Basement FAQs in MD

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Why is my basement leaking?

When the soil around the foundation becomes loaded with water from rain or snow melt, the resulting pressure against the external walls may cause water to seep in, especially if the footing drain is clogged or broken.

What is a French Drain?

The French drain, also known as footing drain, is a pipe installed around the foundation of a house, by the footing. Its purpose is to collect groundwater and channel it away from the foundation, thus preventing infiltration.

Do I need a French Drain?

If your home is less than 100 years old, it might already have a French drain. While effective, this kind of drain is a pain to repair, unclog or even replace, because it’s only accessible if the foundation is dug up all the way to the footing. If you’re thinking about installing new drains, we recommend you opt for an Interior Drainage System.

What is an Interior Drainage System?

An interior drainage system is a modern substitute for the French drain. It is installed around the interior perimeter of the basement, which means it’s accessible from inside the house, eliminating the need for digging when repairs or replacements are due. They also clog much less often, due to receiving a lesser volume of debris.

The interior drainage systems provided by Maryland Mold and Waterproofing are patented products, specifically designed with basement environments in mind. One of the features of our drains is that they can be flushed to prevent clogs.

What is a Sump Pump?

The sump pump is an integral part of waterproofing systems. It pumps all water collected by the drains away from your basement. If your sump pump is broken, your basement is at risk of flooding.

Do I need a battery-operated backup Sump Pump?

Sump pumps need electricity to run. During a power outage, especially one caused by a storm, you could be left without pumping power, precisely when you need it the most. That is why we recommend you couple a battery backup to your sump pump.

Can I fix my basement with waterproofing paint?

Painting your basement walls with waterproofing coating and sealants is a temporary solution. Eventually, the coating will crack, bubble or peel, allowing water in once again. To properly waterproof your basement, you must address the causes of the leaks.

Why does my basement smell musty?

Musty smell coming from the basement indicates mold presence. You can feel it before the mold spots are even visible. Mold is a fungus that thrives in dark, humid places, such as basements. It is harmful even in small concentrations, due to the spores it releases into the air.

Is mold in the basement dangerous?

Some species of mold – such as black mold – produce very dangerous mycotoxins that can cause severe health problems. All species, however dangerous they may be, release spores into the air, which can cause allergies and make it harder to breathe.

How to clean up mold in my basement?

If your basement is infested with mold, you should start by removing and discarding all moldy objects, such as cardboard, paper, fabrics, upholstery, wood, drywall and insulation. To clean mold from walls and other hard surfaces, refer to this CDC guide. (

How to get rid of basement mold?

In order to permanently rid your basement from mold, you need to keep Relative Humidity levels under 60% at all times. Having a good dehumidifier is enough to keep RH levels under control.

What are those stains in my basement wall?

Stains in basement walls could be mold. Rust-colored stains can indicate the presence of iron ochre in the water. If your walls are covered by a white powder, that could be efflorescence. These stains are cause by water infiltration. If you have been seeing them in your basement, you probably need a waterproofing solution.

What is efflorescence?

Efflorescence is a white, powdery layer of minerals that covers basement walls. When water seeps in through the wall pores, these minerals get carried along and deposit on the wall surface after evaporation.

Is it safe to finish a leaky basement?

Before finishing your basement, you should take care of any and every form of water infiltration. This way, you avoid the risk of losing your possessions and furniture to a mold infestation or flood.

Will my insurance cover flood damage in the basement?

Regular insurances do not cover basement flood damage. The best way to protect your home and avoid expenses in repairs is to adequately seal your basement against water infiltration.

How to fix basement wall cracks?

At Maryland Mold and Waterproofing, we employ a process called CrackShield to fix basement wall cracks, stabilize the wall and stop them from leaking.

Why are my basement walls cracking?

Basement walls usually crack due to three main reasons. The most common of them is concrete shrinkage. Concrete walls are set in place when the concrete is still wet. When it dries, the loss of water causes it to shrink, which sometimes happens with cracking. This kind of crack rarely poses structural threats, but could still be an entry point for water and radon gas, which means it’s a good idea to have them sealed. This kind of crack is usually vertical and thin.

The second reason is groundwater buildup around the foundation. After heavy rain or snow melt, the soil around your foundation may become oversaturated with water. If your drains are out of order, this water will just sit there, exerting enormous pressure on your basement walls, from the outside in. Eventually, the walls start to give in, becoming horizontally cracked, bowed or even collapsing.

The third reason is when the soil around and underneath the foundation is too weak to support your home. This kind of crack is usually V-shaped. You may experience basement floor cracking and sinking due to the same reasons.

We recommend having a repair contractor or structural engineer over if you see any suspicious cracking in your basement.


Why are my basement walls bowing and how to fix them?

The hydrostatic pressure caused by water around the foundation is sometimes enough to make the walls bow. Installing proper drainage will take care that this pressure is relieved, and the walls that have bowed can be stabilized by using wall braces, carbon fiber or wall anchors.


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Service Area

Maryland Mold & Waterproofing offers a variety of services from waterproofing to foundation repairs. We offer the following services in your area, basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, sump pump installation and service, basement crack repair, vapor barriers and moisture control.