Waterproofing the basement of any building is an investment for the owner. The total cost is dependent on many factors that can be controlled based on the issue, timing, location, and circumstances under which the service takes place. The least expensive waterproofing project is one that is completed before any leaking, floor sagging, or wood rot has begun.
Being proactive regarding your basement waterproof will save building owners the most amount of time and money. The problem is that few owners think about waterproofing until an issue is noticed. At that point, damage can be extensive. A small crack in the wall or flooring of a stadium basement or shopping mall, for example, can go unnoticed for several weeks.
Many commercial basements are divided and used for different functions. Part can be used as a conference room or a research and development space for brainstorming the next product or service to be offered. Storage space is a common use as well for files, supplies, office furniture, or small equipment.
A business that includes washing and drying clothing will often put the laundry room in the basement. Hospitals, hotels, physical therapy centers, and daycare centers are a few examples. Sections that are not used heavily by employees can have moisture or water issues build up for long time periods causing expensive damage to the basement.
Consider the Cost of No Waterproofing
When the original estimates for basements and crawlspaces get overwhelming, it is important to remember a few points. The first is that the cost of waterproofing before problems arise will always be less expensive than the costs of repairing the damage. The second is that the foundation is the most important part of the structure. Any compromises to it will affect the stability and safety of the building.
The total cost is offset by savings in other areas. Insurance premiums for liability are lower when a basement is protected from mold, cracks, and damage to equipment or inventory. Penalties and fines from oversight agencies are less likely to be added onto an inspection report when the basement is dry and free from potential safety issues.
Money is also saved by having constant access to the whole basement. Renting space for people to have meetings or make-shifting a temporary space on another floor is inconvenient and expensive. Productivity decreases because the environment is unfamiliar, and the new space will not have all the tools or equipment professionals are used to having at their disposal.
Look for Signs
Being aware of the signs that indicate a problem exists can help to expedite repairs and keep costs from skyrocketing out of control. Mold is typically the first sign because it develops as quickly as forty-two hours after exposure to excess moisture or a water source.A musty or stale smell will accompany excessive dampness.
Sagging floors and wood rot indicate more severe damage and must be addressed as soon as possible. Any and all signs noticed and acted upon will prove beneficial in resolving problems and issues. Immediate attention to the problem will also decrease a compromise in building safety.
The method used to waterproof basement effects the cost substantially. A sump pump system is typically the least expensive. A hole is dug in the floor into which the pump is installed. The pump is then connected to a drainage pipe that leads outside.
Since the sump pump is placed slightly below floor level, major damage and flooding are avoided because the water is pumped out before it can puddle or accumulate. In large basements that are divided more than one sump pump may be recommended by installation professionals.
Sealing the basement will cost more because the process is more labor-intensive than installing the sump pump. More equipment is required as well that also adds to the expense. Foundation walls are excavated, and sealant is applied to all cracks.
The solution is effective for a decade or more with zero incidents of mold, moisture, or leaks. This process is successful because cracks are repaired instead of attempting to clear out the water from the cracks. The higher cost will be worth it to know the situation is completely under control.
Drainage systems will present the highest investment for owners but will last the longest and move more water faster than the other methods. These systems can be interior, exterior, or a combination of both. Putting in a drainage system is wise while the building is originally being constructed but can be added after the construction.
Newer building plans typically include advanced drainage systems. Older buildings may or may not have a system. There are a few different systems available, so be sure to ask the company how systems work, and which one will best suit the size and usage of the basement.
Another consideration for lowering costs is the company selected to do the work. An experienced waterproofing contracting company will work with building owners to create solutions to suit needs and budgets. This can be accomplished via unique services and financing options. Not all companies will have the resources, expertise, and connections to assist owners in a variety of ways.
These cost-saving processes are more important when repairs are needed prior to waterproofing. Mold remediation, leak repairs, and bracing crumbling foundations raise costs exponentially. A project that would have cost seven-thousand dollars if completed proactively can end up costing as much as eighty-thousand dollars with repairs.
Once basements and crawlspaces are waterproofed, owners can use the space for storage, added display space, or a place to keep small equipment. Proactive thinking concerning the basement will save time, money, and a great deal of aggravation. New building owners will want to include waterproofing on the list of tasks to be done before space is used for any purpose.
Reducing risks of damages, losses, and compromises to safety are well worth minor delays and the expenditure of money and time. Research some companies, get some estimates and make an informed decision about how to best waterproof your basement or crawlspace long before any mold or leaks cause a problem.