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Laying the Foundation for a Sturdy Home

Are you building your forever home from the ground up? If so, congratulations! It’s an exciting venture, for sure, but is also one that requires time and research to ensure everything goes smoothly. It’s important to be knowledgeable about the different types of foundations and what will work best with your home plans before making a decision.

Types of Basements
Basement: Homes with a full basement begin with a hole around 8 feet deep, ending with a concrete slab. The walls of the basement are typically formed by cinder blocks, and the entire process is done in three portions: first the beams are poured, then the walls, and finally the slab inside the walls. This process helps keep the basement foundation waterproof.

Crawlspace: Homes with crawlspace foundations are elevated off the floor by about two feet. Typically, this foundation is built with cinder block and a brick facing. This type of foundation is preferred in moist climates where water is likely to accumulate. Crawlspace foundations are prone to mold and fungi buildup.

Slab: Slab foundation is essentially a flat, concrete pad poured onto the ground. This type of foundation is recommend in warmer climates, since freezing temperatures can cause the slab to shift in cold climates.

No matter what type of foundation you decide on, A-Proseal will help with any cracked foundation repair and waterproofing your home needs. Contact us today to learn more.

Snow Fun: Leaky Basement Troubles

For the many parts of the country that see below freezing temperatures and snow during the wintertime, those months between November and March can be long and frigid. Snow may look pretty, but when you have to drive in it and shovel it, it can lose its luster pretty quickly.

Also, another downfall to snow is melting snow. If you have an unresolved leaky basement problem all of that melting snow is sure to find its way into your home. After all, the most common cause of a leaky basement is heavy rain, and well, melting snow has pretty much the same effect as heavy rain when it comes to a wet basement.

Proper runoff and drainage can help direct water away from your foundation, but water can still sneak by. If your drainage or sump pump isn’t in proper working order, then melting snow could turn from fluffy white beauty into a pond in your basement in no time.

If you start to have serious water problems in your basement, or your persistent water problems aren’t going away, like the sump pump always runs or moisture is always seen after a rain, then it’s time to call a basement water proofer and sump pump service in Illinois. Melting snow and flooding is a serious problem for homes and offices. However, with the right equipment and maintenance, you won’t have to worry about a wet basement any longer.

The Dangers of Mold

Regardless of whether you live in an older home or a new construction, mold can be present. While mold has nothing to do with the age of your home, it also doesn’t have any bearing on how clean and tidy it is. Mold grows undeterred of these circumstances.

Many factors contribute to the mold growth in your basement that’s causing that nasty, musty smell. Cracked foundation walls, water seepage from windows, poor circulation and high humidity are just some of the leading causes of mold growth. However, mold is more than just a nuisance, it’s a real health concern that we mention often. Understanding the potential dangers of mold and the best ways to deal with the fungus will help you provide a healthy environment for your family.

What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that grows from microscopic spores that float in the air. Mold needs a dark, damp surface and dust to grow. The most common indoor molds are cladosporium, aspergillus, penecillium and alternaria, which are some of the least harmful types. Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, can cause serious health problems.

Health Dangers
People who are sensitive to mold spores can develop allergy symptoms, such as eye irritation, congestion, wheezing, asthma or skin rashes. Reactions become more intense as mold exposure continues. Black mold spores and toxins can cause invasive lung disease and recurrent sinusitis for some. This is a serious risk for people with compromised immune systems.

Prevention
If you do not yet have a mold problem in your basement, take measures to prevent it. Keep humidity levels at or below 55 percent, use a dehumidifier to lower humidity levels, and consider installing an air purifier to remove dust particles and mold spores from the air. You’ll also want to have a professional sump pump service in Illinois evaluate your basement’s condition and suggest other solutions, such as a sump pump or cracked foundation repair services, which will eliminate any unwanted water problems.

How to Prevent Mold When Finishing Your Basement

Basement mold is a common problem in homes just like yours all across the country. By way of being a dark, enclosed space with little-to-no natural light, plus poor air circulation, the fungus that is mold can grow fast and get out of control quickly. Because of this, the conditions in the basement can’t be compared to conditions in other rooms.

However, that doesn’t mean your basement is destined to be a useless space that you avoid. Convert your basement into a usable, mold-free, livable area by taking extra precautions to prevent mold infestation.

