Category Archives: Common Water Problems

3 Tips to Get Ready for Spring 2022

Spring is almost here, and it’s time for a lot of changes in our environment. Whether it’s more rain, less cold, or more pollen, there are a few things that we can do to get our home and property ready for the spring weather. While many of us take up D.I.Y. projects once warmer weather hits, we might want to ignore bigger projects that our home needs. However, these projects will save you money in the long run by completing them while the problem is not debilitating.

concrete repair vaFix Up Concrete Cracks

This spring, it’s time to fix up those sidewalk, deck, and driveway cracks you’ve been avoiding. Unfortunately, these “little cracks” can add up to big problems in the future. During the winter, water can get into the cracks and then freeze. This can cause even bigger issues. Additionally, when water gets underneath the slab, it can cause erosion which may lead to empty areas beneath your concrete slabs that are not supported. One great way to resolve this issue, and the issue of cracked or uneven concrete, is with concrete restoration. There’s no need to fully replace a concrete slab when you can simply resolve the issue. Contact Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry for more information on our solutions.

Check on Sump Pumps

If you have a sump pump in your basement or crawl space, you probably rely on it to protect you against any water that happens to make its way into your home. Unfortunately, when sump pumps are not maintained they aren’t going to protect you. This is why it’s so important for the regular maintenance of your sump pump. If you’re not sure how to do this, it’s time to call in the professionals. If your sump pump has reached its max lifetime and isn’t doing the job like it used to, it might be time to repair or replace it. A sump pump is an invaluable part of any waterproofing system in homes with recurrent waterproofing problems. Put this on your spring honey-do list!

steel piers, VA foundation crackCheck Your Foundation for Cracks

Over the winter season, the variable weather and temperatures can wreak havoc on your foundation. This means that you could end up coming out the other side with cracks in your foundation. While these may not do much, to begin with, over time they can let in water and pests, grow bigger and more dangerous to your foundation, and eventually turn into bowing walls. Bowing walls lead to a very unstable foundation, and they need to be fixed immediately and can cost big bucks. However, when you catch foundation cracks from the beginning, you’re going to save a lot of money. This is why it’s so important to do a regular check of your foundation, inside and out, to make sure that everything is up to par. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, give us a call at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry is Happy to Help This Spring

Whether you need foundation repair help, have waterproofing woes, or you’re interested in concrete restoration, Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry is happy to help. Contact us for more information and get a free estimate. Let’s make this spring 2022 a great one for your foundation.

Mold Prevention: What You Should Know

For homeowners in Richmond, Virginia and surrounding areas, it is important to know the signs and causes of mold growth, as well as how to mold prevention tips. When heavy rains and floods come, your basement will be prone to water seepage which in many cases can cause mold to grow. Where moisture is present, mold wants to be. That is why it is vital to keep your home and basement safe, clean, and dry to prevent mold and all of the hazardous issues that come along with it. Prevent mold and mildew with waterproofing by Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry

There are many ways that water and moisture can enter your home. Most commonly, it is because of poor drainage. If your gutters are clogged, or if you have short downspouts that don’t direct water away from your home, water can pool up around the base of your foundation and leak into your basement. This can especially occur if you have cracks in your foundation walls or if your pipes are leaky.

Another way that your basement can be wet is through high humidity situations. When water evaporates, perhaps from wet clothing that is hanging to dry, it creates a very humid atmosphere. From this humidity, condensation can grow on metal pipes, basement floors, and walls. Since your basement doesn’t see sunlight and isn’t ventilated as well as the rest of your house, the humidity won’t go away by itself. This creates a venue for mold to grow as well.

Mold Prevention In Your Basement

The best way to start mold prevention in your Richmond, Virginia home is to sufficiently waterproof your basement and keep moisture as far away as possible. Some ways you can do this are to invest in a proper drainage system, such as extended downspouts or new gutters. You can also hire a waterproofing company, like Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, to install various exterior and interior waterproofing systems into your home. Another thing you can do is keep your basement clean and tidy, and invest in a dehumidifier to remove moisture that is in the air.

