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If you’ve got a wet basement, it could be due to water leaking and seeping through your foundation walls. Water leakage through basement walls is one of the main problem areas. As water builds up around the outside walls, hydrostatic pressure can reach extreme levels – approaching 600lbs. per square foot at the base of the wall in some cases.
Another very common leakage area in basements is the joint between the basement wall and the basement floor. Because a building’s foundation walls are constructed separately from the building’s concrete floor, the joint between these two structural elements provides a gap where water can enter the basement.
Foundation repairs are sometimes necessary
One of the first tasks in any basement waterproofing plan is to assess the condition of the house foundation. Foundation walls that are cracked or bowed may be contributing to basement water problems. But more importantly, they indicate serious structural issues that should be corrected before you begin any basement wall waterproofing work. When you call BDry for a free waterproofing consultation, you’ll find out if foundation repairs are necessary before a waterproofing system can be installed.
BDry system designers are cross-trained for structural and waterproofing assessments.
Options for waterproofing basement walls
One way to waterproof basement walls is to apply a waterproof coating or plastic sheet material to the exterior of the foundation, while also installing drainage pipe at the base of the wall. This waterproofing technique is most often done when a house is built. When integrated into the new construction process, exterior waterproofing systems can be installed affordably. Once a house is built and soil has been backfilled around the foundation, it’s expensive and very disruptive to install an exterior waterproofing system. Most homeowners don’t want to do this because of the heavy equipment required and the disruption of digging out the foundation.
If you have a wet basement, an interior waterproofing system is the best option in most cases. Interior basement waterproofing involves installing a French drain at the base of the wall, around the perimeter of the basement. The drain collects all water leaking or seeping from your basement walls and conveys the water to a sump pump. When the water level trips the sump pumps float valve, the pump turns on automatically to discharge water away from the home.
The perimeter drainage system is an effective way to waterproof basement walls because it captures water leakage before it can spread onto the basement floor. But it’s also very effective at reducing the hydrostatic pressure on your foundation. As this pressure diminishes, so does the leakage through basement walls.
Depending on the condition of your basement walls, your BDry consultant may recommend covering all or part of the interior basement walls with a waterproof membrane. Heavyweight vinyl membranes or rigid plastic panels can be used for this purpose. This waterproof barrier allows all wall leakage to flow into the drainage system.