Basement Health Association
136 S Keowee St Dayton, Ohio 45402
Ohio City, OH 60106
US Phone: 937-424-3313

Annual Meeting in Las Vegas

BHA seminar to feature tips from The BlueBook Network,
geotech expert, and keynote speaker Randy Anderson

The BHA Annual Meeting will be January 16-20, 2017.

The event kick off is the networking reception on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Bally’s Hotel and Casino. The seminars are Tuesday with a full day of BHA-sponsored educational seminars starting at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. followed by a Tuesday evening reception at 5:30 p.m.

The Annual Meeting luncheon is on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Lawry’s Steakhouse. Wednesday evening there will be a final reception at 5:30 p.m. The rest of the time can be used to browse the show floor at the World of Concrete.

Educational Seminars

The seminar docket is packed with great speakers covering industry topics to expand your business. BHA is thrilled to have Shelly Mason from The BlueBook Network with tips for landing commer-cial jobs. There will also be a geotechnical expert talking about soil types and drainage. He will discuss how to deal with the different soil types as a waterproofer and foundation repair contrac-tor. The keynote speaker is motivational speaker Randy Anderson.

The BHA education committee limited the semi-nars to one day this year to allow for more time to walk the World of Concrete exhibit hall. BHA members receive free admission to the show with their Annual Meeting registration.

BHA seminars will be on Tuesday, January 17, starting at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch will be pro-vided.

Networking Receptions

This year BHA is hosting three cocktail recep-tions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Bally’s Hotel and Casino on the 28th floor. Thank you to our reception sponsors Rhino Carbon Fiber, Blue Angel Pumps, and Safe Basements.


Certification testing will be offered two days this year. Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. for those taking multiple exams.

Annual Luncheon

The Annual Meeting luncheon (also included in the meeting registration) is at Lawry’s Steakhouse on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Don’t miss this event. This year’s STAR Award winners will be honored as well as certificate recipients and new board members will be elected.

World of Concrete exhibit hall

As part of the Annual Meeting registration fee, BHA members can walk the World of Concrete show floor to browse new products, meet suppli-ers, network, and visit the BHA booth #S10706 in the South Hall.

Because BHA is a co-sponsor of the World of Concrete show, BHA receives a rebate for every person that comes to the show using the code A-15. Register for the BHA events on

To sponsor any of the BHA events, call BHA at (800) 245-6292.

STAR Award deadline Dec. 31

There is still time to turn in your STAR award customer surveys. The deadline for the 2016 STAR Award is December 31, 2016.

The Service and Technician Assessment Report (STAR) award is awarded by the Basement Health Association to acknowledge these businesses for their honesty, integrity and quality of work.

Make sure to turn in your survey reports to BHA Headquarters. Either by mail or by email to

Basement Health Association:

STAR Award

136 South Keowee Street

Dayton, OH 45402

The STAR Award survey postcards have prepaid

postage and can be purchased through BHA at (800) 245-6292. Simply add the postcard to your closing paperwork at the end of every job. The happy customers fill out the survey, drop it in the mail, and BHA tallies up the points toward the STAR award. You can also have them go to the website to fill out the survey online. The STAR Award reports are a customer survey postcard rating the quality and professionalism of Basement Health members. In order to earn the STAR award, a company must receive 20 high rankings cards rating professionalism, punctuality, quality of work, timeliness, and cleanliness. It is another way to use the BHA benefits to set your-self apart from the competition.

Home inspector, IAQ expert discusses diagnosing cracks

By Jeffrey C. May
Before I became an indoor air quality professional, I was a home inspector. In this bulletin, I’m putting IAQ issues on the back burner to focus on
a home inspection issue: cracks. It can be disconcerting for a buyer to see foundation and/or wall cracks in a well-maintained home. And cracks can give home inspectors information about the house (or its owners!).
Most homes built prior to the 1920s have stone foundations, often with stone below-grade and brick above-grade. Loose stones and cracks in mortar joints are common, particularly at exterior corners. Buyers can get upset when they can pull loose bricks from a foundation wall, but all residential brick walls on top of tone foundations that I have seen contain at least a double brick (doublewythe) wall If the outer bricks are loose and the house is still standing, the weight of the house is on the innerbrick wall. The outer wall can be easily repaired.  The most common cause of corner cracks and eroded mortar is roof water. When water runs over  the mortar in masonry, the mortar either spalls  due to frost, or slowly washes out. Eventually the  mortar loosens, and pieces may even fall out.  Roof water from poor drainage or dispersal at the  corner of a building can cause symmetrical, diagonal settling cracks at the foundation. Over a long  period of time, the soil under a corner of a foundation can shift away because of excess moisture,  causing the corner to settle relative to the adjacent  walls.  Generally this condition is not serious, and installation of downspout elbows and splash blocks,

