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.

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