What is Waterproofing?

Basement waterproofing is an attempt to keep the basement dry by changing the way water behaves. Some contractors focus on surface water, some on ground water, but the goal is to keep the basement dry. The problem is most methods are only temporary because there is not a clear understanding of how water really behaves. Many methods may start out being effective, but because of built-in flaws, they become less effective over time until they finally fail.


  • Beware of temporary solutions. Most basements leak in their lifetime, implying that the waterproofing methods used during the original construction of the house were only temporary in nature. Many solutions provided by contractors to repair the original flawed system are also just temporary—some solutions fail in as little as 6 months after installation.

  • Building codes usually require the builder to install an outside footer drain in an attempt to redirect water accumulating around the foundation of your structure. This drain is typically covered with gravel that acts as a filter to keep dirt and debris from clogging the pipe. Water will eventually accumulate around your foundation and through hydrostatic pressure force its way into your lower level.

  • Choosing a waterproofing contractor is not the same as choosing a contractor for roofing, gutters, decking, etc. where most solutions will solve the problem. It simply isn’t so in the world of basement and crawlspace waterproofing. Many waterproofing methods are temporary in nature. The waterproofing industry is not regulated like electrical, plumbing and HVAC industries—so despite what a warranty says and what your logic may tell you, many waterproofing installations are not designed to last.

  • You want to choose a contractor that provides a professionally installed solution—one that lasts for years so that you have the peace of mind to use your lower level space for whatever purpose you desire. Ask the contractor to go into detail as to how their system solves the six most common ways water enters. Does he even know the causes? Take the time to educate yourself on what works and what doesn’t. Start with asking the contractor penetrating questions to determine if he knows his craft.

Do you need waterproofing? If your answer is yes, contact your nearest ’58 Foundations schedule for your free inspection and estimate today.

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