Basement Waterproofing Products and Systems
If you have done a simple google search for basement waterproofing products, you may find that the options are overwhelming. There are many types of products on the market that claim to eliminate basement water intrusion. There are various types of systems all with the goal of eliminating water seepage or channeling water away from the foundation. It can be quite difficult to sift through all of the different products and systems available. The purpose of this blog is to cover some of the more common approaches to basement waterproofing. We will explain how certain basement waterproofing products work, which ones make the most sense, and which ones to avoid.
Dehumidifiers and Ventilation Systems
A dehumidifier works by drawing air into the unit, removing moisture, and then expelling the dry air back into the room. The excess moisture typically gets discharged into a bucket or directly into a drainage system, or may be pumped out of the unit. There are many different models and brands of dehumidifiers and ventilation systems. They can range in price anywhere from $200 to $1,500 or more. You can purchase a basic, free standing dehumidifier for a small area of a few hundred square feet. Or you may choose a “whole home” style moisture control/ventilation system. Such units tend to have more options and additional add-ons and features for more advanced settings. You can purchase an independent unit as well as units that connect to your existing furnace system. Dehumidifiers and ventilation systems are beneficial to have for chronically damp basements.
You can learn more about humidity control and ventilation here.
Waterproofing paints are made to be applied to the interior of basement walls. The idea behind these products is that they are supposed to keep water from penetrating the foundation wall and entering into the basement. Many of these products make all kinds of crazy claims. They also market that their product is a permanent solution. The issue with these types of products is that it doesn’t actually get to the root of the problem. It does not eliminate nor does it redirect water away from the foundation. Certain basement waterproofing paints also attract mold growth. Many of them contain warning labels on the container advising of this. Although it may mask the issue for a time, it does not actually fix the problem. Therefore, using this product is not really basement waterproofing. It is a temporary bandaid at best.
Sump pumps are typically used hand-in-hand with an interior basement waterproofing system. How does this type of system work? A trench is dug alongside the home’s footer and drainage is installed to direct water to the sump pump. The sump pump then takes water out and away from the basement. For such a system to work properly, the footer drains must have appropriate sloping so that the water can flow properly.
When it comes to sump pumps, the old adage “you get what you pay for” proves true. Therefore, Pioneer makes it a priority to select only high quality basement waterproofing products. We choose quality sump pumps from reliable manufacturers. A quality sump pump can make the difference between a bone dry basement during a heavy rain and a flooded basement! Additionally, sump pumps are available with a battery backup system which is useful in the event of a power outage. It is also important to check sump pumps periodically to make sure they are in good working order.
We have written a detailed breakdown of an interior basement waterproofing system in a previous blog post.
Basement Wall Membrane
This product works best along with an exterior basement waterproofing system. Pioneer uses Delta MS, a high quality, time tested dimpled membrane board. The process begins with excavation around the exterior of the foundation. We place the membrane on the outside of the foundation wall. Then, we install drainage around the bottom of the foundation and cover it with gravel. The drainage carries the water away from the foundation. The membrane is what keeps water from penetrating the basement wall.
You can learn more about exterior basement waterproofing and basement wall membrane here.
Crack Repair Kits
These kits typically require injection of polyurethane or a similar material with a caulking gun. Such kits are geared toward the DIY homeowner. Sealing a crack can prevent a small amount of water from entering and may reduce the unsightly appearance of a basement crack. However, sealants such as the ones used in these kits will break down over time. Thus, this product is not a permanent basement waterproofing solution. Also, it is important to examine the reason why there is a crack in the first place. If there are settlement issues, these need to be addressed to prevent further damage. Small cracks could be indicative of a bigger problem and should be closely monitored for changes. If you notice cracking in your basement, do not cover them up and forget about them. A qualified foundation expert should inspect the problem to determine whether or not to stabilize the foundation.
Patented Basement Systems
If something is “patented”, it must be pretty special, right? Just because a product has a patent, it doesn’t mean that it is the best on the market. Nor does it mean that the product is the right fit for your home. Contractors that offer such systems state that their product “sets them apart” from the competition. How do these systems work? They are intended to be installed on top of a house’s footer. What is the problem with this? Your home’s footer is level. Water cannot flow properly when it is level. This means that water builds up in the channel, remaining stagnant. These systems are much more susceptible to problems and failure. Particularly during a heavy rain when you need it to work the most!
Additionally, interior basement waterproofing is not always the best fit for every home. Most companies that offer such patented systems are not equipped to perform basement waterproofing with any other method. If a company only offers one solution, of course they are going to tell you that the solution they offer is the best! They have nothing else to offer.
At Pioneer Basement Solutions, we have nothing to hide about the basement waterproofing products that we offer. Our basement inspectors always thoroughly explain the pros and cons. We are honest about what works and what doesn’t. We take an individual approach to each home and will only offer a solution that fits your exact problem. Our goal is to educate the homeowner so that they can make the best decision. If you would like to learn more about what we have to offer, please feel free to contact us to speak with a basement and foundation specialist.
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