Basement Waterproofing Solutions for Your Home

Basement Water Proofing Solutions

Your gutters are clear, your home’s foundation is free of cracks, and you’ve made sure that none of your pipes have sprung a leak – and yet your basement is still wet?

The reality is that moisture is a fact of life when it comes to basements – but you don’t need to just sit there and take it! Instead, there are a few interior plumbing solutions you can put in place to help dry up your basement right now, and prevent a major flooding disaster before it has a chance to strike your family (and your wallet).

Let’s break down the most common mechanisms we look at when it comes to waterproofing Chicago basements.

The most important question you need to ask: What type of water am I trying to keep out? The answer will affect which waterproofing systems you put in place.

Getting Rid of Ground Water

Ground water is the water found in your home that, in most cases, does not actually pass through your plumbing lines to get there; instead, it enters your basement through cracks or gaps in your foundation, by way of leaks in your fixtures, or as the product of condensation.

When it comes to preventing ground water from accumulating and causing damage – including mold and mildew growth - to your basement, installing a sump pump system is your best bet.

How does it work? The first step is to install a drain tile system; this is a system of perforated tiles and pipes installed around the perimeter of your basement to collect seepage and draining water from the interior and exterior of your home.

As ground water flows through the drain tile, it gathers in the interior sump pit, or sump basin. Once enough water pools in this shallow basin, your sump pump will automatically be activated, typically by means of a float switch. Once it’s on, the pump pushes the water out via a discharge pipe; it may send this unwanted water on to your lawn, or channel it towards the sewer main.

In addition to preventing major seepage disasters, a sump pump helps cut back on the everyday annoyances that come with a wet basement, including the spread of mold and the rusting of your metal fixtures. Another bonus? Because of its utility, a sump pump adds a ton of resale value to your property!

Preventing a Sewer Line Backup

The other major type of water that can cause damage to your basement is waste water; this can refer to any of the water that backs up or leaks from your drains or sewer line, or to the “grey water” that can stem from your washing machine or basement sink.

There are a number of systems you can put in place to help prevent waste water from affecting your basement – and doing so is more important in Chicago than you might realize!

Why? Well, for as great as the urban planning of our city might be, the reality is that our sewer system is massively out of date. Sometimes, particularly during periods of heavy rain, the city’s sanitary systems and storm water systems run together, overfilling the main and leading to massive backups in your basement.

To combat these catastrophic backups – and handle everyday waste water issues – homeowners can employ a number of options.

The most fundamental piece of the puzzle is an ejector pump (which is also a must-have if you have a basement bathroom); the ejector pump works by pooling sewage in a tank, then redirecting it, jettisoning it up and into your main plumbing pipes or to an overhead sewer system, where it can then flow normally out of your home, aided by the drainage boost provided by the force of gravity.

To prevent a drainage backup during heavy rain, homeowners might also want to consider a backwater valve system; this requires the installation of a simple mechanical device that automatically prevents backed-up water from entering your home in the event of an emergency.

Ready to install a sump or ejector pump to your Chicago home? Looking to have your existing units serviced? Curious about what it would take to add an overhead sewer or backwater valve system? Whatever your needs, J. Blanton Plumbing is here to help! For service or a free estimate, feel free to drop us a line, day or night!