How Basement Waterproofing works?

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  • Learn how basement waterproofing works and all the processes.

  • Find out the differences on waterproofing your exterior versus interior basement.

  • Understand the importance of drainage to avoid water damage.

Do you want to know how basement waterproofing works?

Most home owners realise the importance of keeping water out of their home’s foundation. Although, maybe never fully understanding the different types and methods of making a basement water tight and protected from damage due to rain and soil dampness seeping into a dwelling place. This all changes if you’ve ever cleaned up soggy, mildewed water damaged items. Suddenly, you begin to realise how important it is to do all you can to prevent water from getting into your home in the first place and to properly solve the problem immediately the instant you see the effects of water seeping into your basement or building up around the outside walls.

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Exterior and Interior Basement Waterproofing System

Get your questions answered

No doubt, you have plenty of questions. Should you waterproof from the outside or from the inside, and what are your options? There is a whole lot about how interior and exterior basement waterproofing systems work. What is the best basement waterproofing system for you? The expert team at Diligent Development have answered this with the following helpful tips and explanations.

Learn the process of keeping water out of your basement to understand how basement waterproofing works.

So here is what happens

When you understand the concepts behind work that needs to be done to your home, it’s easier to accept the process of fixing it or taking steps to prevent it from happening in the first place. Sometimes foundation or basement waterproofing is called tanking. It is a way to keep water out of your basement and involves putting a render of waterproof cement or slurry on internal walls or wrapping the walls with waterproofing materials during construction to form a membrane. It also must include some type of drainage system to prevent future water build up.

Interior basement waterproofing system
Protection and waterproofing your basement with a drainage system

The basement waterproofing process explained

What is done to waterproof a basement? Preferably during the initial construction of the home, the foundation is laid and then wrapped or sealed with waterproofing material or liquid that dries to form a water-tight seal. There are two basic systems used. They are external and internal. External systems are the most commonly used option with basement structures that are being built.

Internal systems are used after the building and its foundation has been set in place and formed. Another important aspect to create a form of drainage or pumping system to remove water and send it away from the building. Essentially, both methods of waterproofing are intended to keep your basement dry on the inside so you can use every room in your house.

Outside or inside methods explained

Exterior basement waterproofing

One basement waterproofing method is to do so from the outside. This method is most commonly used during the construction process after the foundation has been laid. Most external methods use a waterproof membrane that is wrapped around the concrete and installed before the cement is poured, after the forms have been removed. It creates a sort of a water-tight tank, only instead of filling it with water to keep in the water, like a fish tank, this tank forms a seal to keep water out. One popular exterior method is to use either a membrane or a cementitious render on the outside walls of the foundation.

Interior Basement Waterproofing Systems

Waterproofing basement walls from inside is done similarly to the exterior method. The main difference is that it is, instead, done from the inside of the basement. Various methods can be used, most involve rolling or brushing on a sealant. This method is the most modern way to seal out water. It also will involve some drainage or sump pump system to remove water and prevent ground water pressure from building up and pressing against the foundation.

Another form of interior waterproofing is to patch cracks before they become a problem. A water sealant can sometimes be injected sufficiently into the cracks in your basement walls or floors. This epoxy will expand to fill in the gaps and prevent a protective seal to keep water from leaking through the cracks.

Curtain drain or footing drain for waterproofing your basement

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Drainage is a must

Drainage is another very important element in keeping water out of basements. During construction, drainage pipes are installed and then surrounded with gravel. These pipes help to carry the water away from the cement so that rain and soil dampness doesn’t build up and create pressure against the newly poured walls. Sometimes this outside drainage system is called a French drain. After the home has been built, drainage can be obtained by drawing the water out through a hole in one of the corners where a sump pump has been installed. The sump pump pulls the water through a pipe and then drains it out of the basement or underground into the yard away from the home.

Whatever drainage method is used, the point is to divert water away from the basement walls and floors. Some options for drainage with interior waterproofing include using a cavity wall membrane, a DryTrak drainage system, a WaterGuard drainage system, and a sump pump or pit. The most important function is for the drains to remain free of debris so they remain free flowing and not clogged. Otherwise, they will defeat the purpose of pulling water away from your structure and create an entirely new problem. These are the most important things to know when it comes to how basement waterproofing works.

Membrane basement waterproofing system
Check with an expert before you begin a renovation project
Liquids for Waterproofing your Basement

Prevention is the best method

Take steps to prevent water from the start

As with almost every other aspect in life, preventing a problem from ever occurring in the first place will save you a lot of stress, frustration, work, and money to fix the problem that never needed to happen had you taken the proper steps of prevention. The best method of waterproofing is integrating a way from the start, while the basement is being formed, to not only seal out but also drain water away leaving the inside basement area dry and usable for living, setting up furniture, and storing goods.

Both external and internal systems are designed to work in the most efficient manner as possible. Unfortunately, most water damage issues crop up after the home has been built, especially if you live in an older home. If this is your situation, external waterproofing is going to be more costly, so first seeking an internal waterproofing option will be your first best step. Follow up with outside drainage is necessary to prevent future water issues.

Water Damage is not something to mess with.

It’s easier to prevent than it is to clean up the mess left behind. When it comes to basement waterproofing, it is always best to consult an expert to make sure the work is done properly. Find a waterproofing company who understands the problems that foundations, basements, and cellars face when it comes to properly waterproofing.

The process may sound easy in theory, but when you get started trying to create a space that will stay reliably dry, it can become a tedious, costly and time consuming project. Not only that, but the waterproofing materials available in hardware stores are not of the same calibre than those made available to contractors for use. Always ask to see pictures of their finished work projects, and if you can, visit the work site before having any work done on your own home. There is a whole lot about how interior, exterior basement waterproofing systems works. The expert team at Diligent Development have answered them all with this helpful guide.

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