Ultimate DIY Guide to Exterior Basement Foundation Waterproofing

Or How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Water damage in your basement? Cracks in your block wall? Lack of social weekend social engagements? With a bit of planning, a modest amount of money for materials, and a whole lot of time and labor, you too can excavate, dampproof, waterproof, insulate, and backfill your foundation.

Continue reading “Ultimate DIY Guide to Exterior Basement Foundation Waterproofing”

Minimize Water Damage with Water Alarms, Leeo Smart Alert, and a Wemo Insight Smart Plug

Within a week of moving into our house I installed a Nest Protect on both floors, as well as a redundant Kidde carbon monoxide detector near our utility room. I figured we were pretty well covered for fire and carbon monoxide, but that was the extent of the devices that were to keep us safe and protect our investment in our home.

One omission in our safety plan was a set of alarms to alert us to unforeseen water. If the sump pump fails or our water heater explodes, we’d want to quickly shut off the main water valve to the house. In spite of those possible disasters (however unlikely), it wasn’t until this past week that I finally installed some water alarms.

Initially I wanted a “smart” water alarm, but decided against it due to the cost and/or need for a dedicated outlet. I’d rather not sink a small fortune into the alarms and I don’t have outlets everywhere I’d like to monitor for water. During much research I discovered the Leeo Smart Alert, which pairs with many “dumb” water alarms, so long as they have a continuous tone alert.

The appeal of the Leeo is that it alerts the homeowner with push notifications and automated phone calls if it detects any of the smoke, carbon monoxide, or water alarms. This marries the inexpensive utility of the basic water alarm with the smart features of more expensive alarms. Quite a cool device if you ask me!

In addition to the Leeo, I also power the sump pump through a Wemo Insight Smart Plug, which will notify me when it turns on. I also have a water alarm with a cord that dangles into the basin several inches from the bottom. That will go off only when there’s a large volume of water in and around the foundation.

Continue reading “Minimize Water Damage with Water Alarms, Leeo Smart Alert, and a Wemo Insight Smart Plug”

Fill the Gap Between a Concrete Patio and House

We’ve noticed water damage in our sunroom, which is bordered on one side by our concrete patio. After a quick investigation we believe that water has entered the gap between the patio and the foundation. If we’re right then that hopefully accounts for the water damage.

The gap in question was previously filled with either fiberboard or concrete crack sealant, but enough of it has deteriorated to conceivably allow moisture in.

To remedy this issue I installed backer rod in the gap that I then covered with concrete crack sealant. This will hopefully be the fix that keeps that wall of the sunroom nice and dry.

Continue reading “Fill the Gap Between a Concrete Patio and House”