Call 800-669-LEAK (5325) 

(Michigan only)

CALL 810-798-2371

(All Areas)

Serving Lapeer County and Southeastern Michigan

Smith's Waterproofing LLC - Logo Commercial Waterproofing

Reliable answers to waterproofing FAQs

Smith’s Waterproofing LLC is ready to answer your basement water-leak questions. Here are sample questions from customers like you. We hope our answers help you learn about your basement’s water conditions and causes. Please feel free to call Smiths’ Waterproofing LLC at

1-800-669-LEAK (1-800-669-5325).

I only have a few wall cracks and minor leakage. Can't I just get some sealer or waterproofing paint and fix them myself?

You can try but, quite honestly, that probably won't fix the real problem. Sealers and waterproofing paints only mask symptoms and can even make problems worse by actually sealing in moisture. They don't treat the cause. Even if you only have one wall crack and minimal leaking, if not treated properly and early, you can expect more cracks and problems to develop. The reasons need to be identified and repaired.

 

Sealer products lining the shelves of hardware stores may look like an inexpensive fix, but people spend millions on such products that don't solve the problem. Essentially, they camouflage it, allowing the condition to take hold and escalate. At Smith's, we don't "stop cracks in their tracks," as some products claim. We "stop water in its tracks" - by completely repairing cracks to eliminate water entry.

How long does it take to fix my basement leak?

Again, an inspection will determine the exact nature of your leak and how long to remedy it. As a rule, an average basement leak is repaired in about two hours. Severe situations, sometimes involving exterior work, may require up to two days, but that includes cleanup and only after we're both satisfied with the repairs we've made. Let us examine your condition first, to give a more definite answer; we'll accompany it with a written estimate that's backed by our guarantee.

Would your repairs be on the interior or exterior of my basement?

Hard to say until we see the problem - but yes, many basement water problems are treated from the inside. Interior repairs are the most common and Smith's uses proven system techniques and quality waterproofing materials to do the job. That's the good news.

 

If you have a condition that requires exterior attention, even that's not bad news. Smith's will determine if exterior methods are called for and guarantee that the work we do will be the right solution. And rest assured, we don't recommend extensive interior or exterior work if it's not warranted. Contrary to what you might believe, we don't relish "the big jobs" any more than you do; we just do them better than anyone else around.

My neighbor says epoxy is very good for structural repairs, like basement cracks.

Your neighbor is only half-right. Epoxy is very durable and is indeed a good product for structural-strength rebuilds of severe foundation-stress situations or cases of major damage, like an earthquake. So, you may ask, why wouldn't a material that fixes something as bad as earthquake damage work extra-great on my basement cracks? Several reasons - and reasons why Smith's doesn't usually recommend epoxy injections as a waterproofing solution.

 

While epoxy is highly durable, it's also very rigid. It doesn't tolerate extended movement well and this fact can hinder your basement (and home) from its natural tendency to expand and contract. As you'd guess, a rigid-setting material like epoxy has the potential to create additional cracks and structural failures. Most important, epoxy is best used in dry-condition environments. Its strong adhesion properties are reduced if used on moist or wet surfaces - like a leaky basement. It's not considered a true "water-stop" material like polyurethane is, but some companies and do-it-yourselfers use epoxy.

What materials do you use to make basement water-leak repairs?

Glad you asked. After inspecting and deciding on the best method of treatment, we will only use the best-quality materials. For example, Smith's often uses a high-pressure polyurethane injection system. We've had great success with this product and procedure in resolving many water leakage problems - like cracks in concrete walls, repairing cold joints, expansion joints and "working" cracks (called "working" since they expand and contract under environmental influences). The condition you are repairing will dictate the best materials to use, but polyurethane, properly applied, has the chemical characteristics to create an excellent, lasting seal for most waterproofing cures.

 

Highlights of polyurethane injection system repairs are listed below,* but we'd be happy to explain their precise benefits to you personally:

  • Negative side application is possible.

  • Deep penetration into very small cracks, ensuring full coverage.

  • The foam increases in volume to fill cavities and voids and adjustable gel times are afforded by the polyurethane injection system.

  • Has excellent bond-to-wet surfaces, perfect for existing-moisture conditions; property characteristics are so reliable that our injection system is approved for underwater-injection applications.

