smooth. Wide means it can carry more volume and it's harder for the bacteria to bridge the gap and cause clogs that hold on the exterior part of the drain. The holes themselves are punched out of the outer walls during the manufacturing. This makes the hole edges smooth and makes it harder for the bacteria to get a hold of the drain to gain in mass.


Built in Anti-Microbial
To futher defend the basement against the bacteria build up, this new version of the Grate Drain has had anti-microbial built into the plastic. If the bacteria reach the inside of the basement the drain's surface repells the substance to keep it from forming clogs or gaining mass. This helps to keep it at bay and makes it easy to flush out of the system.


Interior Slick Surface
The combination of the smooth punched holes in the drain and the smooth surfaces of the drain itself, helps to limit clogs and limit sediment from building up in the drain. If soil, sand, or silt find level resting places in any drain, this gives a rough surface for other silt and, in this case, iron bacteria to get a foot hold to build and expand.

The Grate Drain has other design elements that help it combat iron bacteria. Hopefully you've learned a little more about the drain product and some of the important features that can help to make the basement a safer and healthier place.

*Update 8/9/2010* I've continued on about some of the other features of the Grate Drain that help to limit and control the problems of iron bacteria: http://diyguyct.blogspot.com/2010/08/grate-drain-vs-iron-bacteria-2-control.html

For more information about GrateDrain visit: Grate Products: Basement Health
More information on Iron Bacteria and the Waterproofing Industry visit:
http://www.waterproofmag.com/back_issues/200904/iron-bacteria.php

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement a question directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

8/02/2010

Rain in Wisconsin brings summer record for July and June

Storm Team 4 weather forcast today focused on the amount of rain that Milwaukee and Southern Wisconsin have seen over the past 2 months. With over 18 inches, and more than half of the summer days seeing rain, it’s going on record as one of the wettest summers in well over 100 years.

With this week not looking too much better, many homeowners in the Southern part of the state see an increased chance of flooding and basement issues.

This type of weather for Wisconsin keeps it on par with it’s neighbors in have unusually wet weather. State’s like Iowa are also seeing moisture and rain issues causing flooding along the Mississippi River and other areas further in land.

Read more about Iowa's Current Severe Weather Status for August 2nd 2010
Looking for Basement Waterproofing in Madison? Dry Otter Basement Waterproofing provides professional service to all of Southern Wisconsin - Take Advantage of the areas leading basement waterproofing experts and have them protect your space before, or after the basement flood. Basement Waterproofing Wisconsin
Basement Waterproofing Cedar Rapids
Basement Waterproofing Iowa City

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

Iowa seeing Rain - Flood Watch in effect



KCCI posted a severe weather warning for Flash floods today adding to the possibility of more water damage in the state from this summer’s weather patterns.

Uncommon levels of moisture and rain in the state have added to problems along Mississippi shorelines and even further inland in towns like Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. Storms continue to rage through the state and onto Wisconsin and Illinois to, more than likely, cause problems.

"
Flash Flood Watch:
Issued at: 10:56 AM CDT 8/2/10, expires at: 7:00 PM CDT 8/2/10Flash Flood Watch remains in effect from 7 pm cdt this evening Through late tonight,
The flash flood watch continues for Portions of central Iowa, North Central Iowa, Northeast Iowa, Northwest Iowa And west central Iowa, Including The following areas, In Central Iowa, Boone, Dallas, Grundy, hamilton, Hardin, Jasper, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, story, Tama And Webster. In north central Iowa, Butler, franklin, Humboldt And Wright. In northeast Iowa, Black Hawk and bremer. In northwest Iowa, Pocahontas. In west central Iowa, Audubon, Calhoun, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, guthrie and sac.
From 7 pm CDT this evening through late tonight
Thunderstorms produced up to an inch of rain across the area this morning. More thunderstorms are likely to develop over northwest Iowa into eastern Nebraska later this afternoon. These storms will spread east this evening and overnight, Exiting toward sunrise Tuesday. Widespread rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches can be expected tonight. Local rainfall amounts of up to 4 inches could produce flash flooding because soils are much wetter than normal.
Flooding could occur quickly due to intense rainfall rates possible with this system. Storm sewers could become overwhelmed, Potentially Flooding Streets and basements.
Precautionary/preparedness actions,
A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation.
You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued."

Looking for help with your flooding basement? Basement Solutions Waterproofing & Foundation Repair 
Basement Solutions provides Basement Waterproofing, Basement Leak Repair, and Wet basement solutions for before and after floods.


Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

7/29/2010

My own basement stories. - Basement Workbench and Basement Floods

As I mentioned in my previous post I’m looking for your own Basement Stories. Things that you might remember, or currently use the basement for now, that have had an impact on your life.

basement work bench
For me, some of my best memories take place at my Grandfather’s workbench in the basement. That’s where we spend time building birdhouses, spice-racks, and fixing broken house hold items such as cabinet doors and broken bookcases. I spent a great deal of my childhood learning to use tools to fix things from that bench and still have fond memories.

