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The Case of the Mysterious Basement Water Leak

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 13, 2019

In this episode, Richard Comeras (aks “The Crackman”) discusses….Listen and enjoy!

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. We’re here with the Crackman himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years of experience in the construction industry and over 20 years experience as the President and founder of A1 Foundation and Crack Repair Inc. His podcasts provides expert basement water proofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration within the basement, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic for today’s podcast: The Case of the Mysterious Water Leak

Narrator: So Rich, I don’t know if you realize this or not, but this is our 200th episode of “The Crackman Podcast”. What do you think of that?

Crackman: I can’t believe how time flies…it’s unbelievable.

Narrator: It sure has been a great ride and I congratulate you on your tenacity and your ability to come up with great content each and every week that we do this. Now for our 200th episode, I think we’re in store for a good old fashioned case study. What do you have for us today?

Crackman: Recently when we were having those heavy rains, we got a call from a woman who was having problems with basement waterproofing. She had water coming in a window of her finished basement. She had already opened up the wall a little bit but couldn’t see any water coming in. She had that spray-foam insulation. I asked her if she could see any cracks on the outside. The way that the land was, you couldn’t see the concrete above grade. She scraped away some of that and couldn’t find any cracks. She was in a state where she had to get this thing repaired.

The first step is to find out where the water is coming from. I went over to conduct an analysis on it. We ran water with a garden hose on the outside of that window and found nothing was coming in. I said let’s take the hose and spray around that window.

Now this was a nice basement vinyl window and within seconds of spraying the water was coming in. So, we knew the problem was associated with a failed water seal. She had a carpenter come over, take off the molding, and repair the seal. We’re more than happy to help people find the cause of problems even when they are not crack related.

Narrator: Well, that’s great Rich. Obviously people have said a lot of great things about you. In all your years of business there are tons of great reviews. You’re always willing to go the distance to get the homeowner the right diagnosis.

Congratulations on your 200th episode and thanks for sharing so many fascinating case studies over the years. If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation repair and waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.

What Does Foundation Crack Repair Have To Do With Termite Control?

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 13, 2019

In this episode, Richard Comeras (aks “The Crackman”) discusses how foundation cracks can threaten your home by offering termites easy access. Listen and enjoy!

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. We’re here with the Crackman himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years of experience in the construction industry and over 20 years’ experience as the founder and president of A1 Foundation and Crack Repair Inc. His podcasts provides expert basement water proofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration within the basement, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic for today’s podcast: What Does Foundation Crack Repair Have To Do With Termite Control?

Narrator: So Rich, termites seem to find their way in through all sorts of small spaces. But foundation cracks? Their way to small for a termite to get through, no? Crackman: Oh no. They can find their way up. Just last month we had two houses where we were doing work and we found those mud tunnels in and around the foundation crack. So we notified the homeowner. You know homeowners like to play with things, and they knocked them off and they could see that there were active termites.

I spoke with a pest control company so that I could learn a little more about them. They did confirm that this is the time of year where they are active. They said sometimes you may see their little wings on your floor. If you see that little mud tunnel the size of your pinky going up a wall, you should get in touch with a pest guy. If it’s in a stone foundation, or a concrete foundation, it does not matter to the termite. They want to get though and go eat your house.

Narrator: OK, so it sounds like you need to call a guy like the Crackman to, otherwise they’ll just come back again.

Crackman: Correct. That’s just another entry into your house.

Narrator: Well, very interesting. It’s hard to believe that termites can squeeze through those tight basement cracks, but I guess they do. That’s a call to action for anyone with foundation cracks to seek the services of The Crackman to avoid the agony of termite infestation.

If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation repair and waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.

Is my wet basement caused by a rising water table or excess rain?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 12, 2019

In this episode, Richard Comeras (aks “The Crackman”) discusses the common things that home inspectors routinely flag as foundational faults. These faults negatively affect home sellers by delaying closing or outright running interested buyers away from the home. Addressing foundation faults early will help you sell your home faster. Listen and enjoy!

