Finding water in your basement can be frightening and frustrating as a homeowner. It can saturate and damage any stored belongings, present a safety hazard, cause unpleasant odors, and lead to mold growth. That’s why getting rid of the water and making sure it doesn’t come back is crucial.
With the many options available, what is the best way to waterproof a basement? How do you know which solution is the right one for your home? In this article, we will cover how our team at Dry Pro Foundation and Crawlspace Specialists approaches basement waterproofing, as well as what not to do.
Ineffective Methods: What Not to Do
In your search for the perfect basement waterproofing solution, you may come across numerous suggestions. Here are some methods to be aware of and stay away from.
“Waterproof” Paint or Sealant
There are many ads and YouTube videos out there showing how seemingly easy it is to apply paint, sealant, or other “waterproof” substances to your basement to avoid leaks and water intrusion. But these materials are not like duct tape; they can’t fix everything. They don’t even tackle the root of the problem. If these items are applied to an area with existing water or moisture, they can bubble up, flake, peel off, and ultimately fail. They provide temporary relief at best, and you would have to keep purchasing and applying them.
Other DIY Installations
In the same vein, other similar solutions sold online and at big box stores advertised as easy DIY installations are not the answer. They are more temporary bandages and cosmetic fixes that do not address why there is water in your basement in the first place. Continued purchases and installations will hurt your wallet in the long run and could potentially create bigger, more expensive problems.
During the construction of your foundation and basement, a coating of tar is typically applied to the walls’ exterior and a drainage pipe with filter fabric and rock is situated next to the footing. All are intended to prevent basement water intrusion as long as they are not damaged. But over time, the tar can wear off and the drainage pipe can clog or be crushed by the weight of the surrounding soil. When these systems fail, water around the cove joint (where the wall and floor meet in the basement) can leak inside.
Interior Systems: Basement Waterproofing the Dry Pro Way
Now that you’ve seen what not to do, let’s talk about a more effective method used by your local basement waterproofing specialists at Dry Pro. While exterior drainage aids in the waterproofing process as long as the systems function properly, it is more effective to waterproof your basement from the inside. Here are some of the systems we use for long-lasting basement waterproofing:
Our interior drainage system is specially designed for basements. It sits just below the floor, on top of the footing, and out of the “mud zone” so it will not clog. Weep holes are drilled along the bottom course of the basement walls to allow built-up water to drain and alleviate excess hydrostatic pressure. Any water from the walls and floor, as well as the cove joint, is collected by this drainage system and directed to drain to a sump pump.
Situated in a sump liner in the floor, the sump pump system collects water from the interior drainage system. Once this water reaches a certain level, a float switch is activated so the system can pump the water out of the basement and away from the home through discharge pipes.
Wall Vapor Barrier
A vapor barrier can be placed on basement walls to not only enhance their appearance but also help keep excess moisture and water out of the basement. If any water leaks through higher areas of the walls, it will automatically run behind the waterproof and mold-resistant vapor barrier and down to the interior drainage system.
Due to being partially or completely below grade, basements are naturally damp and humid. While this is common, it’s not the healthiest for your family or home. Along with a vapor barrier to help prevent moisture intrusion, it’s important to have a durable, energy-efficient dehumidifier to control moisture and humidity. Our units clean and filter the air, reduce odors and the potential for mold growth, and are self-draining.
Other Systems to Consider
While exterior drainage has its benefits and drawbacks, there are other exterior fixtures you also should consider in your water management plan. Your gutters and downspouts are your first lines of defense against excess water near your foundation and basement. It’s important to keep them free and clear of any debris and damage, and it’s generally best practice to inspect and clean them at least twice a year (in the spring and fall).
Keep Your Basement Dry with Dry Pro
Rather than investing your time and money in temporary fixes, get the best solutions tailor-made for your Charlotte or Hickory area home’s basement. If you suspect water is leaking into your basement, don’t hesitate to contact our expert team at Dry Pro. We provide completely free, no-obligation basement inspections and repair estimates. When one of our professionals visits your home, they will complete a thorough evaluation of your basement and home to determine the exact cause of your water management problems. You’ll then receive an estimate detailing the recommended repair solutions, cost, and timeline of the project. You’ve got nothing to lose. Start protecting your home today by calling us or filling out our form.