along with grading improvements, will stop the corner settlement. Then the cracks can be mor-tared.

Splash blocks can be knocked out of place, and dry wells can become blocked over time. I prefer to see solid, 4” PVC piping buried a few inches below the soil and extended to daylight at the edge of a landscape furrow or downhill from the build-ing. The downspouts can then be inserted into this piping to direct water away from the foundation wall.

Starting in the 1930s, most homes were built on poured concrete foundations. Shrinkage cracks are normal and quite common in concrete foundation walls and floor slabs. This type of crack is either vertical or diagonal, and radiates from wall open-ings such as windows or between floor penetra-tions such as beam-support columns. Cracks in concrete may widen in dry weather and become narrower when it’s humid. More serious cracks will increase in size over time.

Cracks are common in masonry because masonry products such as concrete and plaster are brittle and rigid, but are supported on materials that may not be equally rigid. Plaster walls are attached

to flexible wood structures, and foundations rest upon compressible soil. In addition, home com-ponents expand and contract with fluctuations in temperature as well as increases and decreases in relative humidity. Wood and other construction materials shrink when they lose moisture in dry weather, and expand in humid weather.

Walls and Ceilings

Ceiling cracks in buildings with plaster lath ceil-ings are quite typical. The cracks usually form be-cause the floor joists have sagged; building vibra-tions help to loosen the plaster bond to the lath, as

well as the tightness of the nails. The patterns of the cracks often reflect the ceiling structure. Long cracks appear under the strapping where joists have deflected. Shorter cracks form in the plaster between the wood lath strips, usually perpendicu-lar to cracks under the strapping.

Buildings constructed between about 1930 and 1950 may have plaster on metal lath; metal lath walls tend to be much stiffer and are thus not as prone to developing cracks. Sometimes you can distinguish between plaster on wood lath and plas-ter on metal lath by hitting the wall. Loose plaster lath often makes a crunching noise when pushed. A crack monitor (Avongard) is a useful tool

to measure cracks – a tool you can use on your inspections, but also a tool you can recommend to your buyers, so that they can keep track of a crack over time.

How old is a crack?

The age of the crack cannot be determined with accuracy, but what’s in a crack can give you some

ideas. Often, fresh cracks are clean, whereas older cracks might have dirt or insects in them. Surfaces that have been painted may also give you a clue as to the age of the crack. For example, if a surface has been painted many times, and there are different colors of paint in a crack, then the crack is older. A hairline crack in a yellow wall with no yellow paint in the crack sug-gests a recent crack. Cracks in a freshly patched and painted wall can cause concern they don’t contain new paint. Sometimes, new cracks occur because of in-creased street traffic or nearby construction proj-ects. Energetic children can cause ceiling cracks. A washing machine that is placed on the upper floor of a balloon-framed house and that vibrates when running can also cause new wall cracks. In the first single family that I owned, the washing machine was on the third floor. The house had bal-loon-framing, and once the machine was seriously unbalanced and thus vibrated energetically for a moment or two before I could rush up the stairs to
turn the appliance off. Several cracks appeared in the walls near and under the machine shortly after this event. (Washing machines can also become contaminated with mold growth.) I’ve investigated several properties in which cracks were the cause of IAQ problems. In one house, the homeowner – my client – was diag-nosed with “neurotic angioedema.” Her face would swell, and she had been hospitalized with anaphylaxis eight times in the previous eight months. All but one bout occurred while she was washing her children in the bathtub. Within the prior year, the family had finished the basement, and the architect they used had designed a small, carpeted “castle” in the space beneath the basement stairs where her children played frequently. I discovered Aspergillus mold growing on the carpet as a result of a foundation-crack leak. The family fixed the crack and in-stalled a tile floor. The woman never again expe-rienced a bout of angioedema, because there were no more spores in her children’s hair.

