Home Improvement Blog

5 main drainage components to protect your home and property in Orange County, NY

Posted by william bateman on Wed, Dec 07, 2022 @ 12:07 PM

We are here today to go over your home and property drainage components. Most of us with homes have experienced some kind of water issues whether it may be a roof, leaky faucet or toilet, water heater, roof, etc..... but wanna focus on basements and outside ground water that can potentially infiltrate your home and cause immense damage to your homes structures and valuables you may have inside. Water damage is responsible for billions of dollars a year in damages that can cause a great number of issues not only to your homes structure but can potentially create hazardous environments that affect your health. May seem extreme but most of the time, especially if your basement is finished, you cannot tell you have water damage until the damage has been done. Another factor is if your basement is fully underground surrounded by saturated soils you may have a higher risk of water and/or water permeation.


Damage like this is quite common in basements with insufficient drainage. In a finished basement the damage would be hidden behind your walls creating mold and mildew not only to the foundation walls but your sheetrock, insulation and wall studs. Cement and cinder block foundations are the most susceptible due to their porous nature as poured foundations are far less porous not allowing water to permeate as easily. Evidence of water damage on the walls is more likely associated with runoff water that saturates the soil and infiltrates through walls due to failing exterior foundation coating. Evidence of water and/or moisture in the corners of foundation walls where meets concrete floor is evident your footing drains have failed and ground water has created hydrostatic pressure from rising water tables. Footing drains are your homes main drainage component to remove water from your footings and foundation walls. Failing footing drains largely increases the risk of water infiltration and structural damage to your foundations integrity due to water pressure buildup. Damaging water can reach as high as 33,000 psi causing great strain.


As water tables rise from the ground combined with water runoff the force of pressure can be crucifying to your foundations structure resulting in complete failure requiring replacement which can be very costly. Block and cinder block walls are more susceptible to failure and have less integrity than a poured foundation but both run the risk of damage. Common components can help relieve your water issues and when used in conjunction can greater lower your risks.

5 Key drainage components to protect your home and property:

  • Footing drains
  • Curtain drains
  • Sump pump
  • Extending downspouts away from home preferably underground if possible
  • Create a swale to catch runoff on your property 

You may not need all components considering your properties grades and depending on the perc of your grounds soil. First you will have to indicate where the source of water and/or moisture is coming from. Once indication is made then you can come up with a solution. Like noted previously, finished basements may be harder to spot where water and/or moisture has infiltrated as its hidden behind walls and/or flooring.


7 signs to look for in a potentially wet/moist basement:

  • Wet or moist walls
  • Water or moisture in corner of foundation walls where meets concrete floor
  • Water pooling and collecting outside of foundation from gutter downspouts 
  • Any basement window wells that may not drain properly during heavy rains
  • Musky smell in basement
  • Wet or damn carpet and/or warping wood/composite floors
  • Pooling water and/or grade of property sloping towards home
  • Visible water and/or moisture in any cracks of foundation walls or floors

Sump pumps can be a great drainage application to relieve ground water from hydrostatic pressure under the concrete slab of your basement floor. These are installed by cutting open concrete floor preferably at the lowest point of basements floor and installing a permeable catch basin with sump pump that drains to the exterior of your home. As water tables rise water will most likely go to the point of least resistance into the basin and removed outside quickly. Also to keep in mind when installing they run off electric and many times when needed the most during inclement weather electric goes out leaving pump useless. A battery backup is recommended in to avoid a foreseeable issue.


When its comes to your property itself you must determine if you have water issues surrounding your home. Low spots and wet marshy areas are a good indicator of water issues. Some may not effect your home at all beside just creating marshy wet areas but when drastic slopes cause runoff towards your home or low areas of water that pools near foundation these can be potential problems. Curtain drains are a great application for removing unwanted water on your property. Essentially curtain drains are in ground gutter systems that efficiently move water from one area of your property to another area away from the home. 


Wet marshy areas around property can also be contained building a swale. A swale is essentially another gutter type system dug into the ground to catch water runoff. Usually installed when you have a grade coming off a hill and to divert water. This system does not use a pipe, just an angled hole for water to catch and divert. You can also install filter fabric and river rock to your swale.

