Each year in winter and spring, homeowners have to deal with water in their basement because of melting snow and ice. Further, as winter weather fluctuates in temperature each week, warmer days melt accumulated snow that has settled around a home's foundation.
While winter weather and snow isn't a problem for a majority of homes in these situations, properties that are prone to exterior water penetration problems can experience seeping water and severe interior damage.
With winter weather, prevention is always key. The same type of preventative logic is applied to how roads are cared for, how airlines operate, and how to stop melting snow from turning your dry and beautiful basement into a wintertime pool that you didn't request.
There are a few ways for a homeowner to prevent snow from causing basement water problems -- though some people don't realize that they have a problem until it is too late and their basement is flooded.
5 Keys to Prevent Water Seepage
Ground Slope: The ground around a home's foundation must slope away at a good and constant grade. Settled soil allows water to run towards the house, which can be a huge problem. When the weather is nice enough, take a look at your ground's slope and correct any offending areas.
Bad Basement Seals: Interior walls don't last long if their waterproofing seal is missing. Waterproofing measures eventually wear away, and you are left with basement walls that show signs of seepage. It's important to check your basement walls for cracks regularly and apply new sealant when needed.
Gutter Problems: Gutters clogged with debris can lead to water overflow problems. Similarly, ice dams that form during winter cause water to back up and run down the home's siding. Prevent these occurrences by cleaning gutters at least once a season. To counter roof ice dams, contact a roofer to institute a fix.
Trees: Though beautiful and eye-catching, trees will sometimes weaken the ground and create unnatural routes for water to travel. If you are unsure about how the trees on your property are interacting with the ground around your foundation, ask a professional basement waterproofer to inspect the area closely.
Hydrostatic Pressure: The soil around your home is paramount in stopping seepage. What's more, extra pressure will push the soil towards your foundation and help water penetrate your basement walls. Have your soil tested for consistency, and ensure that the internal ground pressure isn't causing a problem for your foundation by talking to a professional.
What to Do If You Discover Water
Begin by determining how extensive the water problem is. Walk around your basement and search for signs of water entry. Decide how many locations require your attention. If you must, move furniture, boxes, or other obstructions to gain better insight into the water entry.
It's fine to attempt to dry wet portions of your basement. Carpets, walls, tiles, hardwoods, and pooling water can be dried with fans, mops, dehumidifiers, and wet/dry vacuums. If you feel that any of the wet items in your basement are ruined, remove and discard them to avoid mold and other problems.
If there is a major basement water problem, it's best to remove any valuables from your basement as soon as possible. Then, as long as standing water isn't in contact with electrical devices or appliances, attempt to isolate the problem. After you determine the extent of the water problem, you should then contact your insurance company and a basement waterproofing professional.
A professional who specializes in basement water remediation can assist you with your water problems. They can help you clean up your current issues and stop all future problems from happening.
If your basement floods after heavy snow and rain, or is generally a damp and messy haven for mold, we recommend working with a Washington, DC waterproofing and landscaping expert.
If you need help with your wet basement or landscape, please do not hesitate to contact us today for an estimate.
Johnson's Landscaping Service is a family owned and operated full-service landscaping company serving residential and commercial clients of Northwest DC and Montgomery County for 50 years.
If you live in an area that receives a lot of rainfall throughout the year, you may be hesitant about what kind of landscaping you do to keep the rain away from the foundation of your home and off the lawn where it can become muddy and unstable. This can be especially important to consider if you have children or pets that enjoy spending time in your backyard and do not want the mud to be an issue for them.
If you are looking for a way to clear the area around your home of rainwater without being an eyesore, consider the benefits that come with putting in a gravel channel.
Stunning Alternative to Exposed Pipes
Once pipes have been installed in your lawn, they can begin to divert water away from your home, but they can look unattractive due to their bright, white color and lack of cohesiveness with the rest of your landscaping. Gravel channels, or French drains as they are sometimes called, can be an effective way to move water away from your home without any exposed pipes.
Plenty of Variations for Gravel
A major benefit that comes with making a gravel channel to combat any yard drainage problems and solutions is the freedom to choose the ideal gravel for your yard. In many cases, you can choose gravel that is the exact size you want and the color that fits with the rest of your landscaping. This can be a great way to add some personality to your yard, while improving the yard drainage.
Some great options for gravel include decomposed granite—granitic rock that has broken down over time into small pieces and pea gravel—gravel the size of a small pea. Their small size allows water to pass through and drain properly with the pipe laid underneath.
Flexibility for Any Size or Shape of Yard
When looking into drainage options for your yard, you may discover that many options are a poor choice for the size or shape of your yard. This could mean that you will be spending a lot more money on a custom design for the property. The freedom to design the gravel channel, or French drain, allows you to create a winding design that looks beautiful and can help move rainwater without any complications due to the layout of your yard.
More Customization Options for the Channel
While pouring small pieces of gravel is important for designing the drainage system, you have even more options in terms of greenery and edging. By choosing edging that can be placed on each side of the channel, you can make the addition even more defined to help improve the look of the drainage system.
After the gravel has been poured into the channel, you can take the next step by planting small bits of greenery that can do well with gravel. Sprinkling some soil and greenery such as moss over the channel can help you spruce up the addition to the yard, without taking away any of the functionality of the drainage system. An added benefit is that the greenery should flourish due to the rainwater that it can absorb by your effort to divert the rainwater into it.
Adding a drainage system to your property is important if you experience a lot of rainfall and are concerned about the problems it can add for your family if they enjoy spending time outside. With a gravel channel installed, you can get the drainage solution you want, while improving the looks of your yard. Contact us to get started with this functional and attractive project for your property.
For those who have never owned a home, a pristine yard is a dream often explored by driving through well-tended suburbs or flipping the pages in a homeowner's magazine. Unfortunately, upon buying a home with a lawn, many people find that drainage problems can quickly cause a host of problems in the yard. Through investigating some of the typical yard drainage problems/solutions, alleviating this obstacle to such a staple of the American dream will be accomplishable.
Identify Sources of Water
- Gutter System: The number one source of large volumes of water is your home gutter rainwater diversion system. Take a gander during a slight rainfall to see if there are any leaks. Leaks cause water to pool in areas which are not designed for proper drainage, which could inevitably lead to drainage problems. Clogged gutters can also cause issues since this decreases the rate at which water can evacuate through the system, leading to flooding over the edges of the gutters which is an improper drainage path. Investigate where water output from the gutter system goes to as well. In general, this water should follow a path that grades downward.
