Home Improvement Blog

7 Waterproofing drainage solutions for a wet basement Orange County, NY

Posted by william bateman on Sat, Jan 14, 2023 @ 01:22 PM

Water is one Mother Natures strongest forces responsible for billions of dollars a year in damages around the country. Here in Orange County New York, part of the Hudson Valley region. we experience a full four seasons with a variety of precipitation throughout the year. Heavy rains and melting snows can leave our homes and properties a wet disaster. The geography of Orange County, NY is mostly made up of mountains and low lying valleys that make for unique weather at times. Weather systems we experience can be hard to predict at times especially due to the differences in atmospheric pressures at different elevations. Fast moving storms have the potential of heavy rains in a short duration of time causing runoff to be a concern while melting winter snows combined with spring rains cause ground water tables to rise. When runoff and ground waters combine, we experience hydrostatic pressure buildup which can potentially cause structural damage to you foundation and water infiltration into your basement. 


The water cycle is a unique system of recycling water throughout our ecosystem responsible for all organisms to sustain life on earth. It is essential for all homes to have some sort of drainage component to keep water from permeating into your basement, especially footing drains. Footing Drains are required by code for all homes built to keep all water, mostly ground water, moving away from your foundation. Hydrostatic pressure refers to water buildup around foundation walls and is a major cause of basement water problems. Water weighs slightly more that 60lbs per cubic foot. When the soils around your foundation walls become saturated with water , there could be tens of thousands of pounds of hydrostatic pressure buildup against your foundation. Excessive amounts of hydrostatic pressure could cause extreme damage and complete failure to the integrity of your home. In many cases damage goes unnoticed for years, especially in finished basements where foundation walls are hidden and water seepage cannot be detected visually.


Besides structural damages, toxic mold and mildew from permeating water can grow at a rapid rate. All basements render the perfect atmosphere for mold and mildew to spawn due to the moist natural environment they create, Installing a dehumidifier or Egress Window can greatly help in controlling high moisture in your basement. 


10 Signs of hydrostatic pressure in your home:

  • Musty odors in basement
  • Spotting different forms of bugs such as earwigs, carpenter ants, centipedes, pillbugs..... They are a good indicator that you may have cracks in your foundation.
  • Cracks, big or small, are the most noticeable signs that you may have a foundation issue. Odds are your home is being effected by pressure.
  • Foundation walls buckling or bowing, now is the time to act fast. The integrity of your structure may be at stake.
  • Visible water and/or moisture corners where concrete floor meets foundation wall.
  • Water and/or moisture permeating through foundation walls and/or cracks
  • Visible water and/or moisture infiltrating through concrete floor.
  • Visible mold and mildew on foundation walls.
  • Evidence of rotting support columns.
  • Basement window wells that fill with water.

Different waterproofing drainage solutions for your basement/property:

Footing Drains:

Footing drains are a major component for any home when it comes to removing unwanted water that causes hydrostatic pressure buildup. National Residential Building Codes require all homes built to have footing drains installed. Properly installed footing drains with adequate pitch and generous amounts of aggregate applied around pipes will keep water moving freely. Keeping water pressure from building up is crucial for a dry basement. When footing drains are installed, it is also required to apply foundation coating to exterior of foundation walls and encase aggregate with filter fabric. Four inch corrugated pipes must drain out to daylight or a sewer drain. Properties without sufficient grade to drain elsewhere may need installation of a Dry Well to transport liquids to dissipate back into the ground. 

Curtain Drains:

Curtain drains are essentially in ground gutter systems used for containing and removing unwanted water around your home and property. Trenches are excavated usually around 18-24 inches deep and in some cases next to homes with excessive water can be dug as deep as the foundations footings. Standard installation procedures include excavation of a trench to proper grade and pitch, lining of filter fabric, installation of 4" corrugated pipe and trench filled with aggregate. Drains must discharged, like footing drains, to daylight, sewer drain or a dry well.




Swales make a great drainage component for containing water runoff onto your property, Basically an excavated trough, angled down to a divot that contains and removed water efficiently. When excavated, swales can be left for natural grass/swamp grass to grow or lined with filter fabric and riverstone applied. Swales have been used for centuries along rural roads and properties to contain runoff and storm waters. Also a common practice for farmers used to irrigate crops.



Sump Pumps:

Installation of a sump pump for a wet basement is very effective in removing unwanted water. Installed in your concrete floor using a sump pump basin and high flow pump, sump pumps help relieve hydrostatic pressure before reaching high levels. Ground water tables can rise dramatically  especially noticeable after heavy winter snows that combine with spring rains. Orange County, NY is also well known for severe thunderstorms and occasional hurricanes that can bring strong systems to the area with high liquid equivalents. A battery backup and/or generator may be a good investment for your sump pump in the case of an electrical outage. Sump pumps may also be used in conjunction with interior French drain systems. As water flows into sump pump basin. pump is engaged by a float switch that activates when water has reached a set level and removes water quickly from basement to be discharged outside.



Gutter Downspouts:

Gutters are found on most homes to remove waters from roof and into downspouts that discharge liquids away from the home. After water is collected, it is the job of the downspout to discard water quickly and efficiently. If gutters and downspouts are clogged, obviously their function is compromised. Gutters and downspouts should be clean inspected at least once a year in fall after leaves have fallen. Before winter is a good time to inspect roof for any potential leaks or any evidence that may render a new roof installation.

Dry Wells:

Dry well are used for containing water diverted from another source such as drainage systems or grey water. In footing drains, curtain drains and/or gutter downspouts, dry wells may be used if you do not have enough grade on property to relieve water to daylight. Other applications may be for diverting grey water from laundry and/or slop sinks to avoid contamination of your septic system if you have one. Heavy laundry detergents kill off good bacteria needed to maintain a healthy ecosystem in you septic system allowing solids to breakdown properly. Waters are routed to the dry well where they will permeate back into the soils.



