Waterproofing your home means taking steps to prevent water from penetrating your house. Waterproofing helps keep the interior of your house dry. It helps reduce humidity inside the house and prevent the growth of mold and mildew. It is also important for protecting the integrity of the structure.
Benefits Of Waterproofing
Waterproofing systems are available for roofs, siding, basements, and just about anywhere the home-owner is having moisture infiltrating the home. In the mid-Atlantic area, many homeowners experience issues with dampness in their basements due to water leaching through the walls or the basement floor. Also, homes with flat or low-sloped roofs may have issues with water. The waterproofing methods used will depend on the nature and location of the problem.
If your home has landscaping around the foundation, you can use interior waterproofing techniques to avoid damage to the landscaping. Interior methods are best for concrete or structurally sound masonry walls. However, waterproofing from the outside is best so that you avoid water entering your basement over a long period of time, which can lead to erosion of your foundation as well as cause chronic moisture issues in your basement.
Waterproofing a Damp Basement
The first step is figuring out what is causing the moisture. To do that, tape a one square foot piece of aluminum foil to your basement wall and leave it alone for 24 hours. If there is moisture on the foil on the side facing into the room, you have high humidity and can use a dehumidifier to correct it. If there is moisture on the side of the foil that was against the wall, you have moisture coming in through the walls. It could be due to a high water table, or poor drainage, or a combination. That is something that waterproofing can probably correct.
Now that you have determined the source of the moisture problem, you can begin the waterproofing process. A number of techniques are available, but the first step will be to fill all cracks less than 1/8-inch wide with polyurethane caulk designed for use with masonry. For wider cracks and gaps, use epoxy filler. Once that is completed, you have a number of options for waterproofing.
Concrete Waterproofing Coatings
These are thick coatings that adhere permanently to the interior basement concrete and masonry walls. You apply the coating with a heavy brush made with tampico bristles — a natural fiber. You cannot use this material on previously painted surfaces.
These are silicate-based concrete sealers that soak into the interior basement masonry walls and chemically react with ingredients in the concrete or brick to form a hard waterproof surface. It cannot be used on previously painted surfaces. However, you can paint over most of these products. Expect to apply at least two coats.
Waterproofing paint is an acrylic paint very similar to ordinary wall paint. It needs to be applied very thickly to the interior basement walls — one gallon covers just 75 square feet, compared to the 300 square feet coverage of standard paint. It can be used on previously painted surfaces, and you can paint over it once it has dried thoroughly.
Plastic Sheeting and Panels
Plastic sheets and panels can be used along with interior basement drainage systems. These plastic liners will not stop water from penetrating the walls. Plastic liners cause the moisture to run down the back of the plastic into a drainage system in the floor. A sump pump moves water out of your basement.
Exterior Waterproofing of Your Foundation
Applying a waterproofing solution to the exterior of your home usually works better than trying to address it from the interior only so that you prevent any moisture from seeping into the foundation walls. However, exterior waterproofing is not a project for the average DIY’er.
Waterproofing the exterior of your home requires excavating the soil around the foundation down to the bottom of the foundation. A French drain is installed at the bottom of the foundation. Then, a waterproof sealer or membrane and weeping tiles are installed. Applied properly, these waterproofing sealers stay flexible and move with the wall during winter freezing and thawing spells. The panels create a path for water to travel down to the French drain where the water flows by gravity or with the help of a sump pump away from your foundation to another part of your property, or into a storm drain.
Contact Waterproof Caulking & Restoration LLC for More Information
Water can cause extensive damage to your home and its contents. If left unaddressed, the problem can grow worse over time. If you are having moisture problems inside your home, you should take steps to correct it. Talk to the experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration LLC. They can come to your home, assess the problem, and make recommendations for remediation that are tailored to your specific conditions.