Basement waterproofing isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Several ways to help prevent water damage to your home include crack injections and membrane coatings.
Water drainage works by directing water away from your foundation. It involves a series of porous plastic pipes that collect water from the soil and concrete walls into a holding receptacle pushed out through a sump pump.
1. Interior Waterproofing
The most common basement waterproofing method involves a sealant applied to the inside of the Continued foundation wall. This sealant prevents water from entering the basement and can help prevent mildew, mold, and water damage to the wood framing that supports the foundation.
This type of waterproofing is typically referred to as damp-proofing or damp course of construction and can be either brushed on, rolled on, or sprayed on. It is often used as a stop-gap measure to keep moisture from infiltrating the home until a more permanent solution can be implemented.
While it can help prevent some moisture from seeping through basement walls, it is not a long-term solution. If hydrostatic pressure from the surrounding soil is strong enough to push against the basement walls, it can cause the sealant to crack and fail.
A more long-term solution is an interior footer drainage system (IDS). This waterproofing solution installs a drain tile with a sump pump along the basement floor and floor/wall joints. The water that enters the basement through these areas is swept up by the IDS and sent to the sump pump, which is funneled outside the house. This is a much more effective solution than footing drains, which can clog easily. It also doesn’t require excavating the exterior of the home, which can be costly and disruptive to landscaping, driveways, and porches.
2. Exterior Waterproofing
Basement leaks and moisture often start outside your home’s walls, where water seepage or drainage problems can cause severe damage over time. The best way to protect your home from moisture and water is to waterproof your basement on the exterior using a full-scale exterior basement waterproofing system. This method is expensive, however, as it requires excavating the soil around your foundation to install drain tile.
Other waterproofing methods, such as applying a sealant to basement walls and floors, are not considered waterproofing but rather moisture maintenance. These solutions don’t seal cracks or prevent groundwater seepage; they usually only work for a short period.
In choosing the best waterproofing solution for your situation, a basement waterproofing company can help. They will evaluate your house, inspect the outside of the basement foundation, and check for signs of leaking. These include buckling walls, efflorescence (a white, powdery residue on basement walls), and mold.
If your basement has problems, they will suggest the appropriate waterproofing solution. This could include installing a basement drainage system such as a French drain, or they recommend installing a vapor barrier to seal out moisture. A vapor barrier is made from plastic or foil sheets and nestled along your basement walls. It can protect your basement from mold, mildew, condensation, and block odors.
3. Water Drainage
The type of waterproofing solution you need depends on how you plan to use your basement. If converting it into a home office, guest bedroom, or family room, you don’t need a long-term waterproofing solution. A short-term solution like crack injections, waterproof coating, or the replacement of sump pumps will suffice.
If you want your basement to remain moisture-free for a more extended period, consider an interior or exterior drain tile. The former involves digging a tunnel around your foundation and applying polymers and membranes to coat the walls. It is an effective method but costly and may require some disruption to your home activities.
On the other hand, the latter involves installing a perforated pipe in a trench and channeling water away with gravity. It is a popular choice but requires considerable excavation work, which can spoil your landscaping and disrupt outdoor activities.
Another option is to use a cementitious coating made of sand, inorganic chemicals, and organic compounds. It forms a chemical reaction with lime, creating a waterproof seal. It is less expensive than French drains but cannot bridge cracks in the substrate. In most cases, it is best used with other waterproofing methods.
4. Sump Pumps
A sump pump is vital equipment that protects your home from flooding after heavy rains or snow. Located in the lowest point of your basement or crawl space, it drains water and moisture out of your home through a pipe and into a basin or sump pit outside.
The specialized pump is powered by electricity and a switch that senses when the basin fills with water. The pump is then activated to suck the water into the discharge pipe and out of your basement. A battery-powered backup can also be installed to take over in the event of a power failure.
Consider a submersible model when looking for a new pump, as they are quieter and can save space in your basement. These are more expensive, however, and have a shorter lifespan than pedestal models.
Check for a mechanical water level sensing switch instead of the more common pressure switch. The switch should be inside the pump’s body to avoid clogging and be water-resistant. On the other hand, float switches can be susceptible to floating debris in the basin and may not always switch off when the water reaches the desired level. Look for a pump with a battery-powered alarm to warn you when the water level is high.
In conclusion, there are several different types of basement waterproofing solutions available to homeowners. Each method offers its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to carefully consider the specific needs and circumstances of your basement before choosing a solution.
Whether you opt for interior or exterior waterproofing, drainage systems, or sealants and coatings, the goal is always the same: to keep your basement dry and protected from water damage.
By taking proactive measures to address any potential issues with water infiltration in your basement, you can ensure a safer and more comfortable living environment for you and your family. Don’t wait until it’s too late – invest in reliable basement waterproofing solutions today!