How to waterproof your basement

DEPTFORD, N.J. - August 15, 2011

Eamon O'Hara surveyed a wet basement of one of his Deptford customers Monday night. Though there is little damage, even minor dampness can lead to mold and mildew.

The heavy rain has created a surge in calls for O'Hara's basement waterproofing business. He says many older homes with stone foundations tend to flood, but a French drain can prevent it.

"We cut out 18 inches from the foundation wall right on the floor, dig it down 12-16 inches, fill it with stone, put down perforated pipe," O'Hara explained.

The perforated pipe will then move the water to a sump pump which then shoots it outside.

There are many ways for water to get into a basement.

At the house in Deptford, the water overtook a gutter and fell into a door well. There is a drain, but it clogged and all the water went right into the basement.

Fire and water cleanup company National Restoration was actually working on the house after a fire earlier this year, but now this new drywall will have to be cut out and redone, but not before the water is pumped out and the room is disinfected.

"You have to do something because your insurance company will say 'you didn't do anything, you did the damage, secondary damage,'" Don Cochlin of National Restoration said.

Experts say these are some easy steps to help minimize flooding and prevent damage:
Make sure your gutters and drains are clear.
Down spouts should run away from the house at least 3 feet, more if possible.
Never finish a basement unless you know it's waterproofed.

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