What is a French Drain? Here Is The Background On French Drain Systems

French Drain SystemIn 1859, a man named Henry French came up with the idea of a draining system for people who had flat yards. Henry French created a drain that diverts water away from a person’s house. The drain Henry French came up with is called a French drain. French drain systems were made out of clay tiles, but they are made with different material today. Here is more information on the French drain systems, how it works, and why they are an important part of a home even in today’s modern world.

How a French drain works: The French drain system helps create a path for water to use so it will drain out of your yard. These days, French drains are made with a pipe surrounded by gravel. The gravel will give the water a place to flow between the spaces in the gravel. To aid in the draining of your yard, the drain pipe should be tilted down.

That soggy yard or driveway: Do you have a problem with water collecting in your yard and turning it into a swamp? Every time it rains, does the water stick around in your yard? If you are having problems with a yard always being flooded then you need to look into installing a French drain system. To keep your yard or driveway free of water every time it rains, you should look into a shallow French drain system. This drain spans the length of your property and should be uphill of the area you want drained out. A shallow French drain is not deep; the depth of the drain only has to be a couple of feet. One of the most important aspects of using a French drain is where the pipe goes because if it’s in an area with a lot of trees you may have to use a solid pipe to keep the roots of trees from breaking the pipe or clogging it up.

Keeping that basement dry: Sometimes it’s not a person’s yard that gets flooded, it’s their basement. The problem is that you probably have a flat yard, and since your basement is underground, guess where the water is going to end up? By installing a French drain, you will give the water a place to drain to and keep your basement nice and dry.

The Perfect Drainage Mechanism
Creating a clear path for the water to drain out of your yard, the French drain offers the ideal water drainage solution for all flat surfaces. With French drain basement solutions by The Foundation Expert; you can keep the water flowing and save yourself from hefty structural damages.

Henry French invented a drain system in 1859 that is still in use to this day. Without that wonder that is the French drain, yards, driveways, and basements would stay flooded. Are you having flooding issues every time it rains? By installing a French drain, yu will solve that water problem and keep both your yard and basement dry.

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What Causes Basements to Crack?

Basements, as the name indicates, consist of the base or foundation of a house or building. The underground portion is present that is surrounded with soil from all sides. In addition, the rest of the building lies above the basement portion. Therefore, it is obvious that the walls and the floor get the maximum pressure and weight on it from the upper storey as well as the sidewalls. The basement portion is much more vulnerable to underground conditions then the other upper storey of the building. As a fact that in addition to the advantages there are certain risks accompanying the construction of a basement.

The flooring of the basement is accomplished by concrete slabs. However, if the slab has an uneven thickness throughout the area the floor becomes vulnerable to cracks in it. When the concrete has an uneven distribution and a varied floor thickness, the heavier portion exerts more pressure downward relative to the thinner parts. In addition, this causes floor to be pushed down from thicker sites. Ideally, 3-4 inches evenly distributed thickness for concrete is suggested for basement flooring.

The other major cause is the settlement of the underlying soil or earth. The fact that when a heavy weight is applied to the earth’s surface it becomes compact. Sometimes the earth settles down in such a way that in some places it is more compact then others causing the concrete flooring to get cracked.

Another woe that may be the cause of your basement to crack is the seepage of water from drains or water of rain seeping from sidewalls or cracked drainpipes and gutter lines. The water leakage causes soil to become more compact and making the floors and walls of the basement to become cracked.

A major cause for the basement having cracked walls and floors is the use of inappropriate materials. This can leave basements at risk more from developing cracks.

In addition to the above-mentioned causes, there are certain underground earthly environment changes that occur. Due to the changes in geographical conditions or thermal changes leading the underground soil to contract and expand.

Major precautionary measures if followed can be helpful to decrease the chances of developing cracks. For this purpose, you should take good care of drainage pipes so they do not leak, maintain even thickness of concrete when building up the floor slab and use quality material for building.

When cracks develop, get them repaired as soon as possible. In Maryland and Washington DC there are certain companies that provide services to repair that include Flood Busters Basements. They offer Fiber Lock Foundation to walls of the basements with best results.

Foundation repair services in Northern Virginia are provided by North Virginia basement repair. North Virginia is prone to basement cracking because of expensive soil that absorbs more water and extreme weather conditions due to mountains and water dwelling areas. The services provided by most of the foundation repair companies include injection of epoxy materials, interior repair and exterior repair.

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Things You Must Know About Basement Waterproofing In Fairfax, Virginia

In Fairfax, Virginia, any structure at the ground level or underground must have waterproofing and basement waterproofing. This is a must since we live in a climate that receives lots of rain and has underwater springs. Whether you are a home owner, run a business, are into the construction business or thinking of remodeling your basement, a waterproof basement in Fairfax can save a lot of heartache and definitely a lot of money in the long run.

Here, we shall discuss a few things that every home owner should know about basement waterproofing in Fairfax.

Most people realize the significance of basement waterproofing after spending the money to repair a leaky basement or cracked foundation. This is unfortunate because if you had to opt for basement leak repair then you would have already run the risk of damaging the foundation of your house or the property in question. Water seepage just does not split the basement but can shake the very foundation, the base, walls and the pillars or stilts on which your property is built. Water is not the only concern here. There may be microorganisms, mold growth and dampness that would become an even more troubling affair. At the end of the day, you would end up spending thousands of dollars for effective basement leak repair. Hence, a waterproof basement at your home is as significant as the rate of interest on your mortgage.