- Irrigation System: Your irrigation system can contribute a large volume of water to your yard. Unfortunately, malfunctioning of this system can cause water to be distributed improperly. Periodically inspect sprayers and adjust the amount of water output based upon rainwater amount and weather trends.
Consider Planting Water Absorbing Plants
Water absorbing plants can take care of yard drainage problems while enhancing the appeal of your landscaping. According to Landscaping Network, "Low-lying areas with a high water table can make landscaping a real challenge. Plant roots in saturated soil during the growing season are denied oxygen, and quickly rot just like an overwatered house plant. Certain plants that originate in river bottoms and wetlands do quite well in high water landscapes. The best choices will be riparian species from local bogs, fens and swamps naturally adapted to your climate and soils. Trees from similar wetlands elsewhere in the world also make good candidates. These provide more diversity than what is native to local plant communities."
Replace Poor-Draining or Unlevel Soil
Soil should downgrade away from the home in order to ensure proper flow of water. However, sometimes soil with the proper grading may still have poor drainage characteristics. This is typical of clay or rocky soils. In such an instance it may be necessary to replace areas of soil in order to ensure proper drainage on the property. Keep in mind that some soils are harder to dig up than others, so allocate the proper amount of time and equipment for the job.
Call Before Digging
If circumstances call for work involving the removal of dirt, make sure to call the local utility companies to ascertain the location of wiring and pipelines beneath the ground. Failure to do so could result in damage to or interruption of services for yourself or neighbors and may cause injury or death. A metal detector can also reveal the likely placement of utility lines on the property if there is still confusion after consultation or reviewal of the property schematics.
Install A Dry Well
In some instances, a particular spot on a property is simply an accumulation spot for water from a lot of surface area from the surrounding area. In this case replacing the soil may not fully eliminate the problem. Installation of a dry well creates a larger reservoir capacity for flooding after significant precipitation occurs. This then slowly drains into the surrounding soil.
If you have any questions about typical yard drainage problems/solutions then don't hesitate to contact us at Johnson's Landscaping. Our expertise can help guide you to a solution concerning your personal yard drainage issues.
Waterproofing their basement is not something every homeowner considers having done; at least, not until it is too late. However, having your home’s basement waterproofed now can provide you and your family with many benefits, and can prevent you much trouble, stress, and expense down the road. Taking the proper steps to prevent water from entering you basement can prove to be highly valuable. Here are just a few of the many benefits of choosing to have your basement waterproofed.
Prevent Mold Growth
One of the greatest benefits waterproofing your basement will provide you and your family with is that it will help to prevent mold from growing in your basement. Mold thrives and grows in damp, moist conditions, which often makes basements a haven for mold growth. This can prove hazardous to you and your family, as mold can cause a variety of respiratory and airborne illnesses. However, where there is no moisture, there can be no mold. Waterproofing your basement is then one of the best steps you can take to prevent mold from growing in your home as it will prevent moisture from seeping into your basement in the first place.
Add Living Space to Your Home
Stereotypically, basements have been known to be damp, cold spaces. For this reason, this space often goes unused as its atmosphere, as well as the threat of it flooding, prevents people from taking advantage of the extra space their basement can provide. However, having your basement waterproofed can change your basement and allow you to finish it without having to worry about moisture or flooding being an issue. This can then vastly increase the living space within your home by transforming the way you view and use your basement. Finally, your basement can become a useful, livable space.
Aside from making your basement more usable, having your basement waterproofed can also greatly improve your peace-of-mind, as you will no longer have to worry about your basement flooding during the rainy season. For many homeowners with leaky basements, their basement can become a stressing factor in their lives, as they worry about the damage and expense basement flooding could cause. Having one’s basement waterproofed can then be a great investment for these individuals as it will save them costly water damage in the future, and it will allow them to sleep easy on even the stormiest nights knowing that their basement is protected.
Higher Resale Value
An added benefit of investing in basement waterproofing is that it can actually increase the value of your home, and make your home easier to sell. Time and again homeowners who have wet, leaky basements find that they are unable to get as much as they would like for their home. Furthermore, prospective buyers may be turned off by the threat of winter flooding. Having your basement waterproofed can then make the process of selling your home much better, as homebuyers will feel more confident about purchasing your home. Additionally, finishing your basement can add an additional 10-20% to the value of your home, which is something you would not be able to accomplish without first waterproofing your basement.
A wet and leaky basement can result in a variety of problems for you and your family, including costly damage to your home. Fortunately, basement waterproofing can help prevent this from happening by protecting your basement from infiltrating water and moisture. Having your basement waterproofed now can save you a great deal of time, stress, and expense this winter when the rainy season comes, so do not delay; contact us to find out about more of the reasons why you should have your basement waterproofed.
Many homes have basements. Sometimes these basements are utilized as a finished second living area for the homeowners, and sometimes they are nothing more than a storage area that is rarely seen or utilized. Regardless of how your basement is used, or the age it may be, it is still a basement and you need to be aware of certain elements it may be exposed to because of being located under ground.
Basements are basically holes in the ground surrounded by porous concrete. Because of this fact, they are more susceptible to rain water and damage from the earth and water constantly surrounding it. Many homeowners experience dry basements for years until external perimeter drainage systems clog, which in turn, need replaced. At times, the drainage is effected from the flow of the land around your home.
If you are a basement owner, you should be aware of the risks a basement faces and the damage it can incur if not properly taken care of. Below are some examples of how wet basements and wet basement walls can actually become much worse than it may seem:
- Foundation: Over time, what may seem like just a small amount of water in your basement can signify much larger problems. As water goes in and out of your basement, it takes a large toll on your home's foundation. Water can erode stone and cement horribly. What may look like nothing more than a bit of water, can in fact turn into a much larger problem involving a new foundation for your home. A foundation is what holds your home up, so preventing this from happening is vital.
- Bugs: Bugs and insects live in the ground. So, by adding a damp, dark, and indoor area for them to live and breed is something they will surely find. They thrive in wet areas and could soon become an infestation if not properly handled and prepared for. Having a home overrun by these critters is not on anybody's wish list!
