Friday, June 29, 2012

Dealing with Wet Basements

I recently had to deal with a wet basement in my own house.  You see, my house was built in 1962. The basement is almost entirely underground and there is no sump pump.  We only bought the house in January but we began to notice that water was appearing on the concrete floor and we couldn't tell where it was coming from.  What a headache!!  I also noticed that some of the things I had stored down there were starting to grow mold. Gross!!

As a Realtor I have walked into many, many moldy houses and seen the effects of wet basements. When I had seen some home owners deal with the issue, their contractors had built motes around the entire house, added drainage, then the sump pump and then refilled the moat again. I could only imagine the expense!!! In addition, my house has a concrete patio in the back.  All I could think about was how much it was going to cost me to have them break up that patio and then put in a new one.

I took the advice I always give my clients: get an estimate from several contractors.  Check on websites like Angies List to see if they are reputable and then make your decision.  I was so glad that I did!!  I had a few contractors price the job and give me a detailed explanation of how they were going to deal with my basement.  What I learned is that there are other ways of water proofing the basement that do NOT require digging on the outside of the house.  The contractor I chose will actually dig into the concrete inside the house but only about 8 inches wide and 8 inches deep. They then install a type of drain that will collect the water from the foundation and deliver it to a sump pump.   I found out that this method, although still somewhat expensive, is from a 1/3 to a 1/2 cheaper than having to excavate around the house and much less intrusive.   So if you are thinking of waterproofing your basement, make sure you get several opinions and take this one into consideration, it will save you a lot of money.  I know it saved me!!

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