The Basement Waterproofing Techniques

Specific basement waterproofing measures are necessary to fully protect basements and homes. There is no easy way to best waterproof your basement. Therefore, various types of products and techniques have been developed to waterproof basements, along with foundation walls. The best approach to waterproofing a basement normally involves a combination of techniques, which have been broken down below.

Exterior waterproofing treatments are designed to stop moisture but not water leaks, when a home is being built. That is when the basement walls are usually accessible and clean, which creates an ideal condition for applying a waterproof coating. The asphalt-based compound is a traditional exterior coating that is applied by brush or spray equipment for a new foundation. It is important to point out that this treatment is damp proofing and not waterproofing, but the fact is that no liquid can enter the basement through gaps, cracks and holes left by form ties.

Waterproofing Requirements and Protection

It is a code requirement to apply a damp proofing treatment in many Canadian provinces to the exterior of basements. The builder is also required to install perforated plastic drain pipe near the footing to carry water away from the foundation, but these are not always effective. The drain line can be crushed during the back fill process, plus they can clog quickly with silt, water, and roots.

For a wet basement, exterior coating is used as a defense instead of a waterproof coating.

The paints and films are used to increase hydrostatic pressure and decrease the potential for leaks. The advancements in technology associated with paints has significant implications. In recent years, paints, sealers, and waterproof coatings are better than ever before. Some foundation waterproofing compounds are designed to be applied on the exterior of the foundation wall, while others are meant for interior applications, but with the same goal of establishing an impermeable barrier to water.

Technique Problems and Solutions

Unfortunately, these basement waterproofing techniques have their own challenges which can hinders their levels of success. By holding water back, there is a major buildup of hydrostatic pressure that occurs against the basement wall, as well as the thin membrane or coating. This water, under high pressure, can lead to bowing or buckling of the foundation walls. This can cause cracks that become the initial leakage points.

Drainage systems stop leaks by lowering hydrostatic pressure. This is one of the techniques which have proven effective in keeping basements dry in an interior drain system that is connected to a sump pump (Read: What is a Sump Pump?). This technique actually harnesses the power of hydrostatic pressure instead of fighting it. Unlike an exterior drainage system where the water and soil could cause issues, an interior French drain system is developed inside basement systems, meaning they cannot clog with plant roots or silt because of the location.


Watch Video: 4 Major Waterproofing Techniques

The bottom line: damp-proof the exterior of your foundation, and install an interior drain and sump pump system. It is extremely important to have two lines of defense instead of one. A well installed damp proof coating on the exterior of the foundation help to prevent moisture from seeping through the foundation walls.

Determining the Cost Breakdown of Basement Waterproofing

For many years, homeowners have been avoiding basement waterproofing being done to their homes simply because they think the necessary repairs will cost them a small fortune. But getting the basement fixed with an honest company can cost less than what you might think. However, there are factors that can affect the price range for basement waterproofing projects.

The factors for waterproofing costs include:

-The quality
-Type and quantity of water proofing products used
-Process and procedures utilized
-Quality of a company’s customer service
-Size, reputation and professionalism of the company
-Is the contracted company is insured
-Extent which work place safety practices are observed
-Marketing demand and the skills and expertise of the employees
-Company is categorized as a specialized waterproofing contractor or a general contractor

Interior Waterproofing Costs

For interior waterproofing methods, which are normally referred to as negative side projects, the work is often based on moving out water that is inside the room. This method is normally the less expensive option, especially where exterior work is not practical. In this method, water is moved out of the house through a hole located in the foundation, and paired up with the sump pump to keep the home dry. In this system, there is an insulation placed on the basement walls, which contains a barrier to protect against condensation.

The cost of this type of drainage system starts around $2000.
For the companies that use material sealants, the cost of waterproofing project may range from $4 to $8 for each square foot.

For epoxy injections, which are also not always favored because they typically provide a temporary solution to fill cracks in poured concrete walls, the cost starts from around $300.