- Mold and Mildew: This could potentially be the most hazardous reason to take wet basement walls seriously. Because it involves your health, it is not something to be taken lightly. Black mold grows in damp areas with low air circulation and can cause all kinds of breathing and lung problems such as asthma, chronic lung infection, sinusitis, allergic reactions, and eczema. This can be especially hazardous to older people and young children.
- Selling: And lastly, when you go to eventually sell your house one day, a wet basement can chase the perfect buyer away very quickly. By being informed of the dangers of wet basements makes many people leery of even considering a home with wet basement walls as an option.
The most obvious way to remedy the problem of a wet basement is to prevent the water from ever being able to penetrate inside of the basement walls. The best way to do this is to look at your yard's drainage. This means see where the water falls after a heavy rain and make sure it is not pooling beside your home's foundation.
There is a simple test you can perform to determine any drainage problems. Dig a 2 foot deep and 2 foot wide hole in your yard and fill it up with water. If the water drains away within 60 minutes you have no problems. If it does not, it's time to call in the experts. Thankfully, Johnson's Landscaping Services can locate the source of the problem.
For more information on how Johnson's Landscaping can help take your water worries away, please do not hesitate to contact us. Or, hop on over to the blog for some more great water damage tips and advice!
Finding water in the basement is a startling discovery, no matter the age of your home. But how does water get there in the first place? While most problems are caused by poorly sealed foundations and hydrostatic pressure, sometimes basement flooding is directly related to landscaping and water routing issues.
Water in the basement is never a good sign. Most people who find signs of water in their home are confused about how it got there. Water is, after all, an elusive guest, and can be there one day and gone the next.
Water's unreliability is perhaps the worst part of solving a basement moisture problem. Employing some detective work can yield positive results, but if the signs aren't obvious, the chance of uncovering the mystery is slim.
In this post, we'll layout 6 landscaping methods that will absolutely help your basement water problems.
1. The grade is important. How important? Because when the grade of the ground next to your home runs towards your foundation, your basement can flood. A professional solution to poor grading solves many basement water problems. One way of fixing it is to have a dry creek dug around your home and filled with gravel. This bisection of the soil routes water away from your home and keeps your basement dry.
2. Water accumulation. After particularly heavy rains, monitor where the water pools on the ground outside and where it enters your home (which basement wall). A swampy lawn means that you have poor soil drainage, which leads to unwanted basement water entry. While a sump pump can curb problems such as this, extending the sump pump's outflow as well as adding extensions to your downspouts can also help.
3. Mulch problems. A home with a well-manicured lawn is a must. But what some people don't realize is that when you pack mulch up and around your foundation, you could be setting up a moisture wick. Solve this problem by always maintaining 4-6 inches of space between your home's foundation and any mulch surrounding it. This simple trick can alleviate manageable basement moisture issues and keep your foundation dry.
4. Downspout angles. Proper water drainage pointed away from your home is important in maintaining a dry basement. If your downspouts have seen better days and aren't even directed away from the immediate ground surrounding your home, it's time to take action and add extensions. The same goes for gutters; a little TLC can keep the water flowing from your roof and far, far away from your foundation.
5. Grass and hydrostatic pressure. An effective barrier for excess rain is grass. Much like digging a dry creek around your home, it's possible for expert landscapers to use grass and valleys to redirect water away from your home's foundation. This method leads water away from trouble spots and relieves hydrostatic pressure that may have originated deep within your yard. And the best part is, it can save you thousands compared to traditional waterproofing methods.
6. Patio Problems. A well-constructed patio is lovely during warm weather. But as the ground settles, patio pavers sink into the earth. As a result, patios that sit next to foundations are subject to pooling water. To solve patio problems like this, a landscaper will remove pavers and add new soil and pea gravel. As a result, water will run away from your foundation, and water pooling problems will disappear.
In many basement water situations, a professional is the only person who can properly diagnose the problem. They know, after years of experience, what different water entry signs mean for your basement and the techniques to use to stop it before it becomes a serious problem.
If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you, please don't hesitate to contact us today for a free estimate.
Having water in your basement is a common problem for many people, but not everyone realizes what a real problem it can turn into. Even a small moisture issue, if left untreated, can lead to a lot of damage down the road. The three types of home damages that restoration companies are most often called in for are fire, mold, and water damage. Mold and water damage are closely related; more often than not, if you have water damage, you have mold. Mold can occur anywhere in your home, but is most often found in basements.
There are plenty of ways water can find its way into your basement; cracks in the foundation or walls, flooding, and inadequate waterproofing methods - such as broken sump-pumps - are all common factors. You may not think too much of it if you have just a small leak or damp spot in your basement, but even a small leak can turn into a big issue.
Most people like to use their basements for storage. A dry basement is the perfect place to store away things you don't need lying around the rest of your house, like extra clothes or craft projects or all of those seasonal decorations. However, this is only a good idea if you have a dry basement. If your basement developes a water leak, storing anything down there is a bad idea. Water can and will ruin most of the things you keep in your basement - books, photographs, furniture, clothing - and any mold will only compound the problem and make most of that stuff unrecoverable.
Besides the damage to items in your home is the damage to your home itself. A water problem left unchecked tends to grow bigger, and excess water can be a big blow to the structural integrity of your house. Water in the basement can make wooden structures become warped or rotten, cause excess window condensation, and will widen any cracks in the foundation over time.
Another thing to think about when considering your water problem is the possible effects on you and your family's health. As mentioned before, a mold problem often follows closely on the heels of water damage. A damp, dark basement is the ideal environment in which fungi can grow and flourish - and flourishing is the last thing you want fungi to be doing in your house.Household molds and their effects on health have been studied quite extensively in recent years, and though there are numerous types of mold that all have different effects, there's a similar verdict for all - mold in your house is never a good thing. This is definitely something to take seriously if you or a family member suffers from respiratory issues like asthma or allergies; mold is a strong irritant for both conditions. Mold can be expensive and time-consuming to get rid of, so the best route you can take is prevention. That means keeping your basement as dry as possible; mold needs a damp place to survive, so keeping moisture at bay will prevent any destructive mold issue from occurring in the first place.
A water leak can become both a serious and expensive problem if its left alone, but if caught early, a wet basement is usually a simple thing to fix. Don't let water cause major damage to your home before deciding to take action; by making sure your basement is properly waterproofed and stopping problems where they start, you'll save yourself from plenty of headaches and expenses in the long run.
If you're not sure how to start waterproofing your basement, contact us today; we'll let you know what steps to take and what you should do to keep your basement - and the rest of your home - safe and sound for years to come.
