November’s Breathe Healthy Initiative Topic: Wet Basements and Crawlspaces

By | Basement Dewatering, Basement Water Control, Mold, Wet Basements | No Comments

DEHUMIDIFIER IS YOUR BASEMENT’S BEST FRIEND!

A proper dehumidification system will include a system to capture the water produced and exhaust it to the outside so there is no dependence of building occupants or maintenance personnel to empty the dehumidifier.

Between vacations and distractions, the chances are that there would be times when the dehumidifier was not emptied in a timely fashion. Such events would lead to high humidity episodes, which leads to opportunities for mold growth.

To learn more, to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, or to request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book, visit baxtergroupinc.com/healthy.

SO, WE’VE GOT A WET BASEMENT or CRAWLSPACE! WHERE DO WE START? – Part II

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Start with a visual assessment.  Possible concerns noted in a visual walk-through of the interior would include:

  • Cracks in the walls and floors.
  • Peeling paint and efflorescence.
  • Movement in the foundation or footings.
  • Water intrusions in the walls and floors.
  • Buckled or bowed walls.
  • Sump-pump issues.
  • Hydrostatic pressure or high-water table indicators.
  • Visible mold.
  • Leaking pipes.
  • Water stains.

The exterior assessment would begin with identifying any issues with landscaping and grading, drainage, gutter, downspout, roofing, or windows.

All of the information gathered can then be reviewed and an action plan  established.  The action plan may encompass a process of making repairs and then determining if those repairs were enough to eliminate the water problem.  When all repairs have been made and one finds that the water has not been controlled, it is then time to move to a water-control system, aka waterproofing.

 To learn more, to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, or to request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book, visit baxtergroupinc.com/healthy.

 

SO, WE’VE GOT A WET BASEMENT or CRAWLSPACE! WHERE DO WE START? – PART I

By | Basement Dewatering, Basement Water Control, Mold, Wet Basements | No Comments

Having a full assessment is the wisest move.  Stories are rampant of building owners who have paid for extensive and expensive waterproofing systems … only to find that by making other water-control repairs they could have avoided installation of such a system.

Needed gutter repairs is a great example:  The rainwater pours off the roof, around and through the deteriorating gutter system, down the foundation wall of the building and right into the newly installed French drains.  However, if the gutters had been repaired, the need for the French drains would have been eliminated.

In performing a full assessment, all sources of water are being identified, whether they are coming from landscaping issues, issues with the exterior systems of the building, or issues with the interior systems of the building.

To learn more, to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, or to request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book, visit baxtergroupinc.com/healthy.

November’s Breathe Healthy Initiative Topic: Wet Basements and Crawlspaces

By | Basement Dewatering, Basement Water Control, Baxter Group, Inc., Home Improvement, Wet Basements | No Comments

Warning signs that indicate a moisture problem exists in a basement or crawl space should be followed by a full assessment.

WET ALERTS include:

  • Humidity over 60%, which may indicate moisture exists but the source may be hidden … a leaking pipe, water lying against the exterior walls, water entering cracks in walls.
  • Condensation on structural components or other components within the space, which may indicate that warm moist air is entering the cooled area.
  • Peeling paint, which may indicate water is seeping under the paint and causing it to bubble.
  • Cracked walls, which may indicate that severe pressure is occurring under the floor or behind the wall. This could lead to structural damage as well.
  • Cracked walls, which may indicate that the concrete was not allowed to cure properly or that pockets of air were not properly removed during the initial installation of the foundation. Water will then force its way through the wall.
  • A coating of efflorescense on the wall, which indicates that moisture may be seeping through the wall. Efflorescense is the salt and chemical residue from either the soil or concrete wall.
  • Buckling or bowed-in walls, which may indicate severe pressure behind the wall. It may have originally been hydrostatic pressure or water pressure, but over time it could transition to the pressure coming from the weight of the soil pressing against the foundation walls.
  • Mold, which may indicate high-humidity events or moisture events.
  • Puddles, which may indicate that the footings are too narrow or not laid deep enough, causing them to be susceptible to movement caused by soil erosion.

Although multiple signs seem to become evident all at once, quite often the problems were gradual and unnoticed.  Water problems can also originate because of one event such as local dynamiting, a storm that saturates the ground, or recent changes to landscaping.  All these events can also change the composition of the ground around the basement or crawl space creating new water entry paths.

To learn more, to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, or to request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book, visit baxtergroupinc.com/healthy.

