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Basement Waterproofing with a sock 09/10/2014 13:04:00
    Basement waterproofing with a sockBasement waterproofing 101

Basement waterproofing usually refers to an interior drainage system.
The interior system is otherwise known as negative side waterproofing because this system controls sub-soil water rather than preventing it.
Interior basement waterproofing addresses the hydrostatic pressure of groundwater forcing its way through the basement walls.
Interior basement waterproofing systems can have many names such as; trench drain, drain tile or French drain.
Essentially it’s jack-hammering open the concrete floor to install a drainage and sump pump system.
Basement Waterproofing does not require a filter or sock

In 1859 Henry Flagg French wrote about his basement waterproofing drainage system in his book Farm Drainage.
It is still called a French drain 155 years later and is still the standard for basement waterproofing.
A French drain consists of a trench layered with stone, a pipe delivering the water to the sump pump, covered with stone and the floor re-cemented.
Basement waterproofing pipe with sock
Basement waterproofing pipe with sock
Nowhere in Mr. French's description of his drain did he mention a sock, landscape fabric or filter. Why?
What do all filters have in common? Think of your HVAC system or the air filter and oil filter on your car.
Eventually filters will become clogged by the particles they are filtering out. Filters have to be replaced from time to time.
If you have a sock around the pipe in your basement waterproofing system, how will you replace it when it gets clogged?
This would involve jack-hammering the floor again and re-doing the basement waterproofing system.
That is why you don't want a landscape fabric, filter or sock around the pipe of your basement waterproofing system.

Basement Waterproofing with a sock
Low dust basement waterproofing 09/03/2014 05:36:07
    Basement Waterproofing, dust and negative air

When we do basement waterproofing here in NJ we are talking about French drains and sump pumps.
When we do French drains and sump pumps we cut open basement floors with jackhammers.
When we cut open basement floors with jackhammers we create a lot of dust.
Before we create a lot of dust we partition the basement and cover belongings with plastic.
Before the jackhammer hits the floor we turn on negative air machines.
Negative air machine
Negative air machine/air scrubber
Low dust basement waterproofing is possible with negative air machines

The way a negative air machine works is really pretty simple, air flows from high pressure to low pressure.
In order to create negative air pressure in a space; more air must leave a space than what enters it.
The space is created by creating plastic walls of containment in the basement work area.
The negative air machine/air scrubber is then placed in the containment area and turned on.
Because of the HEPA filter direct venting to the outside is optional not mandatory.
A HEPA filter traps and blocks very small particles from going back into the air.
Free Low Dust Basement Waterproofing Inspections

A-1 Basement Solutions is the leader in low dust basement waterproofing. A-1 Basements provides free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, or info@A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.

Low dust basement waterproofing
How does a Foundation Drain work? 05/15/2014 11:31:28
    How does a Foundation Drain work?

Sometimes there is enough snow melt and/or rain to make the water rise around the house. This is known as a high water table or perched water. If this water was to remain adjacent to the foundation it would eventually enter the building because concrete is porous. Therefore many building codes require perimeter drains around the outside of basement footings. These are known as Foundation Drains or Footing Drains. These drains are mandatory for some newer homes. So, how does a foundation drain work?They are not difficult to install before the foundation has been backfilled, but they are costly to put in after the fact. Foundation Drains are installed during initial construction to prevent basements from becoming wet when groundwater is either adjacent to or higher than the floor.

What is a Foundation Drain?

Foundation drains are installed at the bottom of the foundation to divert the water that gathers around the house. These drains run around the exterior of the foundation wall at the footing. When properly installed, footing drains eliminate hydrostatic pressure at the foundation and prevent water at the exterior of the foundation from finding its way into the basement. To protect the bottom of the foundation of a house from water, it's a job worth doing right.

foundation drain

A Foundation Drain Typically has Three Components:

The drain pipe. This pipe is usually made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plastic and is perforated to allow water infiltration. The standard pipe in this application is 4-6” and goes around the entire footing. It should be a contiguous system with the design having to consider the slope of the lot.
The filter fabric and stone. The foundation drain system is usually protected by placing gravel and filter fabric under and around the pipe. First the filter fabric is laid with the excess fabric placed away from the foundation. The crushed stone and pipe is installed and the excess fabric is folded over the trench with more stone. Then sand placed above will prevent soil from washing into the fabric and clogging its pores.
The delivery system. The foundation drains have collected the water accumulations at the base of the foundation and must now be diverted away from the structure and into a drainage system. The collected water is then directed toward an on-site dry well or off-site storm water system which is fed by gravity graded from the foundation to the lower collecting place.
basement-resized-600



After the foundation drain is installed the backfill occurs. Unless you were there to witness it you don’t know if the builder used the same dirt from the excavation or filled the backfill with debris from the jobsite like tree roots. You also don’t know if the backfill was tamped or compacted in any way.

