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Crew Member Waterproofing a Basement

Basement Waterproofing

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Cracked, leaking basement walls decrease the comfort, value, and safety of your home. When water finds its way into your basement it can start a series of moisture problems contributing to foundation damage, mold growth, and other related issues. Beyond adding comfort and eliminating dangerous allergens, waterproofing your basement can add value to your property. A home with a wet basement can be much more difficult to sell. In fact, a wet basement is one of the most serious “red flags” that deters buyers. The good news: BQ Basements & Concrete specializes in basement waterproofing solutions and services to help solve your basement problems for good.

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Is Basement Waterproofing the Right Solution for Me?

If you’re worried about moisture-related problems happening within your home, they may be due to water in your basement. Contact BQ Basements & Concrete to set up a free inspection and learn more about our services. Our certified and knowledgeable inspectors will do a full assessment of your property and explain the best solution to keep your home dry and safe. Whether it is our superior sump pump systems, interior drainage, or dehumidifiers, we know what it takes to protect your basement for good. With over 20 years of experience, we have been protecting homeowners in Greater Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Delaware with our leading products and exceptional customer service.


Moisture can get in your Philadelphia basement in a variety of ways. Leaks are probably the most obvious way, though even these can vary in how they form. Water from outside your home might start to press up against your basement walls, leaking through if the pressure becomes dense enough. These leaks can eventually expand wider and cause your basement to flood if you simply ignore them for too long. Leaks can also spring from other sources as well. If your plumbing breaks, for instance, then the water and sewage from those pipes can build up behind your walls and eventually leak into your basement as well. You might even notice a musty smell that only seems to linger around your basement because of this.

Any cracks you see around your basement will also allow moisture to seep through. This does not just include any cracks along your walls but from your floor, too. Groundwater can well up and begin to flood your basement at any given time, too, so you should not underestimate even the smaller cracks found along your basement floor. This constant flooding can also bring about other issues such as mold and mildew growth and pest infestations.

For any homeowner living in Atlantic City, a sump pump is a crucial must-have. With year round rain entering your crawl space, a sump pump is the only way to ensure you don’t go crazy mopping up water every few weeks. If you don’t have a sump pump already or are looking to replace the one you have, you need to understand what your crawl space needs before you buy. In a rainy city like Atlantic City, it’s not enough to have just any kind of sump pump. Sump pumps that get overworked break down very easily, and if your pump is going to turn itself on every time it rains, you need something with power. Something like the AquaStop Compact Crawl Space Sump Pump, which has an optional backup battery in case the pump stops working. It also notifies you when there is a leak in your crawl space, a useful function since many homeowners don’t regularly check the condition of their crawl space.

Let’s say your basement is extremely humid, but it doesn’t experience any kind of flooding. Does humidity harm your basement as much as water does? After all, if the only thing wrong with your basement is stuffy, damp air, how much harm can it do? The truth is, humidity is not only harmful for your basement, it’s also indicative of problems that will eventually cause harm. Part of the reason it’s such a significant problem in the first place is because most of its consequences aren’t felt until the damage is severe. Where there is excessive humidity, there is mold. Mold growth in your basement harms both you and your home’s structure. Because of the stack effect, the air in your basement rises in your home, including any existing fungal spores. Long-term exposure to mold triggers allergies and causes permanent harm to the respiratory system. Humidity also encourages pests to make a nest out of your basement, further increasing the risk of illness.

If your basement is leaking, it can sometimes be pretty easy to spot where it’s coming from. The window, the pipes, and the washing machine are all common sources of basement leaks. If you walk into your basement and see water coming from the floor, however, that might be a bit more confusing. If the pipes and vents are fine, the window is dry, and the machines are working as normal, there should be no water, right? Well, due to Southern NJ’s clay soil, the answer is no. Clay soils are able to retain water really well for long periods of time; it’s actually one of its many defining features. When a lot of water accumulates in the soil surrounding your foundation, it can often pool right alongside your foundation and put a lot of pressure on the wall. This is known as hydrostatic pressure. This refers to the weight of the water that pushes up against the foundation wall until it begins to bow inward. Long-term pressure on the foundation eventually causes cracks along most of the wall, but the most significant damage can be found at the wall-floor joint.

Having a beautiful, healthy tree growing on your property makes your yard look interesting and visually pleasing. However, there’s a good chance that your tree is ruining your foundation and causing those pesky leaks in your basement or crawl space. Many homeowners misunderstand how a tree is able to do so much damage and believe that the tree roots themselves are the issue when it’s actually the soil. Like most problems pertaining to foundation damage, expansive soils are the culprits, not the tree roots. The characteristics of clay soils make it so trees encourage shrink-swell capacities and soil displacement.

A good way to determine whether your basement or crawl space has high humidity levels is to check if the concrete has efflorescence stains. Efflorescence is a white, powdery substance on the surface of concrete. If you touch it or scrape it, it feels grainy and some of it flakes off. At times, homeowners will confuse efflorescence for mold, but this is incorrect. Efflorescence is salt, which you can feel the texture of if you scrape it off the concrete.

Efflorescence appears on your concrete either due to primary efflorescence or secondary efflorescence. Primary efflorescence usually occurs 48 to 72 hours after the concrete is poured and it’s a result of an excess amount of water in the cement mixture. As the cement cures, the water evaporates and rises to the surface of the concrete but brings along with it all the salts and minerals from the cement. Even professionals get a bad mixture from time to time, but an experienced contractor is less likely to make cement that produces efflorescence.