  1. Apply a vapor barrier
    Concrete and other foundation flooring materials are not 100% waterproof. They are porous materials that can allow water to penetrate into the basement, which is why it’s crucial to install a vapor barrier. This will prevent water from finding its way into the basement and evaporating into the air where it can cause an increase in indoor humidity.
  2. Apply waterproof coating
    Finished walls and floors are particularly vulnerable to water damage, so it’s a wise investment to add a waterproof barrier between the surface of the foundation and the finishing. This will keep your wall finishing’s (drywall, paneling, etc.) safe from any water damage.
  1. Install a waterproofing system
    While you may never need basement waterproofing in Cook County, IL, it’s best to err on the side of caution and install one while you’re in the construction phase. This way, should your basement take on water in the future, a sump pump or other type of basement waterproofing system will kick into action immediately and reduce the risk of damage to your investment.

Make the Most of Your Yard with Drain Tiles

If your lawn looks like a swamp every time you get a heavy rain, you probably have drainage issues. A soggy lawn not only makes for an unusable lawn, but it can also lead to foundation and basement flooding issues. Any water that stands near your house is just looking for a way to enter your foundation, which can lead to more problems than just some muddy, wet grass.

So, what’s the solution? Drain tiles. Install underground drain tiling, such as a French drain, that extends from problematic low spots in the landscape – like a lawn that’s too flat – to a ditch or swale is the best way to alleviate drainage issues. A French drain is a versatile system for dealing with all kinds of drainage problems. Even if your lawn doesn’t have noticeable water issues, excess water underground will find its way into unnoticed cracks in your home’s foundation.

A typical French drain consists of a perforated pipe -usually flexible lightweight plastic- sheathed by a fabric sock to keep dirt and sand from clogging the pipe. The pipe is buried in a trench and surrounded by gravel. The water will simply soak into the soil as it flows along the perforated pipe.

Divert excess water simply and effectively by installing drain tiles in your yard. Take back use of your soggy yard with the help from A-Proseal exterior waterproofing in Cook County, IL.

Prevent Basement Window Wells from Flooding

If you have a basement that’s almost completely underground, even a small basement window is a bonus. First, it allows at least some natural light in. Though it’s not usually enough light to completely illuminate the space, it does prevent the basement from feeling like a dungeon. Second, windows allow for ventilation in the basement, helping to prevent that stuffy, musty smell that is common in basements.

While basement windows serve two valuable purposes, there can sometimes be a downside. Windows are a breach in the foundation wall, meaning if the window wells are flooding, water can end up in your basement.

So, how do you prevent window well water issues? The first step starts with proper installation. You should install a good, quality window that’s sized properly, bolted securely to the foundation wall and features a drain that carries water into a drain tile system or outside.

One of the many reasons for window well flooding is liner failure. Should the liner become detached from the foundation wall, soil pressure can widen the gap between the loose liner and the wall and force water into the well when the soil becomes over saturated.

However, the most common reason for window well flooding is a clogged drain. Debris such as leaves, soil or landscaping will cause the drain to run slowly or not at all, flooding the wall and increasing the chances for water to seep into the basement around the window seams and foundation creaks.

Should you experience window well flooding issues, contact A-Proseal basement waterproofing in Cook County, IL. Get the issue resolved quickly to avoid damage to your home’s foundation wall, as well as to your basement’s contents.

Basement Laundry Upgrade

Let’s face it – laundry isn’t anyone’s favorite chore. The clothes piles seem to grow and grow, no matter how many loads you do. Then, even when you do manage to get them in the washer, half the time you forget to toss them in the dryer. While there isn’t anything we can do that’s going to change any of that, you can make the process slightly more enjoyable with a chic updated laundry space.

Here are some ideas for easy, low-budget laundry room renovations tips to get you started.

 Lighting: Brighten your space and make it more modern and stylish with upgraded lighting.

Extra Space: Just because you don’t have room for cabinets doesn’t mean you can’t have storage space. Add floating shelves or a unit fastened to the back of the door to store your laundry essentials.

Cabinet Upgrade: If you’re lucky enough to have cabinet space in your laundry room it’s a great space saver to retrofit lower cabinets with laundry baskets.

Folding Table: Having a stacked washer and dryer means no designated spot for folding clothes. Installing a wall mounted folding table is the perfect solution.

Water Problems? If your laundry room is located in the basement, it’s import for the safety of your appliances that it’s not a damp, wet place. If basement water issues become a problem you’ll want the expertise of a company specializing in basement waterproofing and foundation repair in Lake County, IL.