Sadly, there’s always a twist to any basement story, and that’s normally when it floods. Both my grandparents and my mother’s basement flooded quite often. Many projects kept in the workbench room at my Grandfather’s house would be thrown away due to the water and lack of drainage. My Mother’s house (build in the 1940s) leaked from several windows in the foundation which led to countless hours mopping and bailing. Those leaks also caused a great deal of our belongings to be thrown away in the trash (including a leather sofa - that was a poor choice on my part to keep that down there).

I’ve already heard from a few followers on Blogged.com and Facebook. What’s your Basement Story? Leave comments - Best story I get will be publicly published on Safe and Dry Basement Blog :-)
Image thanks to The Model Citizen

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

7/28/2010

Basement Stories - We Want to hear from you!

Over the past few years I've heard some pretty remarkable stories about home imporvement. The time, energy, and money that many people put into their homes is amazing, and some of the stories that come out of the experience are priceless.

The Basement is one of the parts of the home where many stories are hidden. I'm interested in hearing a story you have about your basement. Good or Bad, scary or happy, I want to hear from readers about their basement stories. 

Tomorrow I'll share one of my favorite basement memories as well as a story about why I started working in the Basement Waterproofing Industry.

Feel free to leave your story in a comment, or email it to me directly! I can't wait to hear what you have to share!

(I'm not going to close comments, so that way people can continue to add to the stories).

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

7/27/2010

Flooding - Summer tragically brings too much water

This summer has started off with a bang. Heavy floods caused serious problems in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. A few weeks latter parts of Tennessee are hit hard causing problems for thousands. And now, even though it's seasonal, China is getting hit with what many are calling the worst flooding they've seen in the past 10 years.

In pictures - China's Incredible Flooding  - Weather Channel.


State side isn't going to having it any easier, or so says some of the coverage and forecasts provided by the National Weather Service. Top 5 Hurricane Vulnerable & Overdue Cities As per usual the East Coast of the USA is a prime target for any activity coming off of the Atlantic ocean. The Weather Channel provides up to date information on formations and patterns so that you can stay on top of the weather that might just cause your basement to flood.

One of the negatives about living near the water is that even if you're not in the direct impact path of a storm, surges can carry the water inland or increase the water levels around your home. This raises the level of moisture and water in the soil around your home and can put your foundation under more pressure. Storms of any size can be a problem, but as the logic goes, the larger the storm the bigger the chance of flooding.

Stay prepared this summer and get ahead of Hurricane Season!



Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

7/16/2010

7 Links you must see on Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog

I was challenged, as where many other people, by the writer of ProBlogger.net to come up with 7 links to other posts on my blog. Following his format, I’ve put together this post to help guide you through other parts of my blog, hopefully to things you haven’t read already.

1.) My first Post: When I first started blogging for Pioneer Basement and Grate Products, I did what any normal person might do when meeting someone for the first time: I Introduced myself in First things First! Looking at it now, wasn't the best thing I ever hit "publish" for, but at least I can laugh at it.

2.) A post I enjoyed writing the most: A post series (2 parts) that I really enjoyed doing was a review of a friend’s basement. He was in the process of buying his first home and decided to send me pictures. I reviewed what I could see and sent him the results but also shared them with you: Friends Basement Inspection. My take on the Images pt1.


3.) A post with a great discussion: As most readers simply are looking for information pertaining to basement waterproofing or foundation repair, I sadly don’t generate a ton of comments (unless they’re other companies spamming my comment section). However the post with the most comments so far was Water Coming in through Foundation of House which, after writing, I found out that many people have similar issues with water coming over the foundation.

4.) A post on someone else’s blog I wish I had written: In the time that I’ve been blogging about the basement health industry there has been one person who’s stood out in my eyes. Not only is he my boss, he’s the owner of Pioneer Basement, founder and inventor of the Grate Drain, and Pioneer of the basement waterproofing industry’s code of ethics. He wrote a post back in 2009 that I wish I had the guts to write. Entitled Basement Healthcare it brought about stark realizations to me about how I look at my health and what part my home plays in it.

5.) My most helpful post: So to take a non-biased look, I cracked open Google Analytics and took a peak at June 2010. Without a doubt my post Basement Dehumidifiers, Getting the jump on Humid Summer Weather was a hit. So looking at that I’d say it was my most helpful post for what many homeowners are dealing with now that summer is here.

6.) A post with a title I’m most proud of: Childproof Sump Pump Lids can save lives! - Difficult to open is a GOOD thing. After a tragic accident in Indiana, I needed to explain why our Grate Sumps were different and at the same time explain one of the benefits of their tricky lids.

7.) A post I wish more people read: Basement Mistakes pt 5 – Finishing a Basement with Organic Construction Materials was a post that I felt everyone needed to read. All too often homeowners let contractors install materials in their homes without a second thought. I wanted to shine light onto the topic and educate homeowners. This should be a Must Read on my site!

