Foundation waterproofing – if a building is located in an area where it rains, then that building absolutely must have it. Failing to waterproof a foundation puts the building at risk of catastrophic structural damage. It can also cause the building to become colonized by black mold, which poses a health hazard and may eventually destroy the entire building as well.
Your home should have had its foundation waterproofed when it was constructed. But depending on how it was originally waterproofed, your foundation may require immediate repair or maintenance in order to prevent expensive problems down the road.
How to Tell If Your Foundation Needs Waterproofing
Your basement will make no secret of the fact that your foundation is in immediate need of waterproofing. If you notice any of the following problems in your basement, they likely indicate that you should call a foundation waterproofing contractor at once:
- Cracks, leaks or water stains on walls or floor
- Condensation on windows
- Persistent damp smell
- Warped doors
- Visible mold
Failing to mitigate the above problems by waterproofing your basement could eventually necessitate far costlier foundational repairs, which are provided by structural engineers.
There are two common approaches to protecting a foundation against water infiltration, and they are not mutually exclusive of one another: interior waterproofing, and exterior waterproofing.
Types of Interior Foundation Waterproofing
Sump pump. Most homes in the United States are at risk of accumulating significant amounts of moisture in their basements. Sumps, which are low spaces that exploit gravity to passively gather water, are therefore common features in American basements. A sump pump moves water that has accumulated in a sump pit away from the house. Whether a home has a submersible or a pedestal sump pump, it is advisable to clean its screen and inlet opening every three to four months.
Floor drain. While it can include a sump pump, a floor drain may simply connect directly to the sewer system instead. In the latter case a floor drain allows water to passively drain from the basement so it no longer poses a threat of structural damage or mold growth.
Sealant. If water is seeping through a basement wall’s masonry, applying impermeable sealant may prove enough to stop the problem. A product like DRYLOK Extreme Masonry Waterproofer is applied in the same fashion as paint, and once dry creates a watertight barrier. Interior foundation sealant is not a permanent solution, however, as it typically requires reapplication every 10 to 15 years in order to remain effective.
Types of Exterior Foundation Waterproofing
Drain system. In the simplest possible terms, installation of an exterior drain system requires digging a narrow trench around the house and burying a porous pipe surrounded by gravel inside of it. This “French drain” will gather rainwater and meltwater and divert them safely away from the home before they can seep through the foundation.
Crack repair. As a foundation ages, material degradation can eventually cause cracks to form in the exterior of its walls. Repairing these cracks requires excavating the perimeter of the foundation and mending or replacing sections of its walls.
Yard grading. A yard which slopes away from the home is most effective at channeling water away from its foundation. The ideal slope for the yard surrounding a house is 5 percent, although grades between 3 and 25 percent are typically considered accptable. Because earth settles over time, the grade of the yard surrounding a home may gradually flatten. This is why it is advisable to measure your yard’s grade annually.
Sealant. Water impermeable sealant may be applied to the exterior of foundation walls as well. Our team uses an industry-leading exterior waterproofing membrane called Rub-R-Wall for this purpose. It is easy to apply, and its superior resistance to extreme temperatures, physical stress, abrasion, bacteria and chemicals means that Rub-R-Wall can easily remain effective for over one century.
Additional Foundation Waterproofing Methods
You can do several things to prevent water from entering your basement or remove water that has already infiltrated it. A functional gutter system is essential to directing rainwater away from your foundation. If you have a sump pump, scheduling annual maintenance by a plumber will ensure it remains effective at its important job. Simply operating a plug-in dehumidifier can greatly help to reduce moisture inside your basement. Finally, scheduling a professional inspections for your foundation every five to seven years will assure you catch problems while they are still relatively easy and affordable to address.
As one of the leading foundation waterproofing providers in the contiguous United States, NIJAC Roofing & Insulation is poised to apply Rub-R-Wall to any below-grade surface. If you would like to learn more about this revolutionary treatment and schedule service at your home in the greater Sioux Falls, SD area – or at your large agricultural or commercial property anywhere in the lower 48 states – then we welcome you to contact us today!