The best way to waterproof a basement
Ever wonder what is the best way to waterproof a basement? If you have googled the question you have seen many DIY products. You also certainly have seen several ads from basement waterproofing contractors. It can be a daunting task to identify the best solution for your specific issue.
The answer to the question of the best way to waterproof a basement depends on the specific problem. There are two components to an original basement waterproofing system. The builder would have sealed the foundation wall and installed foundation drains during construction. Therefore all dampness or seepage issue are related to a failure of the original waterproofing system.
Do you have wet basement walls? Wet basement walls indicate seal failure. Paint failure and mold on basement walls are also indicators of seal failure. Because the original coating applied to the foundation eventually erodes away, all basement walls eventually need to be resealed from the outside.
Do you have dry basement walls but water on the floor? This is an indication of drain failure. Often times the bottom row of block may get wet with drain failure as well. These foundation drains are referred to as footer drains because they are installed next to the footer. The footer is like a cement sidewalk that is installed first. The foundation blocks are then stacked on top of the footer. The footer drains collect ground water and moves it away from the footer.
Can you waterproof from the inside?
First identify what type of problem you have and then look for a solution that directly addresses that problem. The best way to waterproof a basement that has water coming up from the floor may be an interior solution. Interior basement waterproofing consists of installing interior footer drains. These drains collect and move the water to a sump pump. The water that is collected is then pumped up and away from the foundation.
You can achieve a dry basement from the inside even if walls are wet. Installing full wall waterproof panels keeps the water and dampness out of your basement.
Exterior basement waterproofing
Exterior basement waterproofing is often the best solution. Installing exterior waterproofing stops the water from getting to your foundation from the outside. This method involves restoring the seal on your foundation with sealers and a membrane to keep the foundation permanently dry. New footer drains keep ground water from building up and leaking into your basement.
Either method will result in a dry basement, they just work differently. Interior systems are often referred to as “pressure relief” systems. Because theses systems do not keep water out of the foundation from the outside they are not true waterproofing systems.
How to find a good contractor
Check out referral sites. You may have a neighborhood site or forum. Angie’s List and Home Advisor are great resources.
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You can read verified reviews on Home Advisor and Angie’s List. Ask friends and relatives if they have experience with and waterproofing contractors. The BBB is a good place to see data on companies like when they opened for business and if there are any complaints against them. Keep in mind that the BBB gives all contractors A or A+ as long as they abide by the protocols, even after a history of multiple complaints.