If your home has experienced water seepage or flooding, it is important to take action immediately to prevent mold from growing. One option is to hire a professional mold removal/prevention company or water damage specialist to clean and protect your home. If you want to do it yourself, it is vital that you clean everything out that has been damaged by flood water. If the damage is serious, items like carpet and dry wall may have to be completely removed and replaced. You should use detergent or another cleaning product to clean your possessions that have been damaged by flood water. Above all, get rid of standing or pooling water as soon as you can, as this can cause toxic black mold to grow.

When inspecting your house for mold growth, check the following areas where mold loves to grow:

  • Wall Cavities
  • Drywall
  • Ceilings
  • Floors
  • Pipes
  • Carpets
  • Insulation
  • Wall Paper
  • Wood frames
  • Furniture
  • Storage Boxes
  • Ducts and Vents

You will usually recognize mold through musty smells and damp spots throughout your home. If you have noticed any signs of mold, or seen visible mold and mildew in your home, you should get it removed as soon as possible. The growth of mold is very dangerous and can cause serious health issues to you and your family.

Don’t hesitate to call Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry today with any questions and concerns you have about mold growth in your basement and home. We are your professional waterproofing company in Richmond, Virginia, and surrounding areas!

Damp Crawlspace After Heavy Rain

If you experienced the heavy rain that hit Virginia in the past few days, you might have also noticed that you have musty smells in the home. Perhaps your allergies are acting up. Did you know that it could be a damp, musty crawlspace causing the issue? Much of the air that circulates in your home passes through the crawlspace before going back up through the home. If you’re experiencing this, it might be time to take a closer look at your crawlspace. Let’s explore some of the possible solutions for a damp crawlspace.

crawl space sealed#1: Find the Source of the Problem

One of the first things that we do during an estimate is look for the source of the problem. While DIY “fixes” might temporarily solve the issue, a real fix will address not only the immediate problem of the leak but get to the “why” behind it. For example, if you notice that water is pooling in the crawlspace, there may be an issue with the grading of the land. If we tried to fix the issue without first resolving that problem, we would merely be covering it up. Possible solutions can include foundation repair as these are often the cause of waterproofing problems in the crawlspace.

#2: Vapor Barriers

If your crawlspace is unfinished, we want to get it finished to keep moisture out and get rid of your water problems. A vapor barrier is one great way to finish a crawlspace. This vapor barrier lines your crawl space and provides a clean storage environment while reducing energy costs and protecting it against moisture, mold, radon and unwanted pests. It is 10-mil to 16-mil thick and is puncture resistant, as opposed to ones you can buy at the home improvement big box store which are only 6mil thick and not puncture resistant. It is manufactured using a triple-ply woven high-density polyethylene membrane and has the highest strength to weight ratio and highest tensile strength and tear resistance of any product on the market. Protect your crawlspace from moisture and save yourself money on energy bills as a bonus.

Prevent mold and mildew with waterproofing by Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry#3: Sump Pumps

When you have a finished crawlspace and you’ve exhausted all other options and keep seeing water, it’s time to invest in a sump pump. A sump pump gives you the peace of mind that if water does get into your crawlspace, you’ll still be protected. Water will drain from the crawlspace into the sump pump which will direct it outside and away from the home. A battery backup sump pump is an invaluable investment as well, as you will never have to worry about the power going out and making your sump pump unable to do its job.

Need Help with a Damp Crawlspace?

Call the professionals at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. We are happy to come out and give you an estimate for your damp crawlspace. We’ll give you an idea of the problem, our timeline, and an idea of the possible costs involved in the process. Contact us today for more information or to get your estimate scheduled.

Recent Virginia Rains Cause Wet Basement Issues

If the recent rain in Virginia is causing you a headache, it might not be the change in pressure and temperature. You might be experiencing problems with a wet basement that is causing stress in your daily life. Many people use their basements for storage or extra living space. When they become wet, this can lead to unnecessary stress and frustration. Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry knows what a headache a wet basement can be, and we’re happy to help you get back on track to a dry, mold- and foundation damage-free home.