November’s Breathe Healthy Initiative Topic: Wet Basements and Crawlspaces

By | Basement Dewatering, Basement Water Control, Mold, Wet Basements | No Comments

Maintaining the overall health of a basement or crawlspace is crucial to the health of a building.  The structural components of a building are equivalent to the bone system of our body – the basement or crawlspace is equivalent to the pelvis and lower back. When the pelvis or lower back are injured or deteriorating, it affects the body’s overall health. The same is true with a basement and crawlspaces.

This fact has been confirmed by tracer gas studies, which documented that a building’s crawlspace or basement communicates with the occupied spaces above. Approximately 40% of the air in our buildings originates from these areas.

To learn more, to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, or to request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book, visit baxtergroupinc.com/healthy.

DIRTY DUCTS – MYTH BUSTER

By | HVAC | No Comments

MYTH:  Ducts should be cleaned once a year at minimum.

FACT:  Dirt in air ducts adhere to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space.

Ducts should be cleaned under the following circumstances:

  • There is substantial visible mold growth on hard surface ducts or on other components of the heating and cooling system.
  • Ducts are infested with vermin.
  • Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from the supply registers.

To learn more, to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, or to request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book, visit baxtergroupinc.com/healthy.

TIPS FOR MOLD PREVENTION

By | Mold | No Comments
  • REACT immediately to a water, moisture, or high humidity event Immediately clean up water leaks or spills indoors
  • Address the cause of any condensation on windows or pipes
  • Control humidity by keeping it between 35-45%
  • Increase ventilation or air movement by opening doors and/or windows or use fans when humidity nears 55%
  • Use dehumidifiers in at-risk areas
  • Establish humidity monitors in at-risk areas and check regularly
  • Fix plumbing leaks immediately
  • Scrub visible mold off of hard surfaces
  • Clean and repair roof gutters and down spouts regularly
  • Landscape ground and sidewalks away from the building foundation
  • Clean air conditioning drip pans regularly
  • Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters. Exhaust to the outdoors where possible
  • Run the bathroom exhaust fan during showers plus twenty minutes
  • Use exhaust fans when cooking, running the dishwasher or other moisture creating tasks
  • Dispose of porous materials in which mold has rooted (ceiling tiles, carpet, drywall).
  • When removing mold contaminated components, if disposal requires moving through non-contaminated areas, bag the components so as not to cross-contaminate other areas in the building.
  • Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces without first cleaning the surface and ridding it of the mold colonies.
  • Minimize clutter. Mold spores get trapped in the clutter and will lay dormant until a moisture events occurs.

Drinking Water Myths & Facts

By | Indoor Environmental Quality | No Comments

 

MYTH:      There’s plenty of water on earth for all of us.

FACT:        Only 1% of all the world’s water can be used for drinking. Nearly 97% of the world’s water is salty and therefore undrinkable, and 2% is locked in glaciers.

MYTH:     The earth is provided with more water every time it rains.

FACT:       Our water is recycled through rain. We are literally drinking the same water the dinosaurs drank millions of years ago.

MYTH:     Americans use no more water than other countries.

FACT:       Each American household uses approximately 107,000 gallons of water per year. However, 50-70% of our water is used for watering lawns and gardens, and as much as 14% of our water is flushed down the drain or is wasted through pipe leaks.

MYTH:     All Americans use public water systems that are regulated by the EPA.

FACT:       There are approximately 150,000 public water systems in the United States that provide drinking water, leaving about 10% of Americans relying on water from private wells.

MYTH:     Public Water Systems are always safe.

FACT:       Municipalities are required to test their water at least once a year.

MYTH:     There are drinks that are much more beneficial to the body than water.

FACT:       Drinking water is essential to a healthy diet. Hydration contributes to energy levels and brain functions. Drinking water also flushes body wastes.

MYTH:     Bottled water is the safest water to drink.

FACT:       About 25% of bottled water is tap water. Luckily, the United States enjoys one of the world’s most reliable and safest supplies of drinking water.

Renovations by Baxter Group

By | Renovation | No Comments

Introducing:

Renovations by Baxter Group, Inc.

After a recent acquisition, Baxter Group now sports the expertise to give your home or office a fresh new look! In need of a new deck or just looking to spruce up a space? We’ve got you covered!

Check out our new services:

  • Additions
  • Crawlspace Conditioning
  • Foundations
  • Masonry Wall Reinforcement and Crack Repairs
  • Remodeling (Basements, Bathrooms, Kitchens, and More)
  • Repairs
  • Replacements (Doors, Siding, Windows, and More)
  • New Construction (Garages, Decks, Porches, etc.)
  • Basement De-watering Systems

Check out some of our recent work