After going over the few components of drainage the idea is to identify if you you have a water problem and if so then where. Once determining where, then you can come up with a solution to address the issue involved. Like noted all applications may not be for your home and property and must be assessed to see what application is needed. Footing drains on the other hand are on every home built and is a national code requirement. Water must be removed from foundation walls and foundation walls must be sealed from the exterior, Proper installation always requires an adequate amount of aggregate usually a 3/4" gravel around a 4" corrugated pipe in conjunction with filter fabric for a properly functioning footing drain system and maintain longevity to keep water flowing away from foundation for years to come.

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Topics: orange county ny, General Contractor, basements, construction-general--monroe, footing drain, drainage, egress windows, finished basement, excavation, foundation, bi-level

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!!!


Click here and fill out our contact page for a free estimate!


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

Benefits of an egress window/Orange County, NY

Posted by Bill Bateman on Thu, Aug 10, 2017 @ 08:05 AM


                         William M. Bateman



Its becoming more common around the country for customers to be installing egress windows in their basements. National code has been in effect for years requiring an egress window for safety measures for you and your family. Most recently in the past few years we have noticed a rise in egress window installations due to the fact that local building departments have been forcing them more and violations are being issued to customers that dont have one. These violations mostly come up when buying/selling a home, finishing basement or refinancing forcing the customer to install one in a timely matter before you can sell or do any other work to your basement.



Why you might need an egress window installed:

  • Buying/selling your home
  • Finishing your basement 
  • Need more light and ventilation in your basement
  • Safety reasons to protect you and your family
  • Peace in mind

Most of customers we experience wait until they are selling their home to install an egress window which holds up the closing process on both ends of the buyer/seller. Once installed every customer realizes the benefits and wishes they had installed one sooner. Its usually a 2-5 installation process that is done 90% from the exterior of your home limiting any distraction to your life and home.




Benefits of adding an egress window:

  • Added safety as a fire escape in the time of need
  • Better ventilation for your basement
  • More added light
  • Better access for larger items to enter your basement from outside
  • Helps with mold and mildew issues every basement experiences


When buying/selling your home like mentioned before, brings up last minute violations that brings nothing but last minute aggravation. Pre planning your egress window project will eliminate this and save you money without paying for extra violation costs that you local building department may require.





What to expect when installing a window in violation:

  • Closing process held up
  • Have to issue a building permit
  • Some building departments require engineered plans drawn up for basement floor plan
  • Extra permit fees
  • Electrical inspection
  • Proof of insurance from your contractor
  • Approval from the board for work to comence in some condo complexes



Egress windows have national code requirements that must be met before and during the installation. Choosing a good contractor that is familiar with these codes is key for an easy and painless installation process. The right equipment is necessary to do the project with the proper machines that will not ruin your property during the process.


What are the national codes for egress windows?

  • Window must be minimum of 5.7 square feet
  • Window sill height must not exceed 44" max
  • Window well must be 9 square feet inside dimensions
  • Window well must not exceed 44" without adding a ladder
  • Window must have 22" net clearing




WMB Construction has been performing egress window installations for years in the Hudson Valley NY region.  Contact today to set up your free estimate and we will come out and evaluate and price your project.



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Topics: General Contractor, remodel, construction-general, Construction, outdoors, excavating, contractor, improvements, drainage, egress windows, finished basement, window

Bill Bateman egress window installation

Posted by Bill Bateman on Sun, Aug 21, 2016 @ 11:55 AM

                        If you are looking for an egress window contractor,

                                    you have come to the right spot!!!!!!!


          We know all the "in's and outs" when it comes to egress windows!!!!






Working out of Monroe.NY for many years, Bill Bateman has performed hundreds of egress window installations over the years helping protect families from harm in the case of a house fire. National code requires all finished basements to have an egress window as a fire escape to protect your loved ones in time of need. Not only for safety reasons, egress windows add a lot more than that to your basement.



Benefits of adding an Egress Window:

  • Peace in mind that your loved ones are protected
  • Added light
  • More ventilation
  • Double pane glass adds more insulation
  • Low E glass that protects from UV rays



What are the building codes when installing an egress window?