Causes of a Wet Basement

foundation floodingThis may be the big question on your mind: “Why does my basement or crawl space keep getting more water in it?” You may have sealed all the cracks you could find, but the water keeps coming. This is a sign that there may foundation repair that is necessary to truly solve the waterproofing issue.

In most cases, wet basements are caused by hydrostatic pressure on the foundation walls. What is hydrostatic pressure? This is when water seeps into the looser backfill around the foundation and saturates the soil. The soil becomes heavy and dense and pushes against the foundation wall. The wall isn’t ready to have this kind of pressure on it, and it begins to feel stress and eventually crack or bow. Cracks let in water and cause wet basements. However, it’s not the right solution to just seal the cracks because this will not solve the problem. The water will continue to press against the foundation and cause more cracks and more wet basement problems. It’s important to get to the root of the problem instead of just fixing the surface issues.

spring thaw gutter clean upOther causes of a wet basement might be water seepage through cracks in the windows or doors, improper yard drainage systems, or tree roots growing into the foundation. However, even simple things like a downspout too close to the home leaking water into the foundation or grading that lets the water pool at the base of the home should be taken into consideration when looking for the source of a wet basement problem. These, of course, can easily be remedied, but they may have caused foundation damage. This is why it’s important to contact a professional to perform an inspection. Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry will perform a free estimate on your home to determine the cause and how we can fix the issue.

How to Solve Issues with a Wet Basement

There are as many ways to solve wet basement issues as there are causes. The way to solve the issue will depend on what the cause is. As mentioned, if it is simply an issue of a downspout too close to the home or a grading issue, this can be easily remedied and the issue resolved. However, in most cases, the issue is more serious than a misplaced downspout and has caused foundation repair damage. In these cases, a different approach must be taken that is centered on getting to the root of the problem while also fixing the surface damage that is letting in the water and causing wet basement issues.

exterior drainage systemFoundation repair can be performed with helical tiebacks or plate anchors which will be driven deep into the ground into stable soil. This will support the foundation and attach to it with a plate. Once attached, all weight is transferred to the tiebacks or anchors and we can resolve any foundation issues occurring. Next, fixing issues with a yard drainage system will be massively helpful in eliminating wet basement issues. Once the yard is draining properly, it will not drain into the foundation and will cause little to no problems. After that, you can move on to interior waterproofing and vapor barriers. For an extra layer of security, a sump pump can be installed that will redirect any water that does make its way inside, out.

Don’t let the rainy weather give you a headache this month! Take charge and give Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry a call. We’ll set you up with a free estimate and find out what the problem is. We’ll give you a timeline and get to work resolving the issue. Give us a call today and find out what we can do for you!

Solve Waterproofing Problems with Interior Drainage and Exterior Drainage

Have you been struggling with waterproofing problems for years on end now? It doesn’t seem to matter what you do, the water just keeps coming back? Have you tried crawl space encapsulation methods only for them to fail? If your outlook is glum for basement waterproofing, it’s time to look at the full waterproofing package: interior drainage and exterior drainage. A complete package of waterproofing on the interior and exterior along with an inspection of your foundation for cracks will provide you with peace of mind and a dry basement.

Foundation Cracks

Before anything else, you need to get your foundation inspected for any cracks or damage that may be the root cause of your water problems. These cracks can let in water, moisture, and even pests. They can also cause instability in your foundation which could lead to eventual bowing walls and collapse. Your foundation is never something to mess around with or try DIY solutions–you should always call a professional, like Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, for their expert advice and assistance. Fixing foundation cracks may fix all of your problems. Always have your foundation inspected first thing if you have persistent waterproofing problems.

crawl space sealedInterior Drainage and Waterproofing

Interior waterproofing is probably the most familiar type of waterproofing for most people because that’s usually the first option. A sump pump, crawl space encapsulation, etc. These are all methods that can be used for interior waterproofing in your home. Crawl space encapsulation is one of the best methods to keep out water and moisture because there is a layer between your home and the soil. However, if the land your home is sitting on is not graded correctly, there might be problems with water pooling in lower areas of your basement or crawl space. We can work with this by correcting the grading issue and installing a sump pump system for added security and assurance that if any water does enter your basement or crawl space, you will not have to deal with it.

