WE PROVIDE ROCHESTER WITH EXTERIOR BASEMENT DAMPROOFING WATERPROOFING
Exterior Basement and Foundation Damproofing
Many local building codes state that unfinished basements must be at least damproofed. The problem with spraying hot liquid asphalt on your concrete is that it will not ensure that your basement will remain dry. If the concrete cracks, which is often does as your foundation settles, water will once again be able to enter into your home because the hot asphalt will no longer be sealing the gap. Waterproofing may be a little more expensive, but it will keep these gaps sealed and keep your basement as dry as possible. This is very important, especially if you are planning to finish your basement in the near future. As I mentioned earlier, there are several ways to waterproof your foundation. One way that is commonly used by homeowners involves applying a mixture of hot asphalt and rubber. A coating of one eighth of an inch is applied to the external foundation and then an insulation panel is placed over the coating. The insulating panel serves as protection to the coating, as well as an insulator. Furthermore, the rubber in the mixture gives it a unique elastic quality that helps it fill cracks in the concrete, should they develop over time. Keep in mind, as mentioned earlier, damproofing compounds can’t do this. Water may be essential to a healthy life, but it happens to be one of the biggest threats to a home. In fact, most homeowners at one time or another have experienced damage to their home from water. A few common water problems include a leaking roof, rotted siding, fungus-covered floor framing and a wet basement. The best thing for you to do is to perform some preventative maintenance against water damage.
It’s important to know that even the smallest of leaks can turn into a big problem if it isn’t caught and fixed. For example, a pin-hole leak that begins in a piece of roof flashing can soak the attic insulation and cause the ceiling to stain and sag. Wooden framing can begin to rot if exposed to the saturated insulation. Also, the water-soaked insulation can condense which could lead to water vapor attacking other parts of the attic. Its one big bad chain reaction and water is the culprit.
The same chain reaction can happen in any area of your home. This is especially true for basements. In fact, basements are an area that is most susceptible to leaks and water damage. This is because a basement is, by design, rooted into the earth. This makes it susceptible for any water from rain or irrigation to penetrate the foundation and cause damage. Even if you don’t have a basement, a wet crawl space or concrete slab can be seriously harmed from surrounding water sources.
A FOOTING DRAINAGE SYSTEM CAN PREVENT A LOT OF HARM TO THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR HOME.
ONE OF THE WAYS IN WHICH IS DOES SO IS BY RELIEVING HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE. HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE RESULTS FROM GROUNDWATER PRESSING AGAINST FOUNDATION WALLS. THIS PRESSURE CAN BE SO POWERFUL THAT IT MAY POP OUT THE JOINT MORTAR BETWEEN CONCRETE BLOCKS OR BETWEEN THE WALLS AND THE FLOOR. THIS WILL LEAD TO SERIOUS PROBLEMS. THE ELEMENTS MENTIONED ABOVE ARE CRUCIAL TO PREVENTING WATER FROM REACHING YOUR FOUNDATION, BUT WHAT WILL PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM WATER THAT DOES MAKE IT? THIS IS WHERE A SOUND WATERPROOF MEMBRANE COMES INTO PLAY. THIS MEMBRANE IS LOCATED AT THE EXTERIOR OF THE BASEMENT WALLS AND FLOOR. IT IS TYPICALLY APPLIED TO THE EXTERIOR SURFACE OF THE BASEMENT WALLS DURING CONSTRUCTION. THERE ARE VARIOUS WATERPROOFING MATERIALS USED IN THIS PROCESS WHICH INCLUDE A BUILT-UP ASPHALT SYSTEM, SINGLE PLAY MEMBRANES AND OTHER IMPERVIOUS SYSTEMS.
DURING CONSTRUCTION, A SOUND PROOF MEMBRANE IS TYPICALLY PUT INTO PLACE. THE BEST TIME TO DO THIS IS PRIOR TO BACKFILLING THE AREA SURROUNDING THE BASEMENT WITH SOIL.
THE MEMBRANE CAN BE PROTECTED FROM POTENTIAL DAMAGE BY USING RIGID FOAM, LANDSCAPE FABRIC OR A COMBINATION OF THE TWO. MOST WATERPROOFING IS DONE FROM THE EXTERIOR OF A WALL, BUT THIS LEADS TO PROBLEMS WHEN IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO INSTALL A WATERPROOF MEMBRANE TO THE EXTERIOR. FOR EXAMPLE, IF THE BACK-FILLING HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE THEN WATERPROOFING THE EXTERIOR WALLS IS NOT POSSIBLE, NOR PRACTICAL. FORTUNATELY, THERE ARE SOME AFTER-MARKET APPLICATIONS THAT CAN BE USED TO COMBAT DAMP OR WET WALLS. ONE SUCH METHOD, XYPEX CONCRETE WATERPROOFING BY CRYSTALLIZATION, HAS BEEN USED PRIMARILY FOR INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS, BUT IS BECOMING POPULAR FOR RESIDENTIAL USE AS WELL. THE COMBINATION OF PORTLAND CEMENT, VERY FINE TREATED SILICA AND VARIOUS ACTIVE CHEMICALS HELP THE CONCRETE BECOME PERMANENTLY SEALED AGAINST THE PENETRATION OF WATER OR LIQUIDS FROM ANY DIRECTION.
Tips For Preventing Water Damage In The Basement
I bet you’re wondering at this point what needs to be done in order to prevent such water damage. Well, when it comes to your basement, whether it is a crawlspace or foundation, the best defense against water damage is a properly installed and functioning watershed or drainage system. There are several essentials to a well-integrated and effective system. Below are a few tips to conquering your water problem:
- Install rain gutters at the edge of your roof. If you already have rain gutters then make sure that they are in good condition. It is also wise to periodically clean them.
- Check the condition of your downspouts. Repair or replace rusted, dented or damaged downspouts and be sure that they are clean.
- The best way to clean downspouts is to use a garden hose with a spray nozzle and a small plumber’s snake to clear any blockage. Use this device to flush debris out of the downspouts.
- Consider installing gutter and/or downspout screens if you have lots of trees that overhang your roof.
- Keep downspouts from draining at the base of your foundation.
- Consider installing a pre-cast plastic or concrete diverter (“splashblock”) below the downspout to divert water away from the foundation.
- Downspouts work best when they are installed below ground so that they will carry all downspout-generated water to a municipal storm drain or other central-collection system.
- Make sure that the dirt (or concrete) surrounding your home is graded AWAY from the foundation.
- Make sure that all window wells for windows in your basement are well sealed. Consider installing gravel surrounding the wells to permit good drainage.
- Make sure that your basement or crawl space is receiving proper ventilation. You should periodically thin down overgrown shrubs surrounding the house that can keep ventilation ports from doing their job.
- If you notice any cracks in your concrete foundation, it should be patched or caulked immediately. Also, deteriorating mortar in brick or block foundations should be tuck pointed.
- If all of your minor preventive actions fail to work, consider installing a drainage sump with a pump that will eject water to the exterior.
- If your basement is still wet and none of the above solutions have worked for you, consider seeking the services of a geo-technical or “soils” engineer .