Home Improvements Where a Contractor is a Better Idea Than Trying to Go It Alone


Home improvements and repairs are a way of life as a homeowner. Most people allocate at least 2 percent of their home’s market value towards home repairs, maintenance and fixes along with outright replacements of appliances to keep everything running.

While not every renovation, repair or redecoration project is one you should tackle yourself, here are a few of the issues that arise as an owner where you’re better off getting help to complete them.

Insufficient Waterproofing in the Basement

If you’ve prepared a basement or had one fitted, you might have discovered during the winter that it wasn’t as waterproofed as you had expected!

Water damage in the basement develops through a variety of ways which make it difficult to resolve. Indeed, the Environmental team over at freeflowusa.com have special training to know how to spot all the ways that water can creep into the basement level. It might be that the floor is cracked with moisture initially and now water is forming in puddles there. The walls could have cracks of their own too, or feel damp to the touch.

Resolving these types of issues individually as they’re spotted or overhauling the basement by fitting a comprehensive waterproof system through FreeFlow Environmental will get to the bottom of it. That way, you can enjoy full use of your basement and not have any respiratory issues from damp or bacterial build-up which can happen when the situation goes untreated.

Adding a Basement Sump Pump or Backup Pump for Flooding Protection

A sump pump for a basement is designed to pump out low to mid flow levels of water. When a basement sits below the water table, it’s at risk of flooding. At which point, even some initial waterproofing measures might not be enough, and you’ll need a pump to get most of the water out.

A pump in the basement automatically activates when the float rises higher due to water lifting it up. This triggers a sensor; the engine turns on and the pump starts up on its own. The sump pump runs off electricity and has a hose linking it to the outside. The engine is powerful enough in most sump pump models to pump water upwards of 40-50 feet to rise from the basement to the ground level where the water can be disposed of.

In case of electrical failure during a storm, a battery backup pump can be deployed to ensure at least one pump will stay in operation should the power fail at just the wrong time.

A decent plumber can install a sump pump correctly for you. Ideally, they have experience of having installed them previously and possibly have testimonials from happy customers whose basement they saved.

Resolving Sewer Line Issues

If you own a substantial property with various sewer lines here and there, it may fall on you to take care of blockages and other problems with the sewer connections or nearby drains leading to them.

Should sewer lines be your responsibility, then there’s different equipment that can be used. A review of the sewers near your property might be completed using state-of-the-art miniature video equipment fitted to the end of a cable that gets fed down into the sewer. The equipment can be rented, or a professional firm pulled in to use hydro-jetting or rodding to resolve blockages too.

Burst Water Lines

Along with concerns over sewer lines, cold weather could have burst or cracked a water pipe either within your home, below it, or adjacent to it.

Cold weather conditions including freezing temperatures often result in pipes coming under increased strain. The freezing temperatures can make them brittle or bulge out and eventually cause them to split along their seam. At that point, water will be leaking out of them, causing potential flooding or ice to form which creates additional pressure on the pipe.

If you’ve noticed a loss of water pressure or that your water bill has suddenly leapt up, then it’s time to investigate. You could be losing water through split water pipes and potentially, the foundation of the property could become eroded or damaged due to moisture if the pipes don’t get replaced and tested, and the area dried out. Nothing is gained by waiting. Leaving this kind of issue for long has the potential to get significantly worse. A good plumber can help here.

Shoring Up the Foundation

For older homes and poorly made newer ones, the foundation might be failing. The problems might be evident to you in the form of cracks through the bricks or some of the exterior walls, drywall that’s breaking down, mortar that comes away in your hands, a mildew or mold buildup, cracks in concrete slabs, or panels that are bowing or bending out of shape under pressure.

Foundational issues are not a small matter. You could try to figure them yourself, but without any experience in this area, your home might end up with a collapsed section a few years down the road. At this point, your home might become unlivable and worthless. Alternatively, the cost to shore it up after a partial collapse could be extremely high.

Also, insurance coverage might be called into question if you noticed issues and failed to get professionals in to fix them.

Resolving Mold, Mildew or Rising Damp

Health problems can result from exposure to mildew, mold or rising damp. Each originate from having too much moisture in the air, the walls, or the foundation. A previous flooding can lead to ongoing home renovation issues like this too.

Removing black mold is very important as it’s toxic. Crawl spaces must be checked for problem areas as well. Inspections can be carried out to check for potential hotspots that need attention and to confirm if the air is contaminated. Getting an air purifier might help, but it won’t address the root cause.

Whenever you have a project that needs attending to, it’s important to separate out the home improvements that are possible alone, and ones where you need to hire a professional and experienced team instead. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. It will only cost you more time and inconvenience if you start a home improvement project, abandon it, and have to call in a specialist later anyway.

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