We all want extra square footage in our homes. After all, extra space adds value and increases ROI (return on investment), which is what makes basement finishing projects so impressive, not only monetarily, but also for time spent with family.
But before diving head-first into a basement finishing project, it's important that the basement in question is in the right condition from the start.
In this post, we'll cover 8 basics on turning a basement into an additional living space, beginning with the benefit of basement waterproofing.
1. Water issues: There's no harm in having a dream. But some basements simply aren't suitable for a finishing project to start. Basements with severe water issues need professional intervention long before the furniture is moved in. Always handle water issues by calling a professional.
2. Outside issues: Moisture problems can originate outside rather easily. Aspects of the ground around your home, like an improper slope, can open the ground up for water. Further, faulty gutters and downspouts are often to blame for excess water running next to the foundation. Always have a professional check theoutside of your home before you begin a project inside your home.
3. Remediate: Ensure that there are no future water problems, and let a professional basement waterproofer design and install a waterproofing system that will work best in your home. Whether it's a French drain, a sump pit, sealed walls, or an extra sump pump to stop the threat of flooding, a waterproof basement is what you need from the beginning.
4. Within code: After any water issues are taken care of, you will want to check with the local building code department for any permits that you might need. Altering a basement without these codes could result in fines and reversals. Getting the proper authority to approve your project is as simple as making a phone call to your local municipal building.
5. Vapor barriers: Basement walls need to be framed with studs and drywall to create a living area. But before you let a contractor enclose the area, ensure that your basement is protected from moisture with an installed vapor barrier. Having a basement waterproofing contractor assess your basement for the proper vapor barrier will prevent future moisture issues.
6. Offset space: Subterranean living areas are prone to having water problems. So help stop moisture from penetrating your vapor barrier by creating an offset space between the concrete wall and the installed barrier. Work closely with your basement waterproofing contractor to ensure that this is done correctly.
7. Insulate: Plumbing and HVAC should be insulated thoroughly to avoid heat and moisture transfer. This includes any plumbing connected to water heaters and all ductwork coming out of your furnace. Better insulation means that your basement living area will be protected from drips and moisture.
8. Leave space: Your design might not have compensated for mechanical devices, but it's important that there is ample space in and around things like your furnace and hot water tank. There should be enough room around each so that a person can service them as needed. Too little room means that wall will have to come down if something malfunctions.
A finished basement is a luxury that many people want. But before you potentially waste thousands of dollars that you will never get back, make sure that all of your best-laid plans are backed up by the professionals.
For more information on how we can help you achieve a dry basement, please contact us today for an estimate.
Johnson's Landscaping Service is a family owned and operated full-service landscaping company serving residential and commercial clients of Northwest DC and Montgomery County for 50 years.
Most of us go through life not looking for problems. Gardeners, in particular, have a sunny disposition. However, sometimes problems crop up in even the most well-kept yards. Drainage problems are just one of many examples, and it is one of the biggest problems a yard-owner can encounter. Soggy foundations crack patios and walkways. Water that sits in the ground around the roots of plants causes root rot, and stagnant puddles attract mosquitoes, making a potentially beautiful yard unhealthy. In order to keep excess water from causing damage, you have to spot and fix yard drainage problems early. Here are some warning signs to keep a look out for.
The most obvious sign is areas of the yard that are chronically soggy and spongy to the touch. There will be many reasons why some spots in your yard will retain water more than others. The culprit might be the type of soil, or the lay of the land. In either case, puddles will stay in your yard for days after it rains, and might never really dry completely.
Top Soil That Is On The Move
Water that doesn't go in to the ground winds up washing over the ground. This pushes your mulch, top soil, silt and bark in piles and gulleys. It may plaster your walkway with a pattern of silt, and it will probably bunch up mulch at the lowest point of your yard. Not only does this interfere with the design of the garden, but it indicates just how far the water goes when it is on the rise.
Excess water causes soil to develop fissures and drop away. It might even cause holes to suddenly appear in your yard. (Probably you won't get what is technically called a sink hole, but the yard can definitely become pitted.) Whatever the extent of erosion, it can imperil foundations, raised garden beds, and any decorative ponds or statuary you might have.
Ponds Developing Under Downspouts and Gutters
This is a particularly bad sign. If water is collecting and staying right under your downspout or gutter, it is leaking under your house and undermining the foundation. It will wear away dirt that is protecting the concrete of your basement and generally expose more wall than is good for the house. The problem here may be clogged gutters or undersized downspouts, but water should be directed away from the house anyway.
When you first get a house and consider landscaping, it is a good idea to check for the prerequisites for drainage problems. Look for hard clay soils; they won't drain well and won't be much good for growing things. You will also want to look at the topography of your yard. If there are low spots, where the ground dips down, water will collect there. You might need a topographical map, as even seemingly flat yards can have dips in it.
Check for a high water-table, too. It is tempting to think that you are safe from that if you are on a hill, but groundwater can get caught in pockets well above sea-level by pooling on impermeable rock.
If you spot these problems before the rainy season, you have a head start on the solution and won't have to suffer any consequences. If you didn't notice the problem until a storm hit and opened your eyes, don't fret. There is still time to fix the yard before the extra water does any damage to your property. Just contact us, and we will provide you with the drainage solution. We've been experts on providing the right drains for any type of yard since 1960.
Homeowners are often concerned by the presence of moisture in their basement. This is an understandable concern for homeowners to have, as the presence of water in one’s basement could be a sign of, or lead to, a variety of costly problems. However, should you discover water in your basement, it is important for you to try to determine the cause of your water problems so that you can address this issue as soon as possible. In order to help you better understand the basement moisture problems you may be experiencing, here are some of the most common causes of water in your basement.
The first, and perhaps most common, reason for the presence of water in basement is the accumulation of condensation. Condensation is a common occurrence, particularly in finished basements, as sinks, dryers, showers, and the mere presence of people, can cause excess moisture to accumulate in the air of your basement. When this humid air comes in to contact with cool basement walls, it can cause condensation to accumulate. It is thusly important for homeowners to be aware of this condensation, as it is not necessarily a cause for immediate concern as it is likely not the result of structural problems. However, this condensation likely indicates that you may need better air movement and ventilation systems in your basement in order to prevent this condensation from occurring.