Exterior Waterproofing Costs

Exterior waterproofing projects, which are oftentimes referred to as positive side jobs, have their aim set up to prevent water from getting in the house. Positive side jobs often use the following methods:

Excavation, whereby most of contractors consider installing perimeter drains well as an underground trench to grab most of the incoming water, are often considered to be the most efficient method if done in the right manner.
This is an expensive method since the average range for an excavation job is $20,000 to $30,000 and still it can go as high as $80,000, depending the accessibility of the targeted area, the digging required in the area, and the amount of landscaping or other work must be restored.

Read more about Interior and Exterior Methods: The Most Common Methods of Basement Waterproofing

What to Consider and Which Methods Are Best?

Sodium bentonite can also be used, even though some waterproofing contractors dislike this method since it involves adding a clay material to the duct around the home in order to find cracks and absorb water. There is much to consider when choosing a waterproofing contractor because they will usually argue that is temporary solution and extremely difficult since clay can clog out door drains.
The cost for this method starts around $500.

Before hiring a waterproofing company, first you need to try some simple solutions and preventive measures before the contractors arrive; such as making sure gutters are free of debris, downspouts are moving an estimated 20 to 30 feet from the foundation, and the soil slopes away from the foundation. This is important as the costs for waterproofing may add up fast, so preparing your home for the work is essential to keep the extra work to a minimum.

You need to be aware of contractors who repeatedly offer to lower the estimated price as well, since waterproofing work is often calculated by the linear foot and costs for repairs can get expensive fast.

Basement Waterproofing is Key to Preventing Mold

Mold can be a serious problem if allowed to develop inside of a home. This is because it gradually destroys the areas where it colonizes, potentially creating health problems for the people living in your home. Molds create allergens, which are normally substances that cause allergic reactions, as well as toxic substances that can harm your entire body. If you touch or inhale the mold, you can easily develop some allergic reactions.

How Mold Can Affect You

Continuous exposure to mold spores can irritate your eyes, nose, skin, throat, and lungs, as well as triggering asthma attacks on asthmatic individuals. People who have allergies, immune system deficiencies, as well as respiratory problems, can be highly susceptible to the dangers of molds.

They normally grow from tiny spores which cannot be seen by the naked eye, but still exist in both indoor and outdoor air. Outdoor molds begin to grow once they land on a wet surface, but indoor molds grow once they land on a liquefied surface, since molds require water to grow.

Another issue that mold creates is diminishing the value of the property. Mold is commonly known to thrive in humid, wet, and dank environments. The basement is the perfect candidate to perpetuate growth, hence the most important thing needed when organizing a new or existing home is to have a waterproofing system installed in the basement. And even if there is one, you need to check that it is not in the dire need of repair.

Stopping the Spread of Mold Is Key

Basement waterproofing is one of the most important things you need to do. There are various systems out there, but one of the most common is the French drain system. When you have this system installed, as soon as water starts seeping into the basement, it will go into the tube, then be directed towards the sump pump where is automatically pushed away from your home.

There is also several foundation repairs that you need to do, such as fixing cracks or dealing with a shifting foundation, or even bowing walls. You will not be able to fix this things on your own so you need to call in professionals to do the job in a fast and efficient manner. However the foundation needs to be repaired right away to prevent the building instability.

This needs to be done as soon as you notice any cracks, popped nails, or other various unexplained changes in the foundation of your building. While these are some of the things you need to initially do when you move into a new place, you also need to be constantly aware that things can happen.


Watch Video: Health Effects of Mold Exposure

Just don’t ignore any problems that you notice, and make sure the issues are fixed as soon as possible.

Despite homeowners knowing the information regarding molds, they often make the mistake of leaving water and dumpiness in their basement until the situation deteriorates. Water damage tends to get even worse with time, so you need to make sure you do not give mold a chance to survive.

Be On the Lookout for Common Basement Waterproofing Mistakes

Waterproofing the basements of homes to protect against flooding and other water leaks is significant, as it requires both time and money. However, it also saves you money and time over the long run when it is done right. The professional companies dealing with basement waterproofing are growing in number each and every day, so this makes it difficult for one to make a decision on which contractor will be best suited for your project.

It is important to make the right choice when choosing a contractor since not all contracting companies are created equal. Some companies use outdated materials or techniques that can leave your home with more damage than it started with, leaving you footing the bill.

