Basement Waterproofing Case Studies: Brooklyn Ad Agency Needs Basement Waterproofing

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 by Cassandra Santiago


Madwell advertising firm was using this Brooklyn building as their office headquarters. The basements are used as their printing area, photo lab, employee gathering space, and the place where they hold various team events and functions, like team yoga and birthday parties which they feel deliver a real value to their company culture and employees. They also use the basement areas for production of videos and creative. The constant humidity and basement flooding problems were causing major disruptions to work and the fear of damage of very expensive equipment or creative products. Quality 1st Basement Systems expert, Nick Biris, met with the owners of the company and the property manager of the building to discuss options for repair. At this time, the landlord of the property opted to attempt the repair using outside basement waterproofing methods.

About four months later, Nick received a call from the office manager who explained that the company was still having the same issues of flooding in the basement. The office manager insisted that they wanted to give Quality 1st Basement Systems' method of basement waterproofing a try and were very confident that we were the right people. Unfortunately, they had to come to this conclusion through trial and error.


Upon inspection, Nick discovered heavy moisture saturation under the floor of the basements which meant that a very high level of water was soaking through the concrete slab under the flooring. This means that water was pressing up against the concrete floor so during heavy rain the water pressure was building even more and coming up through the floor. They were also getting water through the space where the floor and wall meet. The ad agency was getting up to 1/2" of water in the basement during normal rains and had to shopvac the water each time. Problems like this get progressively worse, and Nick knew it was only a matter of time before the company would start to experience even more damage. Nick also noticed water damage on the front walls of the basement. The sheetrock wall was rotted and soft which was a likely sign of mold. There was also rust on the bottom of the water heaters and HVAC unit that was stored in the basement due to the standing flood waters. All of the equipment and appliances were brand new (under a year old) and were being damaged by the water in the basement.

Quality 1st Basement Systems installed a full perimeter basement waterproofing system, WaterGuard, with a trench drain at the rear inside foot of the basement door. The trench drain was installed because there were steps leading up to the area in the back of the basement where water was collecting and spilling down into the basement. The trench drain captured that water and drained it to the WaterGuard keeping all of the water out of the basement. The installation team completed a half wall demolition, removed the damaged sheet rock, and restored the basement walls with EverLast wall panels. EverLast basement panels are the best option for any basement because of its 5 component system (moisture barrier on foundation wall, restoration of the stud frame of the finished wall, wall panels that are inorganic (which means they will not be damaged by water or grow mold), and baseboard molding and chair molding which are all water resistant. The EverLast system also comes with a 50 year warranty!

A TripleSafe battery back-up sump pump was installed as was a sub-floor feed line from the low spot in the basement floor directly to the TripleSafe to alleviate some of the hydrostatic pressure from the lowest point of the basement which was an area where water was most frequently seaping into the basement and pooling at the floor. The feed line solved that problem. ThermalDry basement flooring was installed because it is completely waterproof and gives a thermal break from the cold concrete which keeps the flooring up to ten degrees warmer than cold basement floor making this a much more comfortable place for employees to hang out. ThermalDry also prevents any water vapor from entering the basement, keeping the humidity levels low. The ad agency has not seen any water in the basements with the recent rain and snow melts. They are very happy and have enjoyed many dry, comfortable yoga classes since Quality 1st Basement Systems installed this complete basement waterproofing system. 

Project Summary

System Design Specialist: Nick Biris

Senior Foreman: Juan Garcia

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