Floor and Wall Cracks
If you find water seeping out of your basement walls, or you notice damp spaces on your basement floors, then this is likely indicative of cracks in your basement. This is another common reason for basement moisture issues. As a house settles over time, it is common for these sorts of cracks to appear. In fact, you may have even noticed these small cracks in the past, and dismissed them as unimportant. However, aside from the fact that they could potentially indicate structural problems in your home, even the smallest cracks in your basement walls and floors can cause moisture problems when the soil outside of your home becomes saturated with water. Thusly, if you notice cracks in your basement, and/or you discover water in your basement that seems to be coming through the walls or floors, you will want to have your basement professionally inspected, have any structural damage repaired, and you will also want to consider having your basement waterproofed so that you do not have to deal with moisture problems in the future.
Large amounts of water streaming down your basement walls, particularly during or after a storm, is likely an indicator of improper grading and water management systems around your home. When it rains, if you do not have proper gutters, downspouts, and grading around your home, large amounts of water will accumulate around your home’s walls. This water can then force its way between the ground floor of your home and your basement, causing your basement to flood. This is a critical problem that can cause severe water damage to your home, and can potentially cause other structural damage. If you experience large amounts of flooding in your basement, it is imperative to have this issue addressed as soon as possible. In addition, if you believe that this problem is the result of improper grading, you will want to address this issue before the next storm hits your area.
The presence of moisture in one’s basement is a cause for concern due to the damage it can cause to one’s possessions, as well as to one’s home. Thusly, while some homeowners may have the instinct to ignore occasional basement moisture, you should have this issue addressed as soon as possible in order to prevent costly repercussions later. Contact us to learn more about basement moisture problems, as well as to learn about having your basement waterproofed.
Water damage is not always obvious. Moisture in your basement is sometimes insidious, slowly damaging the structure of your home. Whether you discover several inches of standing water or suspect condensation, waterproofing your basement is the only solution.
Identify Signs Of Water Damage
Before you fix the problem, you must identify it. There are three common causes for wet basements:
Each type has its own telltale signs to look out for. In general, a musty smell is an indicator of moisture in your basement. Don't ignore this odor. Investigate your building for the other signs of water damage.
Identifying And Treating Condensation
Condensation is the result of warm, moisture-laden air coming into contact with cooler foundation walls. This creates wet spots on the floor and walls and leads to structural problems down the road, not to mention unpleasant smells.
There is a simple way to determine if the moisture is the result of condensation or a leak. All you need are tape and plastic wrap. Choose a damp spot and cover it with the plastic wrap. Secure the wrap with tape all around the edges. If moisture appears on the inside of the plastic wrap (the side against the wall), there is a leak. If it appears on the outside, there is a condensation problem.
Condensation is the easiest wet basement issue to fix. Installing a decent dehumidifier usually takes care of the issue.
Identifying And Treating Runoff
Evidence of runoff is most common in the spring. Melting snow and rainwater are the culprits, along with improper drainage around your foundation. The runoff water forces its way through gaps and cracks in your walls and foundation due to hydrostatic pressure.
This results in mold and algae that are not only signs of a problem but potentially hazardous to your health. Fixing a runoff issue takes a little more muscle than installing a dehumidifier. Sometimes calling a landscaping company is the best solution.
Prevent runoff from getting into your foundation and pooling around your house by sloping the ground around your home away from the walls. This requires a significant amount of dirt. The ideal slope drops at least an inch every twelve horizontal inches. While you are at it, check your downspouts to make sure they are not pooling and adding to the problem.
Identifying And Treating Groundwater Swelling
Groundwater swelling is the trickiest basement issue to resolve. It is the result of an overflowing water table. When the water table reaches its capacity, the soil is no longer able to drain, and your basement floods.
If you have a groundwater swelling problem, you might notice that your basement is wet after a storm. You might even see water actively bubbling up from between the wall and floor joints.
Treatment for groundwater swelling depends on your budget and your yard. Clay soil is a common cause of poor drainage, as the small and closely packed clay particles inhibit water from draining quickly through the soil.
The first option for dealing with rainwater is working with the gradient of your yard. A landscaping professional is a good resource for concerned homeowners. The second option also requires professional assistance and requires installing an underground drainage system.
The third option is expensive but equally effective. Raising the ground level gives the water more space to drain, sparing your basement from flooding. This requires a lot of material and manpower and is not a good choice for a DIY project.
Other Waterproofing Methods For Basements
There are other options for dealing with wet basements. After you identify the problem and patch the obvious cracks, consider applying a concrete sealer or fitting a polyethylene membrane. Installing a sump pump is another way to get rid of standing water and the water that collects behind your newly installed polyethylene membrane.
Don't put off addressing a wet basement. Pooling water poses health threats from mold and algae and damages your foundation, along with anything stored in your basement. Identify the problem, come up with a solution, and start waterproofing your basement by contacting us today.
Yard drainage problems can be caused by a number of issues, ranging from poorly-compacted soil to an improper slope. Regardless of the reason for your drainage problems, one of the most practical solutions is a rain garden. A rain garden is one that utilizes water runoff in its design to cultivate plants that enhance the landscape while also attracting birds and butterflies. Here are some things you should know about rain gardens that will help you with planning yours.
The location of your rain garden is extremely important. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a spot:
- Make sure your rain garden is away from your home, so that water runoff will not gather near its foundation. It should also be placed away from your septic system so as not to flood it.
- Find a location that receives full sunlight for at least four to six hours each day. Adequate sunlight is necessary for the plants in your rain garden to thrive.
- Your garden will need an adequate water supply, which means it should have access to a downspout or be located in an area where a great deal of runoff is present
Type of Garden
After choosing a location for your garden, you’ll then need to decide which type is best. Rain gardens may be one of two types: under-drained or self-contained. Under-drained systems are typically used whenever:
- You would like your rainwater to drain into a storm pipe
- Preventing erosion is also a concern
A self-contained rain garden could be better whenever you prefer water to pond or stand on the surface rather than being drained.
