Basement Waterproofing Problem Signs
Have you experienced the stress of a basement leak or flood—and do you live in fear of another one? Without the right water management solutions, your basement is vulnerable to structural issues, mold, pests, and condensation. But you can fight back with help from our local experts in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction.
Basement waterproofing doesn’t just improve the quality and function of your basement, it also ensures your living environment remains comfortable, free of mold and musty smells.
Efflorescence is a sign that your basement is leaking. Learn how it appears and how Peak Structural can help you stop it.
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Basement Waterproofing Solutions
We don’t deal in bandage solutions. At Peak Structural, we provide permanent solutions to keep your basement safe, dry, and clean. Then, we can provide you with annual maintenance on your products to ensure they stay in top shape.
Water in your basement impacts the health and safety of your home and family. Peak Structural has a reliable interior basement drainage system to keep your home dry.
Learn how a triple sump pump system provides ultimate protection for your basement and how Peak can help.
Three Reasons You Need Basement Waterproofing
1. Strengthens Your Home Against Weather
The freeze-thaw cycle throughout the winter and spring in Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and Grand Junction can wreak havoc on your basement. As snow collects around your foundation then melts, it saturates the soil around your foundation, causing leaks and soil expansion. In periods of refreezing, the water itself will expand, causing more cracks and leakage. Vapor barriers along with sump pumps and more water management systems can keep your basement dry.
2. Helps Manage Poorly Drained Bentonite Soil
In Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and Grand Junction, Bentonite clay reigns. Bentonite is an expansive soil, meaning when snowmelt or rainwater collects, the soil absorbs it and grows larger. This growth exerts pressure on your basement walls, causing cracks and leaks. Basement wall braces and interior drainage systems can repair and prevent further damage.
3. Can Make Basement Less Attractive to Pests
Pests like cockroaches, spiders, camel crickets, and more come to your basement to take shelter, especially in the dry conditions of Colorado. They’re attracted to darkness and moisture as a life source. When you take the moisture out of your basement, you make the space less appealing to bugs. Basement waterproofing solutions like a dehumidifier can help maintain a dry environment.
An interior drainage system will be installed around the inner perimeter of your Colorado basement, as its name implies. The only visible portion of this system will be the wall flange installed along the wall and floor joint. Most of the water from leaks tends to gather here. The system then will capture any moisture that tries to seep into your basement and redirect it to the powerful sump pump, the heart of the entire drainage system.
The sump pump has a complex float system that lets it know how much water has entered its system. Once it reaches a specific amount, the pump will then activate on its own and work to pump water away from your home. You will not have to worry about rushing to turn it on yourself in the middle of a storm, for instance. Our pumps can drain thousands of gallons of water. Should your power go out during a blizzard, if you have a battery backup attached to the sump pump, it will still keep churning out water, slush, and ice from your home with ease.
It also has an alarm system that will sound once it turns on and when it is running on low battery power. You can call our basement experts to replace the back-up battery so that it will not shut down in the middle of a huge storm. Installation of this system typically takes less than a day and will not interfere with any other pipes around your home. You can enjoy a completely waterproof basement after just a few hours.
Although it is not always indicative of structural failure, the most telltale sign of structural damage due to basement water penetration is foundation wall cracks. Wall cracks can occur in multiple ways and often tell a definitive story about why and how they cracked.
For instance, stair-step or vertical wall cracks often occur as a result of differential settlement. Differential settlement typically results from rainwater funneling underneath your foundation walls, washing out, and eroding the soil below, leaving voids. Void-laden soil simply cannot support the heavy foundation walls that sit atop it, and thus the walls will start to crack and shift or settle down into the void.
Another common cause of foundation wall cracks is hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure can push against your foundation walls, resulting in horizontal or diagonal wall cracks. Over time, these cracks will widen, and your walls may start to buckle, bow, or shear. This is a major structural issue, as total wall collapse can occur if your walls are left untreated.
A good way to determine whether your basement or crawl space has high humidity levels is to check if the concrete has efflorescence stains. Efflorescence is a white, powdery substance on the surface of concrete. If you touch it or scrape it, it feels grainy and some of it flakes off. At times, homeowners will confuse efflorescence for mold, but this is incorrect. Efflorescence is salt, which you can feel the texture of if you scrape it off the concrete.
