Leaks, moisture, condensations, and other water-related problems in your basement could lead to time-consuming and costly repairs. If left unchecked, water in your basement could lead from toxic mold to structural damage creating a serious problem.
Each basement calls for different waterproofing solutions, so it is essential to know what type of waterproofing method to use. Here are three main methods to basement waterproofing that would prevent water damages and keep your basement dry.
Interior waterproofing methods are commonly used after you have identified existing problems, such as cracks, leaks, or moisture buildup. These steps could include sealants, coatings, and ways to prevent condensation on walls or ceilings. They are also the most affordable among the other methods.
Cracks or holes through walls, floors, and foundations are the common entryways for water or moisture to get into your basement. However, as simple as they are, these openings could cause significant problems if left untreated. Luckily, these problems could be easily remedied using sealants on the inside.
Sealants are effective against cracks as they easily fill the voids and keep humidity levels down, preventing further condensations. They also prevent spalling, which breaks down masonry surfaces exposed to constant high humidity. Strong adhesives such as epoxies or urethanes could be applied using pressure injection, which penetrates deeply and cuts off the seepage path.
Additionally, apply sealants around doors and windows to avoid moisture from traveling further inside other home areas. These special sealants often come with extended warranties, which guarantees their efficacy.
You could also use waterproof coatings for basement walls and floors in conjunction with sealants. Concrete waterproof coatings stick well to concrete surfaces creating a waterproof barrier, preventing further moisture absorption. However, sealants and waterproof coatings only work well for minor issues and cannot fix major leaks and basement flooding. You could find broader issues on the outside of your basement.
Exterior basement waterproofing is the best method recognized by the International Building Code that adequately prevents any structural damage caused by water seepage. This method, albeit costly and extensive to perform, is the preferred choice for contractors.
When you see water seeping into your basement, typically the root of the problem is located outside the basement wall. This is where external waterproofing comes in because this method’s goal is to block water from ever entering inside your basement in the first place. This could include using polymer-based products, membranes, and waterproof coatings.
Exterior waterproofing would require you to invest both time and money to protect your basement. Ideally, contactors perform this method during construction, as it would prevent major structural damage to the foundations. However, if you find yourself in need of an exterior waterproof, it is a good idea to consult a professional.
Waterproofing the exterior of an existing basement would start by fully excavating around the basement walls until you reach your foundations’ sides. After excavating, the walls are then power washed then let dry, allowing the waterproofing coating to permanently adhere to the wall. The coating would direct water down to a drainage system, which should lead away from the foundations.
As you could imagine, this method could become a labor-intensive process, requiring workforce, heavy machinery, and tools.
Having proper drainage around your home is crucial if you want to have a dry and structurally sound basement. The goal with drainage systems is to avoid water buildup and to direct water away from your house. There are mainly two types of drainage you could use, namely, interior drainage and exterior drainage.
For external drainage systems, start with identifying and examining the soil surrounding your house. The soil’s properties affect how the water would drain. The soil would also enable you to determine how you would construct your drainage. You could use surface drainages or install underground drainages such as a French drain near your foundations.
Meanwhile, if somehow water still made it inside our home through leakage or seepage, a proper interior drainage system is an excellent method to keep water under control. The Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) recognize many patented interior drainage systems effectively controlling basement water.
An interior drainage system collects water that entered your basement and directs it to an internally installed sump pump system, then pumps the water outside. We also recommended to install a water alarm and a “battery-operated backup pump as a countermeasure against possible basement flooding.
As one might imagine, using any of the three methods would require quite an undertaking. It is advisable to consult professionals when considering what type of waterproofing method you want to use and how to install them.