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
Interior basement waterproofing systems are best suited for ground water problems that cause water leaks where the wall meets the floor or leaks up through the basement floor. 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 consist of a channel that is set on top of, or next to, the footer. Because they are situated on top of the footer, these channels are level and will 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 and you are having problems with paint sticking / moldy basement walls, exterior basement waterproofing may be best for your leaky basement. Walls that are damp higher than the bottom couple rows of block mean the seal to the foundation is gone. Thus allowing 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 into them in the first place from the outside.
Exterior basement waterproofing systems involve a full excavation of the foundation. The foundation is excavated deeper than your basement floor inside. This is so new exterior footer drains can be installed. 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 a waterproof membrane is applied, like wrapping your foundation with a swimming pool liner. This multi-step approach 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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