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WATERPROOFING YOUR BASEMENT 101

Water-proofing refers to the process of making objects or surfaces water resistant. In this article, we are going to outline the basic process of waterproofing your basement.

1.    Examine the perimeter of your house. Ensure that the ground next to the foundation of your house slopes away from the foundation of your house, not towards the house. The dirt around your foundation will typically be lower than the surrounding dirt thus causing the surrounding ground to sink in, thus sloping towards your house. Add dirt up against the house foundation if necessary so as to create at least a two inches per foot slope against the foundation. Always make sure the top of the dirt is six inches below the sill plate. This way there is no contact with the ground which may cause certain some building materials to rot.

2.    Make sure that your downspouts are discharging their water atleast two metres away from your foundation and that your gutters are clean to avoid having problems.

3.    Watch out for plants and shrubs that are close to your foundation. Rotten roots can create a good path for water to flow down to the foundation. Keep all plantings at the very least ten inches away from the foundation of your house and on a slight slope so as to direct the water away from the foundation of your house.

4.    Make an effort and waterproof all of your walls with a waterproofing product such as Xypex or Drylok incase you have intermittent leaks. Drylok is a waterproofing product not a water sealer. Drylok expands as it dries up to become part of the wall. On the other hand, using Xypex is like applying a waterproof concrete on the surface for the two to bond. Xypex relies on moisture presence to form the waterproof crystalline structure. Incase a Xypex application has small areas of water leakage, the areas will seal themselves as they cycle through the moisture. Xypex is 3-4 times more expensive compared to Drylok. The main problem with these two solutions is that at the bottom of the walls or water underneath the basement floor is under significant pressure. This is because of the weight of groundwater above it pressing down.

5.    Make sure that you repair all the defects in the poured concrete walls such as cracks are repaired. Incase you see a crack in the concrete wall that goes all the way to the other side of the wall,, that's a potential source of water. Cracks that will not experience any structural or thermal movement, the DRYLOK Fast Plug is effective in sealing all the cracks in the masonry. Another very reliable way to repair cracks on the wall is by using an injection of construction grade epoxy that will penetrate the crack all the way from the outside to the inside. Hiring an experienced repair technician is your best shot at doing this right.

6.    Install a sump. This is a hole in the basement floor that contains a pump. When the level of water in the sump rises too high, the pump powers on and draws out the water out of the sump,and discharging the water outside the house a couple of feets from the foundation.Sump installation requires a high degree of experience and skill because you will be creating a hole in the concrete floor of your basement002E.

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