We are getting back to the basics today to answer the question “What is basement waterproofing?” As your waterproofing experts, we want you to understand the what, why, and how of keeping your basement dry.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Water in my Basement?
Common sense tells us that we don’t want water in our homes especially around the foundation. Before we get into how the water enters, let’s take a look at some of the long-term effects water has on our basements.
Cracking in walls or floors
Windows that are stuck or difficult to open
Doors that are not level and difficult to open or close
Higher utility bills
Rusty pipes and degrading wires
Deterioration of personal items stored in the basement
Insect or rodent infestation
Possible health issues from unclean air
If you have noticed any of the above issues in your home, the culprit could be water issues arising from your basement.
The 5 Ways Water Enters Your Home
To understand what basement waterproofing is you must first understand the problem. There are 5 major ways that water can enter your basement. Exterior waterproofing methods will age and deteriorate as your home ages. This is inevitable. An inspection by a professional waterproofer will examine each of these ways and create a waterproofing plan to solve the problem. You will no longer have to worry when rain falls!
Cracks and Mortar Joints of Your Foundation
When rainwater falls and settles down into the soil, it begins to build hydrostatic pressure against the walls of your foundation. Any cracks caused by aging, tree roots, or the shifting of the house or ground around the foundation are susceptible to this rainwater. As the pressure builds the water can seep into the crack and joints and eventually into your basement.
Bleeding and Sweating of Porous Concrete Walls
Although concrete is “solid” when dry, it is not solid in the same sense as steel or marble. As the water evaporates from the poured cement, it creates tiny tunnels in the concrete. This is why we call it “porous.” Water can seep through these tiny tunnels but does so slowly over time. Sealing the concrete can help but the older the concrete, the more apt it is to allow moisture in.
Basement walls are typically cool. When warm moist air hits the walls, water can condense and buildup in the porous nature of the concrete. This water could come from the soil resting against the outside which is why proper grading and downspouts are essential to diverting water away from your home.
Water Penetrating Under the Footer
The “footer” of your foundation is a large thick concrete slab that extends out past the foundation of your house. It is the first line of defense against the soil your home rests upon. It is intended to help strengthen the actual foundation that holds all the weight of the structure of your home and your belongings. Footers are normally thicker than your foundation also.
When rainwater or the natural water table around your home brings water under the footer, then water damage can occur.
Water Penetrating Over the Footer
Just as the water can build up under the footer, it can also flow and rest over the footer. When this happens steps must be taken to remove and divert the water or water damage will occur.
Hydrostatic Water Pressure Forces Water Through Floor Cracks
Hydrostatic water pressure is the pressure of water against the foundation of your home or walls of your basement. When this pressure builds up, it can force water to seep through any cracks in your basement floor.
What is Basement Waterproofing?
So now you know what causes water to enter your basement and the effects it can have on your home. So how do we solve these problems? This is basement waterproofing! After inspection and addressing all the water entrances, our team will install the best methods to divert water away from your home. Instead of the water controlling you, you will control the water. Our drainage system has the largest capacity and has a more efficient flow rate than any other competing drain system. We will seal the walls to prevent seepage and address any cracks that could be an entrance for water.
Our basement waterproofing system addresses all five areas discussed above that water can enter your home. Most waterproofing solutions will address the issue at hand and not account for the possibility of future water problems. Once we have waterproofed your basement you can rest assured that water will no longer be a problem in your basement. We stand by our work so strongly we have a “Life of the Structure” guarantee. This means that once we have waterproofed your basement, you no longer have to worry about it…ever.
We are ready and able to solve all of your water problems. Contact us today for a free estimate.