Although the specific methods that can be used to waterproof a basement can easily be researched and accessed by anyone, the actual application of those methods in the right manner is necessary, and this takes experience to do.  While most basement waterproofing contractors are honest, there are a few out there who will tell you that you need multiple step solutions that can cost you a lot, when in reality, your problem can be solved with a few inexpensive procedures.

Choosing the Right Waterproofing Company

The first mistake that many home owners make is choosing the wrong basement waterproofing company. It is important for homeowners where their basement waterproofing projects are not an emergency involving a flooded basement, to get free quotes from several companies before deciding on which company to choose from.

The company representatives should be consulted on what is required to waterproof your basement, as well as offer an approximated total cost. Then you can compare the different methods and estimates before deciding which is the best and most cost effective for your unique situation.

Another common mistake with basement waterproofing is having too much done on the basement. In such cases, a simple fix, like an internal wall coating and servicing the basement floor drain, is all that is really necessary to keep your basement from flooding or being damaged by water. Some companies insist on the use of specific materials for proofing your home against water and the installation of a footer drain, exterior waterproofing, and major excavations, but these are not always required to fix the issue that you are facing.

As much as this type of in-depth basement waterproofing is really important, it is important to make sure that you get several other opinions before committing to large jobs.

Costly Wet Basement Mistakes

Finally, the most costly basement waterproofing mistake is when an unskilled homeowner attempts to waterproof their basements for themselves to save money. Having no experience in basement waterproofing, this can be a very costly mistake that will end up losing you money in the long run. Therefore, is always advisable for complex home improvement projects, like basement waterproofing, to be left to professional rather than trying to do it by yourself.

The vast majority of basement waterproofing companies are professionals. You need to carefully research with price and experience comparisons to be able to make wise decisions that will increase the value and lifespan of your home.

The Most Common Methods of Basement Waterproofing

There are many ways in which water can find its way into your basement. This means the method to be used must be specific to your wet basement problem in order to have an effective waterproofing repair.

There are several issues that you may face when it comes to addressing the moisture in your basement, such as if you have a leaky basement, cracked foundation, broken sump pump, flooded yard, existence of prior water proofing repairs, accessibility of the area to be repaired and the foundation type. These are some of the common factors which should be figured in if you want effective basement waterproofing solutions. In order to choose the proper method for your basement waterproofing needs, you need to work with an experienced and reliable technician (Read: How to choose the right contractor), so that you have help in selecting the most effective solution for your particular waterproofing needs.

For achieving effective basement waterproofing solutions, the following methods should be considered:

Interior Sealants and Waterproofing

When it comes to the base of your home,  cracks in concrete foundations are the most common entry point for water, but the good news is that they can be sealed from the inside by special sealants. These sealants are injected into the opening thereby penetrating through to the exterior, where they help to seal the parts of the potential leaks and moisture. These sealants normally last for a long period of time, and typically they come with long warranties.

The interior sealants work perfectly in preventing leaks and humidity when there is weak hydrostatic pressure pushing against the foundation.

Also you can use waterproofing coatings on the inside of the basement where concrete waterproofing coatings adhere permanently to concrete walls. They work well when there is a minor condensation issue. However, the sealants and waterproof coatings cannot fix basement floods and major leaks.

Exterior Waterproofing

This method of waterproofing helps in completely preventing water from entering homes. This ensures the moisture does not damage the inside of the basement, as well as the foundation. This method is achieved by excavating completely around the home to the bottom of the foundation, and when that is  achieved, the walls are then sealed by a waterproof coating which protects the walls and also directs water to a drain system, which is consequently directed down a slope, or to a sump pump that leads away from the foundation.

The exterior waterproofing method will efficiently stop water from entering into the basement and homes through the walls or the foundation.

Drainage Systems for the Interior and Exterior 

The drainage system is a great way to keep water under control in your home if there is some type of a leak that allows water to get into your home. A sump pump that collects water from inside and then pumps it out, away from your home is used as the simplest way to utilize drainage inside your basement. The underground water from alongside the foundation is pumped away from the basement by the use of an interior drainage system. This system is prepared to work in case of an overwhelming rainfall or heavy snow storm, power outage, or snow melt.