Efflorescence appears on your concrete either due to primary efflorescence or secondary efflorescence. Primary efflorescence usually occurs 48 to 72 hours after the concrete is poured and it’s a result of an excess amount of water in the cement mixture. As the cement cures, the water evaporates and rises to the surface of the concrete but brings along with it all the salts and minerals from the cement. Even professionals get a bad mixture from time to time, but an experienced contractor is less likely to make cement that produces efflorescence.
The section where the wall of your basement meets the floor is referred to as the space’s cove joint. These joints have a significant amount of exposure to the groundwater that can put your home’s structural supports at risk. As such, it’s fairly common to see seepage and flooding at these points in your basement. If left untreated for an extended period of time, cove joint leaks can become havens for mold growths. Similarly, leaks in these locations can contribute to the hydrostatic pressure impacting the structural integrity of your foundation, hastening along cracks or sinkage that might lower the overall value of your home.
These joints, however, do not leak at random. If you do not have home waterproofing measures in place, you may find yourself contending with unwanted seepage after every heavy rainstorm. Alternatively, seepage in these areas may suggest damage in your foundation or basement that you’ll need to see right away. The most common causes behind basement cove joint leaks include:
- Hydrostatic pressure
- Foundation shifting
- Leaks, interior and exterior
There are a number of potential causes of dampness when it comes to a property’s basement. Some are fairly benign, while others can be linked to very serious damage to the structure of your home or its internal workings. Of course, the most common and easy to spot source of moisture in any basement is damage to the property’s plumbing systems and any attached appliances. Small leaks in the joints between pipes, or deterioration in appliances like water heaters, can significantly raise humidity over time. More dramatic plumbing floods are more likely to cause dampness, of course, but also less likely to be allowed to continue for any amount of time.
The other possibilities are structural damage or a process called seepage. Seepage is a fairly common and surprisingly benign process that can, nonetheless, have serious implications for your home. Seepage occurs because of the porous nature of concrete as a building material. If the soil outside your home is saturated, then there is a high chance that the water it holds will start to seep through your basement’s concrete walls. This rarely causes noticeable amounts of standing water, but it will raise the humidity in your home. It may also leave a white residue on your walls. This is known as efflorescence.
Finally, damage to the structure of your property, the foundation, or the basement walls is a common but serious issue that should not be ignored. While foundation damage and bowing basement walls are the most severe kinds of damage that can lead to dampness, any crack in the structure of your home can let water in over time. As such, you should act quickly and contact a professional to make sure that the cause of your dampness is not structural of some kind.
Our patented, top-quality solutions are tested and proven to work to keep water out of your home for a safer living environment.
Cheaper, quick fixes like paints and wall coatings are only temporary bandages that will not address or tackle the root of the problem. Yes, you can apply a special sealant to your walls and floor, but it will pop and flake indicating a lingering moisture problem. Water also follows the path of least resistance. If it cannot enter through one location, it will find another way in.
So, don’t waste your time and money on fast fixes. You need our quality permanent solutions. We use reliable, custom equipment and state-of-the-art technology to install these various systems.
Common Basement Waterproofing Tips
- Don’t opt for DIY or Bandage Solutions: We understand the urge to use one simple solution to end the stress. But when it comes to your basement, having a professional, full-fledged system to manage moisture is what will end stress in the long run.
- Schedule Annual Maintenance: So—you’ve completely waterproofed your basement with interior drainage, sump pump, vapor barrier, and more. Having our local professionals in Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and Grand Junction perform yearly maintenance ensures your basement products continue performing.
- Consider Backing Up Your System: If the power goes out, or your sump pump discharge line freezes, you won’t have to scramble to call us. Installing a backup battery for your sump pump, or a FreezeGuard™ discharge line can ensure your waterproofing solutions work when life happens.
Find your service area
While Denver receives less rainfall than the national average, water and moisture are still problems that plague area homes. Peak Structural has a full lineup of waterproofing products to solve even the trickiest of problems.
Colorado Springs, CO
It’s common to have damp basement walls or sagging floors in your Colorado Springs home. Peak Structural will work with you to develop a solution that fits your budget and will permanently solve your problem.
Grand Junction, CO
Problems like bowing walls and foundation settlement happen at your Grand Junction home because of the soil beneath and surrounding your foundation. But Peak Structural can help return your home to solid ground.