There’s no place like home
There’s no place like home, goes the old saying, and even after the best vacation everyone looks forward to returning to the comforts of one’s very own bed. We’ve unpacked the trunk and all the cases are piled up on the steps to the front door. Turning the key, you quickly punch in the alarm code, and step inside, and whew! Where does that musty moldy smell come from?
That musty moldy smell when you get back home from vacation
Ever had the experience after returning to a home that has been closed up for a couple of weeks? The problem is an old and common one, and the cause of musty moldy odors is very often to be found down in the basement. Somehow dampness has made its way in through the walls or floor, and filtered up into the rest of the house. Damp air with the classic moldy smell, is air that is filled with drifting mold spores. Not a pleasant prospect to have to put up with, and something we want to quickly get rid of for the sake of health and comfort.
True, opening some windows, and a good spray with the bathroom aerosol will get rid of the smell, but you want to get rid of it permanently by finding the cause and fixing it.
The culprit is often in the foundations
So how does that dampness get in through the solid foundations of your house? Water is an amazing substance. It is literally the foundation of life. Without it no living thing could survive for long. Our bodies are 70% water, and the earth itself is about 70% covered with water. We are so used to simply turning on the faucet that we never give water much of a thought. When the taps run dry or the basement floods, though, we quickly realize that it is nothing to take for granted!
The ability of water to find its way through the tiniest cracks
The fact is that water has the uncanny ability to find its way through the most minute and unnoticed cracks and openings in even the most seemingly solid substances. Add to that the powerful positive hydrostatic pressure that the subterranean ground water on the outside of your house is constantly exerting on your foundations, and you have the answer to the problem.
The difference between poured and masonry foundations
Foundations generally come in one of two kinds, poured concrete or masonry foundations. With concrete foundations it is often possible to seal leaks from the interior. Once one has identified the entry points where dampness is finding its way in, epoxy or urethane sealers can be introduced under pressure into the openings. Openings are often found around pipes or as small cracks and fissures in the concrete. The waterproofing materials are forced through these faults, penetrating right through to the exterior and effectively sealing off the passage of any water into the basement.
French drains and sump pumps
With brick or block type masonry foundations, it is not as easy to seal as effectively from the interior, as they are far more porous. The pressure of the water from the exterior against the foundation will more likely find other paths through the foundations, and alternative methods will have to be used to prevent this. In many cases an external French drain could solve the problem without the need to have to actually excavate down to the exterior of the foundations themselves.
With rising damp finding its way up through the floor of the basement, an interior sump pump in combination with a French drain is often a highly practical long term solution to excessive damp or flooding.
We are always available to give you a free assessment of the problem and advise the most efficient and economical way of solving it. Give us a ring and let us solve the problem for you.