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. We’re here with the Crackman himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years of experience in the construction industry and over 20 years’ experience as the founder and president of A1 Foundation and Crack Repair Inc. His podcasts provides expert basement water proofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s excellent insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration within the basement, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic for today’s podcast: Is my wet basement caused by a rising water table or excess rain?

So Rich, It tends to rain a lot this time of year and this can cause water problems in the basement, no?

Crackman: It certainly can. A lot of people are calling us and asking us if this is due to the water table or is it the rain. It’s an interesting question. If you want to see if it’s the water table, what you can look at is sometimes, through cracks in the cement floor you will see water bubbling up. That tells you that it is a water table issue. Usually there is a clean out for a sewer. Sometimes there is a cutout around that pipe. If that has water in it, that also is a clue that you are in an area that does have a high-water table. What I mean by a water table is, they do this when they put septic systems in. They dig down with a machine and they seek where is the water table. The water table does not stay the same. It can rise and it can fall. That’s what we mean by the water table.

The question on whether it is the water table or the rain, a lot of times you’ll have wall cracks with leaks and it usually leaks where the floor and the wall meet. They’ll leak when it rains. This is clearly discernable from water table moisture.

In either case, the water table or the rain, the goal of the homeowner is to keep the water out of the house. If it’s a crack in the foundation it can be the floor or the bulkhead, there are all things that can be repaired. You may want to repair them, so you won’t have mold or mildew in the house and bring the value of the house down.

Narrator: OK, so if I understand you correctly, the ground is kind of like a sponge. Right? The sponge will soak up whatever water is underneath it and push that water up. So if the house is sitting on top of that sponge, and the sponge continues to absorb that water, it can actually push that water up into the bottom of the house. Is that right? Would that be a water table issue?

Crackman: That would be correct. That is a good example.

Narrator: So, the other problem that you talked about is where you have a problem above the grade, above the water table where water above the ground can seep down through gravity into cracks and things like that. Right?

Crackman: That’s right because water will always find the path of least resistance and often times that leads to the basement.

Narrator: All right, well I think that clears everything up. Thanks for clarifying the difference between a rising water table vs excess rain when it comes to a wet basement.

If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation repair and waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.

Could Your Home’s Foundation Doom it’s Chances of Selling?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 12, 2019

In this episode, Richard Comeras (aks “The Crackman”) discusses the common things that home inspectors routinely flag as foundational faults. These faults negatively affect home sellers by delaying closing or outright running interested buyers away from the home. Addressing foundation faults early will help you sell your home faster. Listen and enjoy!

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. We’re here with the Crackman himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years of experience in the construction industry and over 20 years’ experience as the founder and president of A1 Foundation and Crack Repair Inc. His podcasts provides expert basement water proofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s excellent insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration within the basement, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic for today’s podcast: Could Your Home’s Foundation Doom it’s Chances of Selling?

So Rich, you work with a lot of real estate agents, right? What are some of the things you’ve seen where a cracked foundation impacts the prospect of a sale?

Crackman: Often times what happens is the really good brokers do a walk through of the whole house. They know the things to look for in the basement because home inspectors are going to pick on those. They’d rather have things go smooth rather than have the deal stopped dead in its tracks. People will want to negotiate for thousands and thousands of dollars for things that may need to be repaired for hundreds.

One thing that we see all the time is stone foundations. With stone foundations, a lot of times the mortar between the stones breaks down. You can chip it with your pinkie. So often times we’re repairing stone foundations because we know the home inspectors are going to pick on that. People get scared and think that the house is going to fall down before they even put an offer in. Other things we see on poured concrete foundations, cracks in the foundation walls that allows water to come in. Again, people think that the house is going to fall down. Other things that we see that people get frightened about, you might have seen it on either concrete or stone blog walls in the basement is this white powdery, crystal looking material. All that is lime and minerals that have been pushed forward onto the surfaces. People think that it is mold. In fact is just fluorescence of the minerals. So you may want to wire brush that off.

Also what were seeing is home inspectors picking on temporary Lally columns, the ones with the screw jacks. Or steel Lally columns that are rusted at the bottom. The engineers tell us that you can loose up to a third of the strength. So we do install permanent Lally columns.

