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Video: Wet Moldy Basement Part 1 - "Science" of How, Why and What Causes Mold

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Transcription of Video: Whenever it rains water does not go down into the Earth and disappear forever. The Earth has different layers in it. This field has different layers in it. Top Soil, Sand, Then harder soil. It could be rock or clay. We're going to call it clay. Clay is not level its pitched. So the water that accumulates  in a valley will begin to flow underground. Water is going somewhere, a brook, a river, lake, the ocean, becomes humidity, goes up in to the atmosphere and then falls down as rain again. The Earth recycles her water. 
 
The Water Cycle is dynamic it describes the continuous movement of water on above and below the surface of the Earth and the transitions from one state to another. Water is nearly always moving in the soil and it can be in any direction simultaneously. Water moves more quickly through the large open macro pores found in sandy soils and the smaller pores of silt or the much smaller flat shaped micro pores in dense clay soils. Restricted soil layers of compacted soil are among the reasons water moves latterly. Capillary action the attraction water in the soil pores can move water in any direction. Gravity is the primary water moving force in saturated soils while capillary actions are the primary forces in unsaturated soil. Eventually the water will return to the oceans, streams, and rivers.
 
That's a brief explanation of what a soil scientist calls Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity. The capacity of a soil to transmit water. I'm Dan Oconnor of Hydro Armor Systems and I'm here to talk about basement waterproofing and structural issues that you might have with your foundation. Now, What am I doing in the middle of a field? This is where it all begins. Many people believe the water comes from  your yard, downspouts, grading. These might enhance or add to the problem that you have. They're not the cause. Imagine your neighborhood as this empty field before your anything was built. The builder came along, put in some roads, built some houses. Whenever a builder builds a house he digs a hole.
 
Severing the layers, capillaries or veins.  Water would pour out, fall to the bottom, hit that footer. Water seeks its own level. Its going to work its way all the way around the house then build up. Even though the home has been back-filled for thirty, fifty, or a hundred years  the earth in here is just a loose soil. This earth has been here since the beginning of time. The water will still come out, will still fall to the bottom and work its way all the way around your house and it will still build up.  If you look around your neighborhood somewhere near by there's a brook, a stream, a river, or a body of water. That's where the water is flowing. If you have water in your basement your foundation is in the way.
 
Many people might say “Well we didn't have water for thirty years” Because water has acid in it the foundation might last for a certain amount of years then it will get water. Concrete block, Cinder block corrodes.  How does that happen? To make cement you take a limestone. You cook a limestone. You crush the limestone. You get a powder and you get a dust. The dust was sold to farmers because lime is a natural neutralizer of acid. The farmers would put it on the soil. It would neutralize the acid and the vegetables will grow. To make cement you take one part of the powder and three parts of common sand.
 
You mix that together and you get a very weak mixture. But if you take a third of a third of the lime dust, add that to the mixture, that's what gives it the strength to hold it together. When you get acid  water it causes a reaction  with the lime in the cement. The lime begins to leach out. The more that leaches out the weaker the original mixtures become. The water builds up out here. The acid will break down this original tar.  The block is porous.
 
The water is going to start to penetrate inside of the wall. Falls down into that hollow core, builds up in the hollow core, goes to the next, to the next, to the next, all the way around. Then you get hydrostatic pressure inside of the walls. Concrete block, Cinder Block corrodes. Becomes soft, as it corrodes over the years you get little pit holes. The water is inside these blocks. The little pit holes allow the water to start coming inside. The bottom of the walls become soft. The water comes in and up inside of the house. So now not only do you have water, but you have water and mud. 
 
The weight of that water and the mud cause lateral pressure. Which causes horizontal cracks. In the winter time when that water rises up above the frost line it freezes. When water freezes it expands. The earth that has been there since the beginning of time is not going anywhere the foundation will. Any kind of horizontal crack just – Lateral pressure just pushed this wall in. Now this is the part of the wall I'm going to repair. Down here I'm going to replace. This is a structural repair that will prevent this from ever happening.  When the clay levels do not get enough water they dry up.
 
The clays underground crack. The next time it rains water find a new path. Water is always changing directions based on times of great water or times of drought. Another cause is somewhere in your neighborhood or somewhere near by or somewhere off in the distance somebody built something, disturbed the way the water flowed and now its coming to your house. When it comes to mold we have all these toxic molds. Why didn't we have it 100 years ago? The Earth recycles water. Humidity goes up in to the atmosphere adheres to a dust particle and then rains.
 