Why is Basement Waterproofing Needed?

wet and moldy basement walls

Protects Your Home Against Mold and Mildew

If you walk down to your basement only to experience a musty odor, you may be dealing with a basement leak. When moisture gets into your basement, it raises the humidity levels and causes the development of mold and mildew to grow. All mold needs to thrive is dampness and organic materials, both of which are found within your basement. The spread of mold throughout your home can be extremely dangerous and cause a health risk for anyone who has asthma or allergies. By installing a waterproofing system and a dehumidifier, you can prevent mold growth altogether.

basement flood

Keeps It Dry in the Event of Flooding

Nothing is more daunting than experiencing a flood in your home. From your valuables getting damaged, the cleanup process, and finding out how to prevent it in the future, it can be frustrating to any homeowner. Fortunately, our waterproofing experts know just the systems and solutions to fix your problem. Whether it be our AquaStop Basement Sump Pump System, AquaStop BasementGutter™ Interior Drainage, or our basement dehumidifier system, we can protect your home from the damaging effects of floodwater in your home.

dry soil

One of the biggest reasons water gets into your basement has to do with the soil that lies underneath your foundation. If the soil Is too loosely compacted or becomes oversaturated with water, you may notice water leaking in. This is especially true if your foundation already has cracks that become easy access points. Both the clay bowl effect and hydrostatic pressure can contribute to water damage in your basement. It’s important to make sure any cracks are repaired before waterproofing systems are installed. By installing one of our solutions, you can prevent the effects of soil-related moisture problems in your basement.

Common Basement Waterproofing Tips & Mistakes

Helpful Tips for Waterproofing Your Basement

  • Even a completely waterproofed, sealed basement can experience excess moisture levels in the air that can lead to mold growth. A high capacity, energy-efficient, self-draining basement dehumidifier will improve the air quality inside your basement as well as above in the home’s living areas. 
  • Waterproofing your basement can save you money overall. HVAC systems, like the furnace and air conditioning ductwork, is often located in your basement. In the summer when temperatures are hot, if your basement isn’t sealed properly, the ducts are also hot. This means your air conditioner has to work harder to cool your living space when air is moving through hot ducts. The same is true in the winter when warm air runs through cold ducts to reach the desired temperature. By stabilizing the temperature within your basement temperature with proper insulation, you will not only reduce your energy usage but also decrease the rate of wear and tear on your HVAC system.
  • If a natural event like a flood occurs, you’re going to want to make sure your sump pump is in good working condition, and you have a battery backup in case of a power outage. Just like regular home appliances, if the power fails, so will your sump pump, causing floor waters to damage your home. By having a battery backup installed, you can rest assured that water is still getting directed away from your basement if flooding happens.

Mistakes to Avoid When Waterproofing Your Basement

  • Not installing a backup battery-powered basement sump pump can result in excess water flooding the space in the event of a power outage or device malfunction. A backup sump pump allows ultimate peace of mind.
  • Homeowners may think waterproofing their basement is a one-and-done type of process when it comes to managing water. However, this is not true. Although waterproofing systems can play a significant role in preventing water damage in your basement, without sealing the walls and floor from moisture and water vapor, your home’s indoor air quality and mold and mildew growth problems are likely to persist. Waterproofing also goes hand in hand with other water management systems such as your gutters. It’s important to make sure they’re clean and free of debris to properly prevent water pooling around your home’s foundation.
  • Attempting to DIY your basement waterproofing project, although completely understandable, can cause more harm than good. Unfortunately, many of the high-quality products and solutions we use at BQ Basements & Concrete are not available at big box stores, and ensuring materials are installed properly is key. For example, if a plastic vapor barrier is installed on the walls, but not the floors, water can still get in and mold growth will begin. Additionally, if your basement’s sump pump isn’t effective any water that isn’t directed away from your home can cause problems.

Find your service area

Camden, NJ

Camden, NJ

Camden is a city along the Delaware river with silty soils and above-average rainfall. This combination is problematic for your home’s foundation and causes damage. BQ Basement & Waterproofing keeps your foundation protected with world-class solutions.

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA

Philly’s rainy springs, humid summers, and cold winters create a challenging environment for your property, but BQ Basements & Concrete specializes in repairing foundations and concrete.

Trenton, NJ

Trenton, NJ

Trenton has silty loam soils with large deposits of clay. Along with the area’s above-average rainfall, your foundation is put at risk. BQ Basements & Concrete has solutions designed to keep your foundation protected.

Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City is on the coast of New Jersey, which means it experiences muggy summers, windy winters, and sandy soil. This combination doesn’t provide the sturdiest environment for your home, as precipitation easily erodes the ground supporting your home. BQ has solutions to prevent this!

Dover, DE

Dover, DE

Sandy and gravelly soils in Dover provide solid ground for your home’s foundation, but they are easily eroded by the area’s above-average rain. Keep your home protected from problem signs with world-class solutions from BQ Basements & Concrete – providing local service in Dover.

Wilmington, DE

Wilmington, DE

At the northeast corner of Delaware, Wilmington has gravelly, sandy soils that are easily eroded by rain and snow. When soil is weakened, it spells disaster for your foundation; but BQ Basements & Concrete has industry-leading solutions that keep your home protected.

Southern, NJ

Southern, NJ

Known for its primarily sandy soil and yearly rainfall, Southern New Jersey homeowners are no stranger to foundation and basement issues. But BQ Basements & Concrete has leading solutions that keep your home protected.

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