What Is Foundation Waterproofing?
When we think of leaks, it’s easy to thing of roof leaks, leaks around windows, or plumbing leaks. Foundation leaks are just as important to prevent as other leaks, and just as hard to track down to fix. Waterproofing keeps your foundation dry by either keeping the water out or funneling it away from your foundation.
Why Do You Need Waterproofing?
Water getting into your foundation can cause a variety of problems. At its worst it will lead to flooding that can cause structural damage and damage anything left in a basement. Even in small amounts it can lead to rot, mold, mildew, or cause problems with electrical systems.
In general, the more that you can keep water out of your foundation, the better.
Exterior waterproofing keeps the water from entering your foundation in the first place. There are a couple common methods.
Drainage is installed in the ground outside of the foundation. Features like gravel and drain pipe direct water away from the wall of your foundation so it drains in a safe location. For the most effectiveness, it’s a good idea to integrate the drainage systems into the landscape.
Waterproofing membranes are applied directly to the outside of your foundation. The most common application is to have them applied with a brush or a roller. These are made out of waterproof materials like polyurethane, and from a seamless waterproof seal that stops water from entering.
Interior waterproofing is applied inside the foundation. The goal is to control any water or moisture that does penetrate the foundation, or limit the amount that gets inside.
Drainage and sump pump systems usually include drainage pipe that’s entrenched around the perimeter of the foundation, as well as drainage tiles. These all direct the water to a sump pump that removes the water from the foundation. If you get harsher storms that could cut power, then it’s a good idea to have a sump pump with a battery backup.
Interior membranes are applied to the inside of the foundation walls. These stop the moisture from entering the basement. The moisture can still permeate the concrete walls of the foundation, but it will then move down and out of the concrete instead of into the foundation.
All of these methods can be installed on existing foundations. The best solution for your foundation will be a combination of cost, local environment, and your individual foundation situation.