The foundation drain is as old as the house and has probably failed to some degree. These exterior drains are subject to soil pressure and soil movement. Foundation drains are not covered by homeowners insurance because they are not permanent are will fail over time.

How does a Foundation Drain work?
Carbon fiber foundation repairs in New Jersey 07/31/2013 14:57:36
    
The carbon fiber/Kevlar Gridstrap system that we use is very thin and adheres right to the wall. Having just the thickness of a dime, the carbon fiber Kevlar system is designed to be smooth so that when it is painted over it blends right into the wall. So yes, the repair is visible, but not obvious. After the wall is painted the repair should not stand out at all.Why use Carbon Fiber for foundation crack repair?A few decades ago if your foundation had a cracked or bowed wall from soil pressure, you only had two choices to stabilize the wall; masonry pilasters or steel I-beams. In 2013 carbon fiber for foundation repair and stabilization is now very common. Carbon fiber adds strength to cracked concrete walls because it is stronger than steel and not corrosive. Carbon fiber is adhered to the wall with no unsightly obstructions.Carbon fiber gives you a permanent concrete foundation repair solution for your cracked and/or bowed foundation wall without the sacrifice of living space. It is a low cost reinforcement solution that repairs your wall, adds strength, stops the inward movement and redistributes the weight on your basement walls. The cracks are permanently repaired and stabilized to restore stability of the structure.Carbon fiber is just what it sounds like, a fiber made up of carbon. Carbon fiber has been in use since 1980. In the 20th Century it was so expensive that carbon fiber use was limited to bridge repairs, the aerospace industry and the military. Now that carbon fiber is being used in many different ways, production has gone up and prices have gone down. Because of carbon fibers strength and durability it is now widely used in the building industry for reinforcing structures,Carbon fiber foundation repairs have been found to be exceptionally strong. When the strands are woven they are stronger than many other materials like steel.Not all Carbon Fiber applications are the same.To say carbon fiber is carbon fiber would be just like saying plastic is plastic. The plastic that the milk jug is made from is very different than the plastic bag you carry it home in. There are different applications for plastic and carbon fiber as well.Some companies use sheets of fabric like carbon fiber that are 2?x 5? and bond this sheet over a crack. Others use carbon fiber blended with polymer which is also a flexible product. Some of these carbon fiber products are simply glued to the wall and can peel off.A-1 Basement Solutions uses a time-tested and proven method of foundation and crack repair that restores the integrity and stability of the foundation. We use carbon-fiber kevlar sheet straps in combination with specifically designed epoxy. This foundation crack repair can be performed effectively and efficiently with minimal obtrusion or obstruction.Why use Carbon Fiber/Kevlar Gridstraps for foundation stabilization
    Should I get my Foundation Inspected?A-1 Basement Solutions provides free foundation inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, or info@A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.

    The Importance of the Basement in the New Jersey Home Sale 07/10/2013 13:00:21
        
    The Importance of the Basement in the Home SaleWhen a house is under contract for sale, the buyer will usually retain the services of a home inspection company to report on the overall condition of the house. The home inspection is a comprehensive exam of the building from roof to basement and everything in between. This usually includes all the systems such as HVAC or heating, plumbing, electrical, alarms and sprinklers.The home inspection service usually ranges from about $500 to $800 depending on the company. The home inspector gives value for his service by finding things wrong in the house which the buyer can then use in price negotiations with the seller.Because many of the ?big ticket? items are in the basement, most home inspections begin there.Here are some things the home inspector will look for when examining the basement.
      If these conditions exist, the home inspector will find them. They will have to be corrected before the closing can take place. How many lost opportunities will pass by because people don?t want to inherit the problems associated with the basement? How many offers won?t be made?When buying a home, the condition of the basement is one of the most important factors that a young family will consider. This is where some expansion of living space can occur without a costly addition. The buyers want to look at the basement like a clean, blank canvas and envision where the playroom or home gym will go. The buyers want everything in the basement like clrack repairs, waterproofing and painting already done for them. They don't want a house with basement issues.Most basements can be made to look great in a short time for a relatively small amount of money. Think of it as staging the basement. The prettiest girl at the dance get her dance card filled up first and the houses with great basements sell faster.Which basement helps to sell the home, the ugly one or the painted one? Which basement deters from the sale of the home, the wet looking one or the healthy looking one?If you want the house to be easier to show and thus easier to sell, the homeowner should have the basement made healthy and clean before the house is shown to prospective buyers. You only have one chance to make a first impression. Many times homeowners will clean up the basement before offering the home for sale because they already know the importance of the basement in the sale of their home. When you make suggestions about the basement it won?t be shocking to them.We give free estimates for sellers looking to make their basements ready for showing.For buyers we check basements for evidence of water intrusion, vertical settlement cracks in walls, horizontal structural cracks in block walls, floor cracks, mold and bad smells. We then prepare a written report stating our findings and proposing work to be done with an itemized estimate to help in the negotiations. The $350 cost for this inspection would be deducted from any future work ordered by the buyer.A-1 Basement Solutions provides free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, or info@A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.A-1 gives full service guaranteed work and competitive pricing every day.We do everything for you. By taking care of all the details, A-1 Basement Solutions makes the job worry free. Our motto is No Problems?Just Solutions.Learn everything you need to know about your basement: Subscribe to our blog and get our FREE E-BOOK ?Basements 101? Was this information useful? We would like to know. We welcome your thoughts and comments.

