Best Ways to Waterproof A Basement

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Best Ways to Waterproof A Basement 1
Table of Contents

Why Waterproof a Basement?

The basement is the most prone to flood damage because it is below ground level. Waterproofing the foundation of your basement is like adding a security blanket around your home. Water damage and active leaks also significantly reduce the value of your home, or worse, the resulting must can cause health issues for your family.

Many people, especially in drier climates, erroneously overlook renovating the basement. What they do not foresee is the damage that is caused by humidity or dampness, let alone flooding.

An insignificant amount of water can cause peeled paint, rotted wood, presence of mold and mildew, and damaged personal belongings. With constant exposure to water, building materials like plaster, drywall, and wood break down — this can place the foundation of your home at risk. Water seepage can threaten the integrity of the entire structure of your home.

Today when houses are being constructed, contractors undergo precautionary measures to waterproof the basement, but that is often not enough. The extra security of your home is worth the small additional cost of waterproofing your basement. Better that cost than the cost of renovations required after a flood.

Gushing Leaks: Leaks of this severity need to be addressed at the source. It is crucial to locate the origin of the leak. Whether it is from the wall-floor joint, a cracked pipe, the basement door, the basement window, failing water heater, bursting washer hose, or another source, the leakage must be stopped there.

Depending on the source, the water may need to be shut off and the washer, water heater, pipe, or washer hose will need to be replaced. If the leak is foundational though, there are several ways to remedy these more serious issues.

The first option is a grout injection. The grouting needs to be extremely fast-setting in order to actively stop the water flow. Polyurethane foam followed by an elastic solid body resin is standard for this approach. The polyurethane is injected into freshly drilled boreholes with a high-pressure injection pump.

Hairline or Shrinkage Cracks: This is a relatively simple fix, but different crack widths, lengths, and depths on different surfaces require different types of material to close up.  The intensity of repair also depends on if it is a structural or non-structural cause of cracking. This is why it is best to have a professional assess the structural blemish.

Similar to the other leak sources, expandable polyurethane foam and rigid injectable epoxy are the best substances to use. If water is present in the cracks, a specially formulated epoxy can set even with the presence of water.

Expansion Joint with Failed Waterstop: Waterstops are intended to protect the foundation from rotting, mildew, mold, and erosion from water.  Waterstop failure can be difficult to correct. The preferred method of repair is an injection method with a hydrophilic foam grout or an epoxy substance.  

Failed waterstops are difficult to fix because there is most likely flowing water spurting out of the structure.  This calls for a material that can withstand water pressure, sets quickly, can bond with wet concrete, and have longevity.

In order to divert the water from leaking at the joint, holes are drilled near the joint.  Once leakage out of the joint has subsided, then you can fill the joint with hydrophilic foam grout. Lastly, the boreholes need to be filled.

Control Joints: A control joint, or contraction joint, is an intentional crack in a concrete slab.  Over time, concrete shrinks and cracking is bound to happen. This is a form of controlled cracking that ensures that future cracking will happen in a straight line that is simple to maintain.

A key aspect of regular maintenance and basement waterproofing is installing joint filler in the new cracks. Epoxy control joint fillers are semi-rigid and durable. This filler does not bind the concrete slabs together, which would be detrimental for future cracking.

This epoxy filler can be applied in several ways — it can be poured, applied with a bulk gun, or pumped in. After a day of drying, the filler is smoothly shaved down.

The alternative filler is a polyurea filler. It has higher flexibility properties, and dries faster.  The substance can be shaved down within 30 minutes after the application.

Soil Stabilization: To make the soil more durable and to limit the shrink-swell characteristics, stabilization is necessary. Stable soil is critical for the foundation of your home, and as a preventative measure for flooding or other types of water damage.

This process offers a multitude of benefits including increased resistance, decreased plasticity, decreased permeability, and weatherproof characteristics. Professionals assess the chemical composition of your soil and mix in the necessary additive with the soil.

Another form of soil stabilization is polyurethane foam stabilization. This substance is injected into the ground and compacts the soil.

Waterproofing Around Pipes and Conduits: This is a necessary process to waterproof your basement; or, it can be the step that you wish you took after you experience hundreds of dollars in water damage. Pipes, vents, and conduits often offer water a path of least resistance, so leaks are common here. 

Trickling water, water stains, puddles, and mold are warning signs that there is a leak around pipes or other conduits. Fixing this issue with caulk or cement is not a long-term solution. Like the other waterproofing services, these features should be sealed with an epoxy bonding material and polyurethane epoxy.

Basement Waterproofing Manhattan

Your home is a huge investment and a sacred place for your family which is why you should take measures to waterproof your basement before a flood or irreversible water damage occurs. Not waterproofing your basement is an extremely high liability and there is potential for costly damage in the future.

Beyond the damage to your house, your possessions are at risk for permanent damage. Hopefully your basement does not contain any valued treasures. Lastly, prolonged water damage can cause health hazards for you and your family.

Hire the illustrious Southside Concrete Polishing to be proactive with your home by preventing water damage. If you, unfortunately, did not take these preventive steps in waterproofing, we can provide remedies as well. We are your trusted fix-it men who will improve your home in whatever circumstance it is in.

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