6 Favored Methods for Foundation Waterproofing You Should Know

by Colin Buzi on Apr 24, 2022

If you have ever walked down to your basement and noticed a small trickle of water or small puddle on the floor, you may dismiss it as no big deal. These minor signs indicate a much larger problem that needs to be addressed quickly to prevent the issue from becoming worse.

The good news is that you can do something to help prevent flooding from happening and have a waterproof foundation. Basement waterproofing is a technique that prevents water from coming into the basement. There are several ways to waterproof a basement. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-one approach. Instead, there are many ways of doing it depending on your unique issue, where your home is located, your soil, and the type of foundation your home has. 

Many people use their basement as a place for friends and family to gather and have large, expensive appliances, pool tables, furniture, and other items. Not only can flooding destroy material things, but it can also cause issues to your health and even to your home. When water frequently seeps into your basement, you run the risk of mold and mildew forming and even structural damage if not repaired in a timely manner. 

Different Waterproof Foundation Methods

There are two types of waterproofing methods, Interior and exterior. Both of these methods have advantages and disadvantages. The main benefits of interior drainage are that it’s fast, there is no disruption to the home's exterior, it is less expensive than exterior methods, and low maintenance. 

Exterior waterproof foundation methods are done outside of the home, and their main advantages are that the interior of the basement isn’t disturbed. Anything stored in the basement doesn’t need to be moved. It helps the soil drainage next to the home and reduces the pressure against the foundation walls. 

Below we’re going to list the three most popular waterproofing methods of both. 

Interior Foundation Waterproofing Methods

1. Sealants and Epoxy Injections

Sealants and epoxy injections are inexpensive methods homeowners opt for because a drainage system is not in their budget. Epoxies are strong adhesives that are pressure injected into openings preventing water from seeping through. They can’t apply interior sealers over painted walls because they won’t soak in. These methods are good at stopping the humidity inside the basement from absorbing into the walls and floors. It also prevents flooding by sealing the cracks, preventing water from seeping in. 

2. Interior Drainage System

Interior drainage systems, otherwise known as a French drain, are when a trench is dug along the inside of the basement. The drainage system helps avoid water buildup by moving the water house’s foundation through the basement floor. A drain is installed on the floor. Then a PVC pipe or another type of drainage system is installed. Once the drainage system is installed, it’s covered with concrete to protect it. The newly installed channel then directs the water to a sump pump. This pump pushes the water outside the basement and away from the home. 

3. New Build Reinforced Concrete 

This cement-based waterproof foundation system is applied to the concrete surface. The active chemicals combine with the free lime and moisture in the capillary tract to form crystalline complexes. The crystals then block the capillaries and minor shrinkage cracks and prevent leaks. 

Exterior Waterproof Foundation Methods

1. Polymerized Asphalt

This is similar to polyurethanes as it is applied to the exterior of basement walls. The substance itself is waterproof, which makes it ideal for basement walls and perimeter foundations. If small cracks appear, they simply stretch over them, preventing water from leaking into the basement. If there is a large amount of movement over a prolonged period, it may not entirely prevent water from seeping in, but it does decrease the amount. This gives you plenty of time to call a professional to repair your foundation. 

2. Waterproofing Membrane 

This is often placed over the polymerized asphalt to increase its waterproofing ability. A waterproofing membrane covers the exterior of the basement walls or the foundation. The film is installed to direct the water into the drain system. In conjunction with grading the land grading, it is an effective method of keeping your basement dry. 

3. Yard Drainage

To increase the effectiveness of your waterproofing methods, the best thing you can do is make sure your yard drainage system is working as it should. If there is pooling around the foundation or basement sooner or later, the amount of pressure against the wall leaks may occur. 

A yard drainage system involves the following (depending on what your needs are)

  • Grading

Grading is when you grade the soil in your yard to slope away from the house. The pitch should be at least 6 inches over 10 feet. If the slope is too flat, the water won’t drain properly, and it will soak into the ground, and it may pool around the foundation of your home. 

  • Proper downspout placement

Improper positioning of downspouts is one of the leading causes of foundation cracks. When installing downspouts, they need to be positioned at least 3 feet away from the house. 

  • Installation of French drains

French drains are one of the best ways of removing water from your yard. They consist of perforated pipes surrounded by separator fabric laid around the outer perimeter of the foundation. A layer of gravel then covers them. 

  • Installation of catch basins

Catch basins are box-shaped containers that collect water and then direct it through pipes to a storm sewer drain. Catch basins have a mesh and separator that keeps trash and materials clogging the drainage system.

  • Installation of a dry well

People choose to install a dry well if no storm sewers are available. These are wells that collect run-off water. Like French drains, there is a soil separator fabric filled with gravel. 

Waterproofing Your Foundation on a Budget

There are some simple ways to waterproof your foundation: low cost and some of which cost nothing at all. One of the primary sources of pooling water is clogged rain gutters or downspouts that aren’t far enough away from the foundation. Some foundation waterproofing should be done by a professional, many of which aren’t expensive. 

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