Narrator: Outstanding information, Rich. So if your in the market to sell your house, consider how your foundation can impact the sale of your home. Contact a pro like “The Crackman” if you see any of the issues that he described in this podcast.

If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation repair and waterproofing topics, please visit

A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.

Everything You Need to Know about the Radon Threat in Your Home

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, June 20, 2019
A1 Foundation Crack Repair

In this episode, Richard Comeras (aks “The Crackman”) discusses the things you need to understand about radon and its threats to the occupants of a home. Listen and enjoy!

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. We’re here with the Crackman himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years of experience in the construction industry and over 20 years’ experience as the founder and president of A1 Foundation and Crack Repair Inc. His podcasts provides expert basement water proofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s excellent insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration within the basement, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic for today’s podcast: Everything You Need to Know about the Radon Threat in Your Home.

So Rich, let’s get started with what radon is.

Crackman: What radon gas is, is an odorless gas that’s caused by metals breaking down in rocks, soil, and water. It’s actually radioactive.

Narrator: All right, so, is radon created from a bad food night or rather from some place that we need to know about? Crackman: Well, as I said it comes from the soil, the rocks, and water breaking down. It’s mostly the minerals in the rocks in the soils breaking down then leaching into the water or soil. This gas comes up in houses. In fact, statistics show that one in 15 houses in the United States has elevated levels of radon in the house. We’ve been getting calls recently with this heavy, heavy, rain that we’ve been having. People are hearing a gurgling sound coming from a pipe that goes up. What that pipe is, is a radon mitigation system. The pipe goes below the cement floor and it comes up usually above the roof. There’s a fan towards the bottom that sucks the air that has the radon in it and brings it up and out of the house. We’ve been getting this call quite often from gurgling sounds in radon mitigation systems.

Narrator: So, who installs radon mitigation systems? Is it someone like you, is it some state agency, how does that work?

Crackman: First of all, it’s privately held companies that are licensed in the states in order to do the work. Also, what you need to do before you even think about having one put in, you need to have a test done. Tests can be done by getting a test kit from Home Depot and sending it in for evaluation. If there is radon in your house, there are things you can do. You can increase the flow of fresh air within the house, you can seal up any cracks within the home’s walls, and the home’s foundation. You can seal pipes and cracks in the floor. All of these things will help stop radon from coming in. We’ve been installing radon-proof sump pump basins to counter this problem. With all the cancers that is happening, radon is causing lung cancer in 25,000 people in the United States. So it’s wise to have your home checked our for radon using a simple test. Narrator: All right, just to summarize, the radon threat is real and a licensed agency will have to come in and install the radon mitigation system. However, The Crackman is able to fix some of the other ways that radon can get into the house like through wall cracks, foundation cracks, or leaks through the sump pump. Correct?

Crackman: That is correct.

Narrator: All right, Rich. Thanks for giving us practical information on radon in the home and what can be done about it. If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation repair and waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.

Spring is here along with April Showers. When Should I Plant MY Grass Seed?

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, June 20, 2019

In this episode, Richard Comeras (aks “The Crackman”) discusses why people suddenly discover new cracks in the foundation of the home that they’ve occupied for years. Listen and enjoy!

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. We’re here with the Crackman himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years of experience in the construction industry and over 20 years’ experience as the founder and president of A1 Foundation and Crack Repair Inc. His podcasts provides expert basement water proofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s excellent insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration within the basement, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic for today’s podcast: Spring is here along with April Showers. When Should I Plant MY Grass Seed?

So Rich, as a man with infinite wisdom, you have a wide array of knowledge on a wealth of topics, especially when it comes to matters of real estate. Let’s pick your massive brain on the subject of grass. When is it the best time of year to plant grass there in the northeast?

Crackman: Well, in Massachusetts now, here in Wooster county, it’s still cold. Now I had to do my research and find out because there’s some things in my yard that I wanted to re-seed. I happen to have a friend who has a degree in golf course maintenance, I believe it’s called turf management. So I got in touch with him and I looked at some of the hybrid seeds. They all say the same. Wait until the ground gets warm enough. Then the question is I don’t have a thermometer to put in the ground. They say you want three consecutive days of 70-degree days before you begin to plant seed. Then make sure it is watered at least a couple of times a day. Also what I found out, a wonderful easy way to keep it moist is to have an irrigation system. So we’ll be using that once it gets warm enough.