Water gets inside of the walls when water doesnt move it stagnates. In stagnant water you get bacteria. Mold feeds off bacteria. Mold is a live organism. It multiplies. Everyone has forgotten about the Industrial Revolution of the twentieth century.  Smog, Air Pollution. Humidity adheres to those brings down these toxic particles. These toxic particles high in acid get inside of your wall. They stagnate. Toxic bacteria grows. Right now there's harmless mold  outside. Every time that you walk in and out of your house you're bringing mold in and out. Common mold can get in to the basement. If you have bacteria high in toxins the mold will begin to feed off of that. That mold will produce other mold spores, those mold spores will have toxins.
 
You get various strains of toxic mold. Most people don't spend very much time in the basement. There are people who have finished basements who spend a lot of time in the basement and they will start to get irritated eyes, runny nose, headache, coughing, dizziness, drowsiness, might even get forgetful. What toxins are If someone takes their automobile, parks it in their garage, closes the door with the car running. First they start to get a runny nose, itchy eyes, sore throat, coughing, they get a little drowsy, they pass out, then they die. Mold in the basement high in toxins is not so dramatic. People who have finished basements who spend a lot of time in the basement they might start to discover these thing that they have. 
 
You got a finished basement, this is all sheet rock look at the back of this. Mold. This is what happens to your finished basement when you don’t consider the waterproofing first.  Mold, Mold, Mold. That's not Dirt behind the sheet rock. Mold Mold, That's Mold. If the price puts you out of your budget for finishing your basement, well you've got less money for finishing your basement. If I ever come out and I give you an estimate and you don't get your job fixed. Good lock to Ya. To do an exterior waterproofing system you have to excavate to the bottom of the footer.
 
This is the footer. This wall would then be power washed. What I apply is twelve foot by hundred foot roles of twenty mill reenforced rubber continuous without seams around this foundation from the top of this grade all the way over this footer. I'll lay down a bed of three-quarter inch crushed stone then ADS perforated pipe. And generally I'll put three rows of four inch or two rows of six inch. After that over and around it two inch crushed stone.  Roughly about two feet. Now  there are idiots out there that will say the ADS will be crushed.
 
When you stone all the way around the piping the weight is distributed among the stone. Next time you have a party and you get a bunch of your buddies. They all have beer strength give them an egg put it in the palm of their hand and ask them to try and crush that egg. You Can Not. As you try to crush it the pressure is distributed around the entire shell. If you have stone around your pipe it cannot be crushed. Now we'll put stone to a two foot level, and we use two inch because two inch have larger crevices in it. Then I would put filter fabric.
 
Then I'm going to back-fill. You're going to get water in the piping. There are three ways of getting rid of the water. You could have an exterior pump. You can also take  the water and bring it underneath your footer and have sump pumps inside. The third way is a gravity feed. Because I've got the lake around the back the piping is going to be gravity fed to the lake. This is the entry, whatever's here has to go. Anything that you have around your house has to go. The expense of an outside system could be as much as $25,000 - $30,000.
 
Even more when it comes to replacing front porches decks.  If you do an outside system you still have to do a drainage system on the inside because it might rain faster per inch per hour than it can drain off. The water can get underneath this footer and into the basement. When you do an outside excavation you will have your entire property destroyed because you will have piles of soil all the way around.  Now another system is done from the inside. Its not the french drain its a pressure relief system. Because what has happened here is the weight of the water, the lateral pressure has caused the foundation to implode. Which you need to do on the interior is called a pressure relief system.
 
A third of the cost of this. On this job the foundation is imploding. I do a unique system. The homeowner had several estimates $40,000 $50,000 to replace the foundation. I open the outside and put the walls back in to place. Then I install wall pins. A wall pin goes inside the cells filled solid with concrete and there is no way that that wall can ever move. Now when I do a structural repair such as that we have fixed the result. Now I want to fix the cause. I will always want to put a pressure relief system in so that I can be 100% confident not only that the result has been fixed but the cause also. 
 
Now I'm opening up the outside to push the walls back and I'm doing an interior system. While I have the outside opened up I'm also going to do an exterior waterproofing system. So this customer is getting an exterior system, an interior system, and the walls put back in place, and more structurally sound than when the building was first built than if they were to replace the foundation. So this customer is getting all three its a $30,000 job. Outside excavation, interior pressure relief system, walls put back for a fraction of the cost of replacing the foundation.
 
This is Hydro-Dog. Hydro-Dog is sleeping. Now the dust was sold to farmers—Hydro-Dog is makin a mess. Visualize if we had rain. The outside and you have the inside. Look around. And if you've got horizontal cracks that is what's causing the lateral pressure. And Hydro-Dog just took a piss.  You dig an exterior system. Hydrostatic pressure is the weight of the water. Has the result been fixed but the cause also . Since the building was built new.  We've got Hydro-Dog supervising. Back-fill this now clean it all up and uh I'll show you what the inside looks like where you saw that there is absolutely no crack at all anymore.
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