Hopefully you've found other posts on my blog that you had not seen/read before. Sharing information about basement waterproofing and foundation repair is something that I really enjoy doing and I hope that in the future you'll come back and recommend my blog, and my company, to your family members and friends.

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

Paints that are good for the final part of a basement remodel.

Painting the walls of a finished basement
Painting the walls in the basement after you've finished it should really be considered the last step in any finishing or remodeling project (next to hanging shelves or nick-knacks)

The healthiest choice for painting the walls is a paint that has Zero Lead, and Zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Typically, as many of us remember, paint has a smell to it. This odor is caused by the chemicals in the paint and can, in places with no ventilation, be hazardous to your health in large amounts.

Avoiding any VOCs in paint, today, is rather easy. All major home improvement stores carry paint without these VOCs and they come in thousands of custom colors for your walls. You can get what you want at a great price and without any risks to the indoor air quality of your home.

Why are VOCs bad in the Basement?
Like any smell or odor, the basement can trap them in and let them build up. Basements or crawl spaces aren't normally very well ventilated, nor do they have proper air circulation. This allows any air bound chemical to build up (in parts per million) and become stronger and more potent.

If you have mold or odors in the basement anyway, adding to them with a stench of VOCs filled paints isn't going to help you to breath any easier.

What if I'm looking to finish and have odors in the basement already?
Most likely there is something causing these odors in the first place.

Mold and dry rot are the two most common causes for odors in the basement. If ether one of these exist, finishing or remodeling the basement shouldn't be your top priority. Getting control of the smell through air circulation and filtration are a good first step.

Moisture plays a key roll in the formation of mold and dry rot and should be taken seriously. Controlling the moisture or possible leaks and flooding can protect the finished space from damage and from future mold and dry rot. Installing a waterproofing system can help control moisture while helping to correct the conditions of the basement that are causing the odors and smells.


Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

7/09/2010

The Grate Sump - more about the Grate Products Sump Liner 2

GrateSump Fully installed in a basement
Other features of the Grate Sump, that aren’t talked about nearly as often as some aspects of the GrateSump, are, in my opinion, some of the most interesting about this sump basin. When doing research about other basins and sump liners I’ll challenge you to find anything of this equivalent.

The first major innovation that I’ll be talking about in this blog post is the build int Pump Stand Ridge Lip. The stand is something that is built into the bottom of the pump basin, which is one less thing to buy. The raised ridge around this stand is designed to keep the pump from shifting dramatically when installed. As the pump runs the motion of it’s engine and the vibrations caused can force the pump to vibrate off platforms. This shift can cause damage to the pump, clog the impeller, and snap or disconnect the discharge lines which makes your pump useless. The Grate Sump’s design not only houses the pumps but is designed to keep them safe and functional.

Next to the built in pump stand is what is called the Vortex Pit. Simply put, it’s a troth that soil and sediment can be collected in as the pump’s suction causes a vortex under it. Once the sump pump stops pumping, soil and sand that have collected in the water gather around the pump. When the pump kicks back on the soil is kicked up and can cause the pump to clog. The Vortex Pit removes the soil from the suction point and keeps it safely away from the pumps impellers, thus keeping the pump cleaner and safer.

Grate Sump vs. Other Sump Pump Basins
The most unique feature of the GrateSump is the height of the unit. It sits at 19inches high and the pump will rest safely inside of it at 17 inches. Most sump basins on the market come in at a height of 24 inches or deeper. Depth isn’t a safe answer for your foundation. A basin going further than 20 inches below your floor encourages the sump pump to pull dirt and soil out from underneath the foundation’s footing when operating. This can cause collapse of the foundation wall. This is something that typically happens in corners with round, deep sump basins installed in the basement. Grate Products specifically designed the depth to discourage this from happening, thus making it a safer product for your basement.

Feel free to read more about the Grate Sump in previous posts. If you have any questions about the product, or how to have one installed, contact Grate Products: Basement Health directly through their website.

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

7/02/2010

Grate Drain vs. Floor Seepage - protecting against wet basements

One of the popular advantages of GrateDrain over other french drains is that it is specifically designed and installed to protect against floor seepage.

Floor seepage is when water pushes its way up through the floor of the basement. Cracks and separations can often make problems worse than they would be normally. However the problem that is causing the basement to become wet is the fact that water mass builds up under the floor of the basement.

As water builds, pressure is put on the underside of the concrete floor. As water seeks the path of least resistance, holes and separations are the first choice - but they're not always available - so water finds other ways in. The most common area that sees seepage is the perimeter around the basement; the gap between the wall and the basement floor.

Pressure can cause puddling in the middle of the floor, flooding, and wet spots around the perimeter of the basement.

How GrateDrain targets both, and Fixes them

GrateDrain, the french drain in question, has a bigger advantage of having holes on both sides of it. The holes are large and can accommodate large volumes of water. This is key to keep the volume of water under control under the basement floor. This is most importantly during a series of rain storms. The Grate Drain is installed so that the water drains into it inches before coming in contact with the bottom of the floor. This keeps the volume from building and building to the level of the footing and the floor.

