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How Do I Prevent Yard Flooding?

Yard flooding is a huge issue for more than just aesthetic reasons. While a flooded yard is unsightly, difficult to traverse, and quick to kill the grass, it also puts your basement at risk of flooding. The water pooling in your yard will seep into the ground and then attempt to get past basement walls. So, how can you prevent yard flooding?

French Drains and Their Use

To prevent yard flooding, you’re going to want to take advantage of something called a French drain. These drains are elongated traps for water – like a gutter that’s installed in the ground. These drains are frequently used to prevent yard flooding as well as garage flooding. They can be installed at the bottom of a sloped driveway or yard. 

French drains are typically covered in a grate, gravel, or garden rocks. Water will flow past these coverings and collect in the drain. The water is then redirected away from the house, keeping the soil around your home from becoming saturated with water. When surrounding soil is considerably wet, the water will travel to where basement walls or your foundation are and find its way in through small cracks, invisible to the naked eye. This can lead to basement flooding as well as expensive structural damage.

Installing a French Drain

Installing a French drain will involve some invasive digging. A trench will be dug through your yard, where water collection is desired. Once the drain is installed, however, it can be covered up again in a way that hides it from view. Whether you want to use garden gravel or stones to cover the drain is up to you and what you want your yard to look like when it’s finished.

Prevent Yard and Basement Flooding

When your French drain is installed, your yard will no longer flood when it rains. Instead of pooling at the low part of your yard, the water will collect in the drain and flow away from the house. A French drain may have an outlet in a nearby storm drain or ditch. If you live in a rural area, the redirection may just end a short distance away, at a lower level than the house. That way, the water will collect in the ground without causing any structural issues to your home.

With water being moved away from the home, the soil around your basement will remain much dryer. This significantly lowers the chance of your basement taking on moisture or completely flooding. If you’re experiencing basement moisture or flooding issues even after installing a French drain, you may need to consider exterior basement waterproofing or damp proofing.

French Drain Professionals

If you need a French drain installed in the GTA, POM Waterproofing is the help you need. Call us today and let us take a look at the area you’re looking to install in. We can set up an appointment and get your new drain installed as soon as possible to prevent damage to your yard or home.

Damp Proofing VS. Waterproofing: What’s the Difference?

When looking for solutions to home moisture or flooding problems, you’ll come across two terms often: damp proofing and waterproofing. Contrary to popular assumption, these are two different things! In order to ensure your home’s water problems are solved properly, knowing the difference is vital. So, damp proofing vs. waterproofing – what are their differences?

Damp Proofing

As you might expect, damp proofing is protecting something against dampness. While that may not seem different from waterproofing, the difference lies in the degree of protection. 

If you have a basement, regardless of whether the interior is finished, the basement will be surrounded by stone walls. Whether these are cement or stone brick makes little difference. The reason this matters is that stone is not as waterproof – or damp proof – as people think it is. While stone does a good job of keeping water at bay in small quantities, consistent dampness attempting to infiltrate stone walls will, eventually, succeed. 

Stone, basement walls are holding the weight of all of the house structure sitting on top of them. After even just a few years, microscopic cracks will form in the walls. These cracks may be too small to see with the naked eye, but moisture doesn’t need to see cracks to find its way inside of them.

This moisture can make its way to the interior of the basement. This will cause mold in finished basement walls or becoming visible moisture on the surface of an unfinished basement wall. Damp proofing seeks to prevent this moisture from getting inside.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing, like damp proofing, is done to keep water from getting into your basement. The difference is in extensivity. Damp proofing keeps moisture from the soil from seeping in. Waterproofing protects your basement walls from excessive groundwater. For example, if your yard slopes toward your home, rain will run down the hill and collect against the walls of your basement. This is what waterproofing seeks to prevent.

If left unchecked, this kind of water buildup against a basement wall can lead to basement flooding. The longer water is allowed to enter cracks in the wall, the more the cracks will widen from erosion. This, in turn, allows more water to enter your basement. It also hurts the integrity of your basement walls. Eventually, you may end up with significant amounts of water coming into your basement when it rains. It may pool along the wall or even advance in intensity until it covers the entire floor, pooling up and flooding the basement.

Which One Is Right for You?

When it comes to damp proofing vs. waterproofing, choosing can be tricky. The question of which method is right for you depends entirely on what kind of problems you’re experiencing. 

If the water getting into your home has been getting progressively worse since you moved in, it may be a sign that cracks are widening. If your yard slopes or you live at the bottom of a hill, you should probably invest in exterior basement waterproofing.

However, if you’re simply experiencing moisture on your basement walls, damp proofing may be all that’s necessary. Before investing, you should also confirm the source of your moisture issues. If you need help with waterproofing or damp proofing, give us a call at POM Waterproofing. We’re happy to help however necessary.

What Is Capillary Action and How Is It Affecting Your Home?

