High & Dry Foundation Repair » FAQ

Frequently Asked Foundation Repair Questions

Why does my basement leak?
Water leakage is caused by several factors. The drain tile that is installed on most new homes may become clogged with silt and settlement, causing it to fail. The pargeting done on the outside of the home may have deteriorated and is allowing water to enter the foundation. A professional inspector is trained to notice these signs and determine the exact reason you are seeing the water.

How serious is my water problem?
Unfortunately, the water you see in your basement is the least of the problem. This water will evaporate into the air eventually. The water that is not escaping through the foundation wall is the source of trouble. This water will cause lower wall deterioration, cracks, bulges in walls, efflorescence, and many other concerns.

How can I tell where the water is coming from?
Water can enter a foundation through several different ways. The most common are wall cracks or leakage from the cove area (where the floor and the wall meet). This, simply put, is a natural seam in which the water can most easily penetrate your foundation. Another common source is hydrostatic pressure. This will cause water to penetrate through cracks in your floor. Several other sources are common, though not as easily noticeable.

What causes the musty smell in my basement?
Obviously, the musty smell you have is much more than just a bad smell. Mold and fungus spores that float in the air cause it. This may contribute to allergy and asthma problems, as well as other health issues.

What is that white chalky substance on the walls?
Efflorescence. What you are seeing is a chemical breakdown of the bonding agent that holds your wall together. The water that is inside of your foundation wall will, over time, leech some of the lime out of the wall causing this effect.

What are the brown stains on my wall?
Brown stains, especially on block or poured concrete walls, are a sign of acid damage. The clay outside your home is very acidic, and when the water leaks into your basement, it draws that acidity with it. Your wall acts as a filter, holding this acid back and allowing the “clean” water into your basement. Acid damage leads to lower wall deterioration.

I have cracks in my wall or floors. Why?
Cracks in your walls can be caused by several sources including shrinkage, resulting in several different effects. Cracks can be a sign of settling in the foundation. However, cracks can also be caused by pressure built up of water around and/or under your foundation. With an average of 47 tons resting on your foundation walls, the integrity of your walls should be maintained.

Is there anything I can do myself to correct the problem?
Depending on the situation, correcting the problem yourself is very much a possibility. If your trained inspector feels the problem is minimal, he will give you tips and ideas as to how you can take care of it yourself. However, if the problem is one that would need professional services, he will review all of the options available to you so you know your home is in the best condition possible.

I think I have an above-grade problem.
Depending on the signs of water penetration, your problem may very well be above grade. Sometimes grading, downspouts or exterior French Drains can solve the problem. However, if the water is coming from the bottom portion of the wall, or you see damp spots on the walls, this probably isn’t the case.

What does it cost to have my basement waterproofed?
It depends on the problem, what work needs to be done, and which method you choose to correct the problem. For this very reason, we offer our inspections and estimates free of charge. This way, you can find out the information you need to know to take care of your home.