All Basement Waterproofing Problems Are Not Alike
Integrity Waterproofing is the local Cleveland name you can trust in basement waterproofing.
In an industry made up of look-alike companies, with similar approaches and solutions, Integrity Waterproofing stands alone. The majority of basement waterproofing being performed today comes from system companies. System companies claim to do all types of waterproofing, but will always steer you to their method, which is usually an interior water control system.
Integrity Waterproofing takes a problem solving approach to basement and leaky foundation issues, as opposed to a one size fits all system approach. There are many causes of basement seepage, and many distinct foundation-related problems. By identifying the specific problem and its root cause, we provide our customers with the right solution for their property. This not only assures satisfaction, but often saves money. System companies are ultimately unconcerned with the cause of the problem, because the solution they will propose is the same for everyone.
Every basement/foundation situation is unique. How could every solution be the same?
Most companies in this industry claim to offer waterproofing, when in fact they are selling interior water control systems. Water control systems are installed inside of your basement, utilizing drain tile which are sometimes referred to as french drains, and pumps. Waterproofing is performed exclusively on the outside. Waterproofing corrects the problems that cause seepage. Water control systems deal with the seepage after it has entered your basement. Let the water in and pump it out, or keep it out all together. This is the main difference between waterproofing and water control.
You must start with the premise that water is not the problem. Water is a symptom of a problem. Seepage occurs through cracks or openings in the walls, or as a result of non or poor functioning drainage. Often it is a combination of the two. If your walls show signs of water such as damp spots, mold, or white powder, interior water control systems should not be a consideration. Inside systems often will make wall problems worse. We have waterproofed hundreds of homes that have interior systems installed. These homes for the most part were free of seepage, which is what water control companies guarantee. As the walls begin deteriorating, cracking, or shifting, homeowners are surprised to find that structural problems and wall dampness are not covered by the guarantee.
The Inside / Outside Approach
The inside / outside approach is an extremely expensive water control system. Some system companies propose limited outside work such as shallow drains, typically halfway down your wall, or exploration trenches. Partial exterior work benefits the homeowner very little. It allows the system company salesman to sell the benefits of excavation, without obligating the company to do much digging. The most important foot of any exterior dig is the foot that gets you lower than the level of your basement floor. This is where your drain tiles are, and the ground water collects. Any measure short of this depth accomplishes very little. This is the reason that interior drains and pumps are still necessary with the inside / outside systems. Inside work is unnecessary when actual waterproofing is being performed.
Interior water control systems require a sump pump in order to discharge the water to the outside. System companies usually call their sump pumps something different like pressure release systems, or super water extractors. The salesman may even tell you that their system is completely different than a sump. A pump placed under the floor is a sump pump regardless of what it may be called.
Almost every municipality in Northeast Ohio issues separate permits for waterproofing and water control. If a company claims to be offering waterproofing, insist on seeing a waterproofing permit. I believe it is unethical to represent that you are waterproofing a home, when in fact you are installing a water control system.
Horizontal cracking, or wall shearing, is caused by expanding clay. It is estimated that clay expansion is the single leading cause of home damage in the United States. If your foundation walls are cracking. If they appear to be bowing or if there is movement of any kind, clay expansion is the likely cause. In their efforts to avoid digging, system companies have come up with many devices such as wall anchors, carbon fiber straps, carbon fiber mesh, and beams of all kinds to attempt to stabilize the wall. Doesn’t it make more sense to eliminate the cause of the movement, the clay, than to try and counteract it? Besides, it can make a home difficult to sell when you have anchors, beams etc. attached to the inside of your walls.
The basement floor provides lateral support which stabilizes the bottom of the wall. If your walls are showing signs of movement such as horizontal cracking or stair cracking in the corners, if it is beginning to bow, or if the cracks open and close seasonally, never allow the floor to be cut or jack hammered in order to install an interior drainage system. A wall that is cracking needs all the support it has. Lose the lateral floor support and you will hasten wall failure.
Why do so many companies install water control systems? Because it’s extremely profitable. Water control systems require little in the way of equipment. The installation requires minimal labor skills, and the material costs are very low. Routinely these companies derive a seventy percent profit margin on this type of work.
By taking a problem solving approach, Integrity Waterproofing offers our customers the peace of mind that comes from receiving an honest evaluation, and the proper repair specific to their situation. Our growth as a company is a testament to the way we do business. Honesty, hard work, and quality service, have earned Integrity Waterproofing the best reputation in the business.