Frequently Asked Questions
How much do you charge for an estimate?
The Basement Professor always provides in-home inspections to homeowners at no charge. Contact us today for your free estimate! (888)719-4869
How much do you charge for your services?
The Basement Professor always offers a free estimate to homeowners. When our trained technician comes to your home we will provide a complete analysis and honest evaluation. If repairs are needed, we will provide a cost-effective solution designed uniquely for your home.
Do you provide references?The Basement Professor helps hundreds of homeowners each year. We would be proud to provide you a list of homes we have repaired in your area.
A French drain is a ditch, pitched from a high area to a lower one filled with gravel.
A drainage system near the surface:
The system is made of a ditch 8" to 16" in depth, a fabric filter lining, 2" base of small stone or gravel, then lay a 4-inch pipe w/perforations, and gravel surrounding the perforated pipe.
The french drain can be topped with gravel for a high infiltration rate or with sod to hide it beneath the lawn.
The higher the clay content in the soil, the lower the general infiltration rate. Wet yard problems are commonly caused by a combination of clayey soil, a level ground surface, and a high groundwater table.
In need of basement waterproofing? Crawl space waterproofing or vapor barrier installation?
Bricks and Beams,The Basement Professor solves wet basements and leaky crawl spaces in homes and businesses across Southeastern PA. Our advanced technology delivers permanent waterproofing systems and products to solve your basement waterproofing or crawl space waterproofing or vapor barrier issues.
Basement and Crawl Space Waterproofing
There are six ways water can enter your basement or crawl space:
1. Through floor cracks
2. Through wall cracks & mortar joints
3. From bleeding and swelling of walls
4. Over the footer
5. Under the footer
6. Cove joint seepage
A permanent solution to the problem must stop all six ways water can enter your basement or crawl space and it must do it forever. Nothing can get in the way, restrict, or clog the water. If it cannot stop all five ways, then it does not make sense to spend your hard-earned money on that method.
Of all the things you can do to improve your home, waterproofing ranks highest from a return on investment standpoint.In many instances you are increasing the total available space of your home by 33% to 50%. The fact is fixing these problems is more of an investment than an expense. Learn about your return on investment »
Why should you choose Bricks & Beams, the Basement Professor for your Basement Waterproofing?
No other waterproofing company can compete with us when it comes to credentials and customer satisfaction. Consider these points:
No Mess - No dust, no muddy footprints no mess. We'll cover the floors with drop cloths and your furniture with plastic. As one satisfied customer said, "You left my basement cleaner than it originally was."
Customer Satisfaction - We have an ever growing list of references you can call and testimonials you can read from satisfied customers all over. We've also got an A rating on Angie's List,an A rating with the BBB, and we've never had a complaint with consumer affairs.
Backed By Research - Unlike other companies who depend on a steady flow of brand-new, "patented products"our systems are not something we made up in order to make a quick sale. They are designed by industry experts and backed by decades of research.
Customized Solutions - We don't believe in "one-size-fits-all" systems. This is why we employ a variety of solutions and often combine them in order to ensure that your basement stays dry no matter what.
How much does basement waterproofing cost?
When it comes to wet basement waterproofing solutions, the effectiveness of a solution is not always a simple matter of the amount of money spent. While the cost of waterproofing a basement does depend on the method employed,some of the more expensive methods are not as effective as the simpler,more fool-proof systems.
Over the course of the last century, the French drain has proven itself as the most effective, efficient and affordable way to waterproof a basement. Although many basement waterproofing companies offer "patented"versions, they are all variations on the French drain. For more information on the French drain, visit our French drain page.
In most cases, we recommend to our customers that they include a sump pump as part of their drainage system. When the French drain fills up with water,this water will flow into the sump where it can be safely pumped out of the home.
In addition to French drains and sump pumps, the Basement Professor also offers a variety of other wet basement solutions that can be tailored to suit the individual needs of you and your family. At first, it may seem like the best option is to simply seal up the basement so that water cannot enter.This can be problematic, however, because water will always find some other way of entering the house. If you seal up one crack, more often than not you'll end up with a new leak in a place that never had a leak before since the water has to go somewhere.
Sometimes it is appropriate to dig out the foundation from the outside and seal the foundation walls by applying a tar-like basement waterproofing membrane to the walls. Like sealing a crack, however, this can often cause more problems than it solves. By digging out the soil, you are weakening the natural protective barrier around your foundation wall. Keep in mind that this soil has been sitting next to your home's foundation for the entire life of the structure. No matter how well you attempt to compact the soil after the excavation, it is nearly impossible to mimic decades of settling. The area that has been excavated will now become a weak spot where water will sit, searching for a way of entering your basement.
The French drain, on the other hand, is virtually fool-proof. It will deal with water no matter where it comes from. In addition, it is relatively affordable can be installed with minimal damage to your home or property,and work can often be completed in one or two days.
What To Look For In a Basement Waterproofing Company
A basement waterproofing company is a lot like a dandelion in a spring meadow. If you find one, there’s bound to be a few hundred more out there.
