Basement leak repair and waterproofing options
Posted by MarkRothmann on November 11th, 2017
If you have a wet basement you may wonder what would be the best method for waterproofing basement walls. Can basement leak repair be done from the interior or the exterior? Almost every type of basement leak repair, irrespective of the foundation type (including poured concrete foundation) can be done from inside the home or from the outside.
Few things are to be considered when you are planning to repair the leaks of the basement or the foundation from inside or the outside. In case of interior repairs, the drywall has to be opened or removed for accessing the foundation. Exterior repair is costlier than interior. Also, exterior repair poses risk of damage to the foundation and many prefer interior injection leak repairs for this. With interior basement leak repair you can be sure of the source of the leak and ensure that it has been plugged.
Water may reach the base in many ways and the leak repairing method should be chosen only after finding the actual cause. Look at the crack size, location of the basement leak, accessibility of the area to be repaired, presence of moisture inside the crack or on the surface of the wall to be repaired, the source of leak, etc. will guide the engineers to take up the most appropriate method. Also, if any waterproofing treatment has been done previously would also impact the procedure. Depending on the foundation type, either wet basement repair techniques or foundation sealing techniques would be adopted.
If a crack is leaking the most cost effective solution will be to inject Epoxy or polyurethane solutions to plug the crack. However, for deeper cracks, you may have to opt for exterior excavation. Polyurethane injection method works effectively on expansion joint leakage, drilled hole, pipe penetration, honeycomb-induced leakage, tie-rod hole, snap rod leakage or cracked overhead structures. In case of I-beam cut out, the leakage has to be observed carefully to see if it needs application of waterproof membrane in addition to polyurethane injection. But, if you find leakage between window frame and the foundation it would need either installation of window wall drain or caulking around the frame. The later one is cheaper than the drain installation.
For leaks on the foundation wall caulking or tuck pointing may not be effective in all the cases and you may have to go for landscaping. Waterproofing basement walls may be complicated if the foundation is below the height of water table or if the water is seeping in from beneath the basement floor. Sump pump installation would be the solution for all types of foundation.
All these methods mentioned above work well for poured concrete foundation. For cinderblock or concrete block foundation, installation of interior weeping tile system or external excavation could be the only effective means of waterproofing basement walls. In such construction if you notice step cracking or slight bowing of wall installing carbon fiber straps should be done. For stone foundation basement leak repair has to be done with external excavation or installing internal weeping tile system.
Chemicals can be used for basement leak repair but for more severe problems you will have to opt for waterproofing basement walls.
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