Drylok is an interior application for coating interior foundation walls when moisture is evident. Block and cinder block walls are more porous than poured foundation walls but Drylok is always a recommended application for either especially before finishing a basement. Product claims to stop water pressure up to 15 psi which is nominal to the pressure buildup that can occur outside of your foundation walls. Recommended is two generous coats filling in all voids and holes. Cracks will be needed to be filled in preferably with hydraulic cement prior to applying Drylok.


Protecting your home and property from heavy weather systems can give you peace in mind for when these variety of systems hit. Your home may be one of your largest investments and maintaining and building equity with a well equipped drainage system will help before damage is too late.

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Topics: Monroe NY, orange county ny, General Contractor, Construction, basements, construction-general--monroe, footing drain, excavating, drainage, egress windows, finished basement, excavation, septic, septic systems, backhoe, excavator, fire escape, foundation, water damage

7 Wet basement waterproofing drainage solutions; Orange County NY 10950

Posted by william bateman on Thu, Jan 12, 2023 @ 05:50 AM

Here in Orange County NY, just north of New York City,  we can experience many different forms of weather systems. Many areas located just out of the city have higher elevations combined with low lying valleys that make for interesting unpredictable weather at times. During these times potential systems can impact our homes and properties drastically when it comes to moisture systems. Here in New York we experience a full four seasons with a variety of different weather conditions. These conditions range from potential blizzards, thunderstorms, heavy rains and at times even a hurricane. Now, it's not all doom and gloom when talking about New York as most of the time the weather is beautiful, especially with all the changing seasons. Keeping your home and property protected with proper drainage solutions will leave you with now worries and have peace in mind when inclement weather strikes.


Water is one Mother Natures strongest forces responsible for trillions of dollars in damages and disrepair around the world each year. During potentially heavy downpours, especially after heavy melting winter snows are combined with rain, water tables rise drastically along with increased hydrostatic pressures. Low lying homes in valleys or on a mountainside, runoff can be of concern. Massive amounts of water can be produced during this time frame causing basements and properties to flood. There are solutions for your water issues and  some may require excavation, but diverting water away is key to a dry basement.


Water buildup occurs from excessive rainfall and heavy snow melts increasing ground water tables and return resulting in hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure refers to water pressure buildup and is a major cause of basement water problems. Water weighs slightly more than 60lbs. per cubic foot. When the soil around your foundation is saturated with water, there can be tens of thousands of pounds of hydrostatic pressure buildup against your foundation. Required for every home built, footing drains are the most effective drainage component in relieving hydrostatic pressure. Buildup occurs during times where high ground water tables reach levels where oversaturated soils cannot dissipate water at an adequate rate.


Hydrostatic pressure buildup can be extremely harmful to your homes main structure, the foundation, causing damage to the integrity of your entire structure. Water infiltration into your basement can cause massive damage, plus most all basements have the perfect ecosystem for the rapid growth of toxic mold and mildew to spore. Due to the natural environment of basements, moisture and humidity are always a concern to control. Installation of egress windows and dehumidifiers can help lower moisture levels in any basement creating better airflow.

Signs of hydrostatic pressure in your basement:

  • Bowing walls with horizontal cracks and water seepage
  • Water infiltration where your basement floor meets the foundation wall
  • Water near basement windows and/or window wells
  • Deteriorated basement foundation walls
  • Musty smell in basement
  • Visual evidence of water seepage on foundation walls
  • Visible water seepage on cracks of basement floor


Unfinished basements will be easier to determine if you have a problem as opposed to a finished basement. Finished basements may hide problems for many years before discovering the immense damage that has occurred. Hidden behind your walls spawns the perfect environment for toxic mold and mildew to grow rampant that can lead to potential health ailments impacting your entire family. Not only water issues in your basement can contribute to these issues, your roof is another major main component in protecting your home from water damage.


Different drainage solution applications for your home and property


Footing drains

Footing drains are required for all homes constructed for removal of unwanted water from your foundation walls and footings. Without the installation of footing drains, you can potentially run the high of water infiltration and structural damage to your most important structural component, your foundation. As ground water tables rise combined with runoff, soils quickly become saturated, leading to high levels of hydrostatic pressure buildup. Pressure buildup against your foundation wall can reach as high as 33,000 psi. Relieving this pressure is essential in maintaining the integrity of your home and prevent water infiltration that can be responsible for thousands of dollars in water damage repairs. Most visible indications of a failing footing drain is evidence of water and/or moisture in corners where foundation meets basement floor. In order to replace footing drains excavation is a must from the exterior of your foundation down to the footing. Best application is to have footing drains discharge unwanted water out to daylight. This all depends on your properties topography and grade in coordination with the home. If grade is not sufficient, a dry well may need to be added on property to contain unwanted water to dissipate back into the soil.

Curtain Drain

Curtain drains are essentially an in ground gutter system used for removing unwanted water near home or low lying areas on property with standing water. These drainage systems may also contain runoff water that discharges of a hillside into your property and/or home. Excavated down usually 18-24 inches, these trenches are effective in catching and removing water effectively. Installed with corrugated pipe, filter fabric and aggregate, water runs freely away from your home. In extreme cases where water tables are high and flooding in basement is of constant concern, curtain drain mat be dug the depth of the footing drains and work in conjunction together. In general, adding a curtain drain is a fast solution for wet areas throughout your property.




Swales are excavated troughs down to a divot to contain and divert water efficiently from runoff or at the base of a hillside.  They are most commonly used for stormwaters that are used along rural highways and residential streets to convey runoff. Width of trench is excavated sloped at each end allowing water to flow down the the base. Swales can be left natural after excavation for grass of swamp grass to grow or lined with filter fabric and lined with river rock or rip-rap. A fast solution for wet properties especially with high rates of water runoff.



