Basement Waterproofing

A basement waterproofing system will eliminate moisture from parts of your home that are below ground.

Whether the basement is used for storage or vehicles or is finished out for family use, it should have an effective waterproofing system in place.

Water pressure buildup in the ground, especially after heavy rains or snow, forces water into the basement. This will often occur by pooling where the foundation meets the walls. Dampness may also be present as moisture forces its way through porous walls.

In time, this dampness will cause additional problems. Mold and mildew will form on walls and window trim; it will spread to furniture, boxes, and exposed pipes. Wood products will slowly deteriorate and need replacement. Rust may take hold on the bottom of a water heater, causing the unit to fail and cause further flooding.

The musty moldy odor that develop from excessive water vapor will become difficult, if not impossible, to remove. The main benefit of a basement waterproofing system is to prevent the problems of dampness, musty odors, and fungus. Many people with Asthma and other respiratory problems will have breathing complications if the dampness is in place.

Today’s homeowner can choose among several types of basement waterproofing systems. The standard choices involve sealing the below grade exterior walls during the construction process. A specialized tar application may be manually applied to the concrete or blocks. Then, a thick rubberized sheet can be tacked onto the walls for additional protection. Part of the overall plan may also incorporate a series of French drains to divert excess water.

A sump system in the floor can draw water from underneath and pump it upward and away from the foundation.

For aftermarket waterproofing, however, it is often up to the homeowner to repair cracks, seal joints, and apply an interior coating to the walls. Some coatings may need reapplication after about 18 months as the properties of concrete often react to oil in the sealants.

Crack injection products are also a source of waterproofing. These fillers are effective as long as there is no additional foundation movement. Even with an elaborate basement waterproofing system in place, some humidity usually remains. Therefore, it is sometimes necessary to use a dehumidifier in the space as a supplemental source.

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