Garden Zones and Plant Selection
Once you have determined which type of rain garden is best suited for your property, the next step will be to divide the garden into zones. Zone 1 will be the deepest and wettest section, and will normally hold standing water for up to 24 hours at a time. The plants you place in this zone must therefore be able to withstand heavy flooding. Some ideal choices include:
- Shrubs such as black chokeberry, elderberry, spicebush, and swamp azalea
- Perennials and ferns, a few of which may be blue flag iris, golden ragwort, cinnamon fern, royal fern and New York aster
- Trees such as bald cypress, black gum, hemlock, and swamp oak
Zone 2 of your rain garden will drain sooner than Zone 1, but will nonetheless hold water for several hours. Ideal plants for this zone include:
- Shrubs such as American beautyberry, meadowsweet, and inkberry
- Perennial plants like blue false indigo, bottlebrush grass, and broomsedge
- Trees such as paw paw, ninebark, or fringetree
Zone 3 is primarily a “transition zone” that sits between your rain garden and the rest of your lawn. It may periodically receive heavy water, but will typically drain quickly. You can place nearly any plant in this area; however, some of the most common plants used in Zone 3 include:
- Witch hazel
- John’s wort
- Sweet pepperbush
- Butterfly weed
Maintaining your Rain Garden
Just because you have a “rain garden” doesn’t mean you won’t have to water plants. You may need to frequently irrigate certain specimens if you do not receive adequate rainfall. Some weeding and mulching may also be needed to keep your garden in good shape. The good news is that most rain gardens require only minimal maintenance to keep them looking attractive.
Building a rain garden is one of the best ways to solve yard drainage problems once and for all. Here at Johnson’s Landscaping, we can help you plan and design a rain garden that is right for your property, and invite you to contact us today to find out more.
If you have recently walked into the bottom level of your home and noticed that you had wet basement walls, your initial thought might have been curiosity about where the water was coming from. However, you might have went back up to the upper levels of your home and continued on with your day.
Even though wet basement walls might not seem like a big deal -- especially if you don't use your basement for much -- they are a sign that you will soon be dealing with other problems. These are some of the potential issues that you might find yourself dealing with soon. Luckily, if you hire a professional to come out and find the source of the problem, you can then attack the problem and prevent wet basement walls and other issues in the future.
1. Mold Growth
Mold does not just look gross -- it is actually hazardous for you and your family. Breathing in mold can be extremely dangerous and can cause breathing problems, particularly if there is someone in your household who has asthma or serious allergies.
All of the extra moisture in your basement -- such as the moisture on your walls and the moisture that is coming from the source of the problem -- can greatly contribute to mold growth. This is something that you should look out for in the coming days, particularly if you do not have the problem fixed as soon as possible. Do not attempt to remove or clean up the mold yourself, and don't allow yourself and your family to spend time in the basement until it has been removed. Instead, hire a professional mold remediation company to come out and get rid of the mold to prevent health issues and to ensure that it's properly eliminated.
On a similar note, you might also notice mildew growth in your basement. Mildew is also caused by moist conditions, but it is not hazardous like mold is. It can look gross and can cause damage to your property, however, so it should be cleaned up as soon as possible as well. Luckily, you can clean it yourself with a regular household cleaner or with diluted bleach.
2. Property Damage
If your basement walls are wet, you can expect for them to become damaged soon. Wet drywall will slowly but surely rot, and you'll have to replace your walls completely. This isn't the only problem that you should be worried about, however. You also have to worry about the floors, the furniture and everything else in your basement becoming damaged due to the excessive moisture in your basement.
3. Foundation Damage
In most cases, moisture in the basement is a sign of foundation damage. Foundation damage doesn't just affect the lowest level of your home, however. If you ignore the problem, your foundation damage will get increasingly worse.
Foundation damage can significantly decrease the structural integrity of your home. Over time, it can cause cracks in your walls, cracks in your chimney, misaligned doors throughout your home and other problems. Eventually, the foundation could fail completely, causing serious damage to your house and putting your family at risk.
Luckily, a company that is experienced in basement waterproofing and foundation repair can help with this issue and can repair existing foundation damage and prevent additional damage from happening in the future.
As you can see, wet basement walls are not just an annoyance; they can be an indication of a serious problem that can contribute to a lot of damage. If you have noticed any moisture on your basement walls or any other signs that there might be moisture in your basement, contact us at Johnson's Landscaping today to find out how we can help.
Have you recently discovered wet basement walls in your home? If so, then you're probably feeling understandably worried. Perhaps you're concerned that water problems in your home are going to damage your foundation, harm your indoor air quality, or even lead to a mold problem. Before you go into panic mode, understand that there are plenty of possible solutions to the issue of wet walls in your basement. Start by looking into these potential solutions and working with a professional to determine the best course of action for your needs and budget.
Check Gutters and Downspouts
First of all, understand that basement moisture problems can very well be caused by poor roof and gutter drainage. In fact, this is one of the easiest and cheapest fixes, which is why it's generally recommended that you start here. Either get on a ladder yourself and check out your gutters or hiring a roofing professional to do it for you; specifically, be on the lookout for clogs or problems with your downspouts. Make sure, for example, that downspouts are carrying water at least five feet away from your home's foundation.
If not, then downspout extensions and/or a gutter cleaning could be the simple fix to your wet basement wall problem.
Consider Interior Drainage Solutions
If your solution isn't quite this simple, then it's time to move on to other potential causes of your basement moisture issue. If there's no simple way to keep water from coming into your basement (for example, your home is located at the bottom of a slope and there's no affordable way to change the landscape), then you might need to install an interior drainage system.
One common option in terms of interior drainage is that of installing a sump pump. Specifically, this involves having a small channel drilled into the floor of your basement; this channel carries water swiftly out and away from the home itself. This isn't always the most ideal solution, as it does tend to cost a few thousand dollars and can create an eyesore in finished basement spaces. However, it's a great alternative if you have outdoor patios, decking, or landscaping that you don't want to tear up to install an exterior drainage system.
Explore Full Basement Waterproofing
Last but not least, there's always the option of having your basement walls waterproofed. There are many different forms of waterproofing systems available, ranging from sprays and paints that are applied to the walls themselves to more involved systems, such as French drains. The costs of these can vary greatly depending on the size of your basement and your specific needs, but the French drain system tends to be the more expensive option, as it often requires the digging up of outdoor landscaping.
Generally, the best way to determine the most cost-effective and long-term solution for your home's wet basement problem is to work with a professional waterproofing company. They'll be able to send some experts out to assess the problem and then come up with a series of options in addition to a recommendation based on the homeowner's specific budget. From there, you can rest assured that, when all is said and done, your home's basement will be protected from future water damage. As a result, you'll be able to breathe a sigh of relief and avoid potentially expensive foundation damage, mold, and other issues.
