Waterproofing - Tips and Information

Moisture problems inside the home can be very frustrating for a homeowner. The damage and possible mold growth caused by water problems that go unchecked can be extensive, invasive, and expensive to repair. Determining the source of the water problem and consulting a professional on the most effective solution—or combination of approaches—is a course of action that can never be embarked upon too early.

The build up of water pressure against a foundation can cause myriad issues. Water will often begin to seep through certain kinds of foundation walls, such as those made of cement block, or through the gap between the basement wall and floor, known as the cove joint. Seams around pipes entering the foundation as well as cracks in the walls and floor also serve as entryways to water. In addition, basement window wells may fill with water and lead to flooding if the windows are not properly sealed.

Structural issues may also arise from the pressure exerted by saturated soil around foundation walls. The hydrostatic pressure (water pressure) can fail a wall by causing it to bow or lean inward. The presence of water under the concrete footing that supports the walls can soften or erode the soil supporting the footing. The result is the footing’s loss of bearing capacity, which may cause the foundation to settle and cracks to develop in the wall supported by the footing.

There are many effective waterproofing methods that professionals use, but note that it is essential to hire a contractor that has a proven track record of waterproofing many homes. For example, if a drainage system needs to be installed, the waterproofer must know how to tailor the system specifically to your home’s foundation; if a crack seeping water has developed in a foundation wall, the waterproofer must also know whether or not an epoxy injection into the crack will adequately address the seepage issue. In both cases, a good decision on the part of the contractor comes largely from having dealt with these problems in many different foundations, each of which will have had its own unique conditions and contingencies.