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Safe and Dry Blog- Basement Waterproofing, Finishing and Foundations

  • Dry out Basement Gym Flooring with a Dehumidifier - Reader situation / Question
    Every spring and summer it feels like similar questions come into the site. One of the more common ones is about how to dry out a basement after flooding. This particular reader asked a more specific question about the gym flooring he/she had in their basement. They asked if a dehumidifier is the right way to dry out a wet basement gym floor:
    The answer is: Partly.

    As I've mentioned before in several posts, one being this year after the massive floods in Rhode Island during March 2010, a dehumidifier can easily deal with moisture in the air, but it's not very good at dealing with puddles.
    Should I use AC or Heat to dry up a wet basement?
    If you're basement has truly flooded and have had it pumped out then you're working with a good starting point. Many professional flood cleaning companies use high powered submersible pumps in addition too large fans, dehumidifiers, and the heat from your furnace. That's right, adding heat from a furnace can help to break up the puddled moisture by helping it to warm up and evaporate into the air - the dehumidifier can easily handle the humidity and moisture.

    This can go for the gym flooring. Hopefully you have a tile system (these are the easiest and most cost effective way of doing it.) and can take it apart. I know, no one wants too, but when there's moisture trapped under the tiles, or between the seems it's easier to dry everything if it's all taken up. Looking for Basement Flooring?

    I'd recommend stacking them with cloth or washcloths in between to draw out any moisture. These stacks should be put in your furnace room, or close too it. Turn on the furnace and the dehumidifier and...

  • Pakistan floods, possible sign of things to come.


  • Scientists have already speculated about the warmer conditions on the planet causing future problems with weather. As reported by FoxBusiness.com today, Pakistan's floods are being considered connected to that same future.

    Even though current conditions haven't been able to be directly linked to the flooding that's been causing large problems in China and the United States, flooding, in general, is on the forecast as the climate warms.

    As of today over 14 million people have been directly impacted due to the severe conditions in Pakistan. With aid coming slow from other countries, the government is doing the best it can with the limited resources left in the hardest hit areas.CNN reports the death toll is currently at 800 and rising.

    Pakistan Floods shows threat from warmer world

    Related Reading and Links
    Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
    Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

  • Grate Drain vs. Iron Bacteria 2 - control and protect the basement


  • As I’ve mentioned before about the Grate Drain, many of it’s features help to control iron bacteria and keep it at bay. This post I’ll focus on another series of benefits that the Grate Drain has over other french drain systems when it comes to Iron Bacteria.

    No Gaps - Total Connection
    One of the hard parts to defend against is the bacterias ability to cling to jagged surfaces. Many open back systems on the market have rough entry holes and rough surfaces in and around the drain. This is especially a problem at joints, where two pieces of drain meet. Bacteria has an easy time of grabbing a hold of that ridge and building on itself and eventually clogging a drain. The Grate Drain has nothing but smooth, seamless edges. It’s one continuous piece that is built to fit - so there are no gaps, edges or breaks at joints.

    Pitched System.
    Water requires gravity to flow properly, which is why every Grate Drain system is pitched to a sump location. This not only helps the water flow, but it makes it harder for bacteria to hold on. More importantly, if iron bacteria does build up somewhere, during a Hot Flush Maintenance, the water volume will carry the rest of it away due to the pitch of the system.

    Access Ports - Flushing systems.
    Hot Flush maintenance is important and to do this a system would require access ports. The Grate Drain has multiple types of access ports to choose from. Corner Ports and T-Ports connect long stretches of system and can be placed in...

  • Grate Drain vs. Hydrostatic Pressure - water under the basement floor.
    As I've talked about before, Hydrostatic pressure is the build up of pressure caused by water increasing in volume under the basement floor. Eventually water has no where to go but up and will force its way through gaps, cracks and pours into the basement or crawl space. There aren't many effective french drain systems that actively remove water build up from underneath a floor, however, one such system that does is the Grate Drain system from Grate Products.

    There are a few key design advantages that the Grate Drain has over other products which will give your home an edge in staying dry and protected against future floods and leaks.