In another property, another client was bothered by allergy symptoms in her basement, which had been finished three years before. The floor was raised and carpeted. She noticed some damp spots on the floor, about 16 inches on center in the car-pet. She thought that perhaps her dog was respon-sible, but there was water leaking under the floor from a foundation crack. When the carpet and subfloor were removed, much of the joist structure was rotted after only three years.

I look at a building in a more thorough way than I might have done otherwise, because of the train-ing I received and the experiences I had as a home inspector. The skills I acquired in that profession have proven to be invaluable in my IAQ work.

Evaluation by a Structural Engineer

Cracks are rarely evidence of a serious structural problem; still, if you have concern about cracks in a property you are inspecting, don’t hesitate to recommend that your client hire a structural engi-neer to inspect the property.

Certification committee report

The Certification and Education Committees have been busy this year. They are working on several projects to make the certification program better for its members.


The next oportunity to take a certification test is at the Annual Meeting in Las Vegas this January. The Certification committee is offering two time slots to take the exams in Las Vegas. Tuesday, January 17 and Wednesday, January 18 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. both days. This will allow for peo-ple to take multiple tests on separate days if they would like. Contact BHA to register for the test. The certification committee is also researching options for online certification testing and proc-tored exams on location. This would allow for

more people on staff to become certified and stay certified. The committee is also looking at online continuing education and developing the re-certifi-cation program if one’s certificate has lapsed. Currently, BHA has four certificates: Certified Waterproofing Specialist (CWS), Certified Struc-tural Repair Specialist (CSRS), Certified Egress Specialist (CES), and Certified Basement Air Quality Specialist (CBAQS). The certification and education committees are working to develop a new sump pump certifica-tion and a crawlspace certification. If you would like to get involved to help work on the committee please contact BHA headquarters, (800) 245-6292.

New Members

Walter Von Siebenthal
Payzer LLC
8000 Corporate Center Drive
Suite 206
Charlotte, NC 28226
(866) 486-6525
David LaCriox
Research Products Corporation
P.O. Box 1467
Madison, WI 53701
(800) 334-6011
Ben Johnson
SafeBasements Inc.
60335 US Highway 12
Litchfield, MN 55355

Australian scientists develop new waterproofing material

Australian National University developed a new waterproofing membrane coating that repels water and oil, is anti-corrosive and self-cleaning.
Scientists at The Aus-tralian National Uni-versity (ANU) have developed a new spray-on material with a re-markable ability to repel water. The new protective coating could eventually be used to waterproof mobile phones, prevent ice from forming on aeroplanes or protect boat hulls from corrod-ing. “The surface is a layer of nanoparticles, which water slides off as if it’s on a hot barbecue,” said PhD student William Wong, from the Nanotech-nology Research Laboratory at the ANU Research School of Engineering. The team created a much more robust coating than previous materials by combining two plas-tics, one tough and one flexible. “It’s like two interwoven fishing nets, made of different materi-als,” Wong said. The water-repellent or superhydrophobic coat-ing is also transparent and extremely resistant to ultraviolet radiation. Lead researcher and head of the Nanotechnology Research Laboratory, Associate Professor Antonio Tricoli, said the new material could change how we interact with liquids. “It will keep skyscraper windows clean and pre-vent the mirror in the bathroom from fogging up,” Associate Professor Tricoli said. “The key innovation is that this transparent coating is able to stabilise very fragile nanomaterials resulting in ultra-durable nanotextures with nu-merous real-world applications.” The team developed two ways of creating the material, both of which are cheaper and easier than current manufacturing processes. One method uses a flame to generate the nanoparticle constituents of the material. For low-er temperature applications, the team dissolved the two components in a sprayable form. In addition to waterproofing, the new ability to control the properties of materials could be applied to a wide range of other coatings, said Wong. “A lot of the functional coatings today are very weak, but we will be able to apply the same prin-ciples to make robust coatings that are, for exam-ple, anti-corrosive, self-cleaning or oil-repellent,” he said.

