Basement Waterproofing with Frank

basement waterproofing ctBasically most crawlspaces are built over very wet areas, or over a ledge where it was very expensive at the time for people to remove the ledge to put in basements.  They’re also built on very unstable soils like sands along waterfronts, (and) oceanfront’s.  Crawlspaces because of that have the problems that they have where they are built on a ledge they have a lot of radon gas coming up out of the ledge and different types of soil gases.  They have moisture coming out of the ledge.  Ledges known to attract moisture and direct it to low areas outside the ledge and some crawl spaces are actually built into the ledge.   Other crawl spaces are built in swampy areas where it is almost impossible to put in a basement without a huge, huge expense.  So back in the 50’s, 60’s, (and) 70’s they built houses with crawl spaces over these wet areas.  It was the cheapest way out for the builders.  A lot of track homes are built over wet swampy areas.  There’s numerous developments all over the country that are built on unstable soils, swamps, (and) ledge.  If the earth is good and they have the requirements for a basement than contractors will put in full basements.

Today you know the building code doesn’t allow you to leave a crawlspace that’s unsealed because of the rodents.  Now they say you have to put a rat slab in as part of the building code.  Years ago until the early 70’s they didn’t do that, you could just leave the earth.  And 90% of the homes that we work on are exactly that, where they left the earth.  Or they might even be a home that they had a basement and somebody threw a quick addition on it; and they didn’t want to put the money into expanding the basement, so they put a crawl space on there and they left it dirt.

And most people don’t even realize they have a problem with these issues. Number one they won’t go in there.  It’s a taboo area.  They are afraid to go in there.  I’ve been on jobs where I say to (the) homeowner, “[W]hy don’t you come in with me; take a look around and see what you got here.”  You know it’s crazy but if you go in here and take a look because it’s not good for you it’s not good for the home.  And most people, “I’m not going in there”, and I say to them, “[W]hy, is there something in there that I’m not aware of that I should be afraid of?” And they say, “[O]h I don’t know but I’m not going in that place.”  But when we’re done they love going in [th]em.  They go in there and you can actually take a nap.  I’ve gone in crawlspaces in the summer, (its) nice, relaxing, perfect air quality, perfect humidity; go on in there lay down take a little nap for five minutes, it’s very comfortable in there.  Very clean when we are done.

So crawlspaces have numerous problems, I mean I could go on and on for days about them.   Originally when I was a kid my father was a contractor he used to make me go in there and run a wire across a crawlspace or clean em out (and) get some of the garbage out of them.  Most crawlspaces are full of old construction debris, and old pipes; a plumber goes in there and takes down cast iron pipes and puts in plastic pipes, he’s too lazy to drag the cast iron out, (and) he leaves it laying around in there.  A lot of them have sewage problems where sewage is actually leaking in (from) the pipes and people are so scared to go in there they don’t go in there and inspect them so there not aware of it; they’re not aware that there’s different types of water leaks and sewer leaks and leaks from outside coming into their crawlspaces.  And then they’ll call up some contractor or another basement company or something and they’ll go in there and throw plastic around and put some tape on it figuring that’s the cure all but actually in fact, over time they are actually making it worse.  All they are doing is putting more garbage in there and more habitat(s) for rodents and things like that.  So our solution, I feel, is the best solution…not just because I invented it, not just because I came up with the concept of it…but because it’s proven to work.  And these other systems, we are in there all the time taking them out (and) putting our systems in to replace them.  And that’s the best I can tell you.

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