In homes and basements, water drainage systems are an efficient solution of keeping water out.

What to Look for in a Basement Waterproofing Contractor

After saving and working hard to own your own house, you suddenly find that the basement is leaky. This is not some kind of worst case scenario; it is a situation that happens to nearly every one of us who own a home with a basement. You decide to work on it and you start finding practical solutions. This is where your search for a qualified contractor starts, and the headache on how to choose the right one begins. Not a lot of information is out there on how one is supposed to go about this small yet important issue of choosing the right contractor. This article specifically addresses this concern.

Choosing the Best Contractor for the Job

Waterproofing contractors are quite numerous, and sorting through the masses can be quite tiresome.  So what are the things that you should look out for?

At the top of the list of what you should be in the lookout for is experience and track record.

Waterproofing is an important process; as such, it is paramount to choose a contractor that has done it before.

You will need a team that has done waterproofing for all different kinds of basements and for all kinds of conditions, such as those that have already flooded, those that are undergoing redesign, etc. When a contractor that you have settled on has a rich portfolio and leaves a happy trail of customers, then you know at least you have made the right decision by hiring them.

You should also be on the lookout for proper licensing.

It is not enough to have a proven track record; the company that you trust with the waterproofing of your basement should also be properly licensed to work in your location. It is also of importance to ask about the liability insurance so as to know your basement and your investment is covered in case there is an unforeseen problem.

It is important to beware of sales people and contractors that will ask for huge sums as a down payment.

These are the individuals who are out to cover their backs well in advance, in case of anything. Generally a waterproofing contractor just require a minimal down payment, to show commitment to the project for them to start work.

When choosing waterproofing contractors, make sure you ask for references.

If a contractor has a past of doing magnificent, high quality jobs, then this is the avenue to know how they performed in the eyes of their previous clients. Ask from the client about the contractors, professionalism, quality of work, adherence to timeframes and support given after the actual waterproofing was completed. A happy client will gladly tell you the qualities of the contractor, which will, in turn, enable you to make an informed decision.

Finally, after selecting your contractor of choice, make sure you ask for a written contract in accordance with the estimate you have agreed upon.

When it arrives, make sure to look over it carefully so that you fully understand the contents of the contract, as this is oftentimes where some unscrupulous contractors have hidden their indemnity.

Understanding Insulating vs. Insulated Basement Waterproofing Membranes

Basements are some of the spaces in our houses that have proven to be difficult to manage when it comes to dampness and levels of moisture content. In some, there is actually a probability that water may fill about two inches of floor space. It is with this in mind that innovative companies have come up with membranes with an aim to make these spaces more hospitable. Waterproofing membranes have been around for some time now. With time, the designs and redesigns have improved, as has the ease of installation, plus the costs have also come down.

Types of Waterproofing Membranes

Waterproofing membranes are mainly used to prevent moisture from seeping through into the basement, while at the same time making the room warmer to make it more comfortable. It was normal before the 1990s for there to be a requirement to leave space between the membrane and the wall lining to prevent condensation on the membrane. Since the 1990s, the advice has generally changed to no ventilation between the membrane and wall. While condensation still happened, this was touted to have reduced the level of condensation.

Insulating Membrane

Insulating a membrane involves having insulation in front of a membrane, allowing the insulation to keep the membrane and moisture behind it cooler, and reducing the transfer of cold conditions into the room.

This kind of membrane is the one method of waterproofing that also aims to increase the heat of the room. If the room is warmer and the wall and outside conditions are cooler, then insulating the membrane makes the room warmer and the wall and space between the wall and the membrane cooler.

This still runs the risk of higher amount of condensation, due to the moisture condensing on the cold wall surface. Although, currently dehumidifiers come in handy and are available inexpensively in hardware stores, the condensation problem may still manifest itself. An insulated membrane is the complete opposite of insulating a membrane.

Insulating Membrane

An insulated membrane does not come as an afterthought, it is integrated in the building of the wall.

