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Basement Waterproofing

If you have a basement, it is important to be aware of its condition and maintain its upkeep. Your basement contains your home’s foundation, and it’s important to have a healthy, safe and sound one.

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Do you have a wet, leaking basement? Have you noticed efflorescence (a white, chalky powder) and water stains on your basement walls or floor? The presence of water in this below-grade area of your home is never a good sign. It can lead to increased humidity, mold and mildew growth, and even structural instability. Investing in quality basement waterproofing solutions is the best thing you can do to protect your home.

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The Causes of a Wet Basement

Your home is a significant investment, and it is important to ensure its health and safety today and for the future. A wet, nasty basement also affects the value of and ability to sell a home. So, how did your basement get to be like this in the first place?

As the soil around your foundation becomes soaked with moisture, it expands and puts pressure on your foundation. Hydrostatic pressure is the constant force of water pressure on the foundation walls. When this force becomes more than the walls can handle, the walls will begin to crack and bow inwards. This affects the structural integrity of the walls and results in the need for foundation repair.

This also presents another problem with water intrusion. Water can work its way through any opening available, including cracks. Water sitting behind foundation walls will find and fill invisible openings in the surface of the porous concrete it touches. This contributes to capillary action, creating a series of tiny veins that will seep on the other side. Clogged or above-ground exterior drainage pipes could allow water to puddle next to the home and find its way inside any crack or gap in porous block foundation walls.

Excavated soil that is replaced around a completed foundation isn’t as dense and tightly packed as undisturbed soil farther away. As a result, water collects in the soil immediately surrounding the house, putting pressure on foundation walls and causing cracks.

A sizeable hole was dug in the ground when your home was built. The foundation was then poured, which left a gap between the foundation walls and the existing earth. This gap was filled with soil that was removed and “fluffed up.” This soil is looser, more aerated than the surrounding soil, which may have been compressing for hundreds of years. Thus, the looser soil tends to absorb more water than the compacted soil. More water against the walls leads to hydrostatic pressure.

Sump pumps are essential in keeping water out of basements. Think of a basement waterproofing system as the body’s circulatory system; a properly functioning sump pump is the heart of the system. Older, failing sump pumps will only allow water to continue to collect in the basement. 

The most common sump pump systems are installed in metal basins in the floor with lids that rest on top of the basin and have openings for the discharge pipes. Some may not have lids at all. These are ineffective systems that will only cause more problems. The metal basins can easily rust and corrode, and partial or nonexistent lids allow water to evaporate back into the basement. This results in unpleasant odors and moisture issues that defeat the purpose of the sump pump in the first place. Objects and debris also can easily fall into the system and damage the pump if the sump pit is not completely covered. 

Clogged or above-ground exterior drainage pipes could allow water to puddle next to the home and find its way inside any crack or gap in porous block foundation walls. Above-ground downspout conductor lines are unsightly tripping and safety hazards. Burying these lines under the ground and directing them far away from your home is the best way to keep water from downspout conductor lines out of the house. 

You also need to think about the condition of this buried drainage system. These pipes fail to do their job if they crack or collapse, and you could end up with puddles of water in your basement. Older clay pipes commonly split, break, or crack.  

Some traditional downspout conductor lines buried underground have no outlet for drainage. Since they are sitting in the ground, they could become clogged with dirt and other debris. This could lead to a back-up or overflow of water that will cause additional headaches. 

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Is Basement Waterproofing the Right Solution for Me?

It can be tempting to put off fixing something like a leaking basement. Even if you find just a little puddle or trickle of water in your basement, it can quickly grow into full-blown water damage. You risk not only basement flooding, but also mold and mildew growth, damage to your belongings, and structural damage. All these things negatively impact the health and safety of your home and family.

That is why it is important to protect your home with trusted basement waterproofing solutions and attack the water problems at the source. The solutions we offer at Foundation Recovery Systems do just that.