      A Healthy Home in New Jersey Needs a Healthy Basement 07/10/2013 02:59:06
          
      A healthy home needs a healthy basement. You can't have one without the other. The main house is above ground and has plenty of air circulation from the windows and doors being opened and closed each day. Also, because most of the living takes place in the main living areas, the main house is probably cleaned more often.The basement is subterranean, below ground where the bugs and insects and creepy crawley things live. Because the basement is underground it has a different environment than the rest of the house. There are a lot of things that are in the basement that are not conducive to having a healthy house. Your plumbing and sanitary system is in the basement. Your heating plant and hot water heater are in the basement. These things produce a lot of moisture. As I write this in January I can promise you that your dehumidifier is not in operation. As we discussed in an earlier blog the dehumidifier only works in the warmer months because of relative humidity. January is typically not one of those so the dehumidifier is not working. What do you do about the moisture that comes through your concrete foundation, most of which is below the frost line, and brings dampness and moisture into your basement in the non-Summer months? When you have moisture in the basement you get other things in the basement associated with that moisture, bad smells, mold, mildew, insects of all kinds, dry rot, rust and rodents. Bad smells are nature's way of telling us something's wrong. If your basement smells bad something is wrong with the basement and you need to have it checked out by a professional. Next we will talk about mold. Everybody knows mold is not good for you. Just the same, don't panic if you see mold. Mold is part of nature and mold spores are everywhere. When mold spores land on something that's damp with an organic matter it can start to grow. Call a professional for a mold test. Third we come to mildew. Mildew is the smell you smell when you have mold. Insects like dark moist places. We're not just talking about spiders and ants but also wood destroying insects like termites and carpenter ants. I really can't think of anything good to say about having insects in your home especially the ones that can eat your home. Dry rot is a term associated with wood rot. The way it sounds is somewhat of misleading because you need moisture to have dry rot. The term dry rot refers to would that has already been dried such as lumber. When this dried wood, such as your basement stairs, gets wet a certain fungi can grow in the wood. This fungus grows roots which go into the wood and started breaking apart. Dry rot is bad. Rust is also called iron oxide and happens over time when metal gets damp or wet. Your major appliances are located in the basement and are subject to rusting when moisture is present. Just think for a moment about how much it would cost to replace your furnace, hot water heater, HVAC, or washer and dryer. I am not trying to tell you that moisture is going to instantly kill your appliances. Appliances that are rusted will typically have a shorter life than those which are not rusty. Okay we saved the best for last, rodents. Mice and rats just say it all. Unless your kids have a hamster cage we really don't want rodents in the house. It is important that you understand your basement has to be healthy in order for your home to be healthy. Bad smells, mold, mildew and insects can easily come upstairs. Moisture doesn't mean that you need basement waterproofing or a sump pump. It just means you need to call a professional for a free inspection.A-1 Basement Solutions provides free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, or info@A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.A-1 gives full service guaranteed work and competitive pricing every day.We do everything for you. By taking care of all the details, A-1 Basement Solutions makes the job worry free. Our motto is No Problems?Just Solutions.Learn everything you need to know about your basement: Subscribe to our blog and get our FREE E-BOOK ?Basements 101? Was this information useful? We would like to know. We welcome your thoughts and comments.