Strong turnout at NY regional

Australian National University developed a new waterproofing membrane coating that repels water and oil, is anti-corrosive and self-cleaning.
Fall on Long Island is a special time of year. One reason BHA chose Hauppauge, New York as the host city for the fall regional meeting. On Tuesday, October 11 friends of BHA explored the hotel’s golf course. The challenging and awe inspiring course, the surrounding rolling hills, and fall colors provided a picturesque setting for the regional meeting. The education seminars occurred at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge, New York October 12-13, 2016. We offered two days of seminars, net-working and a live demonstration. The sessions covered trends in advertising in the waterproofing industry, new products and innovations for those in the below grade industry and more. Tamson Yeh, Ph.D. with the Cornell Cooperative Extension office of Suffolk County an expert on the types of insects and bugs that are found in the lower level of a home, provided attendees with a fast-paced and informative session on what condi-tions encourage what type of bugs and insects. A member networking reception took place on the evening of October 12 and the food and net-working were as valuable as the information in the sessions. The receptions have become one of the favorite times of the regional meeting. It is great to share issues with someone that might otherwise be a competitor if they operated in your market. This non-competitive situation allows for the free flow of information among those in the industry, and actually helps to create accountability among peers. Later those in attendance received expert infor-mation regarding labor law with some specific information about New York and supporting infor-mation for all owners alerting everyone to some of the current practices of the wage hour division. Our most informative sessions occurred on Thursday with a great deal of information on egress window sales, and installation. The egress window sales presentation caused many in atten-dance to re-evaluate their approach to the market and previous clients as potential opportunities for egress window installations. We concluded our sessions with a live demo of an egress window installation that included the use of some of the most current tools used for cutting a basement wall, and the most current method of reinforcing the cut once it has been made. BHA is looking forward to our upcoming ))An-nual Meeting in Las Vegas in conjunction with World of Concrete 2017, January 17-20, 2017. To register for the Annual Meeting visit www.

Tips to boost employee loyalty

ValueDry’s all-expense paid company trip to the Outer Banks for the employees and their immediate families boosted the “giveashi**er” when the company returned to work.

By James Ketterer

Please accept my apology for the  vulgar nature of the topic but after  much thought I just can’t think of  an alternative phrase that conveys the thought.
As defined by, “giveashi**er – That metaphysical mechanical device inside most of us that enables us to care enough about a task or  circumstance such that we put forth effective effort to accomplish the task or effect the circumstance. The giveashi**er is not infinite, but instead is subject to performance drops due to relative emptiness.” My vice president of field operations first introduced me to  this “giveashi**er” concept while  discussing whether or not a particular employee was ready to be promoted to  a foreman position. “His “giveashi**er” is not  where it needed to be in order to assume the role
of foreman,” were his exact words. I knew immediately what he meant. This employee just didn’t  have the gumption, the attention to overall detail,
the do the right thing for the customer and by the  company attitude and mentality that we expect a  foreman to have in order to keep installation problems at a minimum and maintain our companies  stellar reputation.  Last month upon returning from an all expense  paid annual company trip that I provide for employees and their immediate families to the Outer Banks I realized that all of the attending employee’s respective “giveashi**ers” had seemingly  been lifted. For example, an employee alerted  me that a truck needed preventative maintenance  when I know he normally just wouldn’t do so until it was broken. I now recognize that everyone  in the company has a “giveashi**er” that needs to  be maintained and influenced in the right direction  on a regular basis and that it is crucial to the success of the company to consciously do so. 
As owners and managers we prioritize all kinds  of issues. Marketing and material costs, installation complications, hitting projected sales  numbers, accounts receivable, equipment main tenance, traffic violations, employee turnover,  are just a few that I have dealt with over the past   couple of weeks. I have added maintaining the  “giveashi**er” of my employees to that priority  list. It is easy to forget how important it is to take  the time to sincerely ask employees and subordinates how their weekend was, what is new with  their family, etc.. By asking these questions and  creating environments for employees to interact  with one another on a personal level an employee’s “giveash**er” can be maintained and heightened. On the other hand, neglecting to take time  out and pay attention to maintaining your employees “giveashi**er” can be very detrimental to the  overall health of your business, increase owner  and management stress,
increase turnover and  negatively impact your  companies reputation.  So the question becomes how do we as  owners and managers  maintain this so called
employee “giveashi**er”. 