The insulation is behind the membrane, allowing for the option of the room to be warm and the wall cold, the moisture in between the wall and the membrane will be kept warm and thus does not run the risk of condensation.

This is a better option as opposed to having the insulation in front of the membrane. These membranes should be used in conjunction with other types of waterproofing equipment, such as sump tank and sump pump that can be instrumental in ridding the area of water content. When installed correctly, the membranes and an automated sump system work hand in hand to ensure that nearly all of the moisture content is drained out of the system. Alternatively, electric dehumidifiers can be used to remove the humidity in the basement, so should be installed strategically.

This is a piece of waterproofing that has come of age and that is encouraged in the building codes of some localities for efficient waterproof basements.

Don’t let your basement be uninhabitable; use waterproofing membranes.

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Preparing for Your Basement Waterproofing

A home is an investment that takes most of us years of dedicated savings and living on lean budgets to finance. It takes quite a plan to settle on owning a house but it should not end there. Have you planned on how to waterproof your basement? You have been living in this house for a while, and now you badly need some additional living space. Space that you can only get from remodelling and finishing your basement, but do you really have a plan on how to go around the whole basement waterproofing idea?
These are good questions, and the best way to go about answering them is to be prepared before basement waterproofing would ever begin.

Preventive Measures

Don’t sit back and wait for the actual flooding to occur for you to start thinking of how to mitigate against the issue. Doing so may leave you with the extra work of draining the water. In basement waterproofing, be proactive rather than reactive. Start taking steps that will lead to mitigation of the seepage. Identify construction flaws, such as a faulty gutter system, soil sloping and landscaping, and wall paint quality, early enough to avoid having water seepage issues. With proper diagnosis before actual flooding takes place, you are in a better position to take charge of the situation.

Having acknowledged that you need to waterproof your basement, you can contact experts earlier, before the actual mess happens. This accords you the luxury of scouting for the best experts available and also those that you can offer a bargain. Rushing when the house is already flooding creates a panic, where you may not necessarily take precautions to scrutinize the credentials of the experts you want working on your basement.

This could lead to poor work being carried out, which in the long run, negatively impacts on you in terms of costs involved. In fact, most companies in this sector offer estimates on the cost of time and materials needed for your waterproofing project, free of charge. You can have several companies do the evaluation and then compare their capabilities, allowing you to choose the best.

Assessing Your Waterproofing Options

Having taken proactive steps and contacted an expert, you can now scout for bargains in the products that are needed for your waterproofing process. Materials, such as sealants, suction pumps and drainage systems that may be required, can be found at a bargain at some online stores, if you are able to look before you need the parts. Local stores also sell some of them at a discount when the items are not quickly moving. This will save costs on your side and offer you quality materials to waterproof your basement.

Having considered all these things before hand, you can now make a decision on which expert you will be hiring, what materials you will use, and also have a rough estimate of the kind of costs that will be incurred for the entire process to be completed.

A plan is one of the most important things in carrying out any activity. Without a plan, you may end up without a way to keep your basement water-free.

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Options in Basement Waterproofing Materials

Anyone who has a leaky basement has only one thing on his mind: how to plug the leaks and keep the basement water-free. There is an array of products that are available on the market for waterproofing purposes. These products can be used as do it yourself tools, but some require meticulous installation by someone who is knowledgeable in the area of waterproofing. Some items can be bought off the shelf at hardware stores, while others might need to be ordered, depending on the scale of project. The focus here, however, is concentrated on DIY basement waterproofing materials.

Do It Yourself Waterproofing Material Options

Acrylic coatings

Acrylic coatings, such as Tuffcrete, can be used on the walls and floor of the basement, plus the walls of the foundations where such foundations are found above the ground. The coating is applied onto the surfaces through painting or alternatively being sprayed onto it.

This acrylic coating builds an impermeable surface around the surface of application. It effectively prevents moisture content from flowing through the walls and into the basement. The seepage of water through the walls is stopped. This paint coating is easily available from a hardware store near you. Its application is just like any other paint. You don’t have to be a professional to do it.

