In the older St. Paul neighborhoods wet basements can often be caused by failing paved surfaces such as concrete, asphalt and brick pavers. Left untreated these moisture problems can do a lot of structural damage to your home interior as well as the exterior foundation walls. In the darker environment of these old houses this can cause mold and black mold to develop in the carpet and wall coverings, sheetrock, plaster, and even the wooden wall frame. And quite often it is a bad sidewalk or driveway to blame for these developing health problems. I will address what some of these areas are next.

Sidewalks that are old, cracked and sloping back towards the homes foundation walls are a major concern for any homeowner. Often as the sidewalk ages, it will pull away from the home and there will be a gap that develops between the inside edge of the walkway and the foundation wall where water get in. If the sidewalk surface is sound, the gap can be filled with some backer rod and a good quality gap sealant. This remedy may be a temporary fix. The best fix is to remove the walkway, excavate and seal cracks and holes in the foundation and pour new concrete with a good slope.

The other concerns with a sidewalk are worst ones can be located on to the side of the home where the neighbor on that side has a property that is elevated higher than your foundation and it is hard or imposable to develop a good grade away unless the water can be directed towards the street or alley.

Asphalt is another surface that can develop problems over time. Usually, it is an asphalt driveway that butts up to the foundation wall that is the culprit here because you don’t often sidewalk or a patio with that material. They will also settle over time and drain the water back towards the home. Sometimes just the bad sections can be removed, then excavate and seal crack and holes in the foundation and relay asphalt with proper slope.

Brick pavers patios and walkways will sink with time and drain water the wrong way and should be pulled up, excavate and seal cracks. Then reset the pavers with a good slope away and a well-packed base under it.

Occasionally we get calls about a bad garage apron, that is the strip of concrete (sometimes asphalt) that runs along the front side of the garage door and butts up to the garage floor. They will over time separate from the garage floor and sink low enough to allow water to get under the garage floor and into the house. The apron should be replaced.

AAA Reick’s Landscaping and Waterproofing L.L.C. is a local, family-owned business of over 30 years. We proudly serve the St. Paul communities and are familiar with your neighborhoods and people. CALL TODAY 612-369-6626; we know you will enjoy working with our company!

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