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The Importance of Waterproofing to Your Foundation

Other than burning down, a compromised foundation is the worst structural problem homeowners can face. Houses are built on the foundation, which helps to maintain structural integrity by transferring dead and live loads into the ground. But when all is said and done, water is the leading cause of foundation problems.

The wet soil underneath a foundation might shift from loss of strength or swelling. Maintaining a dry foundation is important because this change is known to have a negative impact on structural integrity. Dampness is also a problem since it presents an ideal environment for mold growth. Apart from making below-ground spaces unpleasant, mold might be a health hazard. Unfortunately, conventional concrete is not waterproof, and even though it might keep out liquid water when it does not have cracks, water vapor penetrates easily. As such, preventing water from moving through concrete and ensuring it drains away from the foundation is essential to structural integrity.

Depending on factors such as climate, soil or water table conditions, geographic location, topography, and depth of the foundation, the task of installing proper drainage to guarantee dry below-grade spaces might be relatively straightforward or somewhat involving. Systems designed to keep water out will consist of three basic components, and these are:
• Drains for moving water away from the foundation’s bottom.
• Wall treatment designed to route water downwards and into the drains, which helps to ensure moisture does not move through the wall.
• Ground surface treatment installed adjacent to the building, which helps by directing surface water away.

Waterproofing
While leaky basements are a common problem, taking precautionary measures to keep your below-grade interior spaces from flooding might be the best solution, especially since you now know that water is the leading cause of structural issues. Basement waterproofing is an excellent investment because it helps prevent water damage, which often leads to costly repairs.

Before you engage an expert, you’ll want to have some basic knowledge of the methods and products used to prevent basement leaks. Knowing a little bit more about the process of curing a leaky basement or what waterproofing involves is important. Apart from knowing what to expect, arming yourself with this information might help you choose the right service provider.

Waterproofing situations are often entirely different, and so are the basements involved. As such, identifying the exact location of moisture penetration is just as important as developing an ideal and sustainable solution. Here’s a look at the three methods used to make below-grade spaces impermeable.

1. Interior waterproofing and sealants
Cracks, which usually form in concrete foundations, are a common water entry point. Fortunately, many professionals have the skills and equipment to seal such cracks. To seal off potential moisture entry points, waterproofing experts will usually inject a special sealant into the crack openings from the inside of below-grade spaces, making sure it penetrates all the way to the outside. The sealants used should have the ability to prevent leaks even when subjected to high levels of humidity.

You can, however, choose to use watertight coatings. This waterproofing method is a viable alternative since the coating employed will adhere to your concrete walls permanently and function effectively even when subjected to dampness or minor condensation. Unfortunately, the use of watertight coats or sealants does not fix major leaks or flooding. This inability is mainly because waterproof coats and sealants don’t perform well when subjected to intense water pressure.

2. Exterior waterproofing
Exterior waterproofing involves extensive excavation, which needs to be done around the entire house and all the way to the foundation’s base. Once the excavation is complete, experts will use a waterproof coating to seal the walls and make them watertight. This helps by directing water away and towards a drainage system. Thanks to this waterproofing method, homeowners can keep water from seeping into below-grade spaces through the walls or foundation. Additionally, exterior waterproofing prevents moisture from causing damage to a home’s interior and foundation.

3. Installation of interior and exterior drainage systems
Proper drainage systems allow better control over water, even in cases where water has already penetrated into the house. Using a sump pump to collect and drain water from below-grade spaces is one of the simplest ways to enhance drainage. Even so, you’ll want to be sure you’re pumping the water away from your house.

Interior drainage systems serve to drain underground water from below-grade spaces as well as the water that collects along the foundation. Though some homeowners take the functionality of an interior drainage system lightly, these systems can provide extensive benefits when there’s a power outage, heavy rainfall or heavy melting of snow. Apart from helping to ensure the area is free of both mold and mildew, proper drainage is effective in keeping water out of the home.

Taking preventive measures is important, which is why you should contact an expert and prepare your home before it’s too late.