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What Causes Water Seepage?
As we know Georgia is prone to extreme climate change. Constant weather changes can result in severe foundation damage over time. These damages can result in not only foundation settlement but also open water intrusions to your Atlanta homes foundation. Winter or cold weather is what normally causes the most foundation damage. Leaving cracks and voids in and underground soil and cement concrete walls. Summer rains use these cracks as channels and stream right into open cavity’s of your homes basement or crawlspace. Thus leaving you with a wet or flooded basement. So what can we do to fix this water seepage? First we must come up with a strategic waterproofing system that is right for you. This can either be an interior system or an exterior system.
How do you know which system is right for you?
Here at Wet Seal Waterproofing we install both interior and exterior systems. In Atlanta Georgia both systems work very well for keeping basements dry. Determining an exterior verses an interior system depends on a few factors. Grade levels and obstructions like decks or AC units, trees, porches and retaining walls could be an issue that will prevent the installation of an exterior system. In a lot of cases the items are best not to be disturbed. However exterior systems are not recommended on cinder block wall foundations due to the cells being hollow. The ground water could potentially enter in a different location and travel inside the wall and bypass an exterior system completely. Exterior systems hold no warranty due to weathering, clogging with mud/silt, roots and etc. An ideal candidate for an exterior system is a structure with a poured wall foundation and little to know obstructions in the way. Interior systems are warranted for the entire life of the structure because the water is filtered by foundation walls and stay clear and clean of debris. With an interior system it is never clogged. This is why it is usually the best solution for your basement water intrusion. Also comparing price in most cases an exterior system usually cost the same or more depending on the depth of the digging/excavation. Installations are charged by material, time and cost of course but also the square/linear feet of the excavated depth and length. This does drive up price of higher depths especially for low level basements.
What is hydrostatic pressure?
What does it have to do with my water problems in my Marietta home?
Well here is your answer. Hydrostatic pressure is the force put forth by standing water as gravity forces it to constantly find its way down. Water will always find the lowest point, no matter what. In this case it just so happens that the lowest place is your crawlspace or basement.
There is always water flowing around your home here in Marietta, it’s an inescapable fact. Here in Georgia with all our wonderfully random weather, we tend to have more water than most. Water naturally flows around and under the foundation of your house, but every so often it works its way in. As the water hits the foundation of the house and begins to build in areas surrounding it, pressure builds. As it builds it begins to force itself through the wall and into your home. Water seeps through the porous concrete or any cracks and imperfections in the wall. When this happens to a basement or crawlspace, the only true solution is to waterproof it. When it comes to waterproofing your home in Marietta Georgia, there is no better company than Wet Seal Waterproofing!
Here at Wet Seal Waterproofing we are the experts on hydrostatic pressure in Georgia homes. With knowlegable workers, and the best customer service this side of the Mississippi, Wet Seal is the company to call. Hydrostatic pressure is a part of life and builds around most houses over time. As that time passes, water will work its way in. That’s when you call the experts. Once the water has made its’ way in, just call Wet Seal Waterproofing. We offer a lifetime transferable warranty on any interior work done on your Georgia home. Every home we touch comes with a warranty. We do this because we can guarantee that our system works. You may ask “but what if the system ever leaks?” , well thats easy. Just give us a call and we’ll come fix it for free. When it comes to taking care of the hydrostatic pressure in your Marietta home, there’s nobody better. Give us a call Today!
Even on a flat site, many of the problem homes have a negative grade funneling water toward the homes foundation, and a number of Atlanta homes do not have roof gutters. This causes dirt to create a positive grade and installing gutters with extended downspouts, will carry water between 7 and 10 feet away from your home. This alone will make a huge difference.
Many people don’t understand the significant amount of damage just one down spout can cause to your homes foundation.
During a new construction, in order to form a new foundation, whether it be poured wall or masonry, the foundation hole was dug larger than the building. Once the building is constructed the hole is then filled with lose dirt, soil and in some cases used as a trash pit. It takes roughly 40 years for this trash to decompose and settle.
Now that the excavation is filled in, the builder leaves the homeowner with the responsibility of getting the roof water away from the house and finish the landscape. This is why you see in many Atlanta homes where the downspout is dumping next to the footer and foundation. You as a homeowner leaving the downspout dumping water right next to the building need to realize the damage its doing to your homes foundation.