Here are a few of the ways that I have found that work.
• Sincere, “How was your weekend, What’s new with you, How’s the family”questions
• One-on-One lunch meetings between owners/ managers and subordinates.
• Spontaneous nice weather team lunch meetings during slow demand.
• Company outings including family at professional sporting events.
• Holiday parties that include family members.
• Summer family appreciation picnics

• Annual company trips that include family.  The employee “giveashi**er” needs to be maintained just like the truck my employee so graciously alerted me about. Sincere conversation  and family must be included in sincere conversations and company sponsored events. I try to keep  shop talk at a minimum and only congratulatory  were possible. If family is in attendance I always  thank family members for being supportive of the  employee especially during times of high precipitation when I call on employees to go above and beyond. In doing this the employee and  their family should truly feel that the company
cares about them resulting in an increase in their  “giveashi**er.” I appreciate it when my employees show that they care  and I know that they appreciate it when I show the same. These events and the personal conversations that happen  at them fill the “emptiness” outlined in the definition outlined above.
James Ketterer is the president of ValueDry,
LLC, Savage, MD.
If you have a member article you would like to submit for the newsletter send it to

John Bryant


Andre Lacroix

Vice President

Jason Weinstein


John BryantBill Crawford


Alan Chandler


Hugo D’Esposito


Jerome Fokas


Dave Hill


Dan Jaggers


Sean Worthington


Robert LanFrank


Luke Secrest


Jeff Roberts

Association Executive

Melissa Morton

Newsletter Editor Media relations

Basement Health Association 2016-2017 Board of Directors & Committees


John Bryant, CWS, CES

AquaGuard Waterproofing Corp. 6820 Distribution Drive Beltsville, MD 20705

  • (301) 595-9670


Jerome Fokas, CWS, CSRS

Select Basement Waterproofing

279 Route 79

Morganville, NJ 07751


(732) 526-7770

EDITOR Basement Health News

Melissa Morton

5621 195th Place East Bonney Lake, WA 98391

  • (253) 473-0133

Vice President

Andre Lacroix

EZ Breathe Healthy Home Solutions, LLC 349 Highland Road E. Macedonia, OH 44056

  • (330) 468-6500


David Hill

Spruce Environmental/RadonAway

3 Saber Way

Ward Hill, MA 01835

  • (800) 767-3703


John Bryant (President)

Andre Lacroix (Vice President)

Jason Weinstein (Secretary/Treasurer)


BUDGET COMMITTEE Alan Chandler (Chair)


Jason Weinstein, CWS, CES


Budget Dry Waterproofing 158 Route 81 Killingworth, CT 06419


  • (203) 421-8560


Dan Jaggers, CSRS, CFRS

CL Support Services, LLC

8400 N. Sam Houston Pkwy W.

Houston, TX 77064


  • (281) 664-8443


Hugo D’Esposito (Chair), Andre Lacroix, Sean Worthington




Robert Lanfrank (Co-Chair) and Rick Frack, Ed Stolba, Marc Weinstein





Luke Secrest CWS


Rhino Products USA, Inc.

1633 Thornwood Drive


Heath OH. 43056




Sean Worthington, CWS

Worthington Waterproofing System 404 Edgewood Drive Exton, PA 19341


  • (610) 280-777





President, Vice President, Treasurer




Melissa Morton (Chair), Dan Jaggers


Alan Chandler, CWS, CSRS

All Dry, Inc.

P.O. Box 148266

Nashville, TN 37214


Robert Lanfrank, CWS

Healthy Way Waterproofing & Mold

Remediation, LLC

1901 Route 71, Suite 2D

Wall, NJ 07719

  • (732)741-1103



Bill Crawford




Alan Chandler (Chair)



Tara Hoey (Chair), Cynthia Keegan


Hugo D’Esposito, CWS, CES

  1. M. Shield Corporation 33 Albertson Avenue Albertson, NY 11507


  • (516) 294-8400


Bill Crawford, CWS

Rainmaker Internet Marketing 217 South Main Street Wheaton, IL 60187


  • (630) 929-7246



Marc Weinstein





Bryce Skeeters (Chair)

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