There is waterproofing your basement, then there is “waterproofing” your basement
We get frequent calls from people who have paid for basement “waterproofing” only to find that their foundation issues continue. The type of waterproofing I am referring to here is the interior kind. They cover the walls (hiding any potential cracks and leaks) with plastic stuff, they dig trench drains and install sump pumps. This is not waterproofing, this is a water management system and is merely a band-aid.
The worst thing about this “fix” is that you wind up hiding your basement walls, potentially missing early signs that something is wrong.
I understand wanting to finish your basement and this seems like a comparatively low-cost way to allow you to do so. But sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Unless you waterproof from the exterior, you are still going to get water moving through your foundation walls. Corroding steel and potentially causing erosion issues as well as dampness and mold.
The best way to ensure that you are doing the right thing for your property is to hire an engineer to evaluate things. Most houses can be 100% waterproofed without a sump pump ever being installed. And we rarely see engineers call for them.
Wanting to finish your basement?
Now everybody knows, repairing your foundation is rarely going to add resale value to your home. Not unless you make the right repairs that enable you to add some useable space. Waterproofing a basement from the exterior can allow you to finish your basement without fear. That way you can address any drainage, cracks, or footer issues all at the same time.
If you don’t plan to finish your basement or the cost isn’t feasible right now the best thing to do is to get water moving away from your foundation from the outside. Checking all of your gutters and downspouts and drainage systems is a great start. Making sure your soil and concrete is sloping away from your home, and looking for any signs of water collecting near your foundation.
Interested in learning more about exterior waterproofing? See the video below, or contact us!