First, an interior drainage system is installed in the basement’s sub-floor to catch leaking water from the walls, floor, and cove joint. Then, we’ll install one of our reliable sump pump systems that collects water from the drainage system and pumps it out of the basement and away from your home’s foundation through discharge lines. Additionally, we can install an energy-efficient dehumidifier, a thick vapor barrier on the basement walls, an anti-freeze discharge line attachment, and a sump pump backup battery. Each solution is fully customizable to fit your basement’s needs and keep your home dry.


Water intrusion and damage can be detrimental to your home for a variety of reasons. Along with ruining any stored belongings, leaking water can lead to mold growth and unpleasant odors, and even result in flooding conditions. 

These issues also result in unhealthy conditions that affect the rest of your home. Because of the stack effect, air circulates through your home from top to bottom, like a chimney. So, whatever is in your basement and/or crawl space (mold, moisture, odors) is in the rest of your house. 

While building code calls for vented crawl spaces for air drying purposes, this is harmful to the home. Hot and humid air enters the crawl space during the summer, which contributes to high levels of moisture and humidity in the crawl space and home. This can lead to sagging, soft, buckling floors above, and result in problems to hardwood floors. Similarly, cold air is vented in during the winter, making the above floors feel chilly and overtaxing your furnace. (Additional resource: Liabilities of Vented Crawl Spaces, Their Impacts on Indoor Air Quality in Southeastern U.S. Homes and One Intervention Strategy

Leaking water also affects your home’s structural integrity. If you have block foundation walls, water can easily saturate and seep through the porous material and find its way inside through any crack or gap. If water has nowhere to go, it starts building up inside the walls. Coupled with hydrostatic pressure, this results in an unsafe mess for your foundation walls and basement floor. 

Your home is a significant investment, and it is important to ensure its health and safety today and for the future. The longer you neglect these issues, the more costly future repairs will be. A wet, nasty basement also affects the value of and ability to sell a home.  

Our patented, top-quality solutions are tested and proven to work to keep water out of your home for a safer living environment.  

Cheaper, quick fixes like paints and wall coatings are only temporary bandages that will not address or tackle the root of the problem. Yes, you can apply a special sealant to your walls and floor, but it will pop and flake indicating a lingering moisture problem. Water also follows the path of least resistance. If it cannot enter through one location, it will find another way in. 

So, don’t waste your time and money on fast fixes. You need our quality permanent solutions. We use reliable, custom equipment and state-of-the-art technology to install these various systems. 

While we can’t control the weather or the soil outside your home, we can control what’s inside your house. That’s why the best waterproofing system involves interior drainage. 

Our waterproofing system has three parts. To fix the issue with leaking or standing water, we need to catch the water, get the water to a sump pump, and send the water away from the home. 

When we waterproof a basement, we drill “weep holes” into the bottom courses of the block walls (which does not affect their structural integrity) to relieve the pressure and water that may be build up inside. This water is intercepted by the BasementGutter™ system, which then directs the water to one of our trustworthy sump pump systems. The sump pump then pumps the water out of and away from the home through discharge lines. These lines can be directed to drain far away from the house, as well as out to the street. 

If you live in St. Louis, Kansas City, or the surrounding areas, contact us! We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you with one of our highly trained foundation repair inspectors. Inspections are free and no obligation to you, and our specialist will complete a thorough evaluation of your home. We also are proud to work with realtors, commercial property owners, and other various affiliates.

If you are concerned with foundation repair needs and insurance coverage, be sure to check with your insurance carrier, as all policies are different.

Here are some helpful tips for selecting a reputable contractor, courtesy of Today’s Homeowner. We are proud to meet and exceed expectations on these points:

  • No Contract Labor: Make sure the people performing the repairs work for the company.
  • Financial Commitment: Does the contractor own or rent his equipment?
  • Supervisors on Site: Is the company large enough to provide full time supervision, or will the crew be dropped off at your home to do the work?
  • References: Make sure references are not hand-picked.
  • Warranties: Warranties are only as good as the company that offers them. A reputable company who has been in business for at least 25 years should be your best bet.
  • Insurance: Ask for current insurance certificates.