      How much does basement waterproofing cost in New Jersey? 07/08/2013 17:50:51
          
      One of the most frequent questions that I am asked when setting up a basement inspection appointment is: "how much does it cost to waterproof my basement?" The answer is simple; I don't know. I mean really, how would I know until I go and look at the basement. So, what it comes down to is that there are many different types of basements and many different types of leaks that can happen. Let's start by examining the different types of basements and the different types of leaks that can occur. There are many types of foundations that houses are made out of: brick, stone, poured concrete and concrete masonry units (CMU's) otherwise known as concrete block or cinderblock. So when we come to the house the first thing we look at is what type of foundation you have. Next we look at where the water is coming in. We listen to what you have to say, look for the water where you show us. Then we look for water in other places and evidence of past water intrusion also. Seeing where the water comes into the foundation is very important as to finding why the basement leaks. If the water is coming in through a window well we look to see why the window well is draining and why the water is leaking into the house. If the water is coming from the top of the wall, we look at the grading outside and to see if there's flashing were the top of the foundation meets the beginning of the framing of the house. If there is a crack in the poured concrete wall and we see evidence of water there, we look to see if that crack can be patched from both the inside and from the outside. We also check to see if the crack can be filled to prevent water intrusion If there's evidence of water at the bottom of the hollow block wall we look to see how the water is getting into the blocks and how many areas it's affecting. Okay so now we have determined what your foundation is made of and how the water is getting in. There are many different solutions for these different problems and they all have different prices. Sometimes a basement just needs a simple crack repair. Sometimes a sump pump is called for. Sometimes it's a full French drain and sump pump. Like I said earlier every basement is different, every leak is different. When we come out to look at your basement, we consider to be an educational process. We do the aforementioned inspection, explain to you how your foundaton was constructed and how the water is coming in. Then we propose a solution and tell you price. No sales gimmicks no high-pressure. Just the facts ma'am.(That was my Sgt. Friday impression) So it's really quite simple; if you don't know call us. The inspection and educational processes free and might even be priceless.A-1 Basement Solutions provides free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, or info@A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.A-1 gives full service guaranteed work and competitive pricing every day.We do everything for you. By taking care of all the details, A-1 Basement Solutions makes the job worry free. Our motto is No Problems?Just Solutions.Learn everything you need to know about your basement: Subscribe to our blog and get our FREE E-BOOK ?Basements 101? Was this information useful? We would like to know. We welcome your thoughts and comments.

      Why Should I Fix My Leaky New Jersey Basement? 07/08/2013 06:48:36
          
      Should I bother repairing a wet basement?Some people that have a small leak in the basement tend to downplay it, at least in their own minds. ?It only leaked because of Hurricane Irene? is the reason most often given recently. I?ve said it before and I?ll say it again, either your basement is sealed tight and will not leak or it?s not sealed and does leak. It is a very simple fact. It leaks or it doesn?t.Now here is another fact, once your basement leaks, you are going to have to pay for it to be fixed. This can happen in one of a few ways:
              Because of the water problem there may very well be an issue with mold. Unpleasant odors in your basement and throughout your house are in direct association with damp basements. Mold spores and bacteria cultures that form on wet and rotting surfaces can expose serious health problems to you and your family. The elderly, the allergic and those with weak immune systems are vulnerable to a variety of illnesses due to mold spores and bacteria caused by a damp basement. If the home inspector finds signs of mold in your basement, you might end up having to pay a Mold Remediation company to come to your home. The costs associated with this can be staggering. From a testing at hundreds to a full out mold remediation of your basement can be thousands of dollars.Once the basement has leaked it will leak again, it is just a matter of when. You are going to have to pay for the leak at the time of the sale anyway. If you sell the house in ten years, do you think it will cost less to fix in 2021 than it does today? Probably not less than today?s pricing, but more likely quite a bit more. So if you are going to pay for it anyway, doesn?t it make more sense to fix it now at today?s prices and have a dry basement for the next 10 years until you do sell?Who knows when the next Nor?easter or Hurricane is going to occur?A-1 Basement Solutions provides free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, or info@A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.A-1 gives full service guaranteed work and competitive pricing every day.We do everything for you. By taking care of all the details, A-1 Basement Solutions makes the job worry free. Our motto is No Problems?Just Solutions.Learn everything you need to know about your basement: Subscribe to our blog and get our FREE E-BOOK ?Basements 101? Was this information useful? We would like to know. We welcome your thoughts and comments.