This is important for a few reasons
1.) Moisture and water aren't touching the floor. This keeps puddling and floor crack seepage under control.
2.) It keeps water under the floor from jumping up on the footer and through the floor/wall gap.
3.) Volume is less shocking because it's under control most of the time - this is important for your drainage to be affective and also to increase the life of your sump pump.

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Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

7/01/2010

The Grate Sump - more about the Grate Products Sump Liner

Grate Sump Pump Basin by Grate Products LLC
The Grate Sump is much more than a normal sump basin to place a sump pump in. It's a total connection system that ends up being the command center for the GrateDrain system.

It helps the Grate Drain Work.
The entire run of the french drain, known as Grate Drain, is pitched to outlet ports that dump any moisture and water directly into the sump. This connection point can also pivot which makes fitting a drain with the proper pitch easy in any basement. If the floors are thicker than normal than the outlet ports can connect lower on the body of the Grate Sump to keep that perfect pitch throughout the system.

Cord Management
Every GrateSump has built in pipe and cord management. The most dangerous thing about submersible pumps are open cords with live electricity. These formed openings are smooth and keep the cords from moving and getting caught in the pull of the pump. This helps to keep any technician safe while performing maintenance on your system.

Child-Proof Lid
The lid is also extremely difficult to remove. This is perfect for households with children. Open sumps can cause injury or death, so this tight lid that never has to be removed (except for during service) will stay tightly put, keeping children out.

Large openings open to the center of the floor.
One of the biggest problems with store bought sump basins are that their holes are small. This is bad for a few reasons. The Grate Sump's openings are large, smooth and punched so there is no rough surface. They're small enough to keep stones out with filter fabric and large enough to keep iron bacteria colonies from forming and causing clogs. These openings are extremely important - your sump pump now has direct access to the water underneath the home. This helps to keep this level under control so as to not cause seepage elsewhere in the basement.



Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

6/28/2010

Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog now on Facebook - Become a Fan!

I wanted to take the time to announce that Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog is now officially on Facebook. If you are a fan of the blog, or even found one helpful post, I would love to have you become a fan!

Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog on Facebook

I'll be updating the page with the newest posts, polls, links and other news sources for you to do more research or just enjoy the blog on a different site. 




Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

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6/24/2010

2010 NAWSRC Annaul Convention - Texas - Celebrating 30 years!

The NAWSRC is celebrating 30 years!

The National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair Contractors announced their 2010 Annual Convention dates and locations. This year they strike out to talk foundations, leaks, and the best in solutions in San Antonio, Texas.

August 14-18th, 2010, San Antonio, Texas


They've gone to the trouble of getting hotels and registration information together on one page of the website.

http://www.nawsrc.org/meetingAnnual.php

If you're a contractor, a waterproofer, or a seasoned member of the NAWSRC, this years convention sounds like the place to be.

Convention Schedule 

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

6/18/2010

Interior Waterproofing Systems - Better protection for a Finished Basement

Homeowners often ask, "what's the difference between an exterior system and an interior system?" and sometimes quickly followed by "well, then why not just install an exterior system?"

Both very good questions - Let's address them.

Interior system
An interior waterproofing system is a system that installed on the inside of the basement. They typically run along the perimeter of the basement, and in the example of Pioneer Basement's Grate Drain system, it comes complete with sealed vapor barrier, sump pump, sump basin and all the piping for removing the water from the system.

Exterior system
Exterior systems, as the name suggests, are installed around the foundation on the outside. Depending on the design by the contractor, it would normally include a pipe with holes (to allow water in) a type of geo-tech fabric to filter out soil, and crushed stone. They don't typically include pumps, and are gravity fed to a low point in the landscape.

In a perfect world, both systems would be installed on every new home built in the country, but the truth is, they aren't.

Basics of their Functions
Exterior systems are designed to channel the water away from the foundation and move it to a spot where it can be absorbed by the soil.

Interior systems are designed to trap any water that gets through a repair, foundation or separation and pump it back out of the system and into the landscape.


Dependability
Exterior systems are surrounded by soil, rodents, insects, rocks and other things that can clog or dislodge the drain. Over time these drains will clog and stop working, which will result in leaks and flooding which it was designed to protect. Life expectancy is 5-10 years.

Interior systems, by being installed on the inside of the home, take care of water coming in from all angles, under the floor, from behind the wall, or from the separation between the wall and the footer of the home. With proper installation and proper maintenance these systems can last the life of the house.

Why do you need maintenance?
Exterior systems rarely have access points from which you can flush the system out. Because of this the systems get clogged faster and become a problem source, rather than a problem solution.

Interior systems, most of the new designs like the GrateDrain from Grate Products, come with access points that allow service men to clean and maintain the flow of the system. This in combination with sump pump maintenance can increase the life of the system, the pump, and the dryness of the basement.

How would each affect me finishing off the basement?
Exterior systems won't affect the way you finish the basement, but it will affect the way you live in the space in 5-10 years. With possible problems down the road, a basement with an exterior system only isn't ready to be finished and a serious investment shouldn't be made in the space.