Sump pumps

Sump pumps are a great solution for removing water that has protruded into your basement. As ground waters rise and hydrostatic pressure increases water will usually infiltrate to the point of least resistance. A sump pump can help relieve this pressure before causing major damage. A sump pump basin is installed into your basements floor using a high flow pump to remove unwanted water quickly. Sumps pumps work off a float switch that activate when water rises to a set level and sufficiently excretes water outside of your home. Other systems can also be incorporated with pump such as French drains and minimal amounts grey water if necessary.  


Dry wells

Dry well are used for containing water diverted from another source such as drainage systems or grey water. In footing drains, curtain drains and/or gutter downspouts, dry wells may be used if you do not have enough grade on property to relieve water to daylight. Other applications may be for diverting grey water from laundry and/or slop sinks to avoid contamination of your septic system if you have one. Heavy laundry detergents kill off good bacteria needed to maintain a healthy ecosystem in you septic system allowing solids to breakdown properly. Waters are routed to the dry well where they will permeate back into the soils. 


Gutter downspouts

During heavy rains and snows, your roof per square footage handles extreme amounts of liquids in which is quickly diverted into your gutters. Liquids from your gutters then become the job of the downspouts to remove water quickly to ground level. Most downspouts discharge right at ground level right on your foundation walls leaving excessive amounts of water to pool and possibly permeate into your foundation. A simple extension can fix or the best way is to run downspouts into a solid underground line to divert water away from the home. 


Drylok basement sealer is a great application on all interior basement walls. Recommended two coats on walls helps achieve maximum performance of 11-12 psi to protect against water infiltration through your foundation walls. All concrete is permeable and Drylok will help seal out unwanted moisture and fill cracks up to 1/8" wide. Larger cracks may be filled with hydraulic cement or other concrete fillers on the market before applying Drylok. 



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Topics: Monroe NY, orange county ny, General Contractor, Construction, construction-general--monroe, footing drain, excavating, drainage, egress windows, finished basement, excavation, backhoe, excavator, fire escape, foundation, water damage, Sullivan County ny

8 Drainage solutions for a wet and damp basement/Orange County, NY 10950

Posted by william bateman on Fri, Jan 06, 2023 @ 06:00 PM



Many of us have homes and properties residing here in Orange County, NY.  Nestled north over the Hudson River lies a beautiful area like most of New York with four changing seasons that experience year round climate and precipitation changes. With these changes throughout the year come with the potential for storm systems that can dramatically affect your homes basement and property. From heavy snows to heavy spring rains to the unpredictable thunderstorms and many other potential, your drainage system on your home/property is put to the test. One main drainage component that every home has, or is required to have, is a footing drain. Footing drains are installed at the base of your footing and foundation to move and relieve unwanted water pressure buildup around your home. Without footing drains installed or with failing footing drains you have a high potential for water infiltration into your basement. Unwanted water buildup can cause structural damage to your foundation as ground water tables rise increasing hydrostatic pressure. With improper functioning footing drains, water pressure can reach immense levels upwards of 33,000 psi  against your foundation walls with the potential for structural damage. 


Hydrostatic pressure all increases with a combination of runoff from rain/snow and increasing ground waters you don't see. Water is one of mother natures most powerful forces and is responsible for trillions of dollars a year in damages around the world. Water is essential for all living organisms on our planet to exist but we with that said, we don't want water in our basements. Water in basements is a perfect environment for toxic mold and mildew to spawn rapidly and at times make it unlivable. 


The water cycle is continuous year after year while conditions change by the day. Heavy rains may be followed by droughts, heavy snows may be followed by heavy winds, torrential downpours may fall at incredibly fast rates on drought stricken soils, etc........ Weather is extremely unpredictable especially here in the Northeast Hudson Valley area. Preparing for these events can help avoid the possibilities of flooding and water damage.

Drainage solutions for wet basements/property

  • Installation or replacement of footing drains
  • Installation of a curtain drain
  • Extension of gutter downspouts
  • Installation of a sump pump
  • Construct a swale on property
  • Installation of a dry well
  • Installation of French drain
  • Application of Drylok on interior walls of foundation

Water can be problematic on any area surrounding your home and property. Determining the source is #1 when choosing which drainage application(s) may be suitable for your needs.  All properties are different with variations in grade, soil percolation, areas to discharge water, low areas on property, springs and/or streams........ A professional in drainage solutions can help what application you may need.

Different drainage solutions for your wet basement and/or property


Footing Drains

Footing drains run the perimeter around the exterior of your home at the base of your footing where foundation walls meets footing. Footing drains are required by code for any home built and main purpose is removing water away from your home before it can infiltrate into your basement. Hydrostatic pressure occurs as ground water tables rise allowing water to permeate through cracks in floor and walls. Evidence of a failing footing drain is usually detected by spotting water and/or moisture at base of foundation wall where floor meets wall. Most easily detected when basement is unfinished and visually spotted. Moisture on interior of foundation walls can indicate breakdown of foundation coating on exterior of foundation wall. These sections of walls will be buried under soil and will need to be excavated along with the footing drains. Failing footing drains  with excessive ground water buildup can be extremely damaging due to the incredible force of water per every square inch of your concrete walls. Block and cinder block walls are the most susceptible to damage more so than solid poured concrete walls but in no way is substantial water buildup beneficial to any foundation. Installing new footing drains requires full excavation and installation of new corrugated pipes, foundation coating, filter fabric and ample amounts of aggregate.If grade of properly allows, pitch pipe and discard water to daylight. If proper grade cannot be achieved a drywell may have to be installed.


 Curtain Drains

Curtain drains are essentially in ground gutter systems that remove unwanted water off your property usually in low lying areas where water pools and/or runoff needs to be diverted in a different direction.  Excavated trenches usually 18-24 inches deep lined with filter fabric, 4" corrugated pipe and filled with aggregate up to grade is a standard procedure when installing a curtain drain. Most effective installation is leaving aggregate exposed but hidden applications for a more esthetic appearance can be achieved by apply a top coat of sand and good screened topsoil over aggregate to grow grass. If grade of properly allows, pitch pipe and discard water to daylight. If proper grade cannot be achieved a drywell may have to be installed.