Many people are under the impression that homes made of stone or brick are made to last. While they do last many years, stone and brick are weak to a very prevalent element of life: water. There are a lot of complicated things that happen with stone buildings. The average person knows that brick houses sometimes get cracks or complications, but most don’t know about capillary action. So, what is capillary action? Let’s take a look and see how it may be affecting your home.

What Is Capillary Action?

In simple terms, capillary action is when water leaches up into stone. However, it’s important to understand the details to fully get the implications of this phenomenon.

Buildings made with porous stone, like brick, or even solid stone that’s attained cracks, have little defense against water. Water finds its way into stone walls – even vertically – and makes a long journey through the cracks, or capillaries, available in them. These cracks can be miniscule – too small for you to see. However, water running through them makes them bigger. This becomes especially problematic if the groundwater in an area is salty. Even small amounts of salt in groundwater can create a lot of damage.

Over the course of a hundred years, even groundwater with a small amount of salt can take up to 4.2 kilograms of salt through a meter of wall. This salt contributes in breaking down the stone in the wall, leading to further cracks, crumbling, and the inevitable destruction of the walls.

Younger Homes

You may be asking, “How does this affect my home if it’s only 40 years old?” Well, the answer is, it may take a hundred years for 4.2kg of salt to make it through a stone wall, but it then stands to reason that half of that could make it through by the time your home is 50 years old. Capillary action is happening all the time in brick houses, even if the larger effects aren’t seen for a while.

Home Value and Long-Term Health

Therefore, if you want your home to continue standing at its best, you’ll want to take action to prevent capillary action from damaging your foundation or basement walls. These are the walls that support your entire home structure. If they’re damaged to the point that they can no longer do their job, your home is no longer safe. It’s best to start the recovery and protection process sooner rather than later, right?

Saving Your Home from Capillary Action

No matter where you live, there will be groundwater and moisture in the soil that longs to make its way into your walls. If you have a stone or brick home, or if your basement walls are made of cement that is no longer keeping moisture out, it’s time to get help.

POM Waterproofing specializes in exterior basement waterproofing. Our process is extensive, but can keep your home safe from a number of problems associated with capillary action and water leakage. Give us a call today if you want to know more about our services.

3 Causes for Basement Mold Problems

Are you struggling with mold in your basement? Trying to figure out the source of basement mold problems can be tricky. However, the good news is that it’s usually caused by one of three things. Figuring out which of these three things is leading to basement mold in your home is the first step in getting rid of it. Fortunately, if you have trouble finding the source, our professionals at POM Waterproofing can come take a look for ourselves.

Interior Condensation

The first thing that can cause basement mold problems is actually very common, especially with unfinished basements. Interior condensation is caused when your basement is badly insulated and condensation gathers against the walls. This can happen with unfinished walls made of concrete and even with badly done drywall with insufficient insulation.

The way interior condensation works has to do with temperature. You know how a cold glass will gather moisture on a hot day? The water in the air goes from its gas form to its liquid form when it touched the cold side of the glass and the molecules slow down. The same thing happens in your basement if your basement is warm and the outdoors are cold.

The cold ground against your basement wall makes the stone cold. Therefore, any moisture in the basement air can become condensation on the cold walls as soon as it makes contact. When t his condensation gathers, it will often run down the wall, collecting at the floor and giving the perfect, damp environment for mold to grow. The same can be said for basement windows with mold in the sill.

The solution to interior condensation causing mold is to buy an air dehumidifier. If the moisture is taken out of the air, there will be no moisture to collect on the walls. However, this is a short term solution. For a long term fix, you’ll need to have your walls sealed and insulated.

Exterior Wall Leaking

Exterior wall leaking can look a lot like interior condensation issues. This is why a professional eye is really helpful in the diagnosis process. When your exterior basement wall is not sealed properly, ground water and moisture can leak into the cracks in the wall. After a few years, these cracks will get longer and wider, allowing the water to leak in, onto the basement walls. 

A crack big enough for water to get in may sound large, but can actually be small enough not to notice without looking for it. The solution to these cracks is getting exterior basement waterproofing done. It’s somewhat extensive, but necessary to keep your basement leak free.

Covering the cracks from the inside will actually worsen the problem. Water will continue leaking into the wall. But, with no outlet, it will remain in the wall, freezing and thawing until it breaks the walls down entirely.

Ground Water Rising

And, last but not least, mold can be caused in ernest by ground water that rises up through the basement floor. This can happen in both finished and unfinished basements. However, in finished basements, you may not know this is happening until your entire basement floor has molded through to the surface.

This issue is severe and is best handled by installing a sump pump. A sump pump collects water along the floor of the basement. When the tank reaches a certain fullness, it will pump out all of the water through a pipe leading away from the house.

If any of these issues may be plaguing your home, give us a call at POM Waterproofing. Our team will help you find the source of your mold and put a stop to it.