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

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

Things to know about your septic system

Posted by william bateman on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 @ 05:15 PM

Septic systems are crucial part for containing the waste from your home properly. If your town is not connected to a public sewer you will definetly need a septic system. Proper design, engineering and professional installation by a quilified contractor is crucial when installing a new system. Something so simple as tank placement can be so crucial and installed wrong can fail the entire system.


What can go wrong with a poor installation?:


  • Waste line pitched wrong
  • Leech field pitched wrong
  • Not enough distribution boxes installed
  • Not enough drainage installed
  • Ground has bad perculation
  • Contractor doesn't install filter fabic
  • Horrific odors emitting from the ground



 Most homes in rural areas have septic systems to relieve the waste. Depending on your property, a proper location will be needed to determine the placement.


What needs to determined:

  • Where waste line exits the home
  • What elevation will the tank sit
  • What kind of dirt/clay/shale is on site
  • Size of home and water usage
  • Pick area with good sunlight to help with evaporation









.At the end of the day we all want peace in mind in all aspects of our lives. Choosing WMB CONSTRUCTION will make sure your system is installed correctly and give you many years of problem free use.


Topics: monroe, ny, septic, septic systems