Basement Waterproofing Systems
There are dozens of basement waterproofing companies that sell and install basement waterproofing systems. They call their systems all different names which can be very confusing. The last thing many of these basement waterproofing companies want you to think is that what they do is simple or common, so they come up with patented names and fancy presentations.
The truth is, there are only three places you can get basement water leaks; Basement walls, basement floor, and the seam where the floor meets the walls.
And there are only two types of water that can give you basement water leaks; surface water and ground water.
All basement waterproofing systems involve a drain that moves water away from your foundation. These drains are either on the outside or the inside, thus you have:
Interior Basement Waterproofing Systems
If water is leaking where the wall meets the floor, or seeping up through the basement floor, interior basement waterproofing is likely the best solution. If your walls are in good shape and not wet other than the very bottom, this may be the best fix for you.
There are several interior basement waterproofing systems that involve a channel type drain which the contractor installs on top of, or next to, the footer. Since the footer is level, these channels will therefore hold water. Water will collect and build up in the channel until there is enough in there to push it over to the drainage point, such as a sump pump system. These systems are evolutions of the DIY glue-on baseboard systems that you can buy online or through some hardware stores.
The best interior basement waterproofing systems involve a true interior footer drain that has a slope down to the sump pump crock / collection point. This is called “pitch” and is typically around 1/2″ per ten feet. With this design the water will naturally fall downhill and actually evacuate the drains instead of lay in them. This will keep the surrounding areas dry and free of build up of dampness. Many municipalities require a true interior footer drain system and will not allow the channel type systems.
Exterior Basement Waterproofing Systems
If your basement walls are wet around the top or middle of the wall, exterior basement waterproofing may be the right solution. Walls that are damp higher than the bottom couple rows of block mean the seal to the foundation is failing. Thus, this allows surface water and/or dampness to seep into the foundation.
Although there are interior solutions for damp or wet basement walls, to actually solve the problem you have to stop the water from getting in from outside.
Exterior basement waterproofing systems involve a full excavation of the foundation. We excavate down below the floor level. Then we install new footer drains. The “footer” is like a thick sidewalk that your basement walls are built on. Once the foundation is exposed and cleaned of debris, a waterproof coating is applied either by brush or roller. The coating will soak in and seal all the pores and cracks of the foundation. Then we apply a waterproof membrane, which is like wrapping your foundation with a swimming pool liner. Afterward, we cover the new drains with gravel. This multi-step process will stop water and dampness from getting to your basement walls and give you a dry basement.
Naturally, there are combinations of inside and outside solutions that can be implemented based on the type(s) of basement problems you may have. We often address wet basements both on the outside and on the inside for best results to dry up basements.
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