What Are The Options For Basement Waterproofing?
Waterproofing a basement is critical even in the driest regions of the country. There are many options for basement waterproofing. Choosing one depends a lot on your current situation, though. A contractor is likely to recommend one of these four options.
This approach works best when external options prove to be unfeasible. For example, your house might have sidewalks and a wraparound porch that make most of the foundation's exterior inaccessible without a sizeable teardown of part of the property.
An interior solution usually involves installing waterproofing sealants and a drainage system along the foundation wall. The system then carries water away, preventing it from collecting inside the basement and making it musty. In some cases, a contractor may need to drill the floor and run piping under the house to carry the water off. They might also connect it to the sewer system.
Ideally, you have the opportunity during the construction of a building to install a vapor barrier. This goes in before the foundation does. Your home's barrier goes all the way under the foundation and up the walls. Usually, a waterproofing contractor installs the barrier before a concrete business even pours the foundation. This ensures coverage from end to end of the basement.
Lots of folks aren't going to have the chance to install a vapor barrier during home construction work. However, they can still install waterproofing along the exterior of the walls in many cases. Coatings and membranes are popular options. These products can fill cracks along the wall and seal porous stones and bricks. A contractor might also install drain tile or a French drain to redirect water.
Notably, exterior work involves digging along the foundation to access the outside of the wall. As noted in the section on interior waterproofing, an exterior solution may not be feasible if structures like a deck, patio, driveway, sidewalk, or hardscaping are next to the wall.
A less invasive approach is to inject waterproofing products into a foundation's cracks. Rather than trying to coat the entirety of the foundation, a contractor looks for cracks and fills them. This works best if the bulk of the damage to the foundation is above the soil line. However, it won't fix problems with porous stones, blocks, or bricks. Also, a contractor might not be able to get all of the cracks if they can't dig up the ground along the foundation.