Basement Waterproofing Systems
Many customers tell me they are frustrated that they hear different recommendations from different basement waterproofing contractors regarding various basement waterproofing systems available. The frustration is that they feel if they interview three contractors they should have similar recommendations. The problem is they don’t. Each contractor can potentially suggest a different solution. That can be very confusing for a homeowner who isn’t familiar with the different basement waterproofing systems and how they function.
The root of that issue is that most basement waterproofing contractors are set up to “sell a system”. They have a solution they like to promote, easy to train the field labor to install the same thing over and over. And it is easy to train salespeople how to sell that system. Or maybe you get a contractor that has a personal preference and they simply only want to do the one solution.
Let’s first discuss the contractor who simply has a preference for one solution. Obviously they want to have work to do so every customer they visit gets a very convincing story of why their solution is the one for them. For example, basement waterproofing contractors who only do exterior basement waterproofing tell their prospective clients that it is the only way to fix the problem “the right way”. It make sense that restoring the original basement waterproofing system would solve the problem. In a lot of cases that is true. But depending on the problem it may not be necessary. (Hang with me and we’ll look at how to diagnose your problem and point to the best fix for your basement…which is probably why you are reading this.)
More common though are the basement waterproofing companies that have strategically constructed a unique “system” that no one else can offer (so they say). They have a great sales pitch about how it works better than all the rest like “no clogging” “water table lowering” “super duper…”etc… and they have patents! The patented system should be a red flag. You can go to any manufacturer and have your drain pipe made a special color or shape, patent it and say no one else can offer the same thing. But its still a drain.
Many basement waterproofing companies are really good at convincing their prospects they are “full service”. They go through the routine of describing different options making two out of three either sound ridiculously expensive or inadequate. So logically their “fill in the blank SYSTEM” is the best choice. Its a card trick.
Let’s talk problem = solution. If you have wet basement walls up high at or around ground level and or signs of water running down basement walls, exterior basement waterproofing may be the solution that is best for your foundation. If you have chronic paint bubbling/ failure on your basement walls or chronically damp basement walls your best option may be exterior basement waterproofing. These are signs your original coating on the exterior of the foundation walls is failing and dampness or actual water is seeping into the foundation itself. Stopping that process from the outside is the best way to actually fix the problem. If your basement walls are dry for the most part or show signs of dampness in lower areas only, if you have water seepage up through the floor, exterior waterproofing may not be the best solution for your basement issues.
Typical signs that indicate an interior basement waterproofing system would be a good solution are if you have basement floor leaks, cracks in your basement floor that are heaved up, and or water seeps in through the seam where the wall meets the floor. Interior basement waterproofing drainage installed under the basement floor relieve the “hydrostatic pressure” or water pressure in the ground that builds up around your foundation when the water has no where to go. There are mixed feelings from homeowners on whether waterproofing a basement from the inside actually fixes the problem. After all, water comes from outside, right? Well not all basement water seepage can be fixed from the outside. If your basement has water under the floor, interior basement waterproofing may be the only fix. Water under the floor gets stuck there with out interior drains because the inside and outside are separated by your foundation.
Some customers choose a combination of some exterior and some interior basement waterproofing systems. Maybe there is a wet wall or two that need exterior work but the wall between the basement and garage is leaking too. Or maybe there is a large enclosed patio outside, deck or the like. In these cases the garage, patio etc… block all surface water from getting to the foundation so the walls are dry. So no need to tear up the garage or pull the enclosed patio in most cases in order to end up with a smart fix by using a combination of solutions.
Pioneer basement solutions takes a diagnostic approach to first identify the cause of your basement’s problem(s). We will then review with you what we recommend to fix the problem along with any alternative solutions that will give you the desired result. Then the ball is in your court to choose from the basement waterproofing systems which best fits your goals and your budget.