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What to do about a basement water leak behind a finished wall

Joseph Coupal - Monday, October 21, 2019

In this episode, Richard Comeras (aks “The Crackman”) share the story about the mysterious source of soaked carpet in a finished basement. 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 waterproofing, 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 to do about a basement water leak behind a finished wall.

Narrator: So Rich, I can only imagine how frustrating it must be if you went down to your man cave in your finished basement soon after finishing the walls and the flooring only to discover a water leak. So what does one do after this discovery?

Crackman: We get this call all the time. In fact this morning I get a call from this guy with this issue. What I had him do is first to go look outside. If it’s a poured concrete foundation you have to go look outside above the grade where the concrete shows to see if there are any cracks in the foundation. If you see any, you can bet that it goes all the way down and all the way through the foundation’s wall. That crack must be repaired. Sorry to say you must be willing to open up that wall so that the source of the problem can be repaired.

Sometimes you don’t see a crack, so what do you do? You don’t know where the water is coming in. So you start by putting a garden hose outside and watch the wall from inside to see where the water is coming from. It could be coming from where the cement wall and the cement floor meet. Or, it could be an issue with tie rods that are part of the original construction which can rust and allow water to come through. So you have to do a little forensic investigation. In most cases it can be repaired without costing an arm and a leg.

Narrator: Very interesting, Rich. I know it is not welcome news to have to go into a newly finished wall, but it is simply the only way to figure out where the water is coming from, right?

Crackman: That is correct.

Narrator: All right. Thank you for sharing this information about how to find water leaks behind a finished basement wall. 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.

The Case of the Mysterious Soaked Carpet in a Finished Basement

Joseph Coupal - Monday, October 21, 2019

In this episode, Adam Tracey (aka the “Crack Daddy) shares the story about the mysterious source of soaked carpet in a finished basement. 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 waterproofing, 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 Soaked Carpet in a Finished Basement.

Narrator: Today we are joined again by foundation crack repair expert, the “Crack Daddy” himself, Adam Tracey. Adam, you have a very interesting case study to share with us today, just like you did last week. Something about a mysterious water leak that soaked a customer’s finished basement.

Crack Daddy: Yes, we got a phone call from a man in Andover. A lot of time we’ll get these calls where owners will notice water coming in. They see water spotting on the walls. In this case it was in their daughter’s room. The room is down in the basement and the daughter noticed that there was some water in the corner of the room at the bottom of the house. So we pulled the carpet back and found that there was quite a bit of water under that carpet. We obviously needed to find the source of the water leak. So the first thing to do is to go outside and see if we can determine an obvious sign of the water leak source. We saw a few areas that may be a cause for concern.

Ultimately the owner had opened up some walls to find out where the flaw was. He some things in there that showed signs of water coming on over a period. So we said now that you think you’ve isolated the problem area, let’s run some water on the outside to confirm your findings.

But no water came in and we were initially confused as to why no water had come in from the outside. So a couple of days of testing went by and in the meantime we had a heavy rain. We saw water was coming in but it wasn’t coming in from the corner but rather way up the wall from the corner. So it was running down the wall to the corner because no floor is perfectly level.

Eventually we followed the leak far up the wall and into a space beneath the stairs in a long-forgotten crawl space. We found water emerging from a long-forgotten sump pump that had not had any attention for years. The sump pump was not working so we concluded this was a simple fix. We’d get in there and replace the broken pump. So we did that, closed the case, and everything worked fine for a couple of weeks.

We got a call a couple of days ago and he said he sees water coming in again. Come to find out that the water that was coming into the room, a milky white substance, which confused us because ground water is usually clear. So we returned to the sump pump pit and noticed the similar looking milky substance so we had to figure out where this was coming from. I asked if he’s had any construction going on in the house in the past couple of days. He said yes, he’s had a painter in the house recently. I asked him where is he washing his brushes which he answered in the upstairs tub. Sure enough, what was happening was that the water was getting underneath the floor and flooding the sump pump basin. So we called a plumber in who used a scope to confirm that the sewer line going out to the street was completely blocked. So it is not unusual to discover that water leaks are not foundational problems at all. Plumbing problems occur that often mask themselves as foundation problems.

Narrator: Wow, what a complicated problem and fantastic diagnosis. What if you had not had the white paint indicator. Do you have a process where you put die in the water to troubleshoot this type of thing?

Crack Daddy: The next step would have been to have a plumber come in and scope the plumbing lines. We had eliminated the foundation as the source of this problem.

Narrator: All right, Adam. Thank you for sharing this information about an interesting challenge that epitomizes A1 Foundation and Crack Repair’s service before self-attitude. 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 am I getting damp patches in the corners of my foundation walls?

Joseph Coupal - Monday, October 14, 2019

In this episode, Richard Comeras (aks “The Crackman”) discusses the reasons for those pesky damp patches in the corners of your foundation’s walls. 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: Why am I getting damp patches in the corners of my foundation walls?

Narrator: So I know I mentioned Rich Comeras in the intro, but today we are in the presence of true greatness in the making, the Crackman’s son-in-law, Adam Tracey. So Adam, do we call you Crackman Junior, or do your kids have another name for you?

Crackdaddy: Well, my kids have decided to call me “Crack Daddy” since their grandfather is the Crackman. We decided that would be the best name at this time.

Narrator: All right, Crackdaddy it is. So Crackdaddy, or Adam, I understand you getting a lot of calls this time of year for mysterious water spots in basements. What can you tell us about them? Crackdaddy: As the summer month’s heated up and the humidity started to rise again, we get a lot of calls where home owners notice these damp patches in the corners of their basements where it is usually dry in there. They want to know what’s going on there. A lot of times what we find is that as the humidity starts to increase, people will open their windows and generally their basements will generally start to get more saturated with moisture. Because basements are generally below grade, you start to see those damp patches coming in because these foundation walls are much colder than the air surrounding them. Then you start to see some dampness on the walls. Beyond that you can have small cracks that come up from the corners of the foundation along the wall there which will compound the issue because you will have cold air that comes through. When you have cold air meeting moist warm air you’re going to have water showing up on the inside of the foundation.

Narrator: All right, so the obvious big problem there is the excessive amount of humidity in the basement. What can you do to reduce that humidity?

Crackdaddy: Well there are a few things that you want to do. Any sort of crack down there is going to allow cold air to get in from the outside. You also want to check windows and doors to make sure that they are properly insulated. Another thing that people don’t think about all the time is that they place the washer and dryer in the basement. You need to make sure that the dryer vent is properly installed so that you don’t have moist air from the dryer coming into your basement. That will heat up the basement and allow the moisture to collect.

Narrator: So you may think that it’s just a natural humid place, what can you do to reduce the humidity down there other than obviously closing windows and checking dryer vents? Is there something that you can install to reduce humidity?

Crackdaddy: Yes, absolutely. Again, we want to make sure that everything on the preventative side is taken care of so you mitigate any air coming through the other side. You then can install a dehumidification system to keep the humidity at an appropriate level. This will help prevent condensation buildup on the wall. You do not want to allow this humidity build up down there especially if you plan to refinish or occupy the basement.

Narrator: This will help prevent mold and all sorts of other bad things, right?

Crackdaddy: Yes, you want to make sure this issue is taken care of before you even think about your dream finished basement.

Narrator: All right, Adam. Thank you for clarifying why mysterious water spots will suddenly appear in basements this time of year. 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.

 


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