Do you dread spring storms because they lead to a wet basement? Water seeping into your basement is more than an inconvenience; it’s a serious problem. From property loss due to flooding to breathing problems related to mold and mildew, a wet basement can lead to major issues.
If excess moisture in the basement is something you find yourself dealing with regularly, maybe it’s time to waterproof your basement. At Larry & Sons, we offer basement waterproofing in Hagerstown in the surrounding areas.
Signs of Excess Moisture in Your Basement
The signs of excess moisture in the basement are often subtle and easy to ignore. You don’t have to have a major flood to have a problem. In fact, if you’re experiencing any of these common wet basement symptoms, you need to take steps to eliminate the problem right away to prevent future damage:
Humid, damp air
Visible mildew, mold or fungus
Spots or cracks on walls
Visible structure damage
Flooding after rain storms
Complications of a Wet Basement
A wet basement can lead to devastating complications. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood or water damage. While a major flood destroying your possessions is a common concern, it isn’t the only thing you should be worried about.
Excess moisture in your basement may be a sign of structural problems, or in time, it can even cause structural damage. Water causes wood to rot, and it can even cause cracks in and shifting of your foundation.
Is your heating system in your basement? If it is, moisture could be damaging it, and you might not know it until the system fails. Other appliances often kept in basements, like water heaters and washers and dryers, can also suffer major damage as the result of exposure to excess moisture.
Last, but certainly not least, excess moisture in your basement is a health hazard. A wet basement is the perfect breeding ground for fungus, mold and mildew, and these things can all cause serious respiratory issues. Also, standing water in a basement could put you and your family at risk for electrical shock if wiring or electrical components come in contact with the water.
Waterproofing Solutions in Hagerstown
If water in your basement is a problem and you need to find waterproofing solutions in Hagerstown, let Larry & Sons help. We will create a custom waterproofing plan based upon your home’s unique needs and features, and we will make water in your basement a thing of the past. To learn more about basement waterproofing in Hagerstown, call now!
Ready for Hurricane Joaquin? Larry and Sons can help! (301) 733-5428
With heavy rains already pouring down on us, and more expected throughout the weekend, it’s a good time to revisit safety concerns for heavy storms and rainfall. Hurricane Joaquin has already brought quite a lot of rain and is expected to do so throughout the weekend. Even if it doesn’t make landfall, the heavy rains and wind can cause significant damage to your home. Joaquin will cause several storms across the Eastern US as it passes, which will lead to severe flooding. Right now, hurricane preparedness should be your top priority, regardless of whether or not the main storm will hit the area. Don’t be caught unaware.
Waterproofing your home is the first step. You want your roof to be in good condition, so take the time to get it inspected and repaired. For the short-term, clear your rain gutters and drains to promote water flow away from the home. Make sure that your storm doors, windows, and basement are all properly sealed against the storm. Widespread flooding in the streets can still have a negative impact on your home but these small preparations will mitigate some of the danger.
Installing a sump pump in your basement can save you a lot of heart-ache in the future. Designed to rest in the lowest part of the home (where flood waters will start to accumulate first), the sump pump pushes water out and away from the home. Most sump pumps are tied directly into mainline electricity to power them. We highly recommend installing a battery backup or connecting your sump pump to an emergency generator to keep it running in the event of an emergency. Sump pumps are your mainline defense against in-home flooding.
Maintaining current flood insurance is the last line of defense against costly repairs and replacements. Even the best preparations in the world can’t overcome the ravages of a storm at times. A sump pump can fail during a particularly heavy storm, or may even fail to keep up with the flow of water. In these cases, separate flood insurance (which is usually not bundled with standard home or renters insurance) will cover the cost of damages from water. This is your last line of defense because, if you’re calling on insurance, damage has already occurred and it’s time to go into repair mode.
Of course, if you believe that flooding is going to be an issue, it’s best to prepare your home as best you can and then evacuate to a safer location before the storm arrives.
Prepare an emergency kit
Shut off electrical power
Clear gutters and drains
Ensure proper operation of your sump pump
Relocate expensive or irreplaceable items to a higher floor
Inspect Your Sump Pump
In advance of the storm (and ideally before the rainy season starts) you should inspect your sump pump to make sure it will operate properly and wasn’t damaged in previous storms.
Make sure it is still plugged in and will have power. Have a licensed electrician inspect the breaker box to make sure the circuit is undamaged. Test the battery backup and recharge or replace it as necessary. If you’re backup is based on an emergency generator, make sure that generator has sufficient fuel to operate.
Check the position. The pump should be standing upright. Pumps vibrate during operation, which can shift the location of the pump. Make sure any submersible pumps haven’t shifted positions to the side or to a location where the inlet may have become blocked.
Clean inlet and outlet of the pump. The outlet pipes need to be tightly joined together so that there are no leaks. Water needs to move unimpeded from the inlet to the final outlet which should be at least twenty feet from the foundation of the home. Test your pump by running water through it to make sure that water is actually being pumped away from the home.
Look for warning signs. Are there any strange noises, smells, or sights when your pump is running? Make sure it doesn’t need to be replaced. Make sure that there isn’t any oil in the sump well either, as this can indicate a failed pump seal.
Double check the activation switch for the sump pump. When water flows in you want to make sure that the switch will turn on.
The easiest way to test you pump is to simply pour water into the sump well. This should trigger the pump to start and, if everything is in order, water will flow out of the exit pipe outside.
Water – one gallon per person, per day, for at least three days
Three days of non-perishable food
Battery powered or hand-crank radio with extra batteries
First Aid Kit
Whistle to signal for help
Dust mask, plastic sheeting, and duct tape for shelter and contaminated air
Moist towlettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for sanitation
Wrench or pliers to shut off utilities
During hurricane and storm seasons it’s never a bad idea to keep a go-bag on hand and ready. This would include basic toiletries (toothbrush and soap), first aid kit, a change of clothes, cash, identification, local map, batteries, flashlight, and a phone charger. In the event you need to move quickly, you won’t need to prepare, you can simply grab the kit and get away.
Practice Hurricane Safety
Hurricane Watch – conditions are threat within 48 hours. Stay informed and be ready to act if a hurricane warning is issued.
Hurricane Warning – Expected within 36 hours. Complete preparations and evacuate or be prepared to evacuate if advised to do so.
Hurricanes are large-scale storms with the potential for heavy damage to property and a huge risk to life. Do not take a chance, if you’re advised to evacuate, you should do so immediately. Ready.org has an excellent timeline of preparedness for hurricanes.
When preparing for a hurricane, follow everything that’s been advised for rains and heavy storms. You should also make sure that you stay advised by keeping a radio, TV, or webcast live and active in case an emergency evacuation or storm-level warning increase is announced. Protect your home by sealing and reinforcing windows, doors, and the roof to protect them from excess damage. Secure all outdoor objects and fixtures. If there are loose items, bring them inside to prevent them from being turned into dangerous projectiles in high-winds.