The Different Methods for Waterproofing Your Basement

stock-photo-22083798-water-damaged-basementNortheast Ohio will be preparing itself for the snow that will surely come before we are ready.  With the coming of snow and the melting that follows, many basements across Northeast Ohio will unfortunately see some water seepage before this winter is over.  Basement waterproofing is not only done during the summer months, and if your basement has leaks, it is better to do it right away instead of waiting for the warm weather to arrive.  Hiring the right company to do this job, without the hassle and costly options many companies will give you, is extremely important.  Trying to figure out where the water is coming from is not something you should do yourself.  Hire a company that knows where to look and how to identify the problem. Call us with any basement waterproofing questions you have, and we will be happy to offer a solution to your problem. We are a reputable company with many, many years of experience.

The Differences Between Damp-Proofing Vs. Waterproofing Your Basement

When you hear the terms “damp-proofing” and “waterproofing” regarding your home’s basement and foundation, is there a difference? What do these terms mean?

There are differences – and the differences are significant if you want to keep water out of your basement.

Foundation damp-proofing is generally done during the construction phase to meet minimal building code standards. Damp-proofing makes use of a moisture-resistant material consisting of hot liquid asphalt and rubber coating with an insulating panel. The problem is that although damp-proofing is moisture resistant, it is not complete protection from water. Damp-proofing is only applied internally and water can still pass through the foundation externally.

Foundation waterproofing, on the other hand, will stop water seepage caused by hydrostatic pressure – which is the rising and falling of ground water under the concrete, making water penetrate the basement slab. Foundation waterproofing systems are applied externally so that water is prevented from penetrating through the foundation.

Negative Side Waterproofing

Water and moisture considerably reduce the value of a basement as living space or storage area. When moisture enters a basement, the conditions for the formation of mold become favorable. And once mold has formed, it continually produces spores and releases them into the surrounding air, allowing them to spread through the rest of the building, which not only causes a musty smell but also reduces the living quality and even cause health disorders.

The cause of water or moisture in basements is usually ground water or ground moisture which penetrates into the basement through the floor slab or the basement walls. Such defects are frequently encountered in older buildings, but new buildings can also be affected.
Construction is usually carried out during the dry summer months, so designers, owners and craftsmen sometimes neglect the seasonal changes which will expose a basement to water in the fall and winter. As a result the waterproofing of new structures is often neglected and does not provide permanent protection.

A recent survey of leaking basements showed water comes from a variety of sources, but walls are the usual culprit:

Occurrence of moisture
Only on walls: 82.8 %
Only on the floor: 4.1 %
On walls and floor: 13.1 %

Waterproofing Basement Walls: Costs and Options

If you’re trying to figure out how to cure a wet or musty basement, you’re probably curious about advertisements for products that claim to waterproof basement walls. So you wonder: Is it really possible to dry out a basement simply by sealing the walls?

Yes, it is possible — but to make sure you’re choosing the right option, you need to figure out if the moisture is coming from the outside, or if it’s actually high humidity that’s condensing on the cool walls of your basement.

How to Find Out What’s Causing the Moisture 

Tape a 1-foot-square piece of aluminum foil to the inside of your basement walls, and leave it in place for 24 hours.

If there’s condensation on the outside of the foil, you have high humidity in your basement. Fix it with a portable room dehumidifier or a whole-house humidifier system instead of waterproofing products.

If the foil has condensation on the inside surface (next to the wall), it may be the soil around your house is naturally damp from a high water table or poor soil drainage. In that case, waterproofing your basement walls can be useful.

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