    Grate Drain Pitch -
    Pitching a system can have many benefits, however when talking about moving water, it plays one key role: Moving the water. Roman Aqueducts declined slightly over long distances to keep the water flowing in particular direction. This same method is used under the floor. The drain itself is pitched to encourage water to flow towards the direction of a sump location. This also allows the drain to remove water at different levels up to the underside of the basement floor. This gives you more protection and more of a chance for the sump to deal with more volume.

    Volume of water - Large Holes
    The key to any drain's success is measured by the volume of water it can displace. The more water you can get to the sump to pump out of the home, the better. Large punched holes on 2 sides of the Grate Drain allow for more water to enter the drain faster, and with less resistance. This encourages the water into the drain, and quickly carries it away to a strong sump pump to take care of...

  • Grate Drain vs. Iron Bacteria - how it can help control and protect.
    The GrateDrain french drain system has the best set of protections against iron bacteria issues in the basement.

The GrateDrain System installed on the inside of a Basement.Iron bacteria is prevalent in America, with approximately 1 in every 5 basements having contact with iron bacteria in the soil it's a very real problem for households.

Iron bacteria, or iron ocher, can cause pipe clogs, kill sump pumps, and render most drainage systems completely useless. The Grate Drain on the other hand is one of the best solutions for waterproofing a basement while an iron bacteria issue is present.

Drainage holes
The openings in this french drain are specifically designed for iron bacteria situations. They are wide and smooth. Wide means it can carry more volume and it's harder for the bacteria to bridge the gap and cause clogs that hold on the exterior part of the drain. The holes themselves are punched out of the outer walls during the manufacturing. This makes the hole edges smooth and makes it harder for the bacteria to get a hold of the drain to gain in mass.

Built in Anti-Microbial
To futher defend the basement against the bacteria build up, this new version of the Grate Drain has had anti-microbial built into the plastic. If the bacteria reach the inside of the basement the drain's surface repells the substance to keep it from forming clogs or gaining mass. This helps to keep it at bay and makes it easy to flush out of the system.

Interior Slick Surface
The combination of the smooth punched holes in the drain and the smooth surfaces of the drain itself, helps to limit clogs and limit sediment from building up...

Rain in Wisconsin brings summer record for July and June
Storm Team 4 weather forcast today focused on the amount of rain that Milwaukee and Southern Wisconsin have seen over the past 2 months. With over 18 inches, and more than half of the summer days seeing rain, it’s going on record as one of the wettest summers in well over 100 years.

  • With this week not looking too much better, many homeowners in the Southern part of the state see an increased chance of flooding and basement issues.

    This type of weather for Wisconsin keeps it on par with it’s neighbors in have unusually wet weather. State’s like Iowa are also seeing moisture and rain issues causing flooding along the Mississippi River and other areas further in land.

    Read more about Iowa's Current Severe Weather Status for August 2nd 2010
    Looking for Basement Waterproofing in Madison? Dry Otter Basement Waterproofing provides professional service to all of Southern Wisconsin - Take Advantage of the areas leading basement waterproofing experts and have them protect your space before, or after the basement flood. Basement Waterproofing Wisconsin
    Basement Waterproofing Cedar Rapids
    Basement Waterproofing Iowa City

    Related Reading and Links
    Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
    Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

  • Iowa seeing Rain - Flood Watch in effect

    KCCI posted a severe weather warning for Flash floods today adding to the possibility of more water damage in the state from this summer’s weather patterns.

    Uncommon levels of moisture and rain in the state have added to problems along Mississippi shorelines and even further inland in towns like Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. Storms continue to rage through the state and onto Wisconsin and Illinois to, more than likely, cause problems.