Interior systems simply require that your finished walls be installed 1-2" away from the foundation, which won't change your floor plan that much. Finishing the basement with this method should also include using in-organic material such as metal studs and mold/moisture resistant dry wall for best results. After finishing install a dehumidifier to provide circulation and over all moisture/humidity control for your finished space.


Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

6/04/2010

Discolored Basement floors & walls - should I be worried? - Reader Question.

discolored basement walls from moisture, flood, or water damage
Basement walls have been constructed many different ways in the 1900s. Most of the homes we live in have been built to standards created in the 1970s based on the last energy crisis. However older homes have foundations that were created using techniques that predate American History.

With so many different types of basements, wall coverings, and materials used, discoloration could happen for multiple reasons.

The most common foundations that are seen today are: Crawl Spaces (brick, block or poured concrete), Full head height basements (stone, brick, block, or poured concrete).


What having a discolored basement wall could mean:
As I mentioned discolored walls can mean quite a few things. Depending on the history of the house, these stains could be insoluble materials like oil, paint, ink, or anything else that can be washed out of a porous service. The more common cause for discoloration of a floor or a wall is water or fire damage.

Water damage leaves residues behind like efflorescence that is much like a fine powder. Efflorescence is simply the left over minerals from water that has evaporated from the service. Brick or stone foundations that have had plaster laid over it to produce a smooth finish to the wall could also soak up the water, mold, rot and flake off. During this process the plaster will change color. Browns, yellows, oranges and greens are typical to see on a plaster that is coming in contact with water.

Same basic rules apply to the floor.

If you think you have water or fire damage in your home or basement, have your home inspected by a professional to see if there are any possible damage issues that need to be corrected. If your foundation is in fact leaking, or allowing water into your basement, consider correcting any foundation issues that need repair and hiring a basement waterproofing contractor to fully protect the basement from future floods.

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!
Image thanks to http://www.ehow.com

5/28/2010

Is it bad for your health to have standing water in the basement? - Reader Question

The longer water sits in the basement or crawl space, the more time it has to contribute to the conditions of the home.

Water that sits in an area like the basement, doesn't move, doesn't filter, and is allowed to do so, can breed problems.

Water normally carries bacteria and other microscopic organisms with it. Standing water allows these bacteria to multiply in your home. As water evaporates these bacteria can become air born which will effect your air quality. Standing water also directly effects the amount of moisture in a basement or crawl space which will, again, effect your indoor air quality.

A basement that has an increased level of moisture has an increased chance of harboring mold colonies. Mold requires cool, damp and dark conditions to thrive in addition to a food source. A food source for mold is anything that can be organically decomposed or digested by the mold (wood, cardboard, paper, clothing, pictures, wood stairs, etc.)

Dealing with water quickly is the key to success:
As I mentioned, the longer the water stays untouched in the basement, the more of a chance it will effect, and the longer it will have the ability to effect the indoor air quality of the basement and the home.

Moping up, dry "vac-ing", and drying out the area will help you gain back control of the usable space. Run a dehumidifier and turn the heat on to warm up the basement - this will help the water to be moved off of the floor or the basement.


Don't let the water sit
Move the water, clean it up
Dry out the space - dehumidifier, heat and fans.

The longer the water sits the longer it has to cause problems in the basement - especially in a finished basement.

If your basement or crawl space has even a brief history of this occurring, seriously consider having a GrateDrain system installed in the trouble spots to help keep this from happening again.


Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

5/26/2010

New Blog to help business owners find a Product.

Recently the owners of Grate Products asked me to write a bit on their new CrackShield product that they are training contractors on. The writings have started to take a live onto themselves and now I've been putting them together in a blog entitled Contractor Solutions for Foundation Crack Repair.

I'm hoping that this blog will do a few things:

1.) show people who are starting small businesses nationwide that there are profitable businesses to be had in the home improvement industry.

2.) help people navigate their way to the National CrackShield Site so they can learn more about the product, how to buy it, or how to join the Grate Products Contractor network

3.) Give me a place to deal more with foundation repair in addition to basement waterproofing matters.

Foundation problems often give way to leaks, and eventually wet basements, so I'm hoping that by shedding some very detailed light on foundation wall crack repair, both businesses and homeowners alike will learn more about their foundations.

Looking for..?:
Foundation repair in New Hampshire?
Foundation crack repair in Massachusetts?
Learn more about CrackShield
Visit my Foundation Repair Blog


Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

5/21/2010

Will a sump pump alone solve a wet basement? - Reader Question

basic basement or crawl space sump pump
This is a common misconception that many homeowners, and even many plumbers and contractors have. A sump pump, by itself, will not completely solve a wet or flooding basement problem.

Sump pumps have limited reach. If the volume of water coming in is higher than the volume the pump can remove from under the home, the pump will run, but leaks and seepage can still happen. This typically seen as seepage in an opposite corner to where the pump is actually installed.