If you're looking for assistance with resolving your wet basement problems, be sure to contact us as soon as possible. We'd be happy to schedule an appointment at your convenience to assess your home and determine the best course of action.
Because of its location, your basement is more prone to moisture damage than any other part of your home. In fact, many people think that it's normal for a basement to be a bit moist.
However, even though moisture problems might be common in the basement, your basement should be just as dry as any other part of your house. If it's not, then you need to hire someone like Johnson's Landscaping to help you with waterproofing basement services.
If you're like a lot of homeowners, however, you might not even know about all of the moisture that is going on in the lowest level of your home. These are a few signs that your basement has moisture problems. Look out for these signs, and make a move soon if any of them relate to you; otherwise, the moisture could lead to foundation damage and could destroy the flooring, walls and other parts of your basement.
1. There's a Musty Odor in Your Basement
Have you noticed that your basement smells bad? Over time, moisture in your basement can lead to an unpleasant, musty odor. Simply cleaning your basement or using air fresheners might help with the smell, but it's best to attack the source of the problem by determining where your basement leak is coming from.
2. Your Walls Have Water Markings
Take a look at the walls in your basement. There might be water marks that you haven't yet noticed, especially if your basement is dark. If moisture has been seeping into your basement, water marks will form on the walls over time. Examine the walls near the baseboards to look for these water marks.
3. You've Noticed Mold or Mildew Grow
There shouldn't be mold or mildew in your basement, since mold and mildew both require moisture in order to grow. Mold and mildew can both cause property damage, and mold can even pose a health hazard for you and your family. Along with attacking the source of the leak, you will also need to hire a professional to get rid of the mold safely and effectively.
4. Your Floors or Walls Feel Soft to the Touch
Constant moisture can cause your floors or walls to slowly but surely rot. It doesn't even require a lot of moisture for this to happen; instead, it only requires an ongoing problem that is not repaired. If your walls or floors are soft to the touch, it's imperative to get rid of the leak before you make repairs; otherwise, your repair efforts will be futile, and you'll probably face the same problem later.
5. The Air Feels "Moist"
Sometimes, you might not be able to see the signs of basement moisture right away. However, you might be able to feel it. If you feel sticky and gross when you head into your basement, there is probably a lot of humidity in the air. Although the humidity can be affected by the weather conditions outside -- since you can even experience high humidity in the other parts of your home, especially during the summer or after periods of a lot of rain -- it can also be a sign of basement leaking, especially if it's an ongoing issue that you notice all year long.
As you can see, there are a few signs that you can look out for if you are keeping your eye out for moisture in your basement. If you notice any of these five things or otherwise think that there might be a leak in your basement, contact us right away. We can help you put a stop to your basement leak before the moisture causes serious damage.
Having a basement can be a plus for homeowners needing extra space, whether it’s to store items or to eventually convert an unfinished basement into a finished room. On the other hand, a basement can be a nightmare if water seeps into it. If you have a basement, here are some basic clues that you may have water in your basement, along with a few of the most common causes of this problem.
Recognizing Signs of Water in a Basement
Sometimes, there can be water in a basement without the obvious sign of water. If you have a basement and have experienced significant rainfall, you need to look for possible clues that you may have a problem. Just because there isn’t visible water doesn’t mean your basement is safe. A few of the common red lights indicating water in a basement include those such as:
- Noting small water pools in a basement or crawlspace can indicate a problem somewhere.
- Spotting mildew or mold can suggest an excess of moisture.
- Damp basement walls may be a sign of water.
- Dripping or trickling water is another red light.
- Humid, damp air can also be a warning.
Reasons for Water Entering a Basement
After realizing there is a problem of water seeping into your basement, the next step is determining the reason for it. Here are a few of main causes of water invading a basement.
- Flawed window wells can lead to flooding. Many basements have small vents or windows on their outside walls. These windows, known as window wells, should be constructed so that water doesn’t enter a basement or a crawlspace. However, if they’re defective or not designed properly, they can funnel pooled water into a house.
- A defective water heater can create severe flooding issues in a basement.
- Fractured water lines, due to frozen pipes, punctures or deteriorated plumbing, can also cause major basement flooding.
- Cracks in the foundation or walls can be culprits. That’s why you need to regularly inspect your house for possible cracks. Even tiny cracks can eventually cause big issues.
- Faulty, clogged or missing gutters and downspouts are causes. When gutters and downspouts are defective or gone, improperly installed or defective, rainwater falls around the edges of a house, eventually seeping into a basement.
Considerations and Warnings
- The most common pathways that water takes to get into a basement are through walls, floors, windows or foundation cracks. Water can also seep into a basement or crawlspace through the seams that are between a floor and wall. In most cases, water takes the easiest path, offering the least amount of resistance.
- Although the rainy season is considered to be the worst time of year for basements to flood, a heavy winter snowfall can be even worse. For example, snow can quickly melt when the above-ground temperature is above freezing, turning snow into water that can leak into a basement.
- Basement flooding occurs more in older houses than it does in newer constructions.
- Above-ground basements, and especially those built on elevated land, such as hills or mountains, are less likely to have flooding problems than below-ground basements.
- If you have coverage for flooding, promptly call your insurance agent. But if you lack insurance coverage for flooding, be sure to quickly contact a qualified restoration specialist who can property restore the damage.
Sometimes water can invade basements because the land on a home site isn’t graded properly, or it is on an improper slope. Improper grading or erosion that has altered how your land is graded can cause water to flow in the direction of a house, entering a basement.
One of the many services of Johnson Landscaping is providing drainage solutions. Please contact us so that we can diagnose your drainage problems or take care of any landscaping projects that you may have been postponing.
A yard that looks like a swamp after a hard rain can be a nightmare for many homeowners. Besides being unattractive, standing water on grass can also present other serious issues such as compromising the health of your plants and lawn. Even worse, this condition can encourage pests such as mosquitoes or cause water to seep into a basement. What’s more, you can’t enjoy your yard until it’s repaired.
Some yards are more likely to have drainage problems than others. These include situations in which soils are that are dense, flat land and yards with high water tables. If you’re concerned about your lawn draining properly, here are some common yard drainage problems and solutions.
Solving the Problem of a High Water Table
Yards that lie in low areas can easily suffer from a high water table, making it hard to landscape. Because plant roots don’t get enough oxygen in saturated soil during their growing season, they rot much like houseplants that are overly watered. Some ways to resolve this issue include these options:
- Use plants in your landscape that are naturally acclimated to a high water landscape such as fens and bogs. For trees, plant those species that come from similar wetlands. Use wet sun plants for a sunny yard, but if you have a shady yard, choose wet shade plants.