Gutter Downspouts

Gutters are on most every home and building except areas with extreme cold and snow where gutters may be left out in order to prevent ice damming from occurring. Ice damming occurs when  snow on a roof melts and refreezes at gutter line through numerous melt and freeze cycles which can cause water to back up through your shingles into your home. When performing a new roof renovation it is advisable to install weather watch ice dam material at edges of roof to prevent ice damming. Gutters are a major component of your homes drainage management system that is required at times to move massive amounts of water quickly and efficiently. Any one torrential downpour, usually a fast moving thunderstorm, has the potential to produce 3+ inches of rain in less than an hour. Precipitation that falls at such a rapid rate in the summer usually falls on extremely dry over oversaturated soils that will not be able to absorb water adequately enough causing runoff to occur. A well pitched and clean gutter/downspouts can handle the amounts of water but where is it draining to? Many homes have just on elbow that basically excretes water directly on your foundation. This can be responsible for water pooling and/or water infiltration into your basement. As a home owner you can find gutter extensions at most any hardware store to help discharge water away from the home or can excavate and bury a 4' solid line.

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are a great solution when dealing with a wet basement where water infiltration is an issue. Sump pumps work mainly on relieving hydrostatic pressure buildup under your homes floor and footings. In homes with an unfinished basement, when possible, situate location for pump at the lowest point of floor. This can be achieved using a laser level. Installation will include cutting and removing section of concrete floor. Once removed, hole must be dug down the depth of the sump pump basin to be installed. Filter fabric installed, aggregate applied around basin and concrete reapplied around basin. Sump pump is the installed inside of basin with a check valve and plumbing attached to discharge outside of home. Sump pumps are engaged using a float system that engages as water levels rise inside of basin.



Swales are a great component for containing water on a property and used mostly when runoff may be an issue, Swales are excavated into the earth to contain and divert water just like a gutter. Mostly angled edges that divert water to the base of the excavated troughs divot point to contain and excrete unwanted water. Swales can be left natural to grow grass or swamp grass and in some more esthetic applications river rock or rip-rap may be added. 

Dry Wells

Dry wells are a great solution for properties that do not have the efficient grade for the other drainage components mentioned to discharge to daylight. Dry wells can also be a great application for homes with a septic system where excess grey water, mostly from washing machines are diverted to prevent  contamination of the septic tank. Heavy detergents kill off good bacteria that are necessary in maintaining the proper and stable ecosystem in order of breaking down solid wastes. Powdered detergents have been know to damage leech fields that do not have the ability to break down leaving the holes in corrugated pipes clogged. Clogged leech fields can cause complete failure of septic system by not allowing liquids to dissipate into the ground and eventually cause backups. Dry wells come in different sizes and which one is needed can be determined by a professional drainage expert. 


French Drains

French drains are another solution used to remove water in basements.These systems are installed around the interior perimeter of your foundation walls and discharged into a sump pump basin. They can be a faster solution to failing footing drains but still not a complete solution to hydrostatic pressure buildup on the exterior of your foundation walls. If your basement is finished this application may not be suitable for you without demolition of basement walls. 



Drylok is an interior application for coating interior foundation walls when moisture is evident. Block and cinder block walls are more porous than poured foundation walls but Drylok is always a recommended application for either especially before finishing a basement. Product claims to stop water pressure up to 15 psi which is nominal to the pressure buildup that can occur outside of your foundation walls. Recommended is two generous coats filling in all voids and holes. Cracks will be needed to be filled in preferably with hydraulic cement prior to applying Drylok.


In any case, drainage is important for your home for removing excess water away. From potential structural complications to water damage that can quickly manifest into the rapid growth of toxic mold and mildew, water issues should be addressed. Due to the naturally moist and damp nature of basements an egress window or dehumidifier can be added to control humidity levels. Guess windows add light and ventilation to any basement and mostly safety in the dire situation of a house fire. National codes require egress windows to be installed in any basement with accommodations for living.

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Topics: orange county ny, General Contractor, construction-general--monroe, footing drain, excavating, drainage, egress windows, finished basement, septic, septic systems, backhoe, excavator, fire escape, foundation, water damage

5 Reasons you may need a dry well installed/Orange County, NY 10950

Posted by william bateman on Fri, Dec 30, 2022 @ 09:38 AM

Dry wells are essentially excavated pits with adequate amounts of aggregate to catch unwanted water on your property. This usually consists of water from your home gutter downspouts, footing drains, runoff, curtain drains and sump pumps. Other applications may be used for grey water from your home washing machine or sinks to isolate excess water contaminated by detergents that flow into your septic tank and leach fields. Many detergents can be harmful to your septic system and kill off good bacteria needed to break down solid wastes and powdered detergents have been known to not fully dissolve and clog leach fields not allowing water to properly flow and dissipate into the soil. In drainage situations, dry wells are a great solution on properties where water needs to be transferred to a different location but doesn't have sufficient grade on property to relieve water piped to daylight. 


Dry wells can simply be a large pit filled with aggregate for a fast, simple solution. For longevity and a fuly functioning dry well system, it is advised to install an in ground corrugated dry well basin piped solid to a basin. Then filter fabric is installed around pit/basin with adequate amounts of aggregate applied around basin. Before installing a dry well, a perc test may be necessary in some municipalities to determine the rate of water percolation that dissipates into your soil. Dry well perc tests aren't as necessary as septic systems and leach fields as they are mainly for ground/rain/grey water applications. They can be easily performed by anyone including the homeowner. A small pit needs to be dug and filled with water while timed to see how fast water dissipates. This test should be performed under dry conditions, tested dry and after soil has been saturated. Soil containing high densities of clay and shale will not allow water to percolate into the ground at a fast rate which will indicate that more aggregate will be needed during installation.