  • Window must be minimum 5.7 sq. ft.
  • Window must have a minimum 22" net clear when open
  • Inside window sill height must not reach over 44" high
  • Window well must be minimum 9 sq. ft. inside measurements
  • Window well height must not exceed 44"
  • In the case inside/outside window height exceed 44", a ladder must be added


Added an egress window to your home can be both exciting and stressful! Exciting for the people that want one and stressful for the people trying to sell their home and its holding up your closing. Every town is requiring egress windows and we see that 90% of the time it is when the customer is trying to sell and is in violation. The violation has to be corrected and holds up the sale for both buyer and seller. Contact us today for a free estimate if you are interested in an egress window installation!!!!






Topics: basements, egress windows, finished basement, fire escape, window, foundation

Orange County Home Improvement/Remodeling Monroe, NY

Posted by Bill Bateman on Mon, Apr 04, 2016 @ 09:26 PM

Here at WMB CONSTRUCTION we pride ourselves in on time quality work here in the Hudson Valley, NY.  For all your needs we are here for you! Based out of Monroe, NY; we are your one stop construction company.  With that being said, yor home has many needs; roof, siding, kitchen, bathroom, patios, drainage, garage door, finished basement, egress window, anderson windows, pella windows, decks, remodeling, painting, flooring, staining.......etc!  



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We perform all phases of construction and home remodeling all over Orange County, NY  Most of our work is close based due to word of mouth recomendations with repeat customers. We like establishing trust within our customers that lasts a lifetime. 







Topics: General Contractor, remodel, bathrooms, basements, Roofing, home, Decks, egress windows, finished basement

Egress window requirements/codes, Orange County, NY

Posted by william bateman on Mon, Apr 04, 2016 @ 06:11 PM



Adding an egress window to your home is an excellent idea, opening up your basement to fresh air and light and most importantly the safety of your family and your pets. Across the country it has become a national code and all homes must pass inspection and have an egress window if your basement is finished. 



Requirements for an egress window:

  • Window must be 5.7 square feet 
  • Window must have a clear opening of 20"
  • Window must be at least 24" in height
  • Window well must be 9 square feet interior dimensions
  • Sill height of window from inside floor of basement must not exceed 44"
  • Height inside window well must not exceed 44"
  • If inside/outside heights exceed 44", a ladder must be installed
  • Window must be operatable by hand with no tools
  • Bars on the outside of window will not be acceptable
  • Garage doors are not an acceptable exit


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What are the benefits of adding an egress window?:

  • First off, the safety of your family and loved ones
  • Better ventilation because we all know basements can be stuffy and moist
  • Added natural light which makes for a better and more heathly atmosphere
  • If your basement is't finished this is a great way go get material in
  • Added value to your home



Here at WMBCONSTRUCTION we specialize in installing egress windows and all windows around the beautiful Hudson Valley in Monroe, NY. We know what your home means to you and mainly the safety of your family. These codes were put in play for a reason and even in our home town of Orange County, NY we have seen how they have helped save lives during a fire and at the same time improve everyday live when there is no tragedy.  

Topics: basements, contractor, home, drainage, egress windows, finished basement

Why your roof is the most important part of your home

Posted by william bateman on Sat, Nov 29, 2014 @ 05:46 PM

Your home is most definetly your biggest investment you have in your life, besides your family that is! With that being said, I'm sure you want to protect it just like you would your family. Your roof is the most important part of your home and without it you would have no protection from the elements of mother nature. A very common saying is "At least I have a roof over my head" and there's a lot of truth to that! So what I'm getting at is that here in the northeast we have some pretty brutal weather, especially in the winter. A good roof is a necessity in these parts!

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WMB Construction, located in Monroe, NY specializes in helping homeowners bullet proof their roofs from the harsh weather we experience. A basic roof needs many ailments to make it a quality roof that will stand up and last for years.


What does your roof need?:

  • Ice dam installed
  • 30 year architectural shingles installed
  • Ridge vents
  • Soffit vents
  • Drip edge
  • A reputable roofing contractor to professionally install your new roof
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Now, what people dont about their roof will boggle you! We all pay high cost premiums for home insurance. What you don't know is that these companies won't reinburse you if you have a failing roof! It's like having life insurance when you claim you have never smoked and die of lung cancer. Many times insurance companies will call it an act of god! 

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Be smart in protecting your investment. A poor roof can leave your home worthless and after paying for years, thats bad news to hear! Water damage can do more damage than you can possibly imagine. Most times water damage goes unnoticed for years creating crippling damage to your home, or worse, even your health! 