Liquid Tubber

Liquid rubber coating and sealants, such as Drylock, come in handy when applied onto the basement surfaces. This type of sealant can be applied on inner and outer surface and also for low grade and high grade. It is ideal for waterproofing homes that are frequently prone to flooding, or wet, damp conditions.

These sealants are more advocated for as they perform dual functions of preventing the water from seeping through, and also seals any cracks that might manifest themselves on these walls. Application is done normally, just like you would with any paint. Good ventilation is advised when applying these sealants, as they have a strong odor that can have a nauseating effect if not enough fresh air is around.

Drainage Systems

An interior drainage system is recommended as well. This is much easier to install than exterior drainage when a house is already built. This system is instrumental in capturing seepage within walls before it reaches the surface in cases where blocks were used for construction. It involves drilling holes in the blocks and connecting the holes to a drainage pipe at the floor of the basement at the point at which the basement wall meets the floor as this is also the most common area in which seepage occurs in which a waterproofing company or a company specializing in residential landscaping will accomplish this task. A trench is dug on the floor and a drainage pipe is installed that collects all water directing it to one central collection point, which can be emptied with a suction pump. When water collects in this sump pit, a sump pump is used to pump out the water that has collected. This pump can be automatic or manually installed.

Pipe penetration kits are another type of material that can be used to stop basement seepage. They create a seal around the point for entry of water and gas pipes, which is a common point of entry of water into basements. Applied onto the specific entry points, a gasket is formed around them and further seepage is eliminated.

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Have a Wet Basement? Get Professional Tips Of Basement Waterproofing

A wet basement is one of the most annoying things a home owner has to deal with. Regardless of whether they want to finish and furnish it, or they have chosen to leave it carpeted for storage of important home items; it is a nightmare when you take that flight of steps downstairs and step into a pool of water. Unless you are planning on having a miniature swimming pool down there, some work is needed to change the situation. Dry basements do not need to be expensive to have a professional come and make it a reality.

Basement Waterproofing Tips For Your Needs

With a few helpful basement waterproofing tips and a professional on your side, you can help create the dry basement that will be perfect for your precise needs.

The first helpful tip of basement waterproofing is to have a well-designed, good gutter system installed:

This is every home owner’s first line of defense. Some people claim that wet conditions in the basement are a result of a rising water table. This is a fallacy that should be completely done away with. What is true, though, is that the source of the water should be identified and the proper measures taken to stop that water from going into the basement. Oftentimes, the source of this water is water from the gutters. The roof covers the whole upper surface area of the house making it one large collector of water. If this water is not collected and properly directed away from the house, then there is bound to be moisture on the walls of the basement. A home owner should invest in a gutter system that collects all of the water and drains it further from the house walls, or better yet, collects it for use by the homestead.
Watch Video –  How to Choose the Right Landscape Drainage System

The second helpful tip is to make sure you have proper landscaping of the soil around the house’s walls:

Soil design and management around the areas near the walls of the house is one area that causes a lot of seepage in the basements. Sloping of soil away from the house walls goes a long way to prevent rain water runoff from percolating along the house and basement walls. Sloping soil leads the rain water away to shallow trenches that can be placed in the compound to direct the runoff to the drainage system.  The soil should at least slope six inches for the first three feet of the foundation walls. This would mean the water that actually seeps through the top soil layer to the lower levels of the foundation is reduced.
Watch Video – Choosing a Soil Mix

The final helpful tip is to ensure the use of quality waterproofing coatings:

This approach to basement waterproofing also makes the basement neat, clean, and have a nice ambiance. Waterproofing coating can prevent the passage of water, which comes under hydrostatic pressure. This specific type of paint is specially formulated for application on both interior and exterior surfaces. This type of coating should be differentiated from a water repellent coating, which is used to repel water but does not necessarily stop the entrance of moisture. Hydrostatic pressure prevented from this coating helps mostly against wind-driven rainfall and rain runoff that flows towards the foundation walls.
Watch Video – All paint-on waterproofing membranes are NOT created equal

You do not need to hire expensive contractors a bunch of times to sort out your wet basement issues. You just need to hire the right professionals from the start, and begin saving money right away.