The team at Olivieri & Son reveals the right way to keep the water out

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Olivieri & Son waterproofs basements across Northeast Ohio.

By Laura Briedis

After a brisk, snowy winter, the springtime thaw is a welcome sight. For many homeowners, however, all the melting snow—coupled with early spring showers—is dumping thousands of gallons of water into the ground around their homes. Oftentimes this ground water can seep through the foundation walls and into your basement.

“Springtime is typically the most stressful time of the year for basement walls,” says Mark Olivieri, the son in Olivieri & Son, the basement waterproofing and sewer repair specialists. “That’s because of the subtle expansion and contraction of the ground as it warms and cools and absorbs water from rain and snow. In Northeast Ohio, water in the ground can freeze as deep as three feet below the surface. The pressure it places on your walls can eventually cause cracking and bowing. That’s an invitation for the groundwater to work its way into your basement, and for mold to form on the walls and get into your heating and cooling vents and circulate in the air you breathe.”

The ironic silver lining in the springtime cloud is the exposure of minor cracking in the foundation, which, if left untreated, could result in more extensive—and expensive—damage in the years ahead.

Without a little spring seepage, those small blemishes may continue to grow unnoticed.

In addition to waterproofing homes, Olivieri & Son also specializes in diagnosing and fixing clogged sewer lines. Pictured above is Mark Olivieri feeding a camera into a downspout to check for blockage.

“If you notice moisture, mold or a white effervescence, it may be a sign that your foundation has been compromised,” Mark says. “We can assess the damage and help you decide on the best way to stop it from getting worse. Our company is licensed and bonded, and we do the job the right way.”

Most companies try to repair foundation leaks from the inside of the basement by re-channeling the invading water back outside. That, insists Mark’s dad, Rocco, isn’t the ideal way to do it.

“The best way is to prevent the water from penetrating your walls to begin with,” says Rocco. “That’s why we prefer to fix the problem from the outside.”

Rocco and Mark, who have been fixing foundations as a father-and-son team since 1981, begin the repair process by excavating the leaky wall all the way to the footer. They then wash the foundation to clean the debris and highlight any cracks where moisture may be entering. Those cracks are patched and sealed with Waterplug Sealant. For added protection, they coat the end wall from the footer to grade with Thoroseal Sealant.

“Rolling and tar rubber emulsion from footer to grade is the final step in preventing moisture from entering the wall,” Rocco says. “For proper water drainage, we install four-inch heavy-duty perforated PVC along the footer. We will also provide a clean-out on each wall excavated.”

The excavation is backfilled with No. 57 premium wash gravel to direct water to the drain tile.

“When we’re finished, we clean up the lawn and plant beds, so you can’t even tell we were there,” Mark promises.

If you think you may be having problems with water in the basement, or a shifting foundation, Olivieri & Son will do a no-cost, no-obligation inspection, including a moisture detection test to reveal basement problems that may be hidden behind drywall.

You can schedule your inspection by calling 440-342-6844. You can see for yourself how Olivieri & Son can stop water from invading your home’s foundation by visiting