If you have a basement, you have most definitely dealt with water at some point. Nothing irritates a homeowner more than stumbling into a puddle of water within their home. While it can seem difficult, repairing basement water leaks can be done a few ways. Exterior basement waterproofing has proven to be effective for many people and has saved many homeowners countless dollars. Exterior waterproofing is an investment, but it is well worth it.
What is exterior basement waterproofing?
Exterior basement waterproofing is a collection of techniques that move unwanted water away from your home. When it rains, the water pours off your roof and into the nearby surroundings. If you don’t have rain gutters, water will run off your roof and into the ground near your foundation.
The constantly wet ground expands and puts pressure on your foundation. As a result, the foundation will shift and crack. The groundwater will then seep into your home through the crevices. Sometimes a crack isn’t even necessary for water to seep in. To begin with, concrete has a porous character. So, if you live in a region with a high water table or if your community is experiencing a particularly wet year, your normally dry basement can take in water.
First Line of Defense: Gutters
If your home lacks gutters, begin by installing or having them installed. Gutters collect rainwater from your roof and direct it away from your house.
If you do have gutters, you should check them regularly. Climb onto your roof or get a contractor to do it for you. Ensure that the gutters are firmly attached and that the water drains directly into them. To test your gutters, you can run a garden hose up to your roof. Run water from your roof and have someone monitor where it goes. Is it located between the gutter and the house? If this is the case, you will need more secure gutters. Your gutters should be connected to downspouts. Downspouts should send water at least four feet away from your house.
Second Line of Defense: Drainage Tubes
The two most common methods of draining water in the least invasive way are French drains and driveway drains.
A French drain is installed by digging a shallow trench from your property to a location away from your residence. The trench is lined with gravel and permeable landscaping fabric. Then a perforated pipe is inserted with the pores pointing down. The pipe will then be wrapped in landscaping fabric and then cover it with dirt or landscaping materials after it has been installed. You must ensure that you can access this pipe in the future. It can get clogged, which can lead to additional issues.
A driveway drain uses the slope of the driveway to direct water to a trench which then takes it further away from the house. As you look at other houses, you may observe driveway drains. They resemble grates that run the length of the driveway.
Third Line of Defense: Drain Tile
Drain tile is the most invasive and expensive procedure, but it’s also the most effective. Drain tile can be used to remedy problems with standing water and even damaged foundations.
The contractor will begin by excavating a deep trench around your home to the base of the foundation. The risk of digging a seven to eight-foot hole deters most homeowners from installing their own drain tile. An engineer is frequently required to ensure that it does not collapse. The drain tile is then installed at the foundation’s base by contractors. The tile resembles a flexible, perforated pipe wrapped in mesh or cloth.
Because of the depth of the digging, contractors will normally prefer to undertake this work during the driest period of the year. Groundwater can seep up and fill the trench during a wet year. Your contractor will then spend his time pumping water out.
A sump pump pit will also be dug and installed by the contractor. The drain tile directs groundwater away from your property and into the pit. The pump will then remove water from your home.
While your foundation is exposed, the contractor can inspect and fix it. To repair cracks, he will most likely use a mortar-based solution and masonry seal. This will also keep your home upright and avoid more water damage.
Why Do I Need to Waterproof My Basement?
Water is both a blessing and a curse. When used correctly, it keeps plants green and humans hydrated. However, unwanted water in our living quarters can soon become a health hazard. Water can also cause serious issues in your basement.
When water seeps into your basement, it can destroy your health as well as the foundation of your home. Mold will grow, causing breathing difficulties and other autoimmune reactions. Because of these reasons, it’s important to waterproof your basement.