A wet basement is a very common problem in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Because most of us live in homes that are surrounded by expansive clay soil, at some point in time, our basements will experience leaks. Due to the fact that the soil will expand and contract because of high moisture levels (lots of rain!) and extreme weather changes throughout the year, our foundations become weakened and cracked letting ground water penetrate them. This causes our basement floors to become wet as the water pressure builds on the foundation. It’s really as simple as that.
Water pressure is the cause of your problem. So, what do we do fix this problem? We relieve the pressure so that water doesn’t seep in onto the floor causing your belongings to get ruined. This is done by installing a sub-slab depressurization system, more commonly known as a 4″ slotted/socked pipe with rock around it, all below your floor. This is installed on the interior of your basement by removing the concrete approximately 12″-18″ around the perimeter foundation walls. Once the concrete is removed we dig a trench in that same area to provide space for rock and pipe. The trench will be approximately 12″ deep at the farthest point away from the sump pump/basin, gradually sloping down to 18″ at the pump/basin, providing approximately 6″ of fall. Once the trench is dug to the appropriate level we line the entire trench with rock. A 4″ socked pipe is then put into the trench and covered by more rock until it is completely surrounded.
If you have a cinder block foundation we then drill two holes in every bottom block so water cannot fill up in the block causing pressure and potentially leaking down onto the floor. These holes are covered with a dimpled sheeting so they are not obstructed. The 4″ pipe is then run into a sump basin containing a high capacity cast iron sump pump. The sump basin sits approximately 2 1/2 ft. deep in the floor with the top usually only an inch or two above the floor. The top of the basin is 22″ wide. The sump basin is perforated with holes to control ground water levels beneath the floor. The basin has a lid enclosing the top. A 1 ½’ PVC discharge pipe is then attached to the sump pump and run up out of the basin, up the wall, and to the outside of the home so when the sump pump cycles (pushes the water out of the basin) the water is discharged well away from the foundation. A check valve is also installed on the discharge pipe.
On the outside of the home the customer can select an above ground flexible 24ft. discharge hose or a buried pipe. Buried pipes can be vented so water can escape above ground if the underground pipe should freeze. Once the system is installed, the entire drainage trench is covered back up with concrete to the wall so everything is under the floor. Now that we have created drainage space below your floor, the water pressure is relieved and it doesn’t seep in and your basement stays dry.
Frequently asked questions:
Q: Can you waterproof basements year round?
A: Yes. Because our work is done inside we waterproof year round, often giving winter discounts.
Q: Can my basement be waterproofed if it is finished?
A: Yes, however, more than likely some carpentry work would need to be done before the work can start.
Q: What types of foundations can you waterproof?
A: Basically any foundation type can be waterproofed provided the walls are not structurally deteriorated.
Q: How long does the process take?
A: This depends on the size of the basement, however most jobs take an average of two days start to finish.