So on a rainy day the water that comes out of your homes down spout runs out and into the area that was excavated in new construction. We call this the zone of failure. This excess water that enters next to the building puts stress and lateral pressure on the wall of your Atlanta home. This pressure is known to push walls inward, leaving cracked bowed walls and even wall failure. Shallower foundations are found in crawlspaces and slab type foundations. These foundations are more prone to foundation settlement.
This is caused by the water that saturates the soul your foundation sits on. The soil underneath is left weak or sinks leaving your foundation to crack and settle. During these drought periods, the foundation is closer to the earths surface which desiccates and gets dehydrated. Once moister leaves the soil, this can cause big cracks and voids in the soil. Now the weight of the building will compress these cracks and settle these voids along with your homes foundation.
Not only is foundation settlement in your Atlanta home a problem but the next issue your going to see is water seepage. Concrete is like a sponge and will absorb the water into the walls and lower levels of your home. These are the reasons why it is so important to get your roof water away form your building. As an expert the only way to do that is extending downspouts. We recommend that all down spouts be extended away from your home at least 10 feet to avoid these complications.
Maybe your not seeing a wet floor or puddles of water in your basement. You could be experiencing a musty smell or even a humid basement. Where is this coming from?
One may ask, “How do I know if I have a water problem?”
A sure sign of some of these symptoms are usually an indication of underground water seepage. The fist signs of a water issue in your Atlanta home is discolored foundation walls. This is normally found in block wall foundations. Cinderblock walls are hollow and can be a holding ground for outdoor rain water. This makes it very hard to detect the water source until it appears in your living space, unless you know a very easy safety tip. Concrete walls when wet darken or discolor. This is a sure sign of trapped water behind foundation walls and it is only a matter of time before it ends up in your home. Cinderblock walls are known to hold up to thousands of gallons of water. Overtime gravity runs its course and the water seeps through the block and into lower levels of your Atlanta home. This is also known as Hydrostatic pressure.
Some would say, “I don’t have a block wall foundation.”
Poured wall foundations can also create the same problems. Although the wall is solid and holds no cavities like a block wall foundation, this doesn’t mean your foundation is bullet proof. Ground water can hide and collect behind these underground walls the same way. This water is usually entered through the footing underneath the slab or in cracks in the wall itself. Silt or traces of mud drips are a good indication of early warning signs. Also traces of white powder known as effervesces will appear. Discoloration around cracks are also a good early warning sign.
Most basements are finished, “What can I do to determine early warning signs?”
Call us! Wet Seal offers a free in home inspection to the Atlanta and Metro Atlanta area. We will send a certified technician out to your home, no charge to you at all and hassle free. We will determine the source to any water leaks or preventatives you should take to insuring a dry, healthy and long lasting basement.
Most basements are finished and usually water detections are investable until it appears on your basement floor.
Living with a wet basement that leaks can be miserable. Having your living space unusable every time it rains is a nuisance – and not just temporarily. Cleaning up water and mold every time it rains is tiring and expensive. Not only is it inconvenient, but it decreases the value of your home. It will cause you to have problems when you sell your home, and most importantly your wet basement causes health hazards to you and your family.
Your Atlanta home is a significant investment which deserves protecting. When it comes to avoiding water issues, good home maintenance means creating positive drainage around the home, so that water flows away rather than soaking in. Your gutters need to be in good working condition and the basement windows should not leak. Unfortunately, your Atlanta basement may still leak ground water. When it rains or snow melts, water soaks into the soil and can find gravel veins, which can direct moisture into your home. This is called capillary action which can also cause the water table to force water through your floor and walls. This hydrostatic pressure causes water to enter your residence through the ground that was excavated during the construction of your Atlanta home. The soil of this active area was removed and then replaced during construction and will never pack in the way it was prior to construction and allows water to pass through much more easily. Block-based walls and poured walls are also still acceptable to intrusions.
When choosing a waterproofing system for your Atlanta home there are a few main questions to ask:
Most of the common waterproofing systems today do not effectively solve these issues. Often they patch these symptoms without truly resolving the underlying problems. Unfortunately for homeowners, most systems are designed for easy installations and not for efficiency. The interior drain tile system is the work force of the industry. Our state of the art installations of this system is known as the Seal-Guard System. Your typical installation of the interior drain tile system lowers the water table effectively and drains all water from the walls and floor. Most homes that employ this system are put into place by contractors who do not seal the system properly. Every system installed by Wet Seal is not only sealed with concrete, but with a backer rod that is applied to prevent water vapor from escaping. All joints where vapor barriers meet are sealed with caulk and epoxy to seal entry or exit of an water vapor. All water passages need to be sealed including pump tops, lids, and guards. Our Seal-Guard System is the permanent solution for your Atlanta home to create a dry and mold-free basement.