- Elevate planting areas. Although this can be expensive, it works. If you’re wondering how high you need to raise the soil, it depends on what you want to plant. For example, large shrubs or trees require a considerably greater height so that the root crown is high enough to keep it dry. On the other hand, smaller shrubs don’t require as much height. As a result, the cost is less expensive.
Solutions for Drainage Issues Caused by Clay Soil
Yards that have clay soil can easily have drainage problems. In fact, clay soil is the cause of most minor yard drainage problems. Because soil that’s rich in clay has more density than loamy or sandy soil, rainwater doesn’t filter through it as quickly. To solve this condition, consider these options:
- Growing plants that prefer soils that are rich in clay can gradually change the nature of clay soil. However, this can take a long time.
- Adding things that can make your soil more permeable and richer is another option. You can do this either chemically or naturally. The chemical approach can entail adding limestone and gypsum to break up the clay, while the natural method is adding organic matter that's mixed into the soil to enrich it, as well as help in plant growth. The organic way is better because it doesn’t take as long to work.
- Another solution is to create an underground “soakway” for water to filter down slowly.
Using an Underground Drain for Compacted Soil
Creating an underground drain is another option for solving a yard drainage issue. The type of underground drain that is typically used is called a “French Drain.”
This is basically a ditch that contains covered gravel. Besides using an underground drain for a compacted soil problem, you can also use it for soil that has hard sub-layers.
Using Rain Barrels for Rainwater That Falls from Nearby Buildings
In addition to dealing with rainwater falling directly in a yard, sometimes yards also suffer from rainwater from nearby structures. By attaching rain barrels to downspouts, you can collect rainwater that would otherwise gush into a yard. Why not save the rainwater and use it for irrigating your lawn.
You don’t have to settle for poor yard drainage. Solving this problem can be frustrating and isn’t a job for the average homeowner. That’s why you need to call Johnson’s Landscaping Service. Our highly trained and experienced lawn landscaping designers can complete your landscaping project with proficiency and creativity. Please contact us for all your landscaping needs.
Landscaping is one of the best investments a homeowner can make to increase the value of their home. Money Magazine reported that a properly implemented and maintained landscape design could bring the recovery value of a home up by 100 to 200% at selling time. But not all gardens are perfect. A poorly designed landscape can end up costing a homeowner hundreds of extra dollars, or leave them with an ugly yard. Here are some landscaping mistakes that you should avoid when planning out your new yard.
Not Enough Planning
If you’re thinking about landscaping, you’re going to need a complete plan before implementing your landscape design. The first step in landscaping is to take inventory of your yard, making an analysis of soil, climate conditions, and any existing vegetation. Make sure the plants you choose are able to grow in your garden environment, or risk ending up with a yard full of dead plant life.
One of the biggest landscaping mistakes a homeowner can make is not watering enough, which causes your plants to wilt and die. Expert landscape architects suggest that a homeowner install a simple drip-irrigation system, which can be attached to a hose and set on a timer.
No Predator Protection
Nobody will love your beautiful garden more than pests. Insects, rodents, and other hungry intruders will target your yard, leaving you with a barren yard. If you’re worried about pests, install deer fencing or chicken wire to protect your plants. You can also plant some pest repellents, such as anise, mint, bleeding heart, or fountain grass, which will keep away larger critters like deer or rabbits.
Forgetting Seasonal Changes
Not all plants last throughout the year. When planning your home landscape, keep in mind that the flowers you pick may not be in bloom all year round. If you choose plants that only bloom during one season, you’ll leave your yard looking underwhelming during the rest of the months. Try to opt for plants that last through all seasons, such as bushes or ferns.
In the U.S., the landscaping industry generates an estimated $74 billion each year as homeowners look to improve the value of their homes. But if you don’t know that much about landscaping, it can be easy to turn a beautiful landscape design into a nightmare. There are plenty of landscaping mistakes that can leave the front of your home looking neglected. Here are 3 of the most common mistakes a homeowner can make while implementing their landscape design.
Many homeowners think they can just start planting before they take the time to plan. However, there are many things that need to be taken into consideration. The first step in landscaping is to take an inventory of your yard, and note the conditions of the soil, drainage, climate conditions, and any existing vegetation. Try to implement plants that will last all year round, rather than a single season.
Plants need space in order to ensure the proper amount of air circulation. If your plants or shrubs are planted too close to each other, it can stunt their growth. Overcrowded landscaping forces plants to compete over water and nutrients in the soil, which can put the entire cluster of plants at risk. When planning your design, keep in mind how tall and wide each type of plant is expected to grow.
Not Watering Enough
To maintain a beautiful landscape, your plants must be watered on a regular basis. Not watering often enough is one of the biggest landscaping mistakes a homeowner can make. Professional landscapers suggest that homeowners invest in a simple drip-irrigation system. These systems can be attached to a spigot with a timer, ensuring your landscape will always get the water it needs to flourish.
If you're looking to beautify your home's exterior, landscaping is a great way to create an eye-catching, beautiful yard. But many homeowners may not understand the benefits that come with a professional landscape design. Besides creating an aesthetically pleasing front yard, many contemporary garden designs have practical applications that can make your life a little easier.
It Can Lower Your Bills
Landscaping that is properly selected, placed, and maintained can actually save you money on your monthly heating or cooling costs. During the warmer months, plants and bushes can block the sun from entering your home, keeping your house's internal temperature cooler, so you don't have to keep raising the AC. These plants also help during the winter, as they can prevent cool wind from entering your home.
It Increases Your Privacy
Your home should be a place to relax, separate from the rest of the world. But this isn't always the case, especially if you have multiple neighbors or live on a busy street. Certain landscape designs can help give your home the privacy you need. For example, planting a tree in your yard can reduce bothersome noise by up to 50%, as stated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Landscaping can also be a good way to create separation between yards, rather than having to put up large, expensive fencing.
It Improves The Value of Your Home
Whether you're looking to sell your home, refinance, or just raise its value, landscaping is a great investment. A report by Money Magazine stated that landscaping can bring a recovery value of 100 to 200%. Gardens that are attractive and well kept will boost the sale price of a home, as first impressions are often the most lasting for potential home buyers.