Why are we always telling people not to trust ‘no-dig’ interior waterproofing systems?

It’s not the money, we know we probably lose work not bidding on ‘no-dig’ interior solutions that typically cost homeowners substantially less, at least initially. At Hughes Construction we believe our bottom line is the people who trust us to do what is best for their home. We see it over and over in our line of work: you typically end up paying just as much (or more) in the end when you cut corners.

We get a lot of calls from people lured into a false sense of security with ‘no-dig’ interior ‘waterproofing’ that does little more than just hide the water from view. This water is still getting into walls, corroding steel, and eating away at your foundation. Of course, now it is whisked away and pumped out, so you never need to know how much water is coming in, or how much hydrostatic pressure is acting against that wall. Leaks and cracks or wall movement are hidden away under plastic. Before you know it, a small issue becomes a huge one.

Here we had to install steel beams in a finished, ‘waterproofed’ (from the interior) basement. The ‘waterproofing’ did nothing to address the drainage or the water problem, it just hid it. And eventually the pressure caused the wall to bow inward.

 
Many people believe that concrete benefits from being exposed to water because it makes it stronger.
While it is true that moisture (while curing) helps the chemical process, resulting in higher compressive strength. Over time, acids from rainwater, salts, and chemicals, as well as mold and mildew will cause it to break down and decrease in strength.  Freeze and thaw cycles also cause the structure to expand and contract, causing stress and cracks.

 

A sump pump and walls with water damage. Example of why no-dig waterproofing is no-good, the problem is just hidden, not gone.

 
It is always best to block the water from entering your home in the first place.
This keeps water from getting in and ruining your foundation or causing future problems. waterproofing from the outside also allows you to update your drainage and fill any cracks on the exterior.

 

Waterproofing from the exterior allows you to update your drainage with Schedule 40 drain pipe, which should last forever and be essentially maintenance-free.

Waterproofing from the exterior allows you to update your drainage with Schedule-40 drain pipe, which should last forever and be essentially maintenance-free.

Updating your drainage
Many homes in the tri-state area still have the old original clay pipes. Over time these tiles can shift with the ground and crack. This then allows for earth and tree roots to disrupt the path of the water. Replacing them with schedule-40 PVC ensures that you won’t have to dig them up later. Schedule-40 is also much easier to maintain, and not as susceptible to tree root damage.

 

 

 
So, if you want to finish your basement or just protect your investment without future headaches. do it right. Stop the water from ever coming in.
Feel free to Contact us for more information on our waterproofing services.  We do, however, recommend starting with a structural engineer if you have an active leak.

 

 

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