Water Damage Advice Tips

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What are the brown stains on my wall?

Acid damage

Well, assuming this is not a trick question, those unsightly brown stains mean that your block or poured concrete walls have acid damage. (This has nothing to do with their having been poured in the sixties.) In this case, the clay's the thing, (as Shakespeare didn't say.) The clay outside your home is very acidic, so when the water leaks into your basement, the acidity comes along for the ride. Under normal circumstances, your basement wall acts as a filter, holding this acid back and allowing the "clean" water into your basement. Over time, acid damage will cause lower wall deterioration. If you notice signs of your walls being on an acid trip, call a local waterproofing professional for an intervention and treatment.

What's new in waterproofing materials?

Barrierology 101

Keeping water and moisture on its side of the border, so to speak, has been a problem since The Flood. Over the millenia, folks have tried everything and anything to stem the endless tide: thatch, such as straw, reed, leaves and other dried vegetable matter as a barrier against water entering their home. In time, other more sophisticated waterproofing materials were used. These included: animal skins, timber shingles, and natural stones like slate. The architectural designs of the day such as high pitched roofs helped overcome some of the shortfalls and limitations of the materials that were used. Over the centuries other waterproofing materials were used such as metals eg. copper, lead, zinc, and tin. With the discovery of oil, and advances in chemistry more efficient petroleum-derived waterproofing products such as bituminous, butyl rubber, neoprene rubber, hypalon etc.were developed. Of course, technology marches on and it won't be long until today's waterproofing membranes such as polyurethanes, acrylics and polyesters will seem as primitive as leaves and animal skins are today.

What does it cost to have my basement waterproofed?

The Cost of Waterproofing

The answer to how much a waterproofing project will cost can be summed up in two words: It depends. Every situation is different. Costs are determined by the work that needs to be done, the method used to correct the problem. Get inspections and estimates from at least three professional waterproofing contractors before hiring someone. In most cases, they will do the estimating and inspections free of charge.

How damaging is water anyway?

On Water Damage

Did You know that unwanted moisture in a house is just as damaging as fire, termites, or even earthquakes (makes ya think). Water that is out of its element, so to speak, and takes up residence in your home can cause a lot of problems that include:

• Rotting of timber structures and finishes such as floor joints, beams, floors, studs, skirting, architraves and frames.
• Corrosion of metals such as steel reinforcement in concrete, steel beams, lintels, metal door frames etc.
• Swelling of plasterboards and the subsequent debonding of ceramic tiles.
• Electrical hazards causing the possible short circuit of lighting and power points.
• The blistering of paint.
• Unsightly deterioration of the building facade.
• Health problems due to dampness, which may lead to respiratory problems.
• Rotting carpet.

What is waterproofing?

Waterproofing explained

Waterproofing is the formation of an impervious barrier which is designed to prevent water entering or escaping from various sections of building structures. Internal areas that are waterproofed include bathrooms, shower recesses, laundries and toilets. Whilst external areas waterproofed extends to roofs, planter boxes, podiums, balconies, retaining walls and swimming pools.

What can be waterproofed?

Waterproofing possibilities

All things great and small can benefit from waterproofing. Modern technologies make it possible to waterproof all kinds of stuff such as concrete, cement render, fibre cement sheets, gypsum boards, timber, wicker baskets, the entire city of Seattle and the Rain Forest.

The world is full of wonderful products available through your home center or professional waterproof contractors that can meet your waterproofing needs.

How can I tell where the water is coming from?

Water, water everywhere

Like the proverbial thief in the night, water can get into your foundation in a number of ways. It can sneak in through the cove area where the floor and the wall meet). By using its super power of hydrostatic pressure, water can penetrate through cracks in your floor. Water has many ways to seep and creep into your walls and floors and foundations, most of them are invisible to the human eye. That's why it is always wise to consult a professional to determine how water is getting in.

Why do I have cracks in my concrete walls and floor?


Where do cracks come from? Why are they here? Where are they going? have puzzled philosophical homeowners for centuries. The short answer seems to be that cracks can be caused by outside forces beyond our control such as an errant 18-wheeler, a settling foundation, or water pressure build up around and/or under your foundation. *Its movement that causes your foundation wall to crack. Of course, if you had an average of 47 tons resting on you, you'd crack too.

What causes the musty smell in my basement?

Causes of Musty Basement

As we all know from 9th grade Biology (you were paying attention, weren't you?), water is essential to all us flora and fauna, which includes the lower orders such as molds and fungi. Water moisture causes the mold and fungi to flourish. When mold and fungi want to reproduce, they throw off smelly spores (like pollen) into the air, that our noses recognize as musty. Besides smelling nasty, these funky spores can make allergy and asthma problems worse and can contribute to other health issues.

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Byron White