What You Can Do to Waterproof a Slab Foundation
Many homeowners only think that basements need waterproofing. After all, a slab foundation is on top of the dirt, so it should be fine, right? Not so much. The truth is that any foundation con leak, whether it sits on top of the soil or is buried ten feet underneath it.
What Happens When Water Gets In?
All of the electrical, plumbing, HVAC ducts, pipes, and other systems are built into the slab foundation. The foundation helps protect these systems, and having them built in without having to excavate a basement makes construction easier.
It also means that these systems are the ones damaged if water gets in. The moisture can lead to electrical shorts in the wires. Or the drains can back up as water fills them. HVAC ducts can be blocked by water, reducing their effectiveness. Even a small amount of moisture can cause mold or mildew to grow in the gaps through the foundation, as well as in the ducts, pipes, or electrical conduits.
And all of these problems are only if the water stays in the foundation. Too much water will start to seep upwards through the floor, resulting in flooding, damaged flooding, shorts, and more. Even a small amount of moisture could start mold and mildew growing right underneath your floorboards.
How to Waterproof a Slab Foundation
If you’re building a new foundation, then it’s the perfect time for an interior drainage system. This system has drainage tiles and pipes that are dug below the level of the foundation. Water is directed through the drainage tile to the pipes to a drain or a sump pump.
For existing construction, exterior waterproofing is usually a better choice. Exterior waterproofing can also be applied to new construction, and is generally the best option because it keep water out of your foundation in the first place.
An exterior waterproofing membrane is a material that’s applied to the outside of the concrete. The membrane fills in all of the porous space in the concrete to create a waterproof barrier on the outside of it. It’s applied down the entire side of the foundation to make sure water is stopped and routed into the soil.
The last part of waterproofing a slab foundation is to keep water away from it in the first place with an exterior drainage system. Like the interior system, these will have a drainage pipe buried beneath the level of the foundation. Water will soak down into the pipe, then flow away from your foundation.