While we’re talking about irrigation systems, we are getting some calls from people who have irrigation systems and they have water coming into their basement even though it’s not raining. One was from a crack in the foundation and another person had water coming in from a tie rod. Because the irrigation system had a leak in it, knew how it was coming in so we got it fixed up.

Narrator: Well, Rich we appreciate your advice on spring grass watering and everything else, especially when it comes to fixing foundation cracks.

Narrator: If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation repair and waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.

Creative DIY Attempts to Repair Foundation Wall Cracks

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, April 24, 2019

In this episode, Richard Comeras (aks “The Crackman”) discusses creative DIY attempts to repair foundation wall cracks. Listen and enjoy!

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. We’re here with the Crackman himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years of experience in the construction industry and over 20 years’ experience as the founder and president of A1 Foundation and Crack Repair Inc. His podcasts provides expert basement water proofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s excellent insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration within the basement, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic for today’s podcast: Creative DIY attempts to repair foundation wall cracks.

All right, as a homeowner Rich, I’ll be the first to admit that I always try to fix things on my own before I call in a pro to laugh at my handywork. I’ll be you’ve seen some whopper DIY jobs in your 30+ years in the business, huh?

Crackman: I have and I enjoy watching and seeing new and creative ways that homeowners and contractors try to repair leaking foundation cracks. I have four of them today that I have seen used pretty much on a regular basis. The first one is that they use a product called “Flexseal”. You might have seen this on TV. It a gentleman advertising this magic that you can paint or roll on anything and it will stop water. This is that guy that cuts a boat in half then puts this Flexseal on and he rides over the water and starts yelling about how happy he is that it stopped leaking. So that’s the first one…the use of Flexseal. It just makes our job a little harder when it on there. Another creative way that I’ve seen people deal with it is they’ll put a rag in the crack and then they’ll put that rag into a bucket at the bottom. The rag works as a wick and allows the water to go down through the rag and into the bucket. They call that the “wick method” of solving a crack repair. It’s a temporary method. And then I’ve seen people for the third method put little pieces of wood into the crack with the hope that the wood is going to expand and stop the water from coming in. Well, it will expand but if there are any gaps or anything where it does not expand enough then water is just going to come in. I call that the “wood plug” method. Another method that is used all the time is they’ll put hydraulic cement into the crack. A lot of time is just like on the surface of the crack. In hydraulic cement they say your just supposed to chip out some and do it at a certain angle. Well, hydraulic cement is intended for an emergency, and even if it stops it, it will stop it today but it will leak again because concrete does expand and contract. When you put this hydraulic cement in, it acts as a rock and then the concrete moves, expands, and contracts and your problem is back again. So those are some of the things I see out there people trying to fix a leaking foundation concrete wall.

Narrator: All right, how about we do this? How about we use that wood plug, then seal it with hydraulic cement, and then paint over it with Flexseal, and then for any remaining drips we use the wicking method to drop the water into a bucket. Would that work?

Crackman: I haven’t seen it work on a permanent basis because I’m getting called all the time. All these things don’t work on a permanent basis.

Narrator: Very interesting stories, Rich. Thanks for sharing these amusing vignettes and hopefully all these DIY’ers out there will spare themselves some misery if they have a leaking foundation wall crack. It really takes special equipment and training to fix them properly for the long term.

If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation repair and waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.

Why did my Foundation Wall Crack Suddenly Start Leaking After 20 Years?

Joseph Coupal - Monday, March 25, 2019

In this episode, Richard Comeras (aks “The Crackman”) discusses that foundation crack you’ve known about for years and now suddenly it starts leaking. Listen and enjoy!

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. We’re here with the Crackman himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years of experience in the construction industry and over 20 years experience as the founder and president of A1 Foundation and Crack Repair Inc. His podcasts provides expert basement water proofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s excellent insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration within the basement, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic for today’s podcast: Why did my Foundation Wall Crack Suddenly Start Leaking After 20 Years?