              How do Water Powered Sump Pumps Work in New Jersey? 07/07/2013 18:48:51
                  
              How a Water Powered Emergency Sump Pump WorksAn Emergency Sump Pump is a back-up sump pump for emergency use during pump failure or power failure for homes with or without a full perimeter drainage system, A.K.A. French Drains. If you have a sump pump you may want to consider a back-up for when you lose power or for when your main pump fails. It?s good peace of mind to know that you?re covered in case of an emergency. Your home has a primary sump pump which is powered by electricity. This is the pump that will be working during normal rainy conditions when you have power supplied to the house. The best backup option to your primary electric sump pump is a water powered sump pump which is used as an emergency pump when there is a power outage or pump failure. Water powered sump pumps are configured to turn on automatically, only in the event of a primary sump pump failure. Years of professional experience with primary and backup basement sump pump systems leads to the following conclusion: for the vast majority of homes, water powered sump pumps are the best solution.There are many differences between the primary electric and water powered sump pumps. Electric and water powered sump pumps both evacuate water from the sump but the electric pump is more efficient, cost effective and environmentally preferable. A water powered sump pump is a unique back-up pump that is powered by your houses city water supply. For this reason it will not work off of a well unit during power outages. One major drawback to the water powered sump pump is that it costs considerably more money to run over a specific time period than an electric sump pump, since it is less efficient considering the cost of water. This is why it is intended for use as an emergency pump.Water powered backup pumps are much simpler than battery powered backup pumps, and require essentially no maintenance, so they fundamentally have less to go wrong. However, you must have a reliable municipal water supply, consistently achieving 20psi pressure or more. Water powered emergency pumps work best with a full size, unrestricted water supply directly from the house water meter outlet to the pump. In an unfinished basement it is usually not a problem to run the required water line to your emergency backup pump, which must be located above the sump pit.How do water powered sump pumps work?A water powered sump pump functions by taking the existing water from the city or town supply. The city water flows through a constricted area, and is forced through an ejector. At that constriction water speed increases causing a pressure reduction. This pressure reduction literally sucks water from the sump crock. Sump water then combines with the flowing city water and exits your basement via a discharge line.A water powered sump pump employs the Venturi effect. The Venturi effect happens when city water under pressure is converted into a high-velocity jet at the throat of an ejector nozzle (a nozzle is made by pinching a tube in the middle, making a carefully balanced hourglass-shape) which creates a low pressure at that point. The low pressure creates a vacuum that draws sump water into the nozzle where it mixes with the city water and together are discharged from the sump. The water powered pump removes two gallons of water from the bucket for every one gallon of water supplied.Unlike battery backups, water powered sump pumps will operate as needed for an unlimited amount of time. No battery is needed and no maintenance is required. If you have prolonged power outage you don?t need to worry about this back up pump quitting. The water powered sump pump is very reliable during extreme situations. Water powered emergency pumps will run as long as there is adequate municipal water pressure, typically greater than 20 PSI. This means it does not take a break and will continue to work no matter what.What homeowners will love about this pump is that it is worth the investment. A water powered emergency sump pump is your best choice for a cost-effective emergency sump pump. With this ultra-reliable backup pumping system in place, you will always be able to protect your basement - even if the electrical power fails for an extended period. Additionally, there is effectively no required maintenance and no battery to worry about. As long as you have city water you'll have a working sump pump and a dry basement?even if the power failsA-1 Basement Solutions provides free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, or info@A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.A-1 gives full service guaranteed work and competitive pricing every day.We do everything for you. By taking care of all the details, A-1 Basement Solutions makes the job worry free. Our motto is No Problems?Just Solutions.Learn everything you need to know about your basement: Subscribe to our blog and get our FREE E-BOOK ?Basements 101? Was this information useful? We would like to know. We welcome your thoughts and comments.

              Dehumidifiers in the Fall, Winter and Spring in New Jersey 07/06/2013 10:16:51
                  
              Dehumidifiers in the Fall, Winter and Spring What do you do about the moisture that comes through your concrete foundation, most of which is below the frost line, and brings dampness and moisture into your basement in the non-Summer months? Most people have and understanding about the use of a dehumidifier in the summer. It gets very humid and eventually you go down to the basement and turn on the dehumidifier. The only time you give much thought is when you have to empty that heavy bucket. The technology of the dehumidifier is over 100 years old. Invented by Mr. Willis Carrier in the first decade of the 20th Century, the dehumidifier hasn't changed much in the last 100 years. The dehumidifier has a big electric motor that is usually 500 watts or higher powering a condenser which makes the refrigerant cold. A weak fan then pulls air into the machine where it comes into contact with the coil. The warm air touching the cold coil causes condensate to drip into the bucket. The air then passes over the big electric motor (which can use $1.00 a day in electricity) gets heated from the motor and sent back into the room. The dehumidifier works on humidity which is really relative humidity. The amount of humidity that the air can hold is relative to the temperature of the air. Warmer air can hold more humidity than cooler air. Since the dehumidifier is in the basement, we must consider that the air in the basement comes from the upper floors of the home. The air in the home gets replenished from outside air. This occurs from the opening of doors and windows as well as the induction of air from soffit vents and gable vents on the house. This now brings us to the query; what to do with the air in the basement after the dehumidifier stops working. If you remember that concrete is porous and that it does rain in the Fall, Winter and Spring, then you will know that the ground water can wick through the walls and floor of the basement all year round. You do need warm air to have relative humidity, but you can have moisture in the basement without having humid air. With that moisture are the odors and smells associated with bad air in the basement. Odors and smells within a home not only cause discomfort but can also be the result of bigger problems such as mold. Mold in a home can cause headaches, nasal irritation, dizziness, fatigue and nausea. The main culprit of lingering, unpleasant odors in a home is the lack of proper ventilation and poor air quality.Indoor odors are caused by both natural and man-made sources. These odors can be removed by improving the home's ventilation, purifying the air and being aware of everyday activities. A home's odor problem can be caused by a variety of sources including: bacteria, dust mites, animal dander, and mold, as well as cleaning and cooking.A whole home ventilation system such as the EZ Breathe ventilation system can take care of all ventilation issues including air purification and odor removal. Unlike the dehumidifier in your basement, a ventilation system runs year round. A ventilation system removes harmful contaminants that cause odors and replaces the home with fresh, odor-free air. You should notice a big difference immediately.A-1 Basement Solutions provides free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, or info@A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.A-1 gives full service guaranteed work and competitive pricing every day.We do everything for you. By taking care of all the details, A-1 Basement Solutions makes the job worry free. Our motto is No Problems?Just Solutions.Learn everything you need to know about your basement: Subscribe to our blog and get our FREE E-BOOK ?Basements 101? Was this information useful? We would like to know. We welcome your thoughts and comments.