5 Reasons you may need a dry well installed:

  • Removing unwanted water pooling on property with nowhere to drain
  • Removing water from gutter downspouts away from home
  • Relieving water from footing drains that have no outlet and pitch with grade to daylight
  • Draining down pool water(required by some municipalities when installing a pool)
  • Separating grey water from septic tanks and leach fields if you have a septic system

If you have a septic system why should you consider a dry well?

The area you live may not offer a sewer service in your municipality leaving you with no option but installing a septic system. Septic systems have been around since the early 1860's when the first actual septic tank was invented using concrete and clay pipe. While humans have been improving sanitation over the last 3,000 years, it wasn't until the 1940's that septic systems became a common method of waste water management in many parts of the United States. A good functioning septic system relies on good bacteria to break down solids to liquid that in turn is removed through an over flow pipe. It is then discharged through the leach field to dissipate into the soil and  and some of the liquid may evaporate from the surface as well. Heavy detergent agents used in your washing machine may kill off the good bacteria needed to sustain a healthy functioning septic system. Washing machines consume gallons of water during a wash cycle, as much as 50 gallons on older models. This will equate to massive amounts of unnecessary grey water into your septic system. By adding a dry well, waste water can be diverted from septic tank, greatly reducing the amount waste water into your tank and leach fields.


How a septic tank works:

Sewage both black and grey drain from all plumbing fixtures of your home into the septic tank. This is where heavy solids settle to the bottom where the bacterial action takes place producing enzymes to digest sludge and gases. The lighter solids, such as oils, fats and grease rise to the top to form a scum layer. Solids that are not decomposed remain in the tank. For a healthy septic tank to perform correctly, it is advised to have tank pumped out every 3-5 years. 


What is a leach field?

A leach field is a major component of a septic system integrated to remove and filter organic material from your septic tank. Leach fields are a constructed underground system of perforated pipes adjacent to your septic tank that allows waste water to dissipate into the soils and be filtered. Allowing sludge buildup in your leach field can result in complete failure of your entire system. This is a good reason to add a dry well to divert unnecessary excess water into your system.

Signs of a failing leach system:

  • Gurgling sounds in the plumbing system 
  • Standing water and/or damp spots near septic tank or drain field
  • Bad odors around septic tank or leach field
  • Bright green, spongy lush grass over septic tank and/or drain field, even in dry conditions 
  • Sewage backups into home

Now that we clarified how your home waste system works if you have a septic system and how a dry well can help in this situation, we can get back to basic drainage issues.  A simple gutter may not seem like much of an ordeal and it may not be if a gutter extension is added above grade and runoff is sloped away from the home. In areas with lower topography that allows water to pool next to foundations can add to hydrostatic pressure and creates strain to your foundation and create possible water infiltration. In this case it is advised to excavate and install a buried line to remove any excess water away from your home to a safe location that won't effect other areas. These areas include locations on property that can contribute to ice buildup in winter or onto neighbors property. If you have proper grade to relieve the water to daylight, do so, if not you may need a dry well installed.

All drainage components used on a property and/or home require an outlet somewhere. If the grade of property doesn't allow for proper distribution of water away from home, a dry well installation may be inevitable. Another thing to keep in mind when installing a new roof or your existing roof is to inspect gutter system for proper function.  Calculations can also be made to determine the volume of liquid consumed into the gutters and downspouts. This can help when choosing the size of dry well to install. All weather systems are different with a far range of liquid carried, so it is better to always go bigger than necessary especially when combining different drainage systems into one.

Determining whether or not you may need a dry well should have been explained here but hiring a drainage professional can help guide you through the process fairly easily. Water is one of Mother Natures strongest forces that is responsible for trillions of dollars in damages a year around the world and by determining the source and rectifying the the issues before damage is done is key.

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Topics: General Contractor, bathrooms, Construction, construction-general--monroe, Roofing Monroe NY, footing drain, drainage, egress windows, finished basement, excavation, septic systems, backhoe, toilet, foundation

Basement egress windows and 5 reasons to have one installed; Monroe, NY 10950

Posted by william bateman on Sun, Dec 18, 2022 @ 06:37 AM

Orange County, NY is located in the state of New York and was first created in 1683 and then reorganized with its present boundaries in 1798. Orange County is part of the Hudson Valley region and is today home for over 400,000 residents. Monroe, NY is one of many towns and villages that makeup Orange County in which has increased in growth rapidly over the years to over 10,000 residents. Many residents of the Monroe area as well as surrounding towns have been recently relocating. As residents move, new residents move in to their new homes and one of the main forks in the road that may be encountered when selling or buying is does the home have an egress window installed in basement. Current codes require all finished basements with a bedroom or any area considered living space to have a fully accessible egress in the case of emergency. Egress options can be a door, window and sometimes a garage door with an installed within the garage door(if approved by your local building department)that can provide an easy escape exit during an unpredictable emergency. By not acquiring  an egress window or any forms of legal egress, you may find your home in violation resulting in a holdup on the sale of your home. 


5 reasons to have an egress window installed:

  • Make your home compliant and up to date with national building codes
  • Peace in mind you and your loved ones will be safe during an unpredictable emergency 
  • Added light that is beneficial to any basement
  • Added ventilation, better air flow creates more air flow and cuts down the musky odors common in basements
  • Added value and safety to your home


A finished basement adds instant value to your home by increasing the square footage of your homes living area and making it more desirable for yourself and potential buyers if you may be considering selling. Finished basements offer you many different options creating an entire different atmosphere on the lower level of you home. Many basements are the same size of your constructed home, so for example a 60 x 30 home will offer you an added 1,800 square feet of living area. In some cases,  basement area may be attached to to the garage, in which this case square footage will be deducted  but garages too can be converted into living area. During a finished basement construction it is strongly advised to have a footprint of where to install an egress window. Location is key when installing an egress window especially when adding bedrooms. All basements should have an egress window, finished or not, in the case of an unpredicted emergency. 