  • Possesses elastic strength and tolerance for movement - to retain effectiveness while accommodating normal foundation shifting.

  • Material is inert after curing, has constant volume and exhibits virtually no shrinkage.

  • It's approved for contact with potable water.

  • Most important, when applied by professionals like Smith's, the polyurethane injection system does not create new cracks.

I just phoned a waterproofer and he told me outside work isn't necessary for basement leaks. Then I called another. He says it sounds like an extensive outside job. Can you help?

Of course. First of all, both responses are premature: Neither of them inspected your basement. Smith's would do that before answering or guessing. Since you don't describe the problem, we wouldn't presume to say what's required yet. But because neither person you spoke to looked at your basement before giving you those diverse answers, we'd be wary of their professionalism.

 

The first responder who said that it was interior work might have said so because he only does interior work. That may be the extent of his waterproofing expertise, and it’s not enough for a homeowner to have faith in. The other answer that mentioned "extensive and exterior" is puzzling. Why that guess was ventured, without benefit of a visual inspection, we can't say.

 

Inspection is absolutely vital to accurately diagnose causes. Exterior evidence - such as foundation / structural damage, built-up water around the exterior, ground grading or grade-steepness contributors, clogged, improperly installed or inadequate gutters / downspouts, groundwater concerns including water tables - can all play a part and must be assessed. Interior conditions must likewise be examined before deciding on treatment and cure. Wall or floor cracks, cove or specific-point leakage, types of wall deterioration or discoloration and where it appears, basement wall bulges or bowing, and signs of efflorescence (white, chalky wall substance) are all symptoms to evaluate before recommending the proper fix.

 

Quick, unfounded answers like the ones you received should make you think twice about these responders' waterproofing abilities.

 

And, getting back to if we can be of help? Yes, we can. Talk to Smith's instead. You'll get the professional inspection and opinion you deserve - and repairs tailored to fixing your problem.

My ranch home is almost 25 years old and my basement is just starting to leak now. Why? I take good care of my home.

We're sure you do. You've likely made repairs like roof replacement, painted many times, maybe added new windows or a new furnace over those 25 years. You've done expected home maintenance because you realize that major items wear out. Your home's foundation is no exception.

 

Perhaps your original drain tiling is failing, your drain system is giving out, or ineffective sealants you tried on basement areas have resulted in cracks and seepage. Environmental conditions also impact the foundation - ground and soil conditions change over time, affecting how water flows underneath your 25-year-old drain system that has to handle varying hydrostatic (water) pressures.

 

But a good waterproofing professional knows how to handle it for you. We'll address your home's aging foundation to repair your causes and conditions - and that's surely one of the most important home maintenance items you'd want to attend to.

I'm considering calling Smith's Waterproofing, but not sure how much outlay is involved so I can budget for repairs. Will you charge me for an estimate? And another thought: Will your repairs increase my home's value? I may be selling in a couple of years.

First, thanks for considering us. Let's take your questions one at a time.

Start by having us examine what's needed. Our no-charge inspection will determine this and our estimate is also free, even if you decide not to do any repairs. You should never be charged for an estimate and shouldn't place confidence in anyone who does.

After determining what's involved for us, our written estimate will tell you what's involved for you.

 

We stand firmly by our quote in addition to standing behind our promise that you'll be satisfied by our workmanship. Smith's will explain our procedures and pricing; we will perform our services for the amount we state. An agreed-upon down payment (for extensive repairs) is enough to convince us you've decided Smith's is your "go to" waterproofing company. That will secure our crew to be scheduled and to start work.

 

We'll complete the job when promised and the quality of our guaranteed work will, no doubt, increase the value of your home immediately, and certainly later, if you decide to sell. Consider that selling advantage as you weigh the benefits of making this important improvement and investment in your home.

 

Moreover, your Smith's Waterproofing written guarantee is for the life of the structure - and is entirely transferable. That's another marketing value should you decide to sell. We also guarantee you'll be pleased with your family's home improvement and your decision to do business with Smith's Waterproofing.

 

It goes without saying, our family would be pleased to do business with yours. Please contact us for a FREE estimate on waterproofing for your home.

* Information courtesy of Webac Corporation, gratefully acknowledged.