              NJ Basements are Constructed with Porous Concrete 07/06/2013 00:15:21
                  
              Concrete is porous. Most homes have a basement that is made of concrete. There are mainly two types of concretefoundations on homes here in New Jersey. The first is a poured solid concrete 8" thick concrete wall. There are also poured walls that are 10" or 12". An excavation is done to an average of eight feet. This depth is well below the frost line of 18" to 20". The depth below the frost line is where water NEVER freezes. Next a concrete footing is poured, typically 16" wide for an 8" wall. Next, forms of either metal or wood are constructed on top of the footings. The forms are usually held together with metal tie rods. The concrete is poured in between the forms and allowed time to set. After the concrete sets, the tie rods are cut, the forms are removed and the 8" thick poured concrete walls remain. A 4" slab floor is then poured. The outer edge of the floor rests upon the footing. The second type is a masonry wall made with concrete block. Concrete block foundations are made from pre-formed hollow blocks. The blocks are also called cinder blocks, or more technically, CMUs (Concrete Masonry Units). Construction begins the same way, an excavation is made and a 16" wide footing is installed below the frost line. The most common concrete blocks are 8" deep x 8" high x 16" wide. These 8" blocks are centered on the 16" wide footings and built up in courses. A typical configuration is 11 courses of 8" block for a wall height of 7'3". A 4" slab floor is then poured. The outer edge of the floor rests upon the footing. During construction a type of waterproofing is usually applied to the foundation before the backfill is done. A tar like substance is applied to the exterior of the concrete walls, both poured and block alike. Tar is a very good waterproofing substance and has been used forever. Noah used tar on the ark and it has been used ever since. While Noah needed protection for forty days and forty nights, the tar applied to most homes is good for 30-40 years or so. The tar coating is similar in substance and life to roofing shingles. They don?t last forever and neither does the tar on the foundation. Once the tar is gone the foundation is no longer sealed. The porous concrete is laid bare. Water creeping through underground soil crevices creates hydrostatic pressure up from beneath the floors and against the sides of your home. Hydrostatic pressure is when a body of water surrounds something that does not float. When this water pressure forms around the foundation the un-sealed concrete starts to absorb the water. This is called capillary action. Let's do a visual; we have a sponge cube that is 12"x12"x12". We take the cube and prop it up on 1" blocks and place it under the kitchen faucet. We then let one drop of water drip on the center of the sponge every second. The sponge gets saturated right down the center until the center of the sponge is wet all the way down to the bottom. From this point forward for every drop of water that hits the top of the sponge, a corresponding drop of water will come out of the bottom of the bottom of the sponge. The water no longer has to pause in its journey to be absorbed by the concrete because absorption has already occurred. Now the water just passes right through the saturated concrete. This is called capillary suction. The water comes right into the concrete. The concrete is porous, it absorbs and retains water. If this water damage is left untreated, repairs for this type of damage can be quite overwhelming. The earlier these abnormalities in your home are addressed, the better off you will be. The best way to prevent negative consequences from occurring is to ensure that you are aware of the measures you can take to prevent them from happening in your home. For your peace of mind, call a professional Basement Waterproofing Contractor to get an inspectionA-1 Basement Solutions provides free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, or info@A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.A-1 gives full service guaranteed work and competitive pricing every day.We do everything for you. By taking care of all the details, A-1 Basement Solutions makes the job worry free. Our motto is No Problems?Just Solutions.Learn everything you need to know about your basement: Subscribe to our blog and get our FREE E-BOOK ?Basements 101? Was this information useful? We would like to know. We welcome your thoughts and comments.