What to take note of when choosing location of an egress window:

  • Where you would like bedroom(s) to be situated
  • Try and situate location of new window with existing basement window(s)
  • Take notice to any waste/water/gas/electrical lines that my be in the way
  • Do an exterior inspection to make sure location of egress window has a clear escape route from home and especially not underneath a low deck
  • If possible, try and pick a location with the least amount of digging

Installing an egress window is usually a 2-3 day project(weather permitting) that will provide a lifetime of safety and enhance the atmosphere of your basement ridding it of its already dark and gloomy natural environment. With all the right tools, the installation of an egress window is a quick and clean install in a couple to a few days.

Benefits of installing an egress window:

  • Peace in mind you and your loved ones will be safe during an unpredicted emergency 
  • Added natural light
  • Added ventilation to keep air flow moving where most basements have stagnant air
  • Added value to your home
  • Access for bringing in larger, longer items in basement if you have no door

National building codes are put into place for the protection of you and others. Fires around the world are responsible for billions of dollars a year in damages and thousands in injuries and deaths. With foresight before a possible unpredicted potential tragedy strikes, installing egress windows drastically cuts down the threat of loss of life and/or injury. Newer homes are required in all bedrooms on any level of home to carry the proper window dimensions and codes that apply.


What are egress window basement codes:

  • Window must be a minimum 5.7 square feet
  • Window must have a minimum 20" net clear opening when fully open
  • Inside window sill height not to exceed 44" from basement floor
  • Outside window well inside dimensions must be a minimum of 9 square feet 
  • Base of window well to grade of ground must not exceed 44" (if over 44" a ladder must be installed)

When considering an egress window contractor keep in mind to find an experienced one with the proper tools, Without the proper tools and experience the job can be disastrous and filthy. We have small machines that don't damage lawns and wet saws that keep dust down to nominal levels. 90% of the work performed is from the outside of your home keeping the inside virtually untouched.

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Topics: orange county ny, General Contractor, construction-general--monroe, footing drain, excavating, drainage, egress windows, finished basement, excavation, backhoe, fire escape, window, foundation

5 Best basement drainage components for your home that help keep a basement dry in Orange County, NY

Posted by william bateman on Wed, Dec 14, 2022 @ 08:58 AM

Nothing is worse for your home than underlying water issues created by one of mother natures most powerful forces, water. Water is responsible for billions if not trillions of dollars in damages each year. Many of us think about water and know it comes from the sky never understanding where it goes when it make contact with earth. It's what you don't see that can be confusing. In this article we will go over the process of absorption and ground water tables along with drainage components that help relieve water issues.


Here in Orange County, NY; one of the 10 counties that make up the Hudson Valley can experience severe weather at times. Weather systems come and go year round in many different forms throughout the seasons. These systems can bring heavy snows, thunderstorms, occasional hurricanes, torrential downpours, wind storms, etc...... Your Roof is a main component on your home to protect from the harsh elements and shed water away but where does it go after? Well, I think that is pretty common knowledge that the force of gravity pulls water down to the ground, but then it just magically disappears? In most cases water is quickly absorbed into your soil depending on the perc of soil on your property. Once in the soil it meets with an entire underground, unseen, water system. The underground water system is a major part of our ecosystem that helps sustain life life as we know it supplying water for our trees and crops and the water we drink. The ground acts a filtration system as water goes through the soil and rock beds to feed our wells and helps replenish our lakes and reservoirs. Water that isn't absorbed, especially during torrential downpours, can create massive runoff that feeds our streams, lakes, ponds, rivers, etc.... and all water returns to our oceans if not already evaporated to restart the process again.


What is Perc?:

Perc is used in the field as short for percolation and is the absorption rate of soils. Percolation tests are performed to calculate how quickly a known volume of water dissipates into the subsoil of a drilled hole of a known surface area. These tests may be required when installing a septic system or dry well on your property but can also be essential when installing any drainage system. In general, sandy soil will absorb more water than soil with high concentrations of clay or where high water tables are close to the surface. Once water percolation test has been performed you can calculate the amount of aggregate needed. Most common aggregate using in drainage projects is 3/4" crushed stone. Crushed stone acts natural drainage and in conjunction with pipe installed below grade keeps water moving fast and efficiently away from your home and property.

5 Best basement drainage components to help keep a basement dry:

  • Footing drains
  • Curtain drains
  • Sump pumps
  • Dry wells
  • Extended of buried gutter downspouts

During seasons with substantial moisture systems, ground water tables can drastically rise that result in hydrostatic pressure buildup. Hydrostatic pressure can reach as high as 33,000 psi putting immense strain on your foundation walls and basement floor. This can result in structural damage to your foundation walls. Hydrostatic pressure is also responsible for water infiltration into your home and with failing and/or inadequate footing drains you are at high risk.


What is hydrostatic pressure?

Hydrostatic pressure refers to the pressure that any fluid in a confined space exerts. It is the pressure that occurs when gravity pushes stagnant dense water against below grade walls built entirely or partially below the water table or even on a hillside. The deeper below grade and high soil saturation increases hydrostatic pressure dramatically. 

Where is hydrostatic pressure found:

Hydrostatic pressure is a result of standing or resting water that creates great force. Found mostly around your basement exterior walls in saturated soils from rising ground water tables. Hydrostatic pressure can also be found coming from runoff from a hill or mountain and when combined with ground water the pressure increases. Hydrostatic pressure may also be evident on wet areas of your property are wet and/or marshy but this can also be contributed to low areas on property with low water percolation.


