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Understanding The Top 3 Basement Waterproofing Methods

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A wet basement can be worse than any other problem homeowners face. A small puddle or trickle could indicate a bigger problem. Basements with excessive moisture can lead to costly and difficult problems. A basement with water can lead to structural damage or toxic mold. What can we do prevent water from entering our basements?

WHAT CAUSES BASEMENT MOISTURE

To prevent basement moisture from returning, we need to first understand why it occurs. Water is a natural thief that can easily get into homes. Because of their unique construction, basements are more susceptible to moisture. Here are the main causes for basement moisture.

Soil quality and drainage issues
  • If your basement is not properly draining, rainwater and groundwater could get in. Basement moisture can be caused by poor drainage or poor soil quality. If water is not directed away, it will collect around your foundation and attempt to enter.
Gutters Not properly installed and maintained
  • Gutters are designed for directing rainwater away from your foundation. If your gutters aren’t installed correctly or blocked, water will drain from your foundation.
Improper Slope:
  • Your foundation’s ground should slope away from your home. If the slope is incorrect, water may build up around your foundation instead of flowing away.
Hydrostatic Pressure
  • Hydrostatic pressure occurs when water builds up around your foundation. Gravitation will pull down on the water to relieve the pressure. Water will force any cracks from basement floors or walls open. Cracks can occur when the pressure is too high.
Cracks in your Basement
  • Cracks in basement walls and floors or around windows or doors make it easy for water to flow. These cracks are ideal for water to flow easily through as it follows the path of least resistance.
Condensation:
  • Basements are notorious for being very damp. Condensation can lead to mildew, mold or other damages.

Here’s a quick overview of basement moisture. Click here for more information about basement moisture.

BASEMENT WATERPROOFING METHODS: THE TOP 3

Now we have a better understanding of basement moisture. Let’s talk about what we can do to prevent basement moisture. Basement waterproofing can take place in one of three ways:

#1. Interior

These are the steps you can take in order to stop water from getting into your basement. These can be used to fix an existing problem. These include sealing, coatings, and methods to stop condensation.

#2. Exterior

As you might expect, these are exterior methods. These methods prevent water from getting inside your home. You can also waterproof exterior walls with exterior drainage systems.

#3. Drainage

Drainage issues are often responsible for basement moisture. You can fix or install a drainage system.

Each situation is different, so it is crucial to understand the waterproofing issues that are specific to your home. To create a waterproofing system that works, you need to use all three.

Take a closer look at each of the 3 waterproofing techniques to learn more.

INTERIOR WATERPROOFING

The best interior waterproofing options for you are the simplest and most economical. These waterproofing options usually begin with sealing cracks and holes around basement walls, floors, windows, doors, and windows. These cracks are the most common places where water finds its way into basements. The first step in keeping your basement dry is sealing them properly. Special sealants can be used to fill in cracks or prevent moisture from getting into your basement. These sealants are often very effective and have extended warranties that ensure their effectiveness.

Interior waterproofing is made easy by waterproof sealants. They keep humidity down and help prevent condensation. These waterproof coatings can also be applied to basement floors or walls, providing a barrier against water. Although these interior sealants are necessary for waterproofing, they do not address the root cause. The bigger problems are often outside.

EXTERIOR WATERPROOFING

Wet basements are often caused by water damage outside of the home. When waterproofing your basement, it is important to take into account the exterior walls of your basement. Exterior waterproofing is more complex than just sealing the interior. It is best to consult to waterproofing services when considering exterior waterproofing.

Exterior waterproofing involves digging soil around the foundation of your house. This is a labor-intensive job that can require heavy machinery and tools. Once the soil has been removed, waterproof sealants can then be applied to exterior walls. It is usually a polymer-based sealant that will last for the life of the building. Exterior waterproofing should be completed during construction.

Gutter systems are an important part of exterior design. When properly installed, gutter systems redirect rainwater away from your home’s foundation. If they aren’t properly maintained and installed, these systems could cause serious damage. If your gutters are too close to your foundation, or blocked, water will build up at the base. Make sure your gutters are clear of debris to keep them working properly. You should have downspouts to direct water away.

DRAINAGE SYSTEMS

Damp basements are often caused by poor drainage. Proper drainage is essential if you want your basement dry. These drainage systems can divert rainwater, water and groundwater away form your foundation. There are many drainage options that can be used to control the water around your home. First, you need to examine the soil surrounding your house. Different soil types have different drainage patterns. Your home should have soil that drains quickly, but doesn’t retain water.

Each home is unique so ensure you inspect the drainage around it. Take a look at the slope of the foundation’s ground. The ground should slope away towards the foundation, not towards it. Depending on the situation, a sump pump may be necessary to collect and pump away water. These interior drainage systems drain the water from your foundation and pump it to your basement.

These systems should be able to function in an event of an interruption. It can be difficult to install a sump pump or other interior drainage system. It is best to hire professionals when waterproofing is being considered.

Which Method is Right for You?

As we mentioned earlier, every home is different. The best waterproofing method for your home may be different from the one used by your neighbor. There are many factors that go into basement waterproofing. Every situation is different, but prevention is better that repairs. It is better to prevent water from getting into your basement. Water damage can cause major problems that will need costly repairs.

While it is tempting to ignore the problem in order to save money, waiting to waterproof your basement could lead to higher costs. There are many basement waterproofing options. Do your research to find the best method for you.

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