So Rich, concrete will eventually crack at some point, right? It may be fairly normal to have cracks in foundation walls that aren’t leaking and cause no structural concerns, right?

Crackman: That’s certainly true.

Narrator: So why might my foundation wall start leaking after twenty years or so?

Crackman: I get this call all the time. In fact just this morning I got a call from Maynard Mass. An older couple have been in their house for 23 years that had a crack in the foundation when they bought it. Now it’s leaking. You got to understand that concrete expands and contracts. Concrete is very strong if you push down on it, but now so much if you push against it.

What has happened with this winter that we’ve had is that we’ve had some cold weather, it froze early, ad when soils and water freeze, they push against the foundation. This will make existing cracks bigger. The water gets in there and it freezes and makes the crack bigger a little bit at a time. These cracks allow water to come in.

It could also be that we’ve had lots of snow. The snow melting off the roof, you got water coming in. Then comes the rain. Also in winter, I’ve seen this also, the faucet outside the house, people don’t bleed them. They can keep dripping through the winter keeping and causing these situations.

These are all reasons why after twenty years, ten years, these foundation walls begin to leak. One thing I’ve always said. There are two types of cracks. One the leaks and one that’s going to leak. We just don’t know when they are going to leak.

Narrator: So did that couple make a mistake not getting that crack repaired and waiting for it to finally start leaking?

Crackman: A crack lets water in. It definitely lets cold in. And they can let insects in. And usually cracks know when you are away. It can leak when you’re not there and cause problems. Then your looking at mold and mildew. Don’t forget there is moist air in the ground that helps moisture come through that crack. So, get the crack repaired while in your in control of it before it gets control of you.

How to Deal with a Wet Basement (and When to Bring in the Pros)

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, March 14, 2019

By Annmarie Timmins

Rich “Crackman” Comeras has been in the wet basement business for 20 years, so he’s pretty convincing when he says there are three things in life you can count on: “Death, taxes, and, if you have concrete, it’s going to crack.”

And in the right conditions — a trifecta of spring thaw, snow melt, and rain — a crack can lead to water in the basement and even mold, especially if that basement is finished. “We are busy all year round,” said Comeras, owner of A-1 Foundation Crack Repair in Hudson. “But when we have three days of rain, we are answering the phone from 6 a.m. to 10 o’clock at night.”

While the Boston area may not be facing a three-day deluge, snow is melting and rain is in the forecast for Friday.

So if you find yourself with a wet basement, you’ve got two paths to a solution: Tackle the problem yourself or call a professional. Either way, the first step is identifying the source of your water problem.

Is water coming in from the outside, from heavy rain or snow melt? Or, is it an indoor humidity problem? The answer is obvious if you’ve got an inch of water on your basement floor. If not, Family Handyman, a DIY website for homeowners, recommends taping a piece of aluminum foil to your basement wall for a few days. Moisture on the wall behind the foil means water is coming from the outside. Moisture on the front of the foil points to high indoor humidity.

The DIY approach

Jeff Underwood’s family has been operating Robinsons Hardware in Framingham and Hudson for nearly 60 years. Early on, Underwood’s father taught seminars for homeowners who wanted to tackle their wet basement themselves. The seminars ended years ago, but Underwood still walks customers through their options when they come in, often in a panic.

Underwood can rent you a water pump and wet/dry vacuum to remove the water, a blower to dry the area, a dehumidifier to pull remaining moisture from the air, and even an ozone generator to eliminate lingering odors. Places like Home Depot and Rental Depot of Boston also rent some equipment.

If you have a finished basement, you need to get the rugs out and replace any sheetrock that has absorbed water. Pull any snow away from your foundation. Make sure your gutters are clean and downspouts are directed away from your foundation. Consider a downspout extender that drains the water even farther away.

Once the water is gone, you can plug cracks with caulking and then seal them with a concrete-like sealant, a silicone-based sealant, or waterproofing paint. Those products cost between $30 and $50. This is likely going be a short-term fix: Either the sealant will give way to the water or you’ll get new cracks in your concrete.