What are some of the drainage components you can install?:

  • Footing drains(required in all homes built)
  • Curtain drains(removes unwanted water from property and away from home)
  • Extended or buried gutter downspouts
  • Sump pumps
  • Dry wells
  • Swales
  • French drains


Sump pumps are a great way to relieve ground water pressure inside of your basement installed into your concrete floor below grade. Preferably they are installed at the lowest point of basement floor(this can be determined using a laser level) and used to remove ground water before reaching damaging levels to the outside of your home. During severe storms, sump pumps are proven to be very helpful. Something to remember tho, during severe weather there are high risks for power outages, so a battery backup is recommended. 

How to properly install footing drains:

  • Excavated dirt from exterior of foundation down to footings of home
  • Clean exterior of foundation walls and apply a foundation water sealing coating
  • Install 4" perforated pipe at base of footing with holes facing down(recommended filter fabric sock around pipe)
  • Apply sufficient amount of aggregate around pipe
  • Wrap aggregate in filter fabric
  • Backfill and grade soil back around foundation

What is a curtain drain?

A curtain drain is essentially an in ground gutter system designed to remove unwanted water from your property and/or home. Removal of water from your property in close proximity to your home greatly reduces the possible water pressure buildup and chances of water infiltration that can cause water damage.



How to properly install a curtain drain:

  • Excavate a trench down approximately 18-24 inches
  • Apply a base of aggregate into trench
  • Install 4" corrugated pipe on top of aggregate pitched to daylight or dry well if you don't have enough grade.
  • Preferably install filter fabric sock around pipe
  • Apply more aggregate over pipe up to grade leaving aggregate exposed(in some applications sand with light topsoil can be added if you don't want to see exposed aggregate and grow grass instead)

Installing a swale on your property:

Certain properties especially ones with large hillsides and mountains, a swale may be created to stop water runoff from saturating the soils on your lawn. Also, like the curtain drain, a swale is an excavated gutter into the soil to catch unwanted water runoff. A quick, efficient solution for fixing water issues in yards that contains unwanted water. In some cases, swamp grass can be added to your swale to soak up water and create a facade to hide the swale. Other applications you can add river rock to your swale or just leave it as is. Eventually something will grow within the marsh.


Protecting your home from water damage can all be achieved with the proper drainage components installed. When all used in conjunction, these systems will help you achieve a dry lawn and home. Now, not every home needs all components installed as every property is different. It must be identified the causes for water pressure and absorption rates along with where possible Walter infiltration may be occurring before establishing what system or systems to use. Nobody wants a wet, moldy, musty basement especially one that can create hazardous conditions and cause possible health ailments. 

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Topics: General Contractor, basements, construction-general--monroe, footing drain, drainage, egress windows, finished basement, excavation, backhoe, foundation

5 Benefits of installing an egress window/Orange County, NY

Posted by william bateman on Sat, Dec 10, 2022 @ 07:34 AM

Fire is one of natures most destructive forces all around the world causing billions of dollars a year in damages and thousands of unnecessary deaths per year in the United States. Interesting fact, earth is the only known planet where fire can burn. Fire is the rapid oxidation of material in the exothermic process of releasing light, heat and many different reacting products. There is a certain point in the combustion reaction process in what is call the ignition point which and when reached flames ignite. This becomes potentially dangerous and potentially deadly if caught off guard and/or properly prepared.


7 facts about fire:

  • Fire is a chemical reaction that releases heat and light
  • Fire requires heat, oxygen and fuel to burn
  • Fire is an occurrence or event, not a thing...
  • Assuming stable heat, fuel and oxygen levels, a typical house fire will become twice the size with every passing minute
  • Earth is the only known planet with enough oxygen to sustain fire
  • Spontaneous combustion is real. Some sources can generate their own heat  like rotting wood for instance. Even old newspapers and magazines along with compost piles and gas cans
  • Fires like forest fires move uphill faster than downhill and same with a home  fire that started In the basement will quickly move to your roof consuming the entire home at a rapid rate.


3 different ways fire can be stopped:

  • Removing the fuel source by exhausting or taking it away
  • Remove oxygen by exhausting or taking it away
  • Removing heat by saturating it with water


Beneficial tips in case of a basement fire in case of emergency:

  • Identify sources of egress also known as escape routes
  • Installing fire rated doors on utility rooms
  • Do not block any sources of egress at at time
  • Always have a mounted fire extinguisher ready
  • Do not store any highly combustible items in basement or any items near a heat source even outlets especially overloaded outlets



National building codes across the country require installation of egress windows in any finished basement with a bedroom. In my opinion any basement should have an egress window installed due to the fact that at any given moment you can be trapped in your basement with no forms of escape. Having an egress window could mean life or death for you and your loved ones which in the same aspect why fire escapes are installed on high rise buildings. 

Building code requirements for a legal egress window:

  • Window must be minimum 5.7 sq. ft.
  • Window must have minimum 20" net clear when open
  • Exterior window well must be 9 sq. ft.
  • Inside of exterior window well depth not to exceed 44" without installation of a ladder
  • Inside of interior, window well not to exceed 44" sill height from basement floor

Benefits of installing an egress window:

  • Peace in mind you and your loved ones will be safe in time of emergency 
  • Added light
  • Better ventilation
  • Humidity and moisture control
  • Added value to your home

Like noted before, fire is an unpredictable force of nature that is extremely dangerous and potentially deadly. With the proper steps, installations and educated decisions you can help protect yourself and your loved ones from harms way. An egress window installation takes about 2-3 days and comes with a lifetime of protection. WMB CONSTRUCTION has been performing egress window installations all around Orange County, NY and Sullivan County, NY for many years along with all your home improvement needs. 