Interior waterproofing is necessary, in almost all cases, to make sure that no water is in your basement or crawl space, but many waterproofing companies won’t go the extra mile to assure you that your waterproofing woes are behind you. Interior drainage systems, like sump pumps, are not waterproofing. They are a security system in case water does end up entering your basement through some means (usually cracks in the walls). Exterior drainage systems need to be considered as well when you have persistent waterproofing problems.

exterior drainage systemExterior Drainage Systems

Exterior drainage systems can include grading the yard so that soil is higher near the home and lower away from the home. This assures that water that drains from gutters, which should have downspouts at least five feet away from the side of the home, and other sources will not cause water to soak into the soil directly above or beside your foundation. This water can cause hydrostatic pressure on the side of the foundation or it can enter through any cracks that you may have. Neither of these is a good option for your basement or crawl space.

Another option is a drain system in your yard. If your yard is persistently collecting water and becoming a swamp every time it rains, there are some steps that you can take to prevent it and to prevent it from affecting your foundation. We can advise you on the best drainage system for your yard that will be most effective at taking water away from your home and redirecting it to other areas so that your yard and your foundation are not constantly covered in water.

Dual Approach Waterproofing Outcomes

This type of dual waterproofing and drainage system approach, along with a prior inspection and fix of any foundation problems, will assure you that your water problems are most likely far behind you. While there can be extenuating circumstances, in most cases, this dual approach will help you finally get rid of the worry and frustration that comes with water in the basement or crawl space. Give us a call today to get started!

Keep Your Basement Dry This Spring

clean guttersIt’s been a crazy winter this year with snow, ice, and torrential rainfalls. All of that moisture has to go somewhere once the warm weather returns. The soil will be oversaturated, so the water will take the path of least resistance: cracks and low spots around your foundation. You need waterproofing to make sure your property is protected.

Prepare Your Property

There are some things you can do now to help prevent your basement from becoming flooded. Take a walk around your property and look for the following things:

Are your gutters and downspouts clear and emptying far from your foundation? Make sure that the gutters are not cluttered with debris and are flowing cleanly to the downspouts. The downspouts should empty a minimum of 3 feet, but we prefer it to be around 10 feet from the foundation.

If snow or ice is piled up against the foundation, clear it out before it melts. The melting snow and ice will trickle down your foundation walls and could cause all kinds of problems.

Check for low spots or sunken concrete around the foundation. Water will naturally pool in low spots, again, running down alongside the foundation walls.

What Water Can Do To Your Home

It only takes a small crack for water to enter your home. If the water enters the crack and freezes, it will expand, making the crack bigger. Water in your basement or crawl space can lead to property damage, mold growth, pest infiltration, and structural damage.

Even if water doesn’t enter your basement, it can still cause problems. Oversaturated soil can exert a great amount of pressure against the foundation walls. This can cause the walls to crack, bow, lean, or even collapse.

You must install a professional waterproofing system, like the ones from Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry.

Waterproofing Options

When our experts come out to your property, we’ll inspect it and see what kind of issues your foundation has. We can help shore up walls with wall plates and helical tiebacks, along with lifting your foundation with steel and helical piers.

If you need waterproofing services, we can install sump pumps, channeling, and exterior waterproofing systems. We want to keep your home dry and safe.

Contact us today to learn more about all the waterproofing options we offer.

Crawl Space Sealing


seal your crawl spaceWe’ve written about crawl spaces from time to time, but we’re pretty passionate about making sure your home and your family are protected from the dangers of an open crawl space.

Over half of the air we breathe in our homes comes from the crawl space underneath. Even with a concrete slab, you still have water, pests, and mold spores in the crawl space, contaminating the air that you breathe. If your crawl space has a dirt floor, it’s even worse.

As the air rises from the crawl space and fills the rest of your house, it is replaced with air that comes in through open vents and cracks in your foundation. This circulation of air is called a “stack effect” and is what you see when a chimney pulls the smoke up and out of the house, instead of filling the room.