              Do I Have a High Water Table Under my NewJersey Basement? 07/04/2013 22:47:06
                  
              A HIGH WATER TABLE AND YOUR BASEMENTOkay, here comes some geology. It is important to understand how the water rises around your basement and can cause basement flooding. High water tables are a nuisance that many homeowners must face. The water table lies underground and is the level at which the soil and gravel are completely saturated with water. There is often some seasonal change in the water table, due to rain or drought. A high water table is especially common in areas where the soil is not well drained due to high levels of clay.

              Most people know that the water table has something to do with ground water. The word table provides an image of a flat surface, like the surface of a tabletop. It may be visualized as the 'surface' of the subsurface materials (sediment, gravel and clay) that are saturated with groundwater in a given geographical area. There is also a general understanding that in times of drought, water table levels may drop. Understanding sub-surface water can help explain why water tables may rise and fall. Ground water is sub-surface water, but not all sub-surface water is ground water. The upper surface of ground water is the water table. Below this surface, all the spaces and cracks (pore spaces) in clay and rocks are completely filled (saturated) with water. In the top layers of soil pore spaces may not be completely filled with water. These layers may contain water, some air, and some may only be partly filled with water. This is known as the unsaturated zone or the zone of aeration.After heavy rainfall this zone becomes saturated, while during a long dry spell or drought, it becomes almost dry. Rainwater infiltrates downwards through the unsaturated zone. This infiltrating water is known as soil water when it is still shallow enough to be used by plants. With further infiltration however, excess water will eventually reach the water table. As the rainfall continues, the water table rises.Water tables can become elevated when they receive more water than they drain off. This can be from unusually high amounts of rain, or excess water from higher elevations. High water tables are often above the level of basement floors or crawlspaces. This almost always causes flooding in these areas.The level of the water table varies greatly due to amount of rainfall, time of the year and type of soil that surface water drains through. The water table is generally higher in areas with high density soil related to clay content. The denser the soil is, the slower the movement of the water (percolation) of the water through the soil occurs. The rate at which the high water table descends is related to the percolation rate, which is related to soil density.This high density soil follows the grade of the terrain. Therefore the water table can be just as high at the top of the hill as it is at the bottom of the same hill. The flow of surface water is based on the slope of the land but not the water table. The water table conforms to the contour of the land above.The next time you see a puddle in the yard after a 2 day soaking rain, remember the water table. It is very likely that the puddle is the top of the water table that has temporarily exceeded the grade of the yard. When the water table rises up to the level of your basement there is nothing you can do to stop it. The water table typically rises over a very wide area, not just around your house. The water table is part of the earth and re-grading your flower beds will not alter it.A-1 Basement Solutions provides free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, or info@A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.A-1 gives full service guaranteed work and competitive pricing every day.We do everything for you. By taking care of all the details, A-1 Basement Solutions makes the job worry free. Our motto is No Problems?Just Solutions.Learn everything you need to know about your basement: Subscribe to our blog and get our FREE E-BOOK ?Basements 101? Was this information useful? We would like to know. We welcome your thoughts and comments.

              What is a Floating Basement in New Jersey? 07/03/2013 13:54:21
                  
              What is a basement and why is it floating?Whether you have moved into an existing home with a basement or you are in the process of building a brand new home, understanding how your basement was built can be helpful.The basement in its early history was little more than a cellar where the cold storage took place. Root cellars are for keeping food supplies at a low temperature and steady humidity. They keep food from freezing during the winter and keep food cool during the summer months to prevent spoilage. When boilers replaced fireplaces for home heating, the basement was where the coal bin and heating plant for the home was located.After World War II came the development of large, mid-priced suburban homes and basements became easier to build. Big excavation machines like backhoes and front end loaders made the job easier than the manpower required to excavate by hand. The basement has become commonplace in construction today as a space in its own right. Typically it is a large, concrete-floored space, accessed by indoor stairs, with exposed columns and beams along the walls and ceilings.A basement provides additional living space and storage for your home. It can be used in almost exactly the same manner as an additional above-ground floor of a house. However, basements are considered standard in many places with temperate climates. There are a number of different ways that a basement might be constructed, and the method used will depend on thesoil conditions and the standard construction of the area.A house with a basement starts with a hole about 8 feet deep. The basement in then constructed in three parts:
                If you live in an area with clay soil, basement foundations can become unstable as the condition of the clay fluctuates. As rainwater passes through the clay it expands. When the clay dries, it shrinks. For this reason, many contractors will install floating basement walls under these conditions. Floating basement floors do not actually connect to the walls; instead there is a gap where the floor and wall come together. Many homeowners don't even know they have a floating basement and think that the space between the walls and floor is a French Drain. A floating basement is not a drainage system, but rather a way to prevent the basement floor from cracking. The floating floor allows some breathing room for the ground to rise and swell without causing structural damage to the homeThe type of basement you have will depend on the soil conditions under your home and the preferences of the builder who constructed the house. It is good to understand the type of basement construction your home might have in case you ever have problems with your basement structure. A properly constructed basement will provide a firm foundation for your home for years to come.