For solving a wet basement, a sump will be needed, however it will need to have it's reach extended by some basic drainage like the GrateDrain in order to be truly effective. 
how water flows in a basement to the low point - reach of a sump pump

Sump pumps have limited reach by themselves

As sump pumps remove water from underneath the basement floor, water at higher levels further away fills the void (seeks it's own level) and travels to the low point created by where the pump removes the water. Water further away from the pump could actually be coming into contact with the footing and basement floor, and if the pump can't move the water fast enough, the water touching the floor of the basement could cause seepage or flooding.


Remember water can come in via 3 distinct roots
-the foundation wall (cracks, leaks, and pin holes)
-between the wall and the footing (there's a cold joint where water can sneak through)
-beneath the floor (natural water pooling, water table, springs, saturation, etc)

Sump pumps can most directly deal with the water coming up from the basement floor, but if the cause of water in the basement is from a foundation leak, or water seeping through the cold joint, the sump pump can't isolate and remove it.

This is why sump pumps, alone, can't solve every possible water problem in a basement. Drainage and a possible wall vapor barrier might be needed to solve the issue that you're currently having. Free inspections and estimates are given my most basement waterproofing companies.

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

5/19/2010

Construction news, projects, and flood response from around RI, MA and the United States

Second hearing on flood prevention projects in Cranston, RI
http://newsblog.projo.com/2010/03/-cranston-ri----a.html

Rhode Island DOT
http://www.dot.state.ri.us/

Hands on Disaster Response
http://hodr.org/pages/rhode-island/
(other news on Tennessee, Haiti, and other National/International Disaster Response)

$149M flood aid for RI, Tenn. passes key vote May 13th, 2010
"PROVIDENCE, R.I.—A key U.S. Senate panel on Thursday approved a bill to provide $149 million in aid for Rhode Island and Tennessee along with..." (Read More)


Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

5/14/2010

Still getting Water in the Basement - Reader Experience - Plus 3 things you can do.

"It's been weeks since the first storm, and we keep getting water in out basement. It now seems that every rain more comes in, is this normal?"

Disappointingly yes, it is very normal / common for a basement, once it's seen a flood, to experience trickles if not continuous water through the same trouble areas when it rains.

In the situation of the North East, many homeowners are seeing water in their basements and then seeing it again with the next storm. Having an area like the North East and North West where it's damp, moist and rains throughout the year, it's regular thing to have.

Why is this?

Once water finds a way through it means that the openings and separations are large enough for water to come through. Add high volume, heavy saturation in the soil to capillary action, the water can actually attract or pull water behind it into the basement. Pressure behind the water in the basement pushes more water in the fill the void as the water in your basement is cleaned, pumped, or vacuumed out. It's very un-nerving to see and more unsettling to continue to deal with.

Were is this kind of thing "normal"?

Well it can happen to any basement anywhere, but it's most common in valleys. Houses that are situated at the base of a hill which gets run off from the houses above it in elevation. Other homes pump out water, rain comes down, roof run off; all of it collects and runs down the hill. It increases the saturation level as it flows down and if the house is located in just the right area at the bottom, entire sections could be in fact trying to fend off the whole neighborhood's water run off.

How can you fix it?

A house in a situation like this will need an interior drain system. Even if the house had an exterior system it's better to be protected for the long term. Exterior systems don't normally pump or remove water from them - they even sometimes just let the water run through the pipe but don't direct it anywhere - these types of designs can be dangerous.

Give yourself a fighting chance

1.) Make sure all your gutters are flowing, there's no gaps, and that are all being led away from the foundation

2.) Make sure your roof is draining properly. A few shingles out of place can dump more water in 1 section of your home then it can handle.

3.) Install an interior waterproofing system - this will stop any leaks or seepage and give it a place to go - this is the most important step.

If the problem is already happening it's hard to change small things to stop it. However making sure that your home isn't contributing the water is 1 less thing that can cause a problem.

Looking for...
Basement waterproofing in MA?
Basement Waterproofing Contractor in New Hampshire?
Wet Basement Repair in Maryland?

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

5/10/2010

Basement Waterproofing in Maryland and Washington DC

Floodbusters Inc in Maryland recently started publishing a blog about basement waterproofing in maryland. Their latest post goes into a bit more about why they chose to use the Grate Drain over other interior waterproofing systems.

Post
The effects of drainage systems used in basement waterproofing

Many contractors in the Grate Products Network have been proud to install the Grate Drain over other systems. Basement Waterproofing is a tricky business, and if you don't use the right products to start with, problems follow the homeowner in whatever projects they decide to pursue - finishing, playrooms, etc.


Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

5/06/2010

Basement Dehumidifiers - Getting the jump on Humid Summer Weather.

A dehumidifier is a great way to keep the relative humidity down in the basement. This helps keep it cool, dry, and helps to circulate and filter the air in the basement. As I've mentioned before, over 40% of the air you breath day-to-day comes from the basement. The healthier the air, the better it is for the rest of the home.