So, you can see that whatever is in the air in your crawl space will eventually end up in the air throughout the house. If your crawl space is not sealed, you will be dealing with excess moisture, insects, critters, and more. The dirt floor may even be dusty, but if you dig down a little bit, you’ll hit wet earth which is evaporating into the crawl space’s air.

Seal Off Your Crawl Space

The only way to manage the humidity level of your crawl space is to seal it off with a vapor barrier. Crawl space encapsulation is one of the best ways to keep water, bugs, and mold out of your home. Don’t be tempted to run to the local hardware store and pick up a sheet of vinyl to do it yourself. The sheeting is probably not thick enough and you won’t be able to close off every opening in your crawl space.

A professional installer, like those at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, will use professional-grade encapsulation material and will make sure to seal off doors, vents, pipes, walls, and more. They’re trained and have the right tools, products, and knowledge to do the job right.

crawl space sealedKeeping the crawl space dry will prevent musty odors, mold growth, and pest infestations. In addition to possibly making you and your family ill, these problems can also attack the structural integrity of your home or office. They can cause wood to rot and metal parts to rust. Mold and insects may eat the wooden materials holding your house up and animals can tear up the foundation, die, or leave waste material.

If the humidity in the crawl space is high, the floor above can weaken, causing problems throughout the house. In addition to the destruction that can occur, your energy bills may rise. Having a drier crawl space can help keep those costs in check. If there is a lot of humidity in your home’s air, your air conditioning will have to work harder to cool the house. Studies have shown that you can save 15-25% on your electric bill by taking care of crawl space dampness.

The Right Way to Seal Your Crawl Space

If you want to protect your home and family, make sure your crawl space is sealed and dry with professional crawl space encapsulation by someone like Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. The area should be completely sealed off from the outside air. A thick vinyl sheeting will be installed, covering the floors and walls. The thickness of the sheeting will allow people to walk on it to service equipment, store items, and install a dehumidifier.

You can find out more information at this website put together by the Department of Energy, Dominion Power, and Advanced Energy.

Let Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry make sure your home is dry and safe. We care about your family and your home. Contact us to learn more.

What to Know: Buying or Selling a Home With a Wet Basement

selling home with basement water, buying home with basement waterWet basements are a troublesome issue for any homeowner. Basement flooding and puddles in the basement can cause water damage and can ruin furniture, drywall, and any personal possessions that you might be storing in your basement. Even small amounts of moisture in your basement can cause mold and mildew to grow and can cause other problems in your basement. A damp basement might lead to wood rot and metal rust that can compromise the structural integrity of your home.

Buying a Home With Basement Water Issues

When searching for a home to buy, the last thing that you want to see is a wet basement. Wet basements are a pain to deal with and might even be signs of a foundation problem. However, water in the basement of the home that you are considering purchasing might be a plus. Why? Because wet basements give you a chance to negotiate a lower price. The seller knows that homes with wet basements are harder to sell because they are less attractive to potential buyers. If they have already been having a hard time selling the house, they will likely be open to selling it for less. Homes with wet basements often see a 10-25% decrease in value while on the market. That can be a great advantage for the home buyer.

Why should you consider buying the bargain home with the wet basement? A lot of homes in the current market, up to 40%, have some sort of serious issue. In other words, yobuying a home with a wet basementu are probably not going to find a perfect home. Common problems in homes include:

  • Foundation cracks or movement
  • Asbestos in walls or floors
  • Defective roofing that leaks
  • Lead paint on walls
  • Wet basement or basement leaks

Out of these issues, the wet basement is the easiest to fix. It only takes a day or two for a professional waterproofing crew like the ones at Reliable Waterproofing &Masonry to install a sump pump and interior drainage system. Our team also offers exterior waterproofing for added protection against basement water leakage. Proper waterproofing, a small expense compared to the benefit, can even increase the value of your new home by 400% or more.

The best way to approach buying a home with a wet basement is to make it clear that you are willing to buy the home, but that you want to do so at a lower price due to the basement water issues. Once you have purchased the home, invest in waterproofing with a professional, trustworthy waterproofing company to avoid any damage to your property and keep water problems from reoccurring.

