Three Super Effective Basement Waterproofing Options

Three Super Effective Basement Waterproofing Options

Appraisal and Home Inspection
Small Projects and Repairs
By Alex Mikayelyan November 11, 2021

An indoor swimming pool is one of the most desirable home additions out there. However, that is when it is actually a pool and not a flooded basement. If you live in a part of the world that sees a lot of rain and regular flash floods, there is a risk of your basement flooding and being permanently damaged. From damaging hardwood floors to resulting in extensive molding, water damage can cause countless problems for homeowners.

Luckily modern engineering has introduced many solutions to the problem of basement flooding. While there are sure to be all kinds of waterproofing methods and solutions, there are three main ones that are widely used by contractors and structural engineers everywhere. Using these methods will ensure that your basement never sustains water damage and remains structurally sound for years to come.

1. Interior Drainage System

How Interior Drainage Systems Work In Basements

How Interior Drainage Systems Work In Basements

Water damage does not occur simply as a result of water entering the basement. A big part of basement waterproofing is giving the water an effective path to leave. The longer the water stays in your home the more damage it is likely to do. If your home has been flooded and water has already found its way into your basement it can potentially damage basement systems such as fuze boxes, pipes, machinery as well as any item you have stored there.

To overcome this all you need is an effective drainage system that can get rid of the water and keep it from causing too much damage once it fills the basement. The system works by siphoning the drained water into a trench that is dug under the surface of the basement. Specially engineered pipes then send the water to an external drain which empties it out into your lawn. This system drains the water in your basement and waters your lawn, and is sure to make the inner gardener and landscaper in you very happy.

How a Proper Drainage System Can Keep Your Basement Dry

How a Proper Drainage System Can Keep Your Basement Dry

The downside to having only an interior drainage system is that it does not prevent water from getting in. Even upon initial flooding water can do a lot of damage. This damage grows exponentially the longer water stays inside. But if you are looking for a way to avoid water damage entirely, you should combine a water drainage system with other kinds of waterproofing methods.

The Benefits of a Proper Drainage System

The Benefits of a Proper Drainage System

But even if it does not protect your home from water damage entirely, interior water drainage is still very important to have regardless. Even if you do not live in an area with a lot of rainfall or flooding, who knows if the washing machine won’t malfunction and spray water all over the basement. Even in this case having a proper drain can help you avoid damaging your interior, furniture, and stored items.

2. Interior Waterproofing Methods

How to Waterproof the Basement

How to Waterproof the Basement

Interior drainage systems are very useful but you also need something that will prevent water from finding its way indoors in the first place. When it comes to waterproofing basement walls from the inside, you have several options available.

One of the biggest structural weaknesses in your basements is all those little cracks and crevices. Initially, they do not seem like they could cause any real damage to your basement but they are one of the biggest culprits of a flooded and wet basement. Even these tiny cracks can let in a lot of water especially if they are in a hard-to-see area, such as behind the washing machine or shelves.

What Is Used to Waterproof Basements

What Is Used to Waterproof Basements

A very easy and effective solution is waterproofing basement walls from the inside. This can be done by plugging up these cracks and holes with a sealant solution. Waterproof sealant solutions come in all kinds of variants, most of them being specialized liquid rubber which you inject into cracks. The solution then dries up and prevents water from getting through. While many homeowners and waterproofing specialists out there consider this to be a band-aid solution as it does not fix the issue permanently, it is still a great way to stop water from seeping through cracks, even if temporarily.

One of the most popular basement waterproofing sealers out there is epoxy injections which are applied to the cracks and crevices. A major problem with these injections, however, is that when the wall expands or contracts, the sealant will get cracked along with it. This is why it is not a permanent solution for interior waterproofing.

How Interior Insulation Can Prevent Water Damage

How Interior Insulation Can Prevent Water Damage

However, when combined with some porous foam, other sealant compounds, and epoxy these injections will stay solid for much longer.

So empty out your basement and start looking for those cracks in the walls. Next time your local area is experiencing heavy rainfall you can rest easy knowing that your basement will stay dry and won’t succumb to the elements.

3. Exterior Waterproofing

How to Insulate the Foundation to Prevent Water Damage

How to Insulate the Foundation to Prevent Water Damage

The third effective method of waterproofing the basement is through the use of exterior installations and fixtures. In fact, most contractors will tell you that this is the most effective form of waterproofing your basement.

While installing a sump pump and an under-basement water trench, like in the interior drainage system, is also partially an exterior form of waterproofing, the main installations you can make to your home’s exterior involve special membrane fabrics. This polymer material coats the exterior of your basement walls and keeps water from getting through. While it may not stop every tiny droplet of moisture from breaking through it will make your basement significantly more waterproof.

What Is Used to Insulate the Foundation of Your Home

What Is Used to Insulate the Foundation of Your Home

The one downside to exterior waterproofing is that it may require a lot of work to install. While you can install these polymer coats under the external cladding of your basement, do keep in mind that the basement wall goes down much deeper than that. In fact, many basements will have most of their wall surface area under the ground as opposed to above it. To install the polymer coats on the entirety of the basement wall, you will need to do some excavating around the house.

How Effective Is Foundation Insulation for Waterproofing Basement

How Effective Is Foundation Insulation for Waterproofing Basement

Exterior basement waterproofing costs can be as much as $10,000 or more depending on how much surface area is going to be covered. Not only that but you also require the right permits to dig up the area around your house, which is also going to require extra paperwork.

However, if you have put your mind to waterproofing your home and making sure that it doesn’t get damaged by moisture in any way, exterior waterproofing is a worthy investment. The polymer coat will prevent moisture from seeping through, damaging the structural integrity of your home, and potentially costing you tens of thousands of dollars in future repairs.

As expensive and time-consuming as exterior waterproofing may be, it is still worth it if you wish to avoid having to go through regular repairs and renovations in the future. In other words, exterior waterproofing is a long-term investment. Combine it with other forms of waterproofing and your basement should be safe from water damage even if you live in a wet place.

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Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan

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