                10 Steps to Check Your New Jersey Basement for Water Damage 07/02/2013 23:18:51
                    
                10 Steps to Check Your NJ Basement for Water Damage. Unexpected water in your basement can damage walls and floors, destroy carpeting, ruin furniture and lead pretty quickly to mold. Water damage can really wreak havoc in your home and perhaps the most upsetting of all: water downstairs can ruin irreplaceable items like photo albums, antiques, and family heirlooms.The key is to get the water before it gets you. A small leak might not seem like a very big problem but you might end up with extensive flooding and water damage if you allow it to continue over a long period of time. Once the problem has become extensive you might find that it takes up a lot of time and money in order to resolve the problem.First you want to make sure that leaking is not coming from inside the basement. Look at the plumbing, HVAC, hot water heater, washer/dryer, dehumidifier to see if there is any leaking in these areas. Once those sources have been eliminated, we can check for water intrusion from the outside.Let?s look for some of the signs that indicate leakage. They can assist in indicating what type of problem you are having and can also help in locating the source of leakage.
                  Check carefully for the appearance of any of these 10 major danger signs that suggest your basement is being undermined by water.Basements can also become riddled with moisture if they are not properly ventilated. In order to ensure that the area is properly ventilated you will need to install a ventilation system such as the E-Z Breathe Ventilation System.Water damage can cause you many problems in your home. Not only is this an inconvenience but it can also have negative effects on your health. Basements are dark and, when you add that to the damp, they tend to develop mold which can cause serious problems for you or your family. The best way to prevent negative consequences from occurring is to ensure that you are aware of the measures you can take to prevent them from happening in your home.A-1 Basement Solutions gives free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, http://A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.Full service, lifetime transferable guarantees and competitive pricing.We do everything for you. By taking care of all the details, A-1 Basement Solutions makes the job easier for you and worry free. Our motto is No Problems?Just Solutions.Subscribe to our blog and get our FREE E-BOOK Basements 101 Everything you need to know about your basement.Was this information useful? We would like to know. We welcome your thoughts and comments.

                  Before Finishing your New Jersey Basement 07/01/2013 11:46:21
                      
                  FINISHING YOUR BASEMENT
                  The most important decision about finishing the basement is that you only want to finish it once. As a basement waterproofing contractor, I can tell you that after a big rainfall I often get called to look at someone?s newly finished basement that never ever leaked before but now has 2 inches of water soaking the carpet. Dryness is key to a successful basement room. If your basement is perennially damp or, worse, floods every Spring, your first investment must be in controlling the water that invades it. French Drains, AKA foundation waterproofing systems with a sump pump are important means for achieving a dry basement.Installing a French drain around the inside perimeter is most commonly done after the house has been built. Most commonly, this is done in response to a wet basement or right before performing a basement finishing. To install this kind of drain:
                    A Bonded Deep Channel Pressure Relief System (French Drains) is usually installed in 1 day by A-1 Basement Solutions experienced staff. The system is maintenance free once installed. An interior French drain is much less likely to clog than an exterior, partially due to the fact that it is not sitting underneath several feet of soil.

                    Though there are certain things a handy homeowner can do to remedy a damp basement, handling basement water problems is often best left in the hands of a professional waterproofing contractor.

                    Dealing with mechanical equipment such as heating ducts, electrical conduit, and pipes is also an issue. If headroom allows, equipment sometimes can be concealed above a false ceiling. Personally, I like a drop ceiling in the basement for easy access to plumbing and electrical wiring. Otherwise, it may need to be rerouted. One other alternative is to leave ductwork and conduit exposed and paint these elements to blend into the decor.Before you put up the walls, you will need to consider insulation. We recommend spray on insulation as it has an anti-microbial element built into it, and doesn?t wick up moisture like spun fiberglass insulation. Keep in mind that you?ll need to heat?and perhaps cool?the area, as well as provide it with good ventilation. An E-Z Breathe Ventilation System will probably be a must.A-1 Basement Solutions gives free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, http://A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.Full service, lifetime transferable guarantees and competitive pricing.We do everything for you. By taking care of all the details, A-1 Basement Solutions makes the job easier for you and worry free. Our motto is No Problems?Just Solutions.Subscribe to our blog and get our FREE E-BOOK Basements 101 Everything you need to know about your basement.Was this information useful? We would like to know. We welcome your thoughts and comments.

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