If you in desperate need of waterproofing a basement, but don’t want to spend big dollars or hours to get the job done, here’s a few pointers to help get you going.
How does waterproofing work in the basement and what exactly needs to be done? For answering that question it will help to first take a look at historically conventional basement waterproofing and the way it was supposed to work.
In case you are curious to know how the basement is built, you will see that the idea was first conceived in the design and then the next steps follow. It starts with the digging of a big hole, then the footer or foundations are laid. After the base is done, the walls of the basement are built and then only the rest of the house is constructed.
The important point to note is the first one in the list above - that big hole in the ground.
The construction of basement walls invariably leaves a void on the exterior which requires backfilling. This void gets filled with loose backfill. The problem here is that water looks for the path of least resistance, and you’ve just given it just that with a huge pile of loose backfill, no matter how well it’s been compacted.
Water will continuously seep into this area. The conventional way of waterproofing a basement provides some form of drainage pipe for this water to drain away, but the problem with this is that often these pipes get silted up. As the water comes it brings all sorts of suspension with it and that is to be expected as it is natural. The system can overload if the pipes get over-filled and then the pressure of the built up water would be concentrated on the outer basement walls. So while the walls of the basement may be waterproofed in some way, water, as you probably already know, will usually find a way through the tiniest of gaps.
This type of problem doesn’t usually go away because the pipes that are supposed to take away the excess water gradually worsen over time.
Many times there is simply no access to these pipes which is a huge oversight. To keep water out of a basement, waterproofing is also applied to the external walls. This is often referred to as a tanked system.
If you want to find out if you have water inside the concrete block of your walls simply tap a hole into the concrete block, near the floor, and see if you have water coming out of this block then you may want to consider drained cavity basement waterproofing. This system drains the water from your walls, much the same way you just did, by adding drain holes in the bottom blocks that allows those areas to drain into a type of interior french drain system. To move water away from your property; it first must be collected and sent through drainage channels to a sump pump or a natural drainage field.
Waterproofing a basement is when they are installed internally, have easy access ports for removing silt, and can be installed in basements where other methods have failed.
So to summarise, good basement waterproofing will:
- not disturb landscaping, decks, patios, driveways, etc
- usually be an approved waterproofing method for home loans
- often be substantially cheaper than other waterproofing methods
- usually be a permanent or long-term solution
- stop both ways by which water can enter through the walls and up from the floor
You want to be sure to choose a reliable waterproofer for your home, keep in mind that it will greatly increase the value by far more than what you initally paid.
In conclusion, you want a basement waterproofing system that will deliver:
- not disturb the exterior appearance of your home
- an approved method by home loan lenders
- more affordable than other methods
- a permanent or long term fix
- stop water through the floor and walls
Waterproofing your home is an investment in its value.
So, there you have it. Now that you’ve been given at ways to improve your basement waterproofing, the next step is up to you. Take this information and make use of it. It’s easier to do nothing, but in the end you will thank yourself for having taken action.