Waterproofing basement walls from interior and exterior
Posted by Larry Taggart on November 11th, 2017
Waterproofing basement walls can be done in several ways. But choosing the right option is important and that depends on the cause of the seepage. Is it coming from outside or is it high humidity level that is condensing on the walls of the basement? The same is applicable before taking up waterproof foundation project where the cause has to be identified.
If the interior is moist a dehumidifier will be sufficient. But if seepage of water is due to saturated soil or presence of water table then you would need waterproofing system. It can be done either from the interior or the exterior.
Interior waterproofing can be done with the help of concrete waterproofing coatings. In this case, a thick cement-like coatings is applied which makes the structure non-permeable to moisture. After the layer is dried up it attaches permanently to the walls (it can be concrete and masonry) making it waterproof. But, it must be remembered that this coating cannot be applied on a pre-painted surface. Therefore, the paint layer has to be scraped off.
The second method can be to use silicate-based sealers that can be applied on concrete surfaces. The sealers dry up to create a hard, waterproof surface by chemically bonding with the ingredients of the walls, namely concrete, mortar or brick. These layers penetrate inside the wall and therefore cannot flake off or peel. There are other acrylic materials that can be applied as paint layers making the exterior waterproofing basement walls.
Plastic sheets or membranes are often applied for waterproof foundation along with interior basement drainage systems. This though doesn’t stop the entry of water through the walls but as it is drained, it does not ruin the structure. In this case, accumulated water runs down through the pipe at the back of the plastic layer. Water is accumulated in a sump pit which is then pumped out with the help of sump pump. Before the start of the process all the cracks and gaps should be properly sealed.
The most comprehensive way to waterproof your basement walls is to go for a full-scale exterior waterproofing your foundation, though it would be more expensive. The process is more time consuming as well as it involves excavating all around the house till the depth of the foundation walls. Once the land is cleared around the foundation, the waterproof coating or membrane is applied along with installing drainage panels. Through this panel water may flow down to a French drain located at the bottom of the foundation. A sump pump has to be installed that will pump the water out of the property or will be connected to a dry well or storm drain.
So, waterproofing basement walls both from interior and exterior needs expertise and you must appoint a team that is qualified and capable of the job. The contractor should also use top rated products so that it remains safe and functional for a long time. Interior waterproofing can be taken up as a DIY project but it is not possible for exterior waterproofing. Since waterproof foundation and exterior basement wall waterproofing are somewhat interlinked, both can be carried out at the same time. This will save your money and time.
Waterproof foundation and waterproofing basement walls can be done with the help of local agencies.