    Flash Flood Watch:
    Issued at: 10:56 AM CDT 8/2/10, expires at: 7:00 PM CDT 8/2/10Flash Flood Watch remains in effect from 7 pm cdt this evening Through late tonight,
    The flash flood watch continues for Portions of central Iowa, North Central Iowa, Northeast Iowa, Northwest Iowa And west central Iowa, Including The following areas, In Central Iowa, Boone, Dallas, Grundy, hamilton, Hardin, Jasper, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, story, Tama And Webster. In north central Iowa, Butler, franklin, Humboldt And Wright. In northeast Iowa, Black Hawk and bremer. In northwest Iowa, Pocahontas. In west central Iowa, Audubon, Calhoun, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, guthrie and sac.
    From 7 pm CDT this evening through late tonight
    Thunderstorms produced up to an inch of rain across the area this morning. More thunderstorms are likely to develop over northwest Iowa into eastern Nebraska later this afternoon. These storms will spread east this evening and overnight, Exiting toward sunrise Tuesday. Widespread rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches can be expected tonight. Local rainfall amounts of up to 4 inches could produce flash flooding because soils are much wetter than normal.
    Flooding could occur quickly due to intense rainfall rates possible with this system. Storm sewers could become overwhelmed, Potentially Flooding Streets and basements.
    Precautionary/preparedness actions,
    A flash flood watch means that conditions may...

  • My own basement stories. - Basement Workbench and Basement Floods
    As I mentioned in my previous post I’m looking for your own Basement Stories. Things that you might remember, or currently use the basement for now, that have had an impact on your life.


  • For me, some of my best memories take place at my Grandfather’s workbench in the basement. That’s where we spend time building birdhouses, spice-racks, and fixing broken house hold items such as cabinet doors and broken bookcases. I spent a great deal of my childhood learning to use tools to fix things from that bench and still have fond memories.

    Sadly, there’s always a twist to any basement story, and that’s normally when it floods. Both my grandparents and my mother’s basement flooded quite often. Many projects kept in the workbench room at my Grandfather’s house would be thrown away due to the water and lack of drainage. My Mother’s house (build in the 1940s) leaked from several windows in the foundation which led to countless hours mopping and bailing. Those leaks also caused a great deal of our belongings to be thrown away in the trash (including a leather sofa - that was a poor choice on my part to keep that down there).

    I’ve already heard from a few followers on Blogged.com and Facebook. What’s your Basement Story? Leave comments - Best story I get will be publicly published on Safe and Dry Basement Blog :-)
    Image thanks to The Model Citizen

    Related Reading and Links
    Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
    Ask Pioneer Basement A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

  • Basement Stories - We Want to hear from you!
    Over the past few years I've heard some pretty remarkable stories about home imporvement. The time, energy, and money that many people put into their homes is amazing, and some of the stories that come out of the experience are priceless.

    The Basement is one of the parts of the home where many stories are hidden. I'm interested in hearing a story you have about your basement. Good or Bad, scary or happy, I want to hear from readers about their basement stories.

    Tomorrow I'll share one of my favorite basement memories as well as a story about why I started working in the Basement Waterproofing Industry.

    Feel free to leave your story in a comment, or email it to me directly! I can't wait to hear what you have to share!

    (I'm not going to close comments, so that way people can continue to add to the stories).

    Related Reading and Links
    Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
    Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!

  • Flooding - Summer tragically brings too much water
    This summer has started off with a bang. Heavy floods caused serious problems in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. A few weeks latter parts of Tennessee are hit hard causing problems for thousands. And now, even though it's seasonal, China is getting hit with what many are calling the worst flooding they've seen in the past 10 years.

    In pictures - China's Incredible Flooding - Weather Channel.

    State side isn't going to having it any easier, or so says some of the coverage and forecasts provided by the National Weather Service. Top 5 Hurricane Vulnerable & Overdue Cities As per usual the East Coast of the USA is a prime target for any activity coming off of the Atlantic ocean. The Weather Channel provides up to date information on formations and patterns so that you can stay on top of the weather that might just cause your basement to flood.

    One of the negatives about living near the water is that even if you're not in the direct impact path of a storm, surges can carry the water inland or increase the water levels around your home. This raises the level of moisture and water in the soil around your home and can put your foundation under more pressure. Storms of any size can be a problem, but as the logic goes, the larger the storm the bigger the chance of flooding.

    Stay prepared this summer and get ahead of Hurricane Season!

    Related Reading and Links
    Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
    Ask Pioneer Basement a question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!


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