Excess dampness and moisture in the basement air can cause smells to occur in the summer. This is typically the work of the dampness allowing mold to grow somewhere in the basement, but the moisture itself has a smell. This odor and moisture can and will travel into the first floor of the home. Covering up the odors isn't dealing with the problem, and if you're experiencing this on your first floor, it's time to address the issues causing them in the basement.

Dehumidifiers actually remove the moisture from the air and replace it with dry air. Removing the moisture isn't just good for your health, it's also good for your electricity bill. Too much moisture in the air will actually make it harder for your Air Conditioning units to cool the air in the home. The harder they have to work means they run longer and increase your electricity bills.

When buying a dehumidifier for your basement look for a few key things:


*Filters - if they can filter the air to clean out dust mites, mold and other spores, then go with that. You get more from a unit that can clean the air as well as remove moisture

*Drainage options - Some units, like the Santa Fe Classic and Compact units, come with condensate pumps, and others can be hosed right into an existing sink or drainage system - make sure that your unit can do this to limit the amount you have to empty the machine.

*Ducting - Some dehumidifiers can be ducted to other parts of the basement (ideal for finished basements) to force air circulation and filter and clean the air from other sections of the space.

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

4/30/2010

What materials are safe for basement finishing? - Reader Question

The safest materials for finishing a basement are also the best. I've written other posts on this subject and I will elaborate a bit on why my choices of inorganic materials are best.

Traditional materials - Dry Wall, Wood Studs, Drywall ceiling, paper-backed fiberglass insulation

Traditional materials aren't designed for the basement's moist environment. Moisture added to any of these materials, or parts of them, could result in mold issues. Mold issues can lead to health issues and could force you demolish everything you just installed.

Okay, so where do I start when finishing my basement?
Think "moisture" and "mold" proof materials. Plastics, metals, insulation without paper backing - there are solutions out there. Even some Traditional building materials have been reinvented to work in a basement finishing project. Moisture/Mold resistant "dry-wall" - almost every large manufacture has a type that they sell.

Metal studs - for those who are use to using wood to stud out a wall, they take a little getting use to. The MAJOR difference is that these will never rot, cause mold, or will need replacing.

Insulation installed without paper takes away the food source for the mold. The only problem with traditional fiberglass is that it's suseptible to absorbing the moisture in the air, and will be ruined if it comes into contact with larger sources of water.

Floor Solutions -
Flooring is tricky. Normally it comes into direct contact with the basement floor which can be a moisture issue in the future. Make sure to install a plastic or inorganic subfloor first - then a finished style of flooring can be lay on top of it; protecting your carpet or laminate flooring from moisture damage.

First step
Waterproof the basement

Second Step
Plan out the floor plan of the space

Third Step
Purchase moisture and mold resistant materials for the basement.

Every basement has the potential for moisture problems, leaks, and flooding - waterproofing the basement before finishing will help to protect the finished area you put in the now empty area of your basement. Protecting for the future is a good thing to do. It may be dry or have never seen water, but it can and eventually will.

Image from http://www.homebasementfinishing.com

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make.
See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

4/28/2010

How can I cover up water damage for a Home Inspection - Reader Question.

I was actually quite shocked that someone asked me this directly.
My major suggestion: Do the right thing, and don't cover it up.


Water damage can be caused by a number of things in the basement - flooding, pipe bursts, wall leaks, floor leaks, a tub overflowing on the 1st or 2nd floor - so it's important to know how the damage occurred in the first place.

Knowing how the damage occurred will allow you, as the current homeowner, to be able to do 2 things:

1- Know what kind of disclosure you need to put in the open on your home if you're putting it on the market.

2- Know what type of repair is needed - depending on the damage, how it was caused, and how much water you were dealing with makes a difference - Plumbing issues need to be fixed by licensed plumbers, landscaping issues can be corrected, and a basement waterproofing system can be installed - but the key is to know what happened, from where, and what your options are.

Quick story:
Young couple buys a home and on the home inspection report there's no evidence of water damage or previous issues with flooding. A few weeks into ownership, they flooded.

Now the real thing that happened was that there was evidence of water damage on some of the finished areas of the basement, studs, dry wall, and even the foundation walls. Now the previous homeowners put a coat of paint on it, dark color, to cover it up - inspection went swimmingly and house is now passed over to this new homeowner.

So now the new homeowners are trying to sue the previous owners for knowing about the issues and passing known issues onto them.

So - you don't want to be the new couple and you also don't want to be on the other end of a law suit.


Best way to do this is to be honest, repair the cause of the damage, repair the damage and be upfront with a.) what happened and b.) what you did to fix and repair it all.

Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

4/27/2010

Is it safe to leave the home with water in the basement? - Reader Question.

water in basements can make it hard to leave the home
This question can be a tricky one for many homeowners. When is it alright to leave a home if/when I'm in the process of flooding or leaking? The goals are to stay safe and get the water out of the home.

Small leaks and seepage can be controlled, and shouldn't necessarily control your routine. Towels, sand bags and wet vacuums can all help keep these under control. Submersible pumps (sometimes called Floor Suckers) can also help to keep this in check.

