Understanding the Top 3 Basement Waterproofing Techniques

black-mold-basementA wet basement is one of the worse problems for homeowners. A small trickle or puddle may be a sign of a more significant problem. A basement with moisture can cause a host of expensive and time-consuming problems. In addition, water in your basement can cause serious problems, including structural damage and toxic mold. So what can we do to prevent water from getting into our basements?

What causes basement moisture?

We need to understand what causes basement moisture to keep them dry. Unfortunately, water is always seeking the path of least resistance and can easily find its way into homes. Basements are especially prone to moisture due to their unique construction. Below are some of the leading causes of basement moisture.

  • Drainage and soil quality issues:
    Rainwater and groundwater can get into your basement if it is not properly drained. Poor drainage and soil quality are two of the leading causes of basement moisture. Water that isn’t directed away from the home will build up around the foundation and try to get inside.
  • Gutters that are not well maintained and installed:
    Gutters are designed to divert rainwater away from your foundation. Gutters that are not properly installed or clogged will cause water to drain away from your foundation.
  • Improper Slope:
    The ground surrounding your foundation should slope away and not in the direction of your home. If the slope is not correct, water can accumulate around your foundation rather than flowing away.
  • Hydrostatic Pressure
    Hydrostatic pressure is when water builds up around your foundation. This continual pressure on your foundation from water and gravity can, over time, lead to cracks and leaks in your basement.
  • Cracks in your Basement
    Cracks in basement walls, floors, or around windows and doors create the perfect channel for water to flow. These cracks allow water to flow through them easily, as it will follow the path of least resistance.
  • Condensation:
    Basements are known for being extremely damp. Condensation can cause mildew, mold, and other potential problems.

These are the Top 3 Basement Waterproofing Techniques
We now have a better understanding of basement moisture. So let’s discuss what we can do to prevent it. Basement waterproofing can be done in three ways:

  1. Interior
    These are steps you can take to prevent water from entering your basement. These are usually used to address an existing problem. These methods include sealing and coatings as well as methods to stop condensation.
  2. Exterior
    These are exterior methods, as you might expect. These methods are designed to prevent water from ever getting inside your home. Exterior drainage systems can be used, as well as exterior waterproofing of walls.
  3. Drainage
    Drainage issues often cause basement moisture. This can be done by repairing or installing a drainage system.

Every situation is unique, so it is important that you have an understanding of the waterproofing issues in your home. Then, all three methods can be combined to create a waterproofing system that is effective. Let’s now take a closer look at each of the three waterproofing methods.

Interior Waterproofing

The simplest and most cost-effective interior waterproofing options are often the best. They usually start with sealing cracks and holes in basement walls, floors, doors, and windows. These cracks are where water most often finds its way into basements. So properly sealing them is the first step to ensuring that your basement remains dry. Next, you can use special sealants to fill in cracks and prevent moisture from entering your basement. These sealants are usually very effective and come with extended warranties that guarantee their effectiveness.

Waterproof sealants are an excellent interior waterproofing method. They help keep humidity down and prevent condensation. These waterproof coatings can be applied to basement floors and walls, creating a barrier against water. These interior sealants are a necessary step in waterproofing, but they don’t address the root cause of the moisture. The more significant problems are often found outside.

Exterior Waterproofing

The root cause of wet basements is usually outside the home. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the exterior of your basement walls when waterproofing your basement. Exterior waterproofing can be more complicated than the simple sealing we do on the inside. When considering exterior waterproofing, it is a good idea to consult a professional.

Exterior waterproofing requires excavation of soil around the foundation of the house. This can be a labor-intensive task that requires heavy machinery and tools. After all, the soil has been removed from the foundation; waterproof sealants can be applied to exterior walls. The sealant is typically a polymer-based coating that can last for many years of the building.

When discussing exterior methods, it is important to mention gutters. Gutter systems direct rainwater away from your home’s foundation when they are properly installed. However, these systems can cause damage if they are not maintained or installed correctly. Gutters that are too close to the foundation or clogged will collect water at the base of your house. To keep your gutters working well, make sure they are clean and clear of any debris. In addition, make sure you have downspouts that direct water away from your home.

Drainage Systems

Problems with drainage are often the root cause of damp basements. If you want your basement to stay dry, your home must have proper drainage. These drainage systems are designed to divert water, rainwater, or groundwater away from your foundation. There are many drainage options available that can help you control water around your house. You should first examine the soil around your house. Different soil types drain differently. Make sure that your home has soil that drains quickly and doesn’t retain water.

Every home is unique, so make sure you thoroughly inspect the drainage around your house. First, look at the slope of your foundation’s ground. The ground should slope away from the foundation and not towards it. A sump pump may be required to collect and pump the water out. These internal drainage systems drain water around your foundation and pump it away to your basement.

These systems must be able to work in the event of an outage. Installing a sump pump or any other type of interior drainage system can be difficult. When considering waterproofing, it is best to hire a professional.

Which Method Is Right for You?
When it comes to basement waterproofing, there are many factors. Each situation is unique, but prevention is better than repair. It is best to take steps to waterproof your basement before there is any water. Water damage can lead to significant problems that will require costly repairs and headaches.

It is tempting to ignore the problem and save money, but waiting to waterproof your basement can result in much higher bills down the road. In addition, basement waterproofing options can be very different. Make sure you do your research to determine which method is best for you.

Your most significant investment in your home. Therefore, it is vital to take all necessary precautions to protect your home. Do not wait to take action if you suspect that there is a problem. Preventative measures will keep your basement dry and save you money.

 

The SANI-TRED Solution

The SANI-TRED Waterproofing System is a permanent interior or exterior waterproofing product that eliminate wet basements and can be applied without the cost of hiring a contractor.

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