There seems to be a lot of confusion to what is actually happening when a basement floods. To understand this lets first look back at how an Atlanta home is built.
When a home is built a large hole is dug so that the concrete footings and foundation of the home can be poured, sometimes 6 to 8 feet below the surface. The concrete footings and foundations are poured and once the concrete is cured, the whole is backfilled with dirt. After the hole is backfilled, the rest of the home is built and the landscaping is added. We must remember the huge impact the dirt displacement has caused on the drainage. The virgin soil around the excavation has been there for hundreds of years, and therefore is compacted to much greater levels than the active dirt that was excavated and compacted. Although this backfilled dirt is compacted as much as possible, the soil is still much loser than the virgin soil that was never touched. Lets take a look at what happens when precipitation is added to your Atlanta home.
Besides precipitation some homes have poor drainage. Some Atlanta homes are in a higher than normal water tables or are in a low locations of a neighborhood. These homes receive higher amounts of hydrostatic pressure. This pressure is relived finding the joint between the crack where the wall meets the floor and entering the basement. There is a way to prevent this.
By installing a French drain system that sits below the floor on top of the footing, this hydrostatic pressure is relieved. The water is collected before it enters the home and the pressure is relived by channeling the water to a sump pump or gravity exit line. By installing a footing drain on top of the footing, the drain can never clog and is a permanent fix for basement flooding.
Add living space to your Atlanta basement with confidence, knowing that it will never be exposed to outside ground water. Our state of the art Seal Guard System is the permanent solution to keeping your basement dry for many years to come.
A damp crawlspace can not only lead to a musty crawlspace but can lead to rot and decay and eventually to structural damage to your home.
Today we are going to spend some time under your Georgia home. A place you don’t normally see, like the Crawl Space. When is the last time you have been under your home? Is it dark, musty, muggy or buggy? Does it smell or is it wet? These are all symptoms of an unhealthy crawlspace. All that stuff that’s down there that can believe it or not permeate up into your living space if not carful. This would not be a healthy environment for you or your family, but you can solve that problem by encapsulating it!
How to properly close your crawlspace
Closing a crawlspace also known as, encapsulation, can serve many benefits in Atlanta Georgia. The definition of encapsulation in another words is “covering it all up” but what we do in these crawlspaces is much more then that.
The first step to a proper enclosure is removing all the organic material in this space. Things like boards, old paint cans, rocks or debris that really shouldn’t be there. We wouldn’t want enclose these objects of course and we need a smooth surface for the floor. The next step would be identifying any waterproofing issues. This would require installing a 4″ drain tile or sump pump to excavate any unwanted water that could be sitting in this space. This drain tile would be excavated around the footer and installed after hand digging a trench for this water to be redirected in. The pipe would then be wrapped with filter fabric to prevent any silt from future clogging. This waterproofing pipe is then backfilled with drain gravel to help filter the water and weight down the new drain tile. Then all loose soil and dirt is to be leveled and graded out for a smooth working surface.
After all preparations are made then the encapsulation can begin. This first step to this is placing our soil gas dispersal fabric. This is a black fabric that gets laid down throughout the entire floor of the crawlspace. That’s going to help soil gasses and moisture move towards the perimeter and into the pre installed drain tiles. Accentually its like a heavy duty vapor barrier which also adds extra padding for walking and storage. A second type of item is also installed over the walls and floor. This liner is over lapped caulked and sealed. All vents are also sealed leaving the crawlspace air tight. This way your new crawlspace is now sealed off from the outside world and is now protected for years to come.
Some of us in Atlanta Georgia may make the mistake of concreting the crawlspace floor thinking this will seal their space just the same. Although you will have a nice space for a storage area this will not protect your crawlspace in the same way. Concrete is porous and does not prevent or block moisture and odor as one would think. In the event of an inspection, the inspector would recommend any concrete areas to be enclosed as well. So by encapsulating, our system actually traps moisture out. In a way we actually create this impermeable bubble that seals out everything and anything from damaging the integrity of your crawlspace. This will keep out all the harmful air that could come up through the floor and vents and into your living space. If anything its going to look clean, its going to look nice, it can be used as storage space and above all your home is now a healthy environment for you and your family to live.