A wet basement can be a homeowner’s nightmare. Whether the basement is finished and soaked or it is unfinished with persistent leaks or dampness – water is no friend to your home.
If you are experiencing leaking walls, floors, or cracks in your home’s basement, it’s likely you need the help of an experienced basement waterproofing contractor to devise a basement solution. But, you’ll find that there are variety of choices in basement waterproofing repairs or systems designed to tackle the problem, as well as opinions about which one is the most effective.
First, you need to find out how’s the water getting in the basement? If you’re noticing water in your basement, investigating the solution should start outside your home. Make sure all your home’s gutters, downspouts or other drainage systems are working effectively and diverting water away from the home. Basement windows should be also above ground-level and tested to ensure that they have a watertight seal.
Every basement water problem is unique and the solution should be tailored to the job. “The majority of our basement problems are a combination of events, not one thing that one system would fit,” says Terry Chubb of Chubb Construction and Basement Waterproofing. He adds that it could be cracking or deterioration of the basement walls, movement in the foundation walls, improper backfilling when built, clogged footer drains or deteriorated sewer lines.
Your home’s unique situation, construction and foundation system is responsible for what type of basement waterproofing repair system you choose to install. It also must be noted that in many cases, not just one type of repair, but rather a combination of approaches may be necessary.
Waterproofing primer or paint products
Many contractors recommend that waterproofing paints or primer as an instant repair. They say that sealing basement walls that are leaked produces little more than a cosmetic solution if the source of the water problem isn’t addressed.
Fit a Polyethylene Membrane
An alternative to epoxy coatings is to use a polyethylene membrane. Although it holds back water, it may be necessary to install channels and a sump pump to collect and remove water from behind the membrane. Seek professional advice on whether this is required. Measure the surface area you need to cover and make sure you buy enough membrane for your needs.
This repair approach is generally only suitable for poured concrete foundations where seepage is originating from the walls (and not floors). Injecting an epoxy or polyurethane material into a crack can help prevent water from entering the basement though some basement waterproofing companies regard this solution as a temporary fix and not a permanent solution.
Exterior excavation waterproofing
Exterior waterproofing involves excavating 6 to 8 feet down to the foundation wall footer and correcting drainage by installing new drainage tiles or a French drain system. Depending on the number of areas affected by water infiltration, exterior basement waterproofing (also known as positive side waterproofing since it deals with the source of water or hydrostatic pressure) may involve one wall of the foundation, or multiple walls. Due to extensive excavation required, exterior basement waterproofing is often more expensive than other methods. One advantage of it is that it excludes water from the home and requires little to no ongoing maintenance once the project is complete.
Interior excavation waterproofing
According to contractors, homeowners often choose an interior waterproofing method because it costs significantly less than exterior waterproofing. Interior drain system waterproofing will address hydrostatic pressure – that is, the pressure of groundwater forcing its way through the basement walls or foundations. Because interior perimeter drain systems deal with water after it has entered a basement, it may be referred to as negative side waterproofing. Another key part of the system is a working sump pump to actively remove water once it has entered the home.
With this type of system, waterproofing contractors also suggest that a backup battery-operated sump pump is an essential consideration to prevent water from overtaking the basement during power outages. Though interior excavation and drainage systems are less costly than exterior systems, they’re not without their drawbacks. Excavating in a finished basement obviously presents issues for a homeowner and some contractors advise that there’s possibility of structural damage when compromising the integrity of a concrete basement floor.
So, next time you have water leakage problem in your basement, try the above methods for an effective remedy. The best part is to get in touch with a suitable basement waterproofing contractor who can analyze deep into the issue and provide the best solution as per your requirement.