exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?

Wet Basement? What is the Cause and Best Solution?

Wet Basement? What is the Cause and Best Solution?

Ever wonder what causes a wet basement or what the best solution is? Having a wet basement and trying to figure out the best solution can be quite stressful to a homeowner.  First of all, lets discuss what causes a wet basement.  To put it simply, there are two sources of basement seepage; ground water and surface water.  How can you tell the difference between the two?

Some basements may have wet walls, which includes moisture on more than just the bottom row of block.  This is an indication of water getting into the foundation from surface water activity.  The best way to dry out the basement in this case is to restore the waterproofing seal on the outside of the basement walls by installing an exterior basement waterproofing system.

fixing a wet basement

Exterior Basement Waterproofing

On the other hand, if your basement walls are dry but there is seepage where the floor and wall meet, it is most likely a ground water problem under the foundation.  You may notice heaved floor cracks or discoloration in the cement.  When ground water builds up under a basement floor, the best way to fix a wet basement in this case is with interior sub floor footer drains.  This allows diversion of the water before it builds up to floor level.

Fixing a wet basement

Interior Basement Waterproofing

How Can You Find the Right Contractor?

Look for a basement waterproofing contractor that offers all methods of basement waterproofing.  Beware of companies that tell you that there is only one way to fix a wet basement.  They may claim to be a full service waterproofing company, yet they only offer their “patented system” and tell you that this is the best and only option.  Many of these companies claim to be full service.  They train their sales force to review the options they don’t actually install in a way that would cause you to say you do not want them, such as exaggerating the cost or minimizing the benefits.

There is no “one size fits all” solution that works for everyone.  Each type of basement waterproofing system works differently so it is important to know what the cause of your issue is.

Call Pioneer Basement Solutions for a zero-obligation quote and basement evaluation.  We can offer a no-nonsense solution to fix your wet basement.  We do not use pushy sales techniques nor try to use scare tactics in order to intimidate homeowners.  Contact us today and learn more about fixing your wet basement permanently and correctly!

Wet basement walls

Exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?

Exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?

So many people want to know if they should choose exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing to stop their basement water seepage.  Some people want to know what solution will truly fix their problem where others just want the cheapest solution that will give them dry space.  And of course there are those who fall anywhere in between.  Let’s review the differences and what each solution accomplishes to help answer the question: Exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?

exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?

water entering basement walls through the soil=seal failure

If you have wet basement walls, or just damp basement walls that you have to scrape and paint more often than every five years to keep it looking decent then obviously water is getting into your basement foundation walls.  The best “fix” to solve the problem is to stop the water from getting into the foundation walls with exterior basement waterproofing.

The process of exterior basement waterproofing involves excavating down to the bottom of the foundation.  Then the walls are cleaned of debris etc… to prepare for application of a waterproof coating.  All cracks and gaps are filled in and a waterproof coating is brushed, rolled or sprayed on to the foundation sealing up the porous surface. Then a waterproof membrane is applied to completely waterproof the foundation.  At Pioneer we apply a dimpled membrane which gives added benefits of air gap technology and a bit of cushion against the soil pressure.

New foundation drainage is installed.  This step is as critical as the sealing of the foundation.  The new foundation drainage should be 4″ PVC perforated pipe and it should have a pitch, or downhill slope, towards the evacuation point.  The evacuation point is either a sump pump system or a gravity drain that either exits the surface somewhere away from the foundation, or ties to a city drainage system. Many contractors do not ensure proper flow of the drains away from the foundation because most municipalities do not require it.  I know that sounds crazy and it is.  This problem of drains not flowing properly is very prevalent in new construction.

After drainage is installed properly a back fill of gravel is installed over the foundation drains.  Top soil is then installed over the gravel with a positive slope away from the foundation.

If your basement walls are in good shape other than the bottom and you are getting seepage coming from the wall floor seam under heavy rain events an interior basement waterproofing system will give you a dry basement.  But the question is what will actually fix the problem, exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?  If the seepage is due to your exterior foundation drains failing, then replacing them on the outside will put you back to like new.  However, if you see signs of water under your basement floor, like floor cracks that are discolored or white powder on the floor in areas…or even actual water seepage from weak points in the floor itself, an interior basement waterproofing system is the only way to truly fix your problem.  We see people who have this problem and have hired other contractors to excavate their basement and waterproof from the outside only to continue leaking.  The reason is ground water build up under a foundation will get trapped under your floor and not make it to the outside drainage.

water under basement floor

white powder build up around floor cracks = water under the floor

Ground water problems usually show only after sustained periods of rain or fast heavy downpours.  The leaking appears at the wall – floor seams after these sustained conditions occur and may even continue to seep even after the rains stop.  This is because the ground water is building up around your foundation from below and has nowhere to go other than in to your basement until the water subsides to below your floor level.  In this scenario an interior basement waterproofing system will catch the water from below the floor level and prevent the buildup, relieving the hydrostatic pressure that pushes the water in.  Ok, so to call it “waterproofing” is not the best definition since it is actually a ground water control system also called a hydrostatic pressure relief system.  The term interior basement waterproofing has become the generic label for these systems although technically it does not consist of a waterproof membrane.  Nonetheless, you will have a guaranteed dry basement with an interior drainage system if you have a ground water problem.

Beware that not all interior basement waterproofing systems are equal.  Some systems are channels that are installed level under the floor or on top of the footer.  Level is the operative word here, level means water lays in there and creepy bugs love water.  Look for systems that consist of a true footer drain installed below the floor and is pitched to run downhill to the evacuation point. Furthermore, any water that is building up under the floor has to push up into the drain on top of the footer to get to the drain maintaining the water level at a very high point.

So do you think you are figuring out whether you need exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?  Give Pioneer a call for a free no obligation inspection and estimate.  All options are reviewed with pros and cons for your specific foundation.  No sales games, no pressure, just straightforward conversation.


Exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?

Basement Waterproofing In Winter?

People often ask if basement waterproofing can be done in the winter and it depends on the basement systems being used.  Exterior basement waterproofing is where the perimeter of the home is excavated to the bottom of the footer most always with an excavation machine.  This type of work is messy and definitely fair weather work; however, exterior basement waterproofing can be performed during winter months as long as the weather is fairly dry.  In fact dry and cold is better than warm and wet.

Other basement systems designed to waterproof basements from the interior are performed year round with very little to no exceptions.  Interior basement waterproofing involves removing a small area of the perimeter of the floor to allow access to the footer from inside the foundation.  Interior footer drains are then installed to collect and direct ground water to a pump system that keeps the foundation dry.

Other basement systems are some sort of combination of interior basement waterproofing and exterior basement waterproofing methods that are usually performed all year round.  In fact winter months can be an ideal time to get your basement waterproof project completed based on availability of basement waterproofing contractors and dry weather conditions.  This will also prepare your foundation to stay dry during wet spring rains.

To learn more about different basement systems and what basement waterproofing system is best for your foundation, call today at 1-877-321-4889.