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You want your home to last a lifetime, and that’s only possible if it stands on a strong foundation. Your basement walls have a tough job. They must support the house, withstand the pressure of the earth around them, and keep out moisture which can lead to deterioration, mold, and mildew.
Your basement walls may already be showing signs of age, in which case you will want to talk to foundation contractors about options to reinforce the walls. In times past, your options would have been limited to major excavation and possibly even rebuilding portions of your foundation. More modern solutions can reinforce the basement walls without doing major construction work that disrupts your yard and your life.
As the pressure of the earth around the basement pushes in on the foundation, the walls are forced inwards. In time, this will cause cracking and bowing, and eventually may weaken the foundation enough to threaten the stability of the house. Foundation contractors will evaluate the condition of the basement walls and install bracing to prevent the bowing.
It is possible to even push the walls back into the proper shape without major external work. These supports can be made of steel and anchored to the floor joists and the concrete basement floor, or they can be made of space-age materials such as carbon fiber and attached directly to the block walls for a less intrusive, more appealing solution.
If you have problems with water leaking into the basement, you need a basement waterproofing solution. Waterproofing contractors will inspect the damage and figure out where the water is coming from. Then the existing mold and mildew damage must be repaired and measures must be taken to prevent further problems. The contractor will use specialized cleaning equipment and chemicals to kill and remove the mold and mildew. Then special surface treatments and paints can be applied which will resist new growth. Finally, sealing compounds or sheets are added to keep out moisture.
Once the basement is repaired and reinforced, measures must be taken to keep out the water which caused the problems in the first place. Pooling water from downspouts, yard drainage, and driveways can be redirected, preventing its seepage into the foundation. Depending on the layout of the property, additional drainage can be put in place around the basement walls.
If all of that isn’t enough, extra drainage can be added to the basement itself to remove the water as it seeps in. This can take the form of a drain pipe or a sump pump system, depending on how deep the basement is. For extra insurance against basement flooding, battery backup systems can be installed to keep the sump pumps working even when the power goes out. Contact xperienced foundation contractors who will evaluate your situation and consider all of these options to determine the best solution for your unique situation.
By: Nick Messe