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Call today for a free roof estimate!


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Topics: construction-general-painting-monroe, orange county ny, General Contractor, remodeling, Construction, basements, Composite Decking Orange County NY, Architectural shingles, certainteed, anderson, additions, finished basement

Egress windows Orange County, NY

Posted by william bateman on Tue, May 22, 2012 @ 10:21 PM

Egress windows are essentially fire escape windows installed in finished basements. It is a national code that enstates that all finished basements must have a window of 5.7 sq. ft., no more than 44 inches to the sill height and 22 inch clear opening to be able to escape in case of an emergency.

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A recent egress window installation byWMB Construction where we removed the sliding glass door, which had water/flooding issues, and installed a window.

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Here we closed in the block foundation and added a footing drain to relieve water pressure. Foundation will be tarred and backfilled with lots of 3/4" gravel to keep the water moving.

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All parging is complete and window looks like it has always been there. A little paint to match is all the customer needs once concrete has cured. Water issues were corrected to keep this basement dry while also conforming to building codes.

Benefits by installing an egress window:

  • Added ventilation to your basement

  • Added natural light which helps prevent growth of mold and mildew

  • Peace in mind that your loved ones will be protected and safe from harms way

  • Added value to your home

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Topics: Monroe NY, orange county ny, General Contractor, basements, construction-general--monroe, footing drain, excavating, egress windows, additions, finished basement

How to fix a wet basement

Posted by william bateman on Sun, Apr 10, 2011 @ 07:56 PM

Has heavy rainfall and snow melt left your basement unlivable?  As the water tables rises, so does the water in your basement? Ever wonder why this is happening? Most likely your footing drains are failing. As water tables rise from the ground up it needs somewhere to be relieved and with poor drainage you will experience what is called hydrostatic pressure. Water will penetrate to the path of least resistance, usually cracks in foundation and/or floor. Signs of a failing footing drain is usually dampness in the corner of concrete floof and wall  Footing drains are designed to catch unwanted water from rising water tables. When installed correctly they will quickly remove water from your footings and foundation before it can penetrate into your basement. Over the years footing drains and foundation coatings will fail resulting in a complete replacement of your drainage system.



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When caught early enough damage to you home will be minimized. Water is the #1 most expensive costs every year due to the catastrophic nature that water can cause. It can range from a small leak (lots of times hidden behind walls for years) to major flooding. It creates toxic mold and mildew that can travel trough your entire home, rot wood and attract carpenter ants and termites, destroy your belongs,etc.........

How WMB Construction fixed the problem:

  • Excavated the old footing drains

  • Installed 30 feet of curtain drain

  • Installed approx. 40 tons of gravel

  • Installed filter fabric around gravel

  • Installed 4" PVC corrugated pipe for footing and curtain drains

  • Installed filter fabric sock over 4" schedule 40  corrugated pipe

  • Installed 4" PVC solid pipe for gutters to remove water away from foundation

  • Applied tar foundation coating on foundation walls

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Poor footing drains will result in:

  • Loss of home value

  • Mold and mildew issues

  • Damage to your possessions

  • Constant flooding

  • Foundation deterioration

  • Allergies and respiratory ailments

  • Wet rotten wood that can attract carpenter ants and termites

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Adding a curtain drain also helps relieve a great deal of water off of the property. The idea is to try and catch some of the water before it reaches the footing drains.

Why would you need a curtain drain:

  • Excessive water effecting your footing drains

    Wet areas on your lawn where you need to transfer water

  • In ground gutter to remove water from your property

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What you gain by using WMB Construction for your next footing drain project:

  • We supersede the competition by overdoing every project with extra material and labor that over qualifies with current codes

  • Work one job at a time so you can get back to your regular life

  • Experience in the trade

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Many homes new and old all have water issues. Instead of living with it, fix it! Some water issues can be so bad that your entire foundation could lose its integrity and collapse leaving you with thousands in repairs. 


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Just as an example, WMB Construction had to remove this damaged section of foundation due to water pressure buildup. Do you know that water pressure can reach 33,000 lbs. per square foot on your foundation walls? This could be enough to severely damage your foundation walls, as you can see!!

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WMB Drainage includes:

  • Footing drains

  • Curtain drains

  • Gutter drains

  • Sump pumps


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