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F.A.Q. // Frequently Asked Questions

Is exterior waterproofing is the only “right” way to handle a water problem?

• There are times that exterior work is the ultimate solution (wet walls), but when water is coming from under the floor, interior solutions offer much better warranties in preventing leakage on the floor.
• Even if the main problem is wetness on the walls, obstructions such as additions, patios, decks, sidewalks among others, can make exterior excavation an almost impossible solution.
• On larger jobs, exterior work far exceeds the cost of interior work, but each job needs to be weighed separately to determine which alternative is best.

Are Waterproofing paint and/or sealants a good solution for basement water problems?

• Sealants and waterproofing paint are a band-aid solution for basement water problems.
• The amount of dampness or seepage will often determine how long the sealant will do its job.
• Water penetrating through the walls from the outside will cause the interior coating to flake, bubble or crumble.
• It is only a matter of time.

Does correcting grading and downspouts eliminate basement waterproofing issues?

• Grading and downspouts are often a large contributing factor to basement water problems.
• Oftentimes, areas with corrected downspouts will continue to leak or get wet, due to the breakdown in exterior waterproofing and exposure to sub-grade water.
• Grading can be a factor in collecting water around a foundation, but oftentimes, unless you have ponding water or a severe negative grade, grading will have little effect on a basement water problem. Properly working gutters can help protect against slight grade issues.
• Oftentimes, proper grading can be a substantial undertaking and not really worth the effort. There are no warranties against basement seepage from grading work.

Is it true that Interior waterproofing or “French Drain” systems relieve pressure on walls?

• This is a misconception in the waterproofing industry.
• Pressure is generally put on walls from exterior moisture and the pressure of the earth itself.
• Drilling holes at the bottom of a concrete block or putting an interior drainage system under a floor will not serve to relieve pressure being exerted on a foundation wall.
• If pressure is being exerted and the wall is bowing, there are several methods for supporting the wall from further movement.

Does having a sump pump makes a house harder to sell?

• Many states have now made it mandatory for newly constructed homes to be built with sump pumps in the basements.
• If you have a basement water problem, you must legally disclose the problem and having a pump system will allow you to present the buyer with a fully warranted system.
• If the potential buyer does not want to see a pump, it is a pretty good bet that they do not want to buy a house with a wet basement. They just are not your buyer.

Will installing an interior drainage system on one wall will prevent leakage in other areas?

• This is also a misconception in the industry.
• The warranties for interior work are only for the areas which are worked on. Any other indication of the system taking care of other areas is misleading.

Is it true that sump pumps are maintenance problems?

• Today’s top of the line pumps require little to no maintenance.

I have heard that exterior waterproofing cannot be guaranteed. Is it true?

• There are several different types of exterior waterproofing, but full wall excavation with spray coat sealing of the wall and footer drains encased in gravel should carry full warranties and in some cases up to 30 years.

Can wet spots and/or dampness higher up on walls can be eliminated through the installation of an interior floor drainage system?

• This is one of the most common misconceptions in the waterproofing industry.
• Wet spots high on the wall are generally caused by water being absorbed into the block like a sponge from the outside in, not from water building up inside the block.
• Drilling holes in the bottom of a cement block will not dry out a wet spot high on a wall.
• This problem has to be dealt with specifically and can be addressed from the outside or by a management system on the inside. These problems need to be dealt with on an individual basis.

“We have exterior French drains, we shouldn’t have a problem.”

• Most original exterior French drains either were not properly installed or have outlived their usefulness. Terra cotta drains often become clogged or broken by tree roots and some of the newer plastic drains are improperly installed with lack of gravel backfill. This causes the drains to become clogged quickly.
• Once the drains have been rendered useless, water will tend to work its way into the block, through the wall and also under the footer.

Are Waterproofing paint and sealants a good solution for basement water problems?

Sealants and waterproofing paint are unfortunately considered short term band-aid solutions for basement waterproofing issues. The amount of dampness or seepage will often determine how long a waterproofing paint or sealant will do the job. Signs of Pittsburgh basement waterproofing issues include water penetrating through the walls from the outside causing interior coatings to flake, bubble or crumble.

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