Concrete is porous, meaning that both water and water vapor are capable of permeating through. If your dehumidifier is taking in an uncommonly high amount of water daily, then it means that your Fargo basement will never be dry unless you install a vapor barrier. Vapor barriers are applied to basement walls and are meant to stop water vapor from entering your basement. Another common product that boasts about doing the same is waterproof paint. Both seemingly serve the same purpose, but one is better than the other.
Vapor barriers are the superior waterproofing product, so when it comes down to it, opt for a reliable vapor barrier from your local experts at Innovative Basement Authority. Painting the walls with waterproof paint is not recommended because it’s a short-term solution that will wear off in a few short years. It’s a waste of time and money if you’re going to get a vapor barrier that will go over the paint. If you still want to paint the walls just to be safe, then you might be discouraged to find that doing so will actually negatively impact your basement.
Waterproof paints often are made of organic ingredients. Mold is a microorganism that eats any organic material it can find. This means that there’s a chance that mold will grow on your wall if you paint it. To avoid this problem, you can simply pass on the waterproof paints knowing that vapor barriers are designed specifically to stop all water vapor. It doesn’t need the assistance of any other product to function properly, so don’t worry about modifying anything before the vapor barrier is meant to be applied.
An uneven floor is a big indicator that something is wrong in your Fargo home’s foundation. It either indicates that the foundation is settling or that there is something wrong with the floor’s support system. When a foundation is settling the house starts to shift to the side. Because the whole house is sinking, the unevenness will be most notable on the floors as round objects refuse to stay still and our eyes catch the asymmetry of the wall-floor joint line. If your foundation is experiencing differential settling, then you will notice a gap between the floor and the wall.
Differential settling also affects the floor joists and support posts. As part of the foundation breaks away from the rest of the house, the joists and posts shift and may even break under the uneven distribution of the house’s weight. Part of looking for foundation settling problem signs is looking at floor joists and post damage. If they are warped, broken, cracked, or bent, it will have an impact on the evenness of your floor. When looking at your floor support system, you’ll also want to check for wood rot.
The support system that holds up your floorboards is primarily made up of wood. In a humid crawl space or basement, that wood can get infected with wood rot, which will debilitate the structure. As the wood eats away at the structure, the wood becomes soft or breaks apart easily. Because the wood is unable to support the structure anymore, the floor becomes uneven.
Slab foundations are capable of settling just as much as basement or crawl space foundations. Slab foundation settling arguably is worse than other kinds of settling because there is nothing protecting the ground floor from leaks and flooding. Most slab foundations are only four inches thick, and many are not reinforced with rebar. Without any reinforcement, a concrete slab is more likely to crack, and once that happens, disruptive structural issues are quick to manifest. While a settling basement or crawl space gets flooded, water easily seeps into your bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom when the slab foundation has problems.
When faced with these issues, many Fargo homeowners want to replace their foundation with a new one. Foundation replacement is one of the least viable repair methods available, and it’s not recommended if you want to save your money. The problem with replacing is that it does not actually solve the problem that caused the settling in the first place: soil erosion. After replacing your slab, the soil under it will still erode, resulting in the same problem. Instead of replacing your slab foundation, think of using slab piers instead.
Slab piers are like helical and push piers, but they are designed to be used on slab foundations. Like the other kinds of support piers, slab piers are made of galvanized steel and are installed deep underground. The piers support the foundation as well as transfer the weight of the house to denser soils down below. It’s a one-time repair solution that guarantees permanent support for your foundation. Unlike foundation replacing, installing slab piers is quick and convenient.
No basement is completely waterproof until all possible bases are covered. There should be multiple ways in which water can be drained out since water can seep into a basement in different ways. There also should be different ways to stop humidity and water vapor. All in all, your basement will look and function radically different once you have all the waterproofing solutions put into place. If you aren’t able to get all the solutions installed at the same time, then you can start with the most pressing issues first.
Every basement is different, which means that the solutions you’ll need the most are suggestions that a foundation expert is better suited to give. That said, due to the climate of the region and the soil, we can recognize what the most common problems are and give our recommendations with those in mind. Fargo, ND, is covered in soil from the Fargo series, which are poorly drained clay soils of glacial lake. Hydrostatic pressure is common in regions with poorly drained soils, so to combat this issue, you need a drainage system capable of draining groundwater from the surrounding foundation. A powerful sump pump should be able to do just that, so consider getting one or upgrading the one you already have.
Summers are hot and humid in Fargo, especially because of all the thunderstorms. To ward off the humidity and protect your home from the stack effect, you need a vapor barrier and a dehumidifier. Vapor barriers stop water vapor from entering your basement while dehumidifiers take care of the dampness that’s already there. The water collected by the dehumidifier is automatically sent to the sump pump, so you don’t have to dump it yourself. Once you get these initial waterproofing solutions, most of your basement problems may be gone.
Fargo, ND, experiences extremely harsh weather due to its location. Far away from any mountains or oceans, the winters in the region are harsh and long. Winter is a terrible season for homes because of all the damage caused by the snow and ice. One problematic outcome of this bitter weather is the freezing of exterior discharge lines. When your sump pump pumps out water, if the flow isn’t fast enough, it can freeze on its way out of the discharge line and cause the line to clog.
Without a way to discharge the water, your sump pump can overflow and burn out. You usually can tell when the discharge line is clogged because the pump takes too long to drain water, even while the motor is running. To avoid a wet basement or crawl space and a broken sump pump, Innovative Basement Authority designed AquaStop FreezeGuard™, an anti-freeze fitting that allows water to keep flowing despite the freezing conditions. The fitting is made of thick polymer, a durable material capable of withstanding the harshest of climates. AquaStop FreezeGuard™ is offered upon the installation of any one of our sump pumps from the AquaStop series.
Without AquaStop FreezeGuard™, water can make its way into your basement or crawl space every year. Having proper drainage is important in general, but, during the winter, it’s absolutely paramount for the health of your foundation. When snow falls and melts around your property, all the moisture seeps into the soil around your foundation. A sump pump is capable of draining the groundwater around your home as well, so if it stops working, your foundation is in trouble.
Due to the type of soil found in Fargo, ND, you need more than just foundation waterproofing solutions if you want to protect your home. If too much groundwater accumulates around your foundation, then you could have problems with basement wall bowing, humidity, and flooding in the future. Because you want to avoid water accumulating around your foundation, you’ll want to set up a few yard drainage solutions. Yard drainage will also help with concrete settling because the less water that gets under the slab, the slower the soil erosion process will be. The first thing you should consider when it comes to yard drainage is your yard grade.
A yard can have either a negative or positive grade. A positive grade means that your yard has a convex shape, so rainwater naturally flows away from your home. A negative grade means the opposite. Calling up a landscaping expert that is able to re-grade your yard if it has a negative grade. This will mean that rainwater no longer will gravitate towards your home, which helps keep the area around your foundation as dry as possible. Even if you bought the house with a positive grade, terrain changes over time as soil erodes, so check in with a landscaping company just to be sure.
For installations, you might consider extending your downspouts if they are too close to the side of your home. To keep your yard looking pretty while still being functional, a grated outlet like AquaStop YardWell™ can be attached to the end of the end of your buried downspouts. Getting a discharge line system for your sump pump drainage will keep things running automatically, even during the winter. If you’re interested in getting a sump pump or an interior drainage system, contact the expert team at Innovative Basement Authority.