If the water is coming in from multiple areas, too quickly for you to handle, then leaving the home probably isn't a good idea.

Floods consisting of feet of water in the basement can in fact happen over night. Letting your home sit with this much water can be dangerous for your first floor and for your electrical wires running through your home.

The question's answer boils down to loss. Will your stuff be ruined? By my leaving am I putting my home in danger?

If you're planning on going on vacation and don't have any moisture/water/flooding protection in the house, sadly to say leaving while your basement is flooding might be a bad move. In order for any emergency service companies to come and help, you have to be home.

Puddles and small leaks are another matter.

Flooding is a natural thing that happens in many parts of the world, but if it's happening to your basement often (so much so that you have to even think about leaving the house with water in the basement) then it might be time to have a full waterproofing system installed. You don't have to choose between your life and bailing out your basement.

Some basic guidelines:
*Few inches or less in the basement = generally safe to step out of the home

*anything more than that - especially a few feet = generally not safe to leave.

Safety issues:
*Water could be high enough to short out electrical box
*Water could turn off heat and hot water in the home
*Water + Electricity = Death = Make the safe call and call a professional to come and help.
*Long periods of water in contact with dry wall, insulation or wood can cause rot and mold - this is a huge issue for people with respiratory illnesses or complications.


Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!
Image copyright www.heimer.com

4/21/2010

Should I use Heat or AC to dry up a wet basement? - Reader Question

After flooding your primary goal is to get the water out. Once the water is out, or is to a manageable "dry-vac" level is the point where fans, dehumidifiers and heat will help.

Using your AC to dry the home is not going to work nearly as well as turning your furnace on and increasing the temperature of the basement and running a dehumidifier. Read more in a previous post about Indoor Air Quality Affected by the Basement

ACs have to work harder to take in air, heat it to remove the moisture, then force cool the air to push it into the home. Cold air isn't nearly as effective in forcing air movement in a basement as warm air is.

Best plan: Use warm air to force circulation and decrease the amount that the dehumidifiers have to work (it's easier for them to remove moisture from warm air than cool air). The heat will help the wet areas dry quicker by evaporating the water trapped in the surface which will again, make your dehumidifier more effective.

Fan + Dehumidifier + Warmer Temperatures = Win

Related Reading and Links

Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog: Indoor Air Quality Affected by the basement.
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make.

Image copyright: Independent Ireland (Independent.IE)

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

4/19/2010

How much water should be in my sump? - Reader Question

Answer - whatever the height of the water under your home should be the level that you see in your sump.

Sump pump in basement with water in the sump location
This is typically a question that many homeowners have if they have an open sump pump pit location somewhere in their basement. Looking into the sump basin you can see water sitting in the sump. There are, however, a few things that will effect what you see in the sump location.

Things that effect what you see:
1.) The sump has openings to allow water into it besides pipes dumping into the location. - If the sump has openings and is allowing the water underneath the home to have access to the sump then you will be seeing the actual level of water under your home. If there are no holes or entry points then the water you see could be what is left over after the pump switch turns off.

2.) weather conditions and soil saturation - You will see more water in a sump location typically while there is rain coming down and when the soil reaches it's max saturation point.

3.) the height of the sump pump relative to the floor - sump pumps that are deeper than 17 inches in the ground will see more water. If you have a deep sump location you will see more water because there's more water the further down in the earth you go.

If you're sump is working properly it will react with the rise in the level of water and remove it accordingly. If you're seeing long standing water it's possible that your sump location is too deep and needs to be updated.

Having a sump location in your home will allow water to collect. Don't be surprised when you see water, but do be cautious with how the water is being removed.


Related Reading and Links

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

Need answers to your Basement Waterproofing Questions?
Read previous posts about Basement Waterproofing @ Safe'n'Dry Blog

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

Image of Sump pump taken by Paul Thirst @ http://www.catskillhouse.us/blog/

4/13/2010

Looking to answer your Questions about Basements and Basement Waterproofing

I periodically get emails, posts on the Pioneer Basement Forums, or comments here on the blog that I try to get to at length.

I wanted to give an opportunity to people who read to ask their own questions and get a solid response.


Feel free to submit your question via comment or email them directly to me. - I look forward to helping you out! 


Or read other Reader Questions that I've answered: Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog - reader questions

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!

April 25th - Climate Rally on National Mall - Washington DC

http://www.earthday.org/climaterally

For the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day in the United States as well as to put pressure on congress to pass a comprehensive climate bill, the Earth Day Network is planning a Rally in the Mall of Washington DC.

"It is time to stop protecting polluters and enact comprehensive climate legislation that will create American jobs, cap carbon emissions and secure our nation’s future."

A concert will be held and speeches will be made on the National Mall to demonstrate the continuing need for the American government to pay attention to the state of the county's environment.

According to the Earthday.org site the main focus is to apply pressure in hopes of having a bill passed to focus on emissions, green jobs, and the accountability of polluters here in the United States. Free buses will also be provided from a select list of major cities for those who want to join in the march.