Basement Waterproofing: Best Left to the Experts!

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How to make a basement watertight.

As a seasoned project manager and authority in foundation repair, I strongly warn most homeowners against attempting to complete challenging basement waterproofing projects on their property. The primary justification would be the likelihood of terrible consequences for the house’s structural stability.

Proper basement waterproofing requires following specific steps and thoroughly understanding how loads are distributed throughout your home.

Numerous off-the-shelf items promote a method of basement waterproofing. Nearly all of them are wall sealants, some of which are latex-based and others supported by concrete. Please be aware that these materials serve as a Band-Aid and frequently do not counteract water’s vital force on your foundation’s walls and floors. I strongly advise avoiding utilizing these well-known items to save time, effort, and money.

You may fix your basement waterproofing problems in one of two methods. The first option requires an expensive project that involves digging a trench around your entire foundation, installing a unique material on the exterior walls to create a barrier, and building a system of drains at the base of your foundation to collect water, divert it to a pump, and remove it from the foundation.

In upcoming reports, I’ll go into more depth on what goes into an external waterproofing project. But it would be best to consider whether you could pass underneath the driveway and any concrete patios or walkways. The cost of such a project is prohibitive compared to the value of your property.

Building an interior waterproofing system has been the most economical method for waterproofing a basement during my more than 20 years of residential remodeling.

I’ll now go over what I think are the best ways to stop basement foundation water issues.

How to make a basement watertight.

1. You must ensure that water is being removed from the area surrounding your foundation by checking your gutters and downspouts. The normal home has a roof over 2400 square feet, which means that a sizable volume of rainwater is collected when it rains.

2. To determine which way the ground slopes and if it is toward your house, have an excavation company evaluate your property. With careful excavation, they might be able to divert water away from the foundation. Although this method is less popular than some others, I have had some reasonable success using it in particular circumstances. Only a skilled excavation business can decide if they can be of use. It’s not always the case that the slope of the nearby property is the root of the problem.

3. Waterproofing systems for basements. Numerous businesses offer internal basement waterproofing plans. Please don’t hesitate to email me for specific methods that are significantly better than others based on the conditions if you need help deciding which one is appropriate for your situation.

The superior solution I suggest is as follows, along with what the homeowner can anticipate regarding the building.

Please be aware that the basement waterproofing project described below is not one you should attempt alone.

A reputable basement waterproofing company will begin by conducting an outside property study to determine whether your issue is related to the exterior slope or only your gutter and drainage system.
You can be sure that once it is determined, solving your water issues in the basement will probably be more difficult.

What to anticipate from your building.

The waterproofing business will first send a significant number of workers to your property since they need to remove a lot of concrete, soil, and debris from the ground floor of your house. They will cut the basement floor twelve to sixteen inches from the foundation walls using a special electric cement impulse hammer. Without the structural concrete spacers, you would clearly violate building rules. They will carve a line around the perimeter, leaving them as supporting elements for your walls. After cutting the edge, workers will hand-pull big chunks of chopped concrete out. They will start digging a trench in the exact location after the concrete has been removed from the basement in buckets, ensuring to avoid damaging the footers that support your basement.

Workers will start to carve out sump pump wells depending on the size of your basement; you may need more than one, but for a typical basement, two are advised.

After the trench has been dug, workers will start lowering the appropriate size of stone to fill the channel, typically a number 4 stone, although it does depend on your particular needs. They will begin by lining the track with stone and laying a special pipe with perforations to catch water leaking indoors from the cove area and under your foundation.

This pipe will circumnavigate your basement and be tunneled beneath uncut structural spacers. Under any heating and cooling system, water tanks, oil tanks, or structural beams are other places that are typically impossible to cut.

This line will take you to the sump pit, which includes a unique underwater Zoeller pump and a specific container. There are many different types of pumps, and systems that monitor water levels will turn on the pumps if water seeps in. As a general guideline, it is highly advised that one portion of your basement trench system face one direction and the other face the other. If you place sump pits with pumps, you’ll have a closed system with excellent backup. It is not unusual for a system to be able to remove 20,000 gallons of water every hour, depending on the pump. While we’re at it, I’d also advise installing a battery backup system. Although this will probably increase the cost, it will ensure that your basement waterproofing system continues functioning during a significant weather catastrophe.

Following the installation of the pipe, they will add more stone to the trench and cover it with a firm gauge plastic cover that extends about 4 inches up the foundation wall. Once the system is in place, personnel will start mixing concrete and filling the trench cavity to restore your basement floor to its original condition.

Another method I’d suggest is to drill holes every foot along the walls of your foundation, never at the top but rather at the indicated level below. Convection ports are the plastic plugs used to plug these holes; they have outlets with perforations. These apertures allow air to flow through your foundation walls, which helps with pressure, water buildup, and any mold or mildew issues that may already be present.

It is also advised to install two exit pipes for each independent sump pump in case one of the pipes becomes blocked or the internal pump malfunctions.

In conclusion, a DIY basement waterproofing project is probably impossible for the average homeowner.

Please contact me directly if you require any additional help or visit the webpage for my business. To any homeowner who decides to move through with a remodeling project, we provide all our services at no cost.

Orlowski, Greg.

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