Why Basement Leak

Adam, CEO of EcoSpect, provides a concise and informative video overview on why basements flood, covering issues such as poor drainage and foundation cracks. Basements should be dry and clean for a healthy living environment because 40% of the air we breathe comes from the basement or crawl space. If groundwater or rainwater seeps into your basement through a leak or a crack, you will face numerous problems. A moist basement allows mold and mildew to grow which inevitably deteriorates the living conditions. Mold can trigger allergens and other respiratory diseases.

  • A faulty household appliance – Your refrigerator can leak or there can be a clogged pipe in your kitchen causing the sink to leak. When an interior appliance that operates with water malfunctions, it can flood your home and water can seep into the basement.
  • Cracks in basement walls or floors- Over time, the walls and floors of the basement will crack or bow because of pressure and other issues. A crack, even if it a negligible one, can make your basement wet.
  • Damaged gutter and downspouts- Gutters and downspouts are supposed to protect your foundation by keeping the rainwater away, a damaged gutter will cause water to enter the basement premises.
  • Condensation- During the summers, hot air can come in contact with the cool basement walls creating condensation.

Level 1 Basement Waterproofing

Level 2 Basement Waterproofing

Frequently Asked Questions About Environmental Testing

Curious about environmental testing for your home or workplace? Discover the answers to your personal questions—learn how testing can benefit you, enhance safety, and create a healthier environment for you and your loved ones. Explore our FAQs now!

My home was built after 1978. Do I even need to be concerned with lead-based paint?

According to the EPA, only houses built BEFORE 1978 are considered target housing for Lead Based Paint. However, we do see older, salvaged or antique components used in newer homes as well as decorative pieces that contain lead-based paint.

How do I know if there is lead in the paint inside my home?

While most homes built before 1978 do contain Lead Based Paint, the only way to know for sure is to have testing done.

Are there over-the-counter testing options available?

There are test kits that you can buy to help indicate if there is lead present on a painted surface, but the only way to know how much lead is there (i.e. enough to be considered poisonous), is to have XRF testing done by a certified Risk Assessor.

What is the average cost of testing?

Testing can range from $440 – $1400 dollars depending on the size of the house and scope of testing required.

How long does a lead-based paint test take?

The testing process can take anywhere from 40 minutes to 4 hours depending on the size of the house and the scope of the testing.

What do I need to do to prepare for testing?

Please ensure any animals that might try to escape during testing or are aggressive to strangers are put in a secure place before the assessor’s arrival. And if there are any areas in particular that you wish to have tested, please make sure you have a clear path to those spaces and that you let the assessor know you’d like them tested.

Do I need to vacate the home while testing is done?

You do not need to leave while testing is done. The testing can be educational, and homeowners are encouraged to be present and ask questions while the testing is done.

Do you need to remove pieces of my walls or windows in order to test them?

No. The testing is done with specialized equipment (an XRF device) that is simply pressed against the surface to be tested and a reading is taken. There is no surface disruption necessary and no paint chip samples taken.

What is an XRF device?

An XRF or X-Ray Fluorescence device is a piece of equipment specially designed for the purpose of measuring and recording the levels of lead in a painted surface.

How reliable are the results?

Extremely. This testing method is examined and approved by the federal government Housing & Urban Development authority for accuracy and reliability.

Will you share the results with me?

Of course. If a homeowner is present, they can receive verbal results as they come in. Everyone will get a copy of the report showing locations and results for all readings taken during the test. Dust wipe samples are delivered with the report as they must be sent to a laboratory for analysis.

My house tested positive for lead paint. What do I do now?

That depends. Having lead in your paint doesn’t mean you are necessarily in danger of being poisoned by it. In order for a surface with lead-based paint to be considered a hazard, it also has to be in “deteriorated” condition. This means that the paint covering the surface is peeling, chipping or in some way able to allow access to painted layers underneath it or to chips that can be ingested.

Must I have the whole house repainted or can I just address the areas that tested positive?

You can just address the areas that are positive and in deteriorated condition. This can be as simple as spot painting to cover areas that are chipped or to help areas with peeling paint stay attached to the surface.

Can I just clean the house really well and repaint on my own?