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Topics: orange county ny, basements, construction-general--monroe, footing drain, excavating, improvements, drainage, egress windows, finished basement, excavation, backhoe, excavator, fire escape, foundation

7 drainage systems to protect your home basement/property; Monroe, NY

Posted by william bateman on Mon, Dec 05, 2022 @ 05:53 PM




Every home across the country have footing drain systems that are located outside the home at the base of your homes exterior footing. Rain, melting snow and rising groundwater all lead to more moisture being stored in the soils that surround your homes foundation which can lead to more moisture being stored in the soils. If your drainage system isn't working properly and failing you run the risk of costly foundation problems and extensive water damage. As groundwater rises the hydrostatic pressure increases putting great strain on your foundations integrity. Hydrostatic pressure is the force created by standing or resting water. It is the constant force that water exerts on your basements walls. While hydrostatic pressure can come from runoff down a hill, most of the time, it comes from saturated soil around your homes foundation. Hydrostatic pressure may also appear in cracks in your basements floor as water tables rise especially after a winter of heavy snows followed by spring rains. There are a few main components to a dry basement that can be used together in coordination to maintain water infiltration.


7 Main components used when creating a dry basement and property:

  • Footing drains around the entire perimeter of home
  • Curtain drains may be installed on property to alleviate water before the home
  • Sump pumps preferably at the lowest side of your basements floor
  • French drains cut inside your foundation wall where meets the floor and drains to a sump pump system
  • Swales created to catch water before reaching your home
  • Extension of gutter downspouts away from you home
  • Installation of a dry well for excess water

Water is the cause for billions of dollars of damage each year across the country and with a good working drainage system in place hopefully damage can be avoided. Hydrostatic pressure can build up to 33,000 psi which can put a tremendous amount of strain on your homes structure. Throughout the year inspecting your foundation for evidence of water is essential in determining where it may be coming from. With a finished basement this will be a lot less evident to see and moisture being absorbed by sheetrock, wood and insulation behind the wall creating a perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow rampant. Mold spores can be highly dangerous and create a toxic environment that can't be seen by the naked eye and cause many different health ailments.


Things to look for when determining you may have water:

  • Musty smell
  • Damp or wet walls(mostly noticeable on concrete and cinder block walls)
  • Wet in corner where foundation wall meets floor(most always a sign of failing footing drains)
  • Water coming through cracks of concrete floor
  • White residue on block walls which could indicate mold spores growing or could just be efflorescence
  • Cracks in foundation walls


 As noted before unseen water damage can created mold and mildew that grows rapidly that causes many different health ailments. These conditions usually go unseen and can cause a great deal of damage leaving your home unlivable and worthless without major mold remediation. Besides the potential structural damage to your foundation walls your quality of life could potentially be at stake.


Health ailments due to mold/mildew:

  • insomnia 
  • memory loss
  • trouble concentrating and confusion
  • numbness in extremities 
  • respiratory problems
  • fatigue 
  • allergic reactions(wheezing, runny nose, watery eyes, etc.)
  • asthma attacks
  • bronchitis 


This article wasn't made to scare you but to realize the importance of drainage around your home and the potential damages it can possibly cause mostly always unseen. A few different drainage systems working in coordination can hopefully eliminate the headaches. Once damage is done it can be very costly to reverse the damage water can do.

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Topics: orange county ny, construction-general--monroe, footing drain, excavating, monroe, egress windows, finished basement, excavation, backhoe, excavator, foundation

What is an egress window and why do I need one?

Posted by Bill Bateman on Sat, Mar 06, 2021 @ 07:19 AM

A common question hear all the time is "what is an egress window" ? Essentially an egress window is a fire escape window for any occupied finished basement in the country. The requirement became part of the International Residential Code in 1997 that all basements require an egress window. From experience throughout the years I have concluded that about 90% of our calls are from customers that are looking to sell or in the middle of selling and find they are in violation. Not installing one will hold up the closing of your home which in some cases can be months which can be a huge burden on both buyer/seller.


Customers always ask what is involved and what is the cost of an egress window. Many different factors play into the cost and installation. On average cost of installing an egress window ranges around 4-6K within reason. Not a bad investment considering the work involved and what you get for it. Just peace in mind is worth it knowing that your loved ones will be protected in case of an emergency.

What are the requirements of an egress window?:

  • Minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet
  • Minimum net clear opening height of 24"
  • Minimum net clear opening width of 20"
  • Window well must be 9 square feet
  • Maximum 44" sill height from finished floor
  • Maximum 44" height from inside window well
  • Any heights over 44" require a ladder installed
  • Ladders shall be affixed permanently with width of at least 12 inches; shall project at least 3" from wall and ladder treads should not exceed 18" on center

What can determine the cost when installing an egress window?:

  • Block wall or poured concrete wall
  • Access to the location where window is
  • Amount of digging depth
  • Removal of excess dirt off of premises
  • Finish the interior or not
  • Add a Bilco preformed egress window well
  • Removal of trees in front of location where window is to be installed


Commonly asked questions:

  • How long will it take to install an egress window? Typically 2-5 days
  • Will there be any dust during the project? Yes, as with any construction you can expect some dust. We have a system though that keeps dust at nominal levels
  • What if there are any gas/water/electrical lines in wall? We will move at an additional cost; unfortunately we cannot determine that until wall has been opened
  • Will not having an egress window hold up my closing? Absolutely, if you have a finished basement you need one and 90% of our calls are for this reason
  • Will an egress window increase the value of my home? Any upgrade will increase the value. Besides more ventilation and light, you bring your basement to code and also protect your loved ones in case of an emergency
  • What kind of window will you be using? We use an Anderson 400 series casement window with a 22" net clear opening

Installing an egress window will also improve light and ventilation for your basement. Basements are always a breeding ground for mold and mildew as they are underground and create moisture. Adding light and ventilation will cut down your chances of toxic mold and mildew forming. Many people add a dehumidifier also to help remove moisture from their basement especially during the hot humid months of summer. Weather you are looking to sell or keep your home, an egress window is a great investment that brings safety and added value to your home!!!


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Topics: General Contractor, construction-general, bathrooms, Construction, basements, drainage, anderson, egress windows, finished basement, excavation, backhoe, fire escape