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.

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.

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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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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A Rainy Summer May Mean House Repairs This Fall

wet basement solutionsThis summer brought a particularly bad set of rain storms with it, and people from the East Coast to the Midwest experienced the damage and destruction that often accompanies these torrential downpours. As the last few days of summer come to an end, many are focused on the home repairs this summer has left them with.

Common Fixes for Heavy Rain Flooding

If your house was a victim of heavy rains and flooding, it may be in need of the following fixes:

Wet Basement Solutions

Water damage will affect some 90% of basements, according to experts, and if you experienced major rain storms this summer, your basement is probably one of them. A wet basement can cause extensive damage to furniture, carpets and floorboards and can also lead to expensive repairs. Therefore, it is essential to clear the water out and prevent it from coming back in. Some wet basement solutions include installing a basement sump pump, basement window well covers and waterproofing interior basement walls.

Landscaping

Heavy rains can cause major flooding in your yard, especially if your yard doesn’t drain well. Not only does this mean you have a pond in the back of your house all summer, but it can also mean expensive damage to your home’s foundation. There are a few things you can do to ensure your yard keeps water away from your house. Your yard should slope away from your house so that water does not sit around the foundation. If it doesn’t, you should consider having someone come to look at and fix your lot grading. You can also install a French drain system, which diverts water away from your yard through a series of underground pipes.

Gutter Repairs

Gutters are meant to clear water away from your home, but when they become clogged with sticks and leaves, they can’t perform this essential task. What’s worse, this sitting water can leak into your home and cause all sorts of water damage. It is important to make sure your gutters are cleared of any debris. You should also ensure that there is no structural damage to your gutters. If gutters have holes or they are not leading water a safe distance from your foundation, make sure to fix them right away.

If you were a victim of torrential downpours this summer, it is a good idea to look around both the inside and outside of your house for potential damage. You may need to think about wet basement solutions, fixing your yard and repairing damaged gutters.
Fixing problems sooner rather than later can save you from bigger, more expensive issues down the road.

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Keep Your Eyes Open for These Signs of Foundation Damage to Avoid Costly Repairs

structural foundation repairMost people don’t give much thought to their home’s foundation until a problem arises. At this point, however, homeowners are likely to be looking at expensive structural foundation repairs. Knowing the signs of a damaged foundation and how to prevent foundation damage can save homeowners time, stress and money.

Signs of Foundation Damage

  1. Cracked Walls – Cracks are one of the telltale signs of foundation damage. Cracks usually appear in walls above doors and where the walls and ceiling meet.
  2. Wall Separation – Another sign that the foundation is stressed is when the exterior walls of the house begin to pull away from the window frames. The walls can also pull away from the house, creating a bulge, due to expanding and shrinking soil.
  3. Sticky Doors – When the foundation starts to shift, doors and cabinets can start to stick, making them difficult to open and close.

How to Prevent Foundation Damage

  1. Water the Lawn – Foundation damage can come from shrinking and expanding soil. When heavy rains fall down on soil that has gotten too dry, the soil can swell more than usual and stress foundation walls. A soaker hose is a good way to keep soil moist during a drought.
  2. Fix Lot Grading – A lawn is supposed to drain water away from the house, and if it doesn’t, water can accumulate around the home and cause water damage to the foundation. The yard should be graded six inches in 10 feet to ensure water is draining properly. Installing a French drain system may be necessary for yards that still tend to flood despite proper grading.
  3. Plant Trees Away From House – Tree and plant roots are another cause of foundation trouble. When soil around the foundation competes with roots for water, the soil often loses and dries out. This can cause a foundation to settle and sink. Make sure to plant trees and shrubs with deep roots away from the house.
  4. Stop Basement Leaks – A wet basement can also lead to foundation damage, and nearly 90% of basements will suffer from some form of water damage. Fix basement leaks as soon as they show up to prevent moisture from building up and creating cracks in the walls.


Signs of Foundation Problems and How to Fix Them

It is important to keep an eye out for signs of foundation damage and to know how to keep them from showing up. Homeowners that neglect signs of trouble could end up with expensive structural foundation repair.