Selling a Home That Has a Wet Basement

selling a home with a wet basementIf you are the one selling the home with the basement water issue, the best course of action is to get the problem fixed as soon as possible. Proper waterproofing will raise the value of your home immensely and will make it even more appealing to potential buyers. This might involve putting in an exterior waterproofing system to prevent water from seeping through the foundation or forming puddles in the yard around your home. It might involve putting in an interior drainage system that collects basement water and expels it using a sump pump system. Whichever waterproofing option that you choose, Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry can help.

With proper waterproofing, you might even be able to reconsider selling your home. If your goal in selling your home is to get more usable living space, waterproofing and finishing your basement might be a more appealing option. This option can provide you with the added space you need while saving you the time, money, and stress of moving to a new home. In addition to giving you valuable extra living space, finished basements raise the value of your home, making it easier to sell if that is the route you choose. Finishing your basement is also a less expensive alternative to adding on.

Tips on Waterproofing and Finishing Wet Basements

However, when finishing your basement it is important to start out right. First, you want to make sure that the basement is properly waterproofed. If water seeps into your finished basement, it will likely ruin all of the hard work that you have done. Basement water can wreck insulation, drywall, carpeting, and more in finished basements. Exterior waterproofing prevents water from entering the basement, but interior waterproofing is a less expensive option that also keeps water from collecting in your basement. To provide even further protection from basement water issues, invest in a high-quality dehumidifier for your basement, which will reduce the chances of mold growth or wood rot in your basement. You might also consider having a vapor barrier installed if you have a crawlspace, as this will keep moisture vapor out of your home.

Whether you are buying or selling a home with basement water issues, you will need professional basement waterproofing at some point. When you get to that point, do not hesitate to call Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry for professional exterior and interior waterproofing.

Virginia saw Flooding from Hurricane Hermine

foundation flooding

In September Hurricane Hermine ripped its way through the Carolinas and into Virginia. Along with downed trees and power outages, there was intense coastal flooding. For many home and business owners, this hurricane was devastating. Foundation flooding not only causes awful water damage, but it can ruin your possessions as well. So, what is the best way to recover from a flood?

Contact us here at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry! We offer a variety of waterproofing and foundation repair services to help fix your flooding issues and prevent them in the future as well. From interior and exterior drainage installation to helical and steel push piers, we have everything you might need. We want to help you make sure your Virginia home or business is safe from water damage and foundation failure. Give us a call today to learn more!

Solutions for Flooding in Virginia

We here at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry offer a variety of solutions for flooding and other water related problems, including sump pumps, battery backup sump pumps, and interior or exterior drainage installation. These can both help remedy the immediate problem–like a flooded basement–and prevent these problems in the future. Invest in your home’s future and get waterproofing before you need it. Contact us today to learn more about our waterproofing options as well as foundation repair, masonry work, and crawl space repair. We are here to help!

Showers, Storms, and Wall Cracks in Richmond, VA

For many places around the country–including Richmond, Virginia–summer brings storms. If your home or business has even small wall cracks, you may experience leakage from the rain. Larger wall cracks could cause flooding in and around your basement. This can ruin your possessions and devalue your home. If you are not sure if your basement has wall cracks, there are other signs you can look for such as mold and mildew, water stains, wood rot, leakage, and crumbling concrete or brick. Keep an eye out for these signs of wall cracks and water damage.

Wall Crack Solutions for Richmond, VA Homeswall cracks richmond va

If you notices these signs of wall cracks, you may want to consider wall crack repair. We here at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry offer a variety of foundation repair and waterproofing services, including wall crack repair. This service will help seal out water and prevent cracks from widening. We also offer sump pump installation and repair as well as battery backup sump pump installation. Sump pumps divert excess water away from your home and act as an extra defense against water damage for your Richmond, Virginia home or business.

Contact Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry for more information on the services we offer, such as foundation repair, waterproofing, crawl space repair, masonry services, brick re-pointing, and concrete restoration. Our service area covers most of Virginia, so if you live in Virginia and are in need of the services mentioned above, make sure to give us a call! We want to help you have peace of mind when it comes to your home or business and its foundation. Contact us today!