What Should I Know About Basement Waterproofing?

Shuchi Kalra

Basement waterproofing is one of the primary concerns among people who own a basement. This makes it one of the most important aspects of home-planning, architecture and design. Basement waterproofing is quite different from waterproofing other parts of your house because your basement is, in all probability, surrounded by damp soil on all sides.

A man installing a basement floor.
A man installing a basement floor.

Why you Need to Waterproof your Basement

Not only can water seeping through basement walls cause permanent damage to the structure, it can ruin the property and any furnishings inside. Moreover, damage to the basement structure is extremely difficult and expensive to repair. This makes prevention the wiser choice. An additional point to be aware of is that since the basement usually does not receive direct sunlight, it is an ideal place for mold and mildew to breed if moisture is adequate. The fungus can not only cause foul odors, but it can spur allergies and disease in the household.

The best approach is to waterproof basements at the time they are built. This, however, doesn't always happen. If your home has cracks in the basement walls, a problematic plumbing system, or moldy basement interiors and high humidity levels, the basement should in all likelihood be waterproofed as soon as possible.

If you happen to reside in an area that receives plentiful rainfall, basement waterproofing becomes an absolute necessity. Instead of attempting to do it yourself, it is highly recommended that you hire an expert so that your waterproofing system works effectively and lasts longer.

The Types of Basement Waterproofing Systems

The choice of waterproofing systems for your basement will depend on a variety of factors like the cause of seepage, the structural condition of your house and environmental conditions. Considering your needs, you will likely choose from three main basement waterproofing systems.

Tanking is a process that involves coating the outer walls of the basement with a water-resistant material. This method of basement waterproofing must be done during the initial construction phase of the home. Because it is applied from the outset, it generally works well for most kinds of seepage.

The cavity drainage system involves the application of a plastic honeycomb coating on the walls, floors and ceiling. This ridged or sloping surface will help re-route any seepage to a drainage system and do not allow moisture to “stand” for too long. Cavity drainage systems involve pumps that are dependent on electricity supply and therefore may encounter electrical problems over time. Due to its many pitfalls and high levels of maintenance, this system is generally not a popular choice.

Finally, the exterior foundation drain is a modified drainage system that is installed on the external walls. It works to re-direct ground water away from the walls.

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?