Pennsylvania Basement Waterproofing for the Hurricane Season
EXPERT TIP: Thorough waterproofing protects your basement from hurricanes.
Fairfield Country became a haven of devastation when Superstorm Sandy attacked on October 29, 2012. Tom Connor who writes for Philadelphia Magazine, described the aftermath as days of “post-apocalyptic twilight zone,” in which over 1,000 trees were down, 5,000 citizens were forced to evacuate and 1,000 homes were flooded, six of which vanished.
The 2012 New York Times recorded a total of 3,000 wrecked homes in the state while CNN reported a total of 117 casualties in United States – 4 in Connecticut, 1 in Maryland, 6 in West Virginia, 12 in Pennsylvania, 34 in New Jersey and 53 in New York.
The killings didn’t stop there. The superstorm destroyed the lives of 69 more people in Canada and in the Caribbean.
As the emergency management coordinator for the Pennsylvania Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection (Region 1), Robert Kenny decided to explore the coastline towns with officials from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“The area hardest-hit by the storm was Fairfield Beach. That’s where we observed the most significant impact to families and the most residential destruction—houses damaged and off their foundations and in some cases destroyed.” He said.
Likewise, Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed his sincere grief during his conference with NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and County Executives from Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester. He said,
“The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy is of unprecedented proportions, ranking among the worst natural disasters in our nation’s history in terms of loss of life, property damage, and economic impact (Governor. NY November 2012).”
FYI: Fairfield County has a total area of 837 sq. m., 625 sq. m. of which is land while 212 sq. m. is water (Source: US Census Bureau). Months after the attack, the Stamford Daily Voice released an updated data on July 2013 showing 81% of county’s damaged homes came from Norwalk, Westport, Fairfield, Bridgeport and Stratford. Stamford, Greenwich and Darien accounted for 14% of the total damaged.
Bart Belkin is a sixty-year-old father who lives in Fairfield Beach Road. He and his eighteen-year-old son own a house in an area that is built on three-foot-high stilts enclosed in lattice (Pennsylvania Mag, 2013).
When Sandy attacked, Bart and his son refused to evaluate the place. Instead, they made holes in the lattice in an aim that the seawater and waste would pass under their house flushing it out to the road.
Their hard work paid off despite of the blustery weather but to survive the flood, they stayed outside beside a night fire for nearly fourteen days.
“We didn’t leave for several reasons. We were somewhat protected by the house in front, we have access to roads out of the beach area, there are no trees to worry about, and there are things you can do to save your house.” Bart said, “We’re also a little tough.”
Bart shared no secrets during the interview. He admitted his son showed a great deal of courage that he can be proud of for the rest of his life. He’s also thankful of his decision to waterproof his house fifteen years ago.
“It was the best investment I’ve ever made. The shutters kept the windows and doors intact and the water out.”
On November 4, 2012 – CNN reported White House approved more than $137 million in direct assistance. Nearly 164,000 residents from Connecticut, New York and New Jersey applied for federal assistance provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Less than two years after the superstorm, Governor Dannel Malloy announced a state-funded load program on August 7, 2014 (Shore Line Times, 2014).
The Shore Up CT provides financial assistance to all eligible residents and businessmen in coastline municipalities such as Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Stratford, Milford, West Haven, New Haven, East Haven, Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, East Lyme, Waterford, New London, Groton and Stonington.
“During this century we have experienced more frequent storm surges, and the number of severe storms is only expected to increase,” Malloy said. “With this in mind, it is in our best interest to protect our coastal communities before disaster strikes.”
Interested applicants are allowed to borrow up to $300,000, in which the minimum loan is $10,000. The fixed interest rate is 2.75%. The said assistance will cover property elevations, retrofitting for flood protection and wind proofing.
Basement Waterproofing Protects Your Home
The story of Bart Belkin makes you realize it’s a lifetime accomplishment to waterproof your house foundation. A waterproofed and well-maintained basement gives you the assurance that it’s protected from flood, heavy winds, humid air, cracks, leaks, molds, mildew and animal manure.
Since 1959, VULCAN in Pennsylvania provides an array of waterproofing services in Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk, New Cannon, Westport, Wilton and other areas in Fairfield County. The services include:
Free Customized Appraisals
After call, experienced water proofers conduct free survey and analysis in an aim to find the exact problem in your foundation.
Hydrostatic Pressure Relief System
This system requires neither outside digging nor property demolition. The process involves cutting a trench in the floor around the basement perimeter next to the walls.
French Drain Remediation
French drains protect the foundation from ground water. A drainage system ensures your home stays dry for a number of months (even years if regularly monitored).
There are two types of French drains. An external drain system is a low maintenance outdoor trench that is expected to last up to ten years. An internal drain system involves the use of perforated pipes and sump pumps. The primary goal is to keep water from seeping into your basement.
Depending on the type of basement, a clean and well-functioning basement can be your anything. It’s your ideal area for entertainment, laundry, fitness or wine storage.
Encapsulation and insulation services transform a dark and tight crawl space to an airy and manageable space.