Because leaky basements occur in a pretty substantial number of homes, the number of listings under the heading “basement waterproofing company” in the phone book (or the number of search-engine results on the Internet), is pretty high. If you wanted to, you could just close your eyes and point.
But trust us. You don't want to do that.
So how do you choose the right basement waterproofing company when there are so many out there? Isn't it like finding the best honey-roasted peanut in the can?
There’s a whole list of criteria you can use to determine whether a basement waterproofing company is the right one to work on your home. You can check out their list of services You can ask for customer testimonials. You can get a feel for them by talking to one of their representatives. And you can see what they charge, and how they work, by getting a free estimate.
(What? No free estimate? Well, cross that guy off the list.)
So, when you're choosing a basement waterproofing company, make a checklist for yourself:
Abasement waterproofing company should not subcontract.
Subcontractors distance you from the company you hired to do the work. A company that hires subcontractors probably doesn't have a whole lot invested in interacting with customers – or making sure they’re satisfied.
Research, research, research!
Google is your friend here. Look for testimonials on the web, or reviews of the basement waterproofing company in question. Sites like Angie’s List offer comprehensive reviews of all kinds of contractors.
Your grandpa was right
To get the measure of a man, your grandpa used to say, you got to shake his hand and look in his eye It’s the same with contractors. See if the company will send a representative over to assess your problem and provide an estimate. This is the time for you to keep your eyes peeled – if you hire this particular contractor,he and his workers will be in your home for several days or weeks. Is that something you want?
Hard sell doesn't sell
It’s impressive to see someone who’s determined to make a sale, but ultimately the decision is up to you, and a contractor should recognize that. Anyone who says your house will fall down if you don’t hire him right now isn't to be trusted.
A good basement waterproofing company is hard to come by. But with a little research and a good eye for quality, you’re sure to get your money’s worth.
So why is everyone concerned about a little mold all of a sudden?
Because high concentrations of mold is a Health Risk. Mold spores are like seeds, floating around and hoping to land in a good spot with plenty of organic food and water. When they do, they begin to grow reproduce and create even more spores, and also give off odors (VOCs) and mycotoxins This is all very natural and when it's happening outside, healthy immune systems fight off our daily mold intake easily. But indoors, it's another matter. In a healthy home, the concentration of mold spores is the same indoors as it is outdoors, nothing to worry about. Mold doesn't find a good place to grow inside, so it soon dies. But when conditions inside are just right,the combination of humid air and wet surfaces, mold begins to grow, and reproduce When mold starts reproducing indoors, spore concentrations can quickly skyrocket far beyond the natural levels we are used to outdoors.
What's the Risk?
It will destroy your home. Mold is the planet's great decomposer. Eventually, anything organic that mold grows on will break be consumed. So, it's easy to see how mold can damage your home: it ruins drywall plywood, framing, carpet, furniture or anything else it grows on. It's estimated that 1 in 3 homes in America has a mold issue, and that 1 in 10 is serious enough to cause environmental allergies and respiratory ailments. It's no wonder why most insurance companies have, over the last few years, changed their policies to exclude mold damage from the list of covered issues. The problem is large, and they don't want to pay for it. But, of course, the more serious risk is to your family's health. It destroys your health! Growing mold gives off three dangerous components: Volatile Organic Compounds, Allergens,and Mycotoxins When mold grows indoors; all three components can reach unsafely high concentrations.
Here are some of the effects of each component, with scientific references:
Volatile Organic Compounds
“Exposure to high levels of volatile organic compounds from any source… can irritate the mucous membranes and affect the central nervous system, producing such symptoms as headaches, attentiondeficit, inability to concentrate, and dizziness.”
Due to the presence of allergens on spores, all molds studied to date have the potential to cause an allergic reaction in susceptible humans. Allergic reactions are believed to be the most common exposure reaction to molds. These reactions can range from mild, transitory responses, like runny eyes, runny nose and throat irritation, coughing, and sneezing; to severe, chronic illnesses such as sinusitis and asthma.
Other reported effects such as fever, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, respiratory dysfunction (including coughing up blood , excessive and regular nosebleeds dizziness, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting, liver damage, and impaired or altered immune function have been identified in persons who have been exposed to mold via inhalation
Some molds are capable of producing mycotoxins, natural organic compounds that are capable of initiating a toxic response in vertebrates.
Unfortunately, the most common type of interior mold, Stachybotrys , is a producer of dangerous mycotoxins that lung and other respiratory problems as well as memory loss.
The good news is that mold depends on a wet environment to survive. If you remove the water, the mold dies. So, if you have water just seeping or rushing in, you have to get that fixed, or there will be mold. It's only a matter of time. And if you have mold, you have to clean it up and then figure out where the water's coming from and fix it If you all you do is clean, the problem will just come right back. Then where is the water coming from? Take a look at our pages on fixing. To learn more, just give us a call at 1-888-719-4869 or fill out the form on our contact page to schedule your FREE Basement Assessment.