Basement waterproofing is not just about preventing damage by rising water tables or flooding due to rain or leaky plumbing. Of course, it is a foil to all such possibilities but technically, a waterproof basement at your home would involve a three prong approach. It comprises of internal walls and floors, internal drainage, external walls and external drainage. Every single factor stipulated here plays a vital role in basement waterproofing. When you consult with a company, you ought to talk at length about all these factors. Internal drainage that works fine would be futile if your external drainage is flawed. Similarly, internal wall sealers and the likes would not last long if the externals are vulnerable.

The objective of basement waterproofing your Fairfax property is to have a solution (also prevention) that lasts for a lifetime. You cannot possibly opt in for multiple attempts to have a waterproof basement and frequent leak repair is not desirable. Spend money on quality materials the first time and have a waterproof basement that is sustainable and long lasting.

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Effects of Wet Basements?

Homes with Wet Basements

There are few problems more horrible in a home than having a wet basement. When a basement floods, it can damage everything within reach including drywall, wood, carpet, cardboard, furniture, leather, and cloth. Valuables and keepsakes will be ruined, wood floors and sub floors will rot, mold will grow and release spores into the air, and dust mites will thrive and send their waste into your home environment. The whole area may smell, and as the air rises into the higher levels of the house, it creates numerous potential health problems. It’s a small wonder that a wet basement is such a major issue to buyers and sellers alike in the housing market!

Buying a Home with a Wet Basement

The value of a home will generally decrease by 10-25% on the market simply due to having a wet basement. For a prospective homeowner, this can mean an incredibly bargain!

Why a bargain? In the current housing market, 40% of previously owned homes will already have at least one serious defect, and basement water is among the easiest of these defects to repair. Of the 12 red flags that USA Today reports that home owners should watch out for as serious problems, (such as foundation cracks, asbestos, defective roofing, and lead paint), a wet basement is likely the fastest and least expensive to repair. In a day or two, a crew can install a sump pump, interior Fresh drain, and a basement humidifier in your home and ensure that your basement will stay dry. While the expense is not insignificant, basement waterproofing can immediately increase the value of the home by 400% or more in a $200,000 home!

So the easy answer is this- negotiate a great price on the home, purchase it, and find a reliable basement waterproofing contractor to install a sump pump, French drain, and dehumidifier. In two days, you will gain tens of thousands of dollars in the value of your home. Sounds easy, right?

Selling a Home With a Wet Basement

Likewise, if you’re selling a home that has a leaking basement, then it’s important to begin by fixing the problem. Repairing a wet basement will pay back for itself several times over in the value of the home, and a cast-iron sump pump and interior drainage system with a transferable warranty will do a great deal to help negotiation when meeting with prospective buyers. Additionally, having an energy-efficient, self-draining basement dehumidifier keeping the area dry and clean provides an excellent selling point in the home. A basement dehumidifier is an inexpensive addition that will ensure lower utility bills and cleaner, fresher air in the entire home.

If you’re selling your home to increase available living space, you may want to consider drying and finishing the basement instead. Finished basements have become much more popular in the last 20 years, and the Home Improvement Research Institute has estimated that upwards of one million homeowners finish or remodel their basements each year. Additionally,building an addition can run as high as $150-$200 per square foot, whereas a basement finishing should run about $30-$75 per foot in most cases. Simply put, an investment of 12-15% of the price of the house increases the livable space by one third to one half! And even with the current poor housing market, the national average return on investment of basement finishing is approximately 75% of the cost of installation. The final result is this: a beautiful, quiet, and naturally private new living space without the expense and hassle of moving.

Don’t do a home improvement that will slowly turn into a home repair issue in the future. A basement remodeling that lasts will appreciate in value along with the home, but unfortunately, these materials are too often overlooked for less expensive alternatives. Drywall (even “mold-resistant” drywall) can be quickly and easily destroyed when exposed to humidity, flooding, or a plumbing leak. And with all the sinks, pipes, dishwashers, toilets, tubs, water heaters, washing machines, and other plumbing located in the house, this is almost guaranteed.

To prevent humidity from seeping through the cold, damp, ugly basement floor and become trapped underneath your new carpet, be sure to install a plastic vapor barrier that can resist rot and mold. Waterproof coatings applied directly to the wall will keep moisture out on the short term but tend to blister and peel due to the pressure of water pushing its way in from the earth outside.  Basement wall support should include dense foam polystyrene and should be durable enough to be warranted against mold, support weight, and resist damage from daily wear and tear. Basement ceiling tiles should be inorganic and warranted against sagging for at least 25 years. Insulation your walls with fiberglass may sound like a good idea, but this insulation, along with wood, cloth, and most paints, will be able to grow mold easily and should be avoided.

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Health Risks Associated with Wet Basements

Wet basements can lead to not only property damage and expensive clean-up, but can also lead to a number of health problems and risks. Wet basements lead to mold growth, as mold growth is spurred by excessive indoor moisture or water accumulation. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they begin growing and multiplying, and can live on such surfaces as wood, paper, and carpet. The only way to stop mold growth is by eliminating indoor moisture.

Wet basements and mold can trigger varied health effects in most people. When mold exposure is great, some individuals, particularly those with allergies and asthma, can experience mild to serious health problems. In high concentrations, mold can trigger symptoms in individuals who do not have allergies. Allergic reactions to mold can be immediate or delayed. Allergic reaction symptoms include:
Respiratory problems, such as coughing and wheezing
Nose and throat irritation
Nasal or sinus congestion
Eye irritation
Sensitive to light
Skin rash or irritation

Exposure to mold can also lead to respiratory infections and such severe reactions as fever, shortness of breath, or even lung infections.

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