Improving the look and efficiency of your laundry room space won’t make the clothes wash themselves, but at least it won’t seem like the chore that it is.

Handyman Tips to Dry up Your Damp Basement

When you open your basement door are you hit with that awful musty smell? Some days is it so powerful you can even smell it on the first floor? Stop ignoring the problem by shutting the door or masking the odor with candles and air fresheners. Instead, do something to stop the smell, prevent its return, and in turn, reclaim your unused basement as usable living space.

It’s in your best interest to hire a professional basement and exterior waterproofing company like A-Proseal Basement Waterproofing to ensure all of your T’s are crossed and your I’s dotted when it comes to resolving the issues that are the cause of your wet, damp basement.

However, if you’re a handy person and want to tackle some of the work yourself, there are some steps you can do on your own to reduce indoor humidity.

Diagnose the Water Problem: Water or moisture in basements comes from two sources: indoor humidity that condenses on cold surfaces and water (or water vapor) that comes from outside.

Reduce Excess Humidity: Eliminating the sources of humid air will help dry out your basement. One way is to seal leaky dryer vents with foil tape to prevent unwanted humid air from entering your basement. You can also run a dehumidifier to lower the indoor humidity.

Waterproof the Walls: Waterproofing materials that go on like paint fill the pores in the concrete or masonry walls and prevent water from leaking in.

Insulate the Walls: Insulate exterior walls to prevent condensation. However, don’t cover the walls with insulation if water is leaking in from outside; you’ll just create a potential mold problem.

Install Drainage: The permanent fix for chronic basement leaks is to install a sump pump drainage system.

Even if you only ever plan to use your basement as a laundry room and storage space, it’s unhealthy for your home’s occupants, as well as damaging to the foundation of your home, to live in a house with a damp and moldy basement.

Get Creative with Your Basement

Your basement doesn’t have to be wasted space where your junk accumulates. It also doesn’t have to be that damp, wet, scary place that everyone avoids. Turn that perfectly good, unused living space into a beautiful, functional area your family can enjoy.

Unfinished, basements don’t seem all that large, but on the contrary, most basements are big enough with tons of potential. Expand your living space with some of these basement renov inspirations.

Playroom – When it’s too cold or wet for the kids to play outside, you’ll be happy to have a separate play area for them to get their energy out.

Craft Room – With your own designated space you’ll finally get to all of those sewing, scrapbooking and painting projects you’ve been talking about.

Game Room – Mount a large screen TV for sports games and video game playing. Also, add a combination pool table/ping-pong table for some family-friendly competition.

Music Room – Got a music-loving kid in the family? Create a custom space by installing soundproofing in the ceiling and walls to help muffle the sound and then let them turn up the amps or pound on the drums.

Family Room – This is the perfect space for a comfy sectional and large screen TV to gather around for family movie night.

Don’t resign yourself to limited usable square footage in your home when your basement holds countless possibilities. As your planning and prepping, be sure to resolve any basement water issues with basement waterproofing in Lake County, IL. Once that’s complete you can begin to transform that dark, damp, unfinished space into the basement of your dreams.

Transform Your Basement into a Guest Bedroom

Do you have lots of out of town family and friends that love to come to your house for long weekend stays and extended holiday visits? If your house becomes a bed and breakfast on a regular basis then it’s probably a good idea to start considering a separate guest space that will give them the privacy they will enjoy, while giving you back some personal space as well.

Your unfinished basement is the perfect option for a guest bedroom. No longer will your friends and family be bunking in the spare bedroom between your master suite and the kid’s bedrooms. Your basement is an underused space that isn’t living up to its fullest potential.

If you’re thinking of turning your basement into an extra bedroom, these tips and tricks can help.

Waterproof Your Basement – Before you start construction and invest your time and money, be sure your basement is dry with the help from waterproofing contractors in Illinois.

Make It An Inviting Space – To make sure a basement bedroom doesn’t feel like an afterthought choose the furnishings as carefully as you would for upstairs rooms, including beautiful bedding, artwork, and plenty of lighting.

Brighten it Up – Natural light can be minimal in a basement, so be sure to brighten up the space with good overhead lighting, including recessed lighting, spotlights, and decorative lamps.

Choose Moisture-Resistant Flooring – Engineered wood is a good option for basements because it shrinks and expands less than solid wood flooring. Engineered wood can be installed over many kinds of subfloors and resists moisture and spills.

Your renovated guest suite will make for a beautiful, warm and cozy retreat and will have your guests asking to move in!