What is Waterproofing?

Fresh concrete with basement waterproofing system

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. Excess water or moisture in the basement can lead to a variety of problems including mold, wood rot, and water damage to belongings. What’s more, a damp or wet basement can lead to air quality problems for the rest of your home as basement air rises into your living space.

Most Waterproofing Methods Don’t Last

The problem is that most methods are only temporary. Much of it has to do with the varied ways that water behaves. Many methods may start out being effective. But due to built-in flaws, these solutions 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. But water will eventually accumulate around your foundation as rain soaks into the soil and the water table rises. This creates what’s known as hydrostatic pressure against your foundation.

Hydrostatic Pressure Leads to Wet Basements

  • With enough hydrostatic pressure, cracks may begin to form in your concrete foundation. Water may even leak into the basement as that hydrostatic pressure pushes against the foundation. This pressure can also lead to moisture seeping into the concrete and into the basement. 
  • You might notice water seeping through the cold joints of your basement, such as where the wall meets the floor slab. Cracks that form in your foundation may also become passageways for water and moisture to invade the basement.
  • If the hydrostatic pressure is not addressed, your basement wall may even begin to bulge and bow. This can lead to more repairs.
  • The best way to address hydrostatic pressure is with an interior basement waterproofing system.

Finding a Waterproofing Contractor

  • 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’s not so simple 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. That means that despite what a warranty says and what your logic may tell you, many waterproofing installations are not designed to last.
  • You will want to choose a contractor that provides a professionally installed solution. It should be a waterproofing system 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 the contractor even know the different causes? Take the time to educate yourself on what works and what doesn’t. Start with asking the contractor penetrating questions to determine if they know their craft.
  • Research into the waterproofing contractor. How long have they been in business? Any company can claim to have a long-lasting warranty, but does their history indicate they will be around to honor it?

’58 Foundations & Waterproofing Offers Lasting Solutions

Do you need waterproofing? From communities near Atlanta, GA to the areas in and around Knoxville, TN, ’58 Foundations & Waterproofing has been serving homeowners and protecting their properties from water and moisture since 1958! From our specially-engineered Channel ’58 drainage channels to our redundant Workhorse OT+ sump pumps with battery battery backup, we address the built-in flaws common in other waterproofing systems. For over 63 years, customers like you have trusted our quality products and honest methods to keep their homes safe and dry. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with our industry-unique lifetime warranty!

Contact ’58 Foundations & Waterproofing to schedule a free waterproofing inspection and estimate today.

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