Your long-term solution is installing a pump and drainage system in your concrete floor. The Internet has plenty of videos that will tell you how to do this, but the tool and equipment list is long and includes a jackhammer. This is when Underwood would suggest calling in a professional.

Calling in the experts

Ron Canelli, owner of Northeast Basement Systems in Seabrook, N.H., has seen a lot of DIY-gone-bad situations in his 30 years of waterproofing basements and crawl spaces. “Homeowners spend a lot of money to paint and seal the basement,” he said. “It’s a lot of time and a lot of money and a lot of energy [for] a solution we know is not going to work.”

Canelli’s drainage systems run the perimeter of the basement and sit above the surface for easy access, rather than under the floor like some drainage systems. Wall panels direct water coming from outside into a drain channel that is connected to a sump pump. The sump pump removes the water from the basement.

It’s not a cheap solution — $6,000 to $9,000 — but it comes with a warranty that transfers to a new owner if you sell your home.

Comeras is also not a fan of the hardware store sealants and waterproof paints. “If you think about it, how can paint stop [water] pressure from coming through a wall?” he said. “It can’t.” He explains this — and more — in detail in his Crackman podcasts and videos on his website, www.a1foundationcrackrepair.com.

Comeras focuses on sealing cracks and leaks with things that sound very un-DIY — like “epoxy injection” and “weave carbon fiber blanket repairs” — and installing sump pumps. Rather than a drainage system, Comeras’ fixes aim to keep water from seeping in. It’s a cheaper fix — under $700 — that also comes with a warranty that transfers if you sell your home.

Source: bostonglobe.com

6 Reasons Why Your Sump Pump Isn't Working During a Hard Freeze

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, February 20, 2019

In this episode, Richard Comeras (aks “The Crackman”) shares his top six reasons why your sump pump fails during a hard freeze. Some will make perfect sense…some may surprise you. Listen and enjoy!

It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. We’re here with the Crackman himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years of experience in the construction industry and over 20 years experience as the founder and president of A1 Foundation and Crack Repair Inc. His podcasts provides expert basement water proofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s excellent insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration within the basement, and protect your biggest investment….your home.

The topic for today’s podcast: 6 Reasons Why Your Sump Pump Isn't Working During a Hard Freeze

Narrator: Hey Rich, just out of curiosity, what is the temperature today there in Hudson Mass?

Crackman: It’s three degrees…a little chilly out there.

Narrator: When the temperatures get that low, I suppose it can effect the proper operation of a home’s sump pump. Yes?

Crackman: Absolutely. We’ve been getting calls. One call we got recently about a sump pump not working. The first things I ask people to do is check the outlet that the pump is plugged into and make sure that outlet is working. You need to make sure that you have power to that outlet. During this freeze that we’re having, we’ve got a number of calls about sump pumps not working. So I ask them about the pipes that they use to vacate the water out. People who are using corrugated (usually black) pipe are finding that water within those pipes is freezing. What is happening is that the water is getting into each rib, it freezes, then the water around that next rib freezes, and before you know it that whole ribbed pipe is frozen. So I never recommend you putting a ribbed pipe in there. You want a nice smooth PVC pipe there, and at a good angle. That’s a second reason that pipes freeze. Another reason why pipes freeze is that they have no check valve. The check vale prevents water from going back into the pit. You want to make sure that you have a check valve. Another reason sump pumps fail is because their aged. Mechanical devices will only last so long. We get calls that the float that goes up and down get stuck on the sides of the pit that it’s in. The last reason that people are having problems with sump pumps is because they put a pump in that is oversized, it’s too big, too much horsepower. It causes the pump to cycle too quickly and it is causing them to burn out. So you need to know what size pump to be putting in there.

Narrator: This is really good information, Rich. So if your sump pump suddenly isn’t working during a hard freeze, consider the Crackman’s common reasons why sump pumps fail. You just might save yourself some money.

If y'ou have any issue with your home’s sump pump or want more information regarding foundation crack repair and basement water proofing, please visit a1foundationcrackrepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com.


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