  • A thorough evaluation of the home’s interior and exterior. This includes looking for sources of water such as cracks or even plumbing sources.
  • Discussing your goals with a repair project.
  • A same-day proposal of recommended repair solutions.
  • Customized solutions uniquely designed to meet your foundation repair needs.
  • Discussing payment and financing options.

Every home is unique, and each project calls for different solutions. We can customize solutions specific to your repair needs. Your inspector will take into consideration your repair goals, the severity of damage or problem areas, square footage, and your budget. It’s not just a “one size fits all” fix. So, what works for your neighbor down the street may not necessarily be what your home needs. 

Contacting us for an expert opinion is your best bet. We will not try to throw Band-Aids on the problems, push you to buy “everything but the kitchen sink,” or offer sub-standard quick fixes. 

Here are some telltale signs of basement problems that are not mended by a do it yourself fix. You should instead seek reliable advice if you notice: 

  • Any kind of water seepage on basement walls and/or floor 
  • Bulging foundation walls 
  • Failing or inefficient sump pump system 
  • Lack of efficient interior and exterior drainage 

Along with top-notch solutions installed by a reliable team when you choose to work with us, what you are really paying for is peace of mind and a safer home. 

Not only will this benefit you during the time you live in the house, but it will have a lasting impact for the future resale of the house. You are investing in the health and wellness of the structure. 

When having your home inspected for real estate transactions, even partial fixes or temporary bandages could raise a red flag along with water or structural damage. You’ll have to spend more time and money trying to address the issues, so why not make an educated decision and sound investment with us and our trustworthy repair solutions? 

Why is Basement Waterproofing Needed?

Not all homes are built with proper basement waterproofing or water management systems, and any sub-standard material can break down and fail over time. Here are some of the most common reasons for basement waterproofing:

Mold and Mildew Growth

After a significant basement leak or flooding event, it only takes up to 48 hours for continually wet surfaces to develop mold. While not always dangerous, mold can be toxic and life-threatening to anyone breathing in its spores, especially those with existing lung conditions. There are many different types of mold, but black mold, in particular, is considered to be the most harmful. You can tell your basement has mold by its varying colors–black, green, gray, and pink–as well as its musty odor.

Block Foundation Wall

Wall Cracks and Foundation Damage

A cracking foundation and wet basement go hand in hand and can contribute to a vicious cycle of damage. Overly saturated soil under and around the basement contributes to hydrostatic pressure. As foundation walls continue to experience this force, they can crack and bow inward, as well as allow water to leak inside and weaken the structure further. If both issues are not repaired, they will continue to worsen and could lead to flooding, structural instability, and even a wall’s complete collapse.

home for sale

Decreased Home Value

Even if you plan to live in your house for the foreseeable future, it’s going to end up on the market at some point. Most buyers want a turnkey property free of problems and extensive projects. If you have a wet basement with mold and other damage, it’s going to impact the value and ability to sell your home. The buyers may even ask for some leeway in the selling price to allow for repairs, or they might ask you to have the water damage repaired before they make an offer. So, it is best to have any waterproofing systems and other repairs installed prior to listing your property.

Common Basement Waterproofing Tips & Mistakes

3 Helpful Tips to Consider:

  • Even with a waterproofing system in place including interior drainage and a sump pump, humidity and condensation can still wreak havoc on your basement and help contribute to mold and mildew growth. It’s a good idea to also have an energy-efficient dehumidifier installed to help control moisture and humidity as well as decrease odors and the chance for mold growth.
  • Areas like Kansas City, Springfield, St. Louis, and Des Moines are no stranger to frequent rains. If you live in an area that sees a lot of precipitation and storms, it’s a good idea to have a battery backup sump pump installed. This helpful addition to your sump pump system ensures it will continue to work to keep your basement dry even during power outages.
  • Along with having a quality waterproofing system inside your basement, you also need to pay attention to exterior systems like your gutters and downspouts. Making sure they are properly functioning and free of debris and clogs helps keep water away from your basement.