Yes! You can do whatever you want in your own home. However, someone who has not had the training to work with lead-based paint and the methods used to clean it up, may run the risk of making an issue worse by spreading the dust around to other parts of the house by traditional cleaning methods.

The areas that tested positive have been renovated. Do I need to do anything now?

You don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. However, we do recommend having clearance testing done to ensure that lead dust has not been left behind from the work.

Can lead dust be found only in my paint?

Lead dust can be found anywhere. It is caused by degrading lead-based paint and can be distributed throughout a home by foot traffic, pet paws and heating system ductwork, among other ways.

Where else can lead be found on my property?

While lead in paint is the major concern for older housing, you can also find lead (mostly from chipping paint) in the soil around the house (dripline) and soil in areas of yards and gardens. Older homes with outdated water service can also have lead supply lines as well as lead in water supply fittings.

Do I need to retest my home periodically?

Radon Gas FAQs

What is radon gas and how does it get into my home?

Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that forms naturally in the earth. As the earth shifts,
fissures and veins carrying radon gasses open and close. When those gasses release from the
earth into open air they dissipate. When the openings are under your home they run into your
slab/foundation. The gasses then enter through cracks, gaps and holes. Once inside, the gas can
become concentrated and dangerous.

What is an acceptable level of radon?

While there are no “safe” levels for sustained radon exposure, the EPA (Environmental
Protection Agency) recommends considering mitigation at levels of 2.0-3.9 pCi/l and considers
levels of 4.0 pCi/l or higher to be the level at which to mitigate.

How do I test my home?

An EPA certified Radon Testing Company will place an Activated Charcoal Canister in your
home for a minimum of 48 hours and submit the testing to a laboratory for results.

How often should I test my home?

EPA guidelines state a home should be tested every 2-5 years. More often if renovations that
involve the foundation have been done. This is because changes in the passageways in soil (high
water, construction, weather conditions etc.) as well as changes in the building condition (energy
improvements) can cause radon levels in the home to vary and change.

My neighbor has high level (low level) results. Should I have a test conducted?

Every home is different as are the fissures and veins that carry radon gasses under each home
different. What your neighbor’s test results are should be irrelevant to whether you test your
home or not. There are areas of New York that historically have high radon levels (Cortland
County and Yates County are two), but it is our opinion that every home should be tested to
confirm the radon gas levels.

My home is brand new (very old) why would I need a test done?

The terrific weatherization options now available for a home may actually be worse for dealing with radon gasses. Because the home is so efficiently sealed any gasses that enter are essentially trapped. Whereas older homes with loose caulking, ill-fitting doors and windows and poor insulation actually allow the radon gasses to dissipate.

What is the average installation cost?

There are several factors that can contribute to cost such as slab condition, composition of soil
under slab and whether you have a crawlspace or a full basement. Call us for a free, onsite

How does a radon system work?

A radon mitigation system works by depressurizing the area underneath a basement slab or vapor barrier. The system draws the radon polluted air out of the house and expels the gas above the roof line with the use of a radon approved fan.

How long does it take to install a radon mitigation system?

A typical installation takes a single day to complete, however, there are instances where a second day is needed.

How will the installation change the ‘face’ of my home?

We do our best to keep the aesthetics of the home intact. If it is possible, we run the PVC piping alongside a chimney, we try to keep the piping in the rear of the home or we can paint the PVC to match the home’s color.

Why do my pipes gurgle?

There are a couple of possibilities:

  • When the water table surrounding your home is high it may collect under your foundation/slab.
    The radon fan is powerful and can pull water into the pipes. A sump pump can help.
  • The radon mitigation system can pull humidity from the basement and water can collect in the
    pipes. A dehumidifier can help.
  • The pitch of the pipes may be wrong and not allowing water to run off properly. Call us for an

What are the maintenance requirements after installation?

There is no maintenance with a radon mitigation system. There are just two ‘moving parts’ to a radon mitigation system – the fan (which has a 5-year warranty) and a manometer. The manometer is a u-shaped glass tube filled with a liquid (colored for easy reading) that measures pressure. The liquid levels of the manometer should not be level but offset. If they are level the system is not working and you should contact your installer. If the fan is not working you should contact your installer.