3 Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Many homeowners look for a “quick fix” to their wet basement problems, including so-called “waterproof” paint or sealant. These DIY solutions can be found at hardware and big-box stores, but they are temporary at best and do not address the cause of the problem. Paints or sealants claiming to be waterproof will break down and wear away with time, and you would have to continue purchasing and reapplying them to the basement. This only leads to increasing costs and underlying damage.
  • When homes are constructed, the builders generally lay a footing drain next to the foundation footer. This can be effective in helping keep water away from the basement, leading builders and homeowners to believe this is the only water management system needed. But because it is buried so far underground, the weight of the soil can weaken and crush the fragile pipes, allowing water to leak inside the basement.
  • Having a dehumidifier is important, but many believe any dehumidification unit will help all spaces. A typical dehumidifier is good for smaller areas like bedrooms but cannot stand up to humidity in larger areas like basements. The ideal humidity for a home is around 50 percent. Because basements are usually completely or partially underground, they are naturally humid. A conventional dehumidifier would continuously run in an attempt to keep up. This is not efficient for your dehumidification efforts or your energy bills.

Find your service area

Kansas City, MO

Kansas City, MO

Kansas City has clay-like, expansive soils with a climate that experiences heavy rainfall that leads to flooding in the spring that can damage your home’s foundation, basement, concrete, and crawl space.

Moberly, MO

Moberly, MO

If you live in Moberly, where it rains a lot and the soil is fertile clay, you can expect water damage to your foundation, basement, concrete, and crawl space.

Springfield, MO

Springfield, MO

Gravelly soil in Springfield is prone to erosion and creates an unstable base for your foundation. Give your home the extra support it needs to stand strong.

St. Louis, MO

St. Louis, MO

Clay-like soils and a wet climate in St. Louis can cause flooding, resulting in structural damage to your home's foundation as well as the basement, concrete, and crawl space.

Des Moines, IA

Des Moines, IA

Water damage can harm your home's foundation, basement, concrete, and crawl space if you live in Des Moines, Iowa, because of the city's silty-clay loam and humid climate.

Decatur, IL

Decatur, IL

Don’t let rain and snow cause problems for your foundation in Decatur. Too much of either can cause the soil in your yard to become weak and unstable. Foundation Recovery Systems has tools designed to combat the effects of soil damage on your home.

Peoria, IL

Peoria, IL

On average, Peoria receives a high amount of rain and snow every year. Unfortunately, precipitation puts your foundation at risk as it breaks down soil and building materials over time. Don’t worry, FRS has various solutions to this problem.

Rockford, IL

Rockford, IL

Without proper safeguarding, your foundation can be damaged by Rockford’s above-average snow and rain. With solutions from Foundation Recovery Systems, you can stop foundation damage in its tracks and keep your home protected year-round.

West Terre Haute, IN

West Terre Haute, IN

From moldy crawl spaces and wet basements to cracked foundations and uneven concrete, Foundation Recovery Systems has repaired all these common home issues. Let us help restore your home’s safety and peace of mind.

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    FRS Coverage Map

    Our Service Areas

    Central Illinois Location

    2064 N Woodford St.
    Decatur, IL 62526

    Des Moines Location

    2401 SE Creekview Dr.
    Ankeny, IA 50021

    Kansas City Location

    7280 NW 87th Terrace, Suite C-210
    Kansas City, MO 64153
    (816) 774-1539

    Lee's Summit Location

    211 SE State Route 150
    Lee's Summit, MO 64082
    (816) 774-1539

    Moberly Location

    1401 US-24
    Moberly, MO 65270
    (660) 202-8662

    Springfield Location
    1820 N Barnes Ave
    Springfield, MO 65803
    (417) 612-8286
    St. Louis Location

    1625 Larkin Williams rd.
    Fenton, MO 63026
    (314) 207-9995