Basement waterproofing has evolved to become a complex procedure that requires expert knowledge of an experienced Maryland basement waterproofing contractor. It’s not as simple as filling in the cracks and spraying on a sealant. In fact, the scope of work for waterproofing projects is so large, it’s often divided into two major areas—interior and exterior waterproofing. Today, we’ll talk about what exterior waterproofing encompasses and when it should be used.
What is Exterior Waterproofing
Exterior waterproofing includes a variety of waterproofing procedures conducted on the exterior of your home. This typically involves excavation, because your basement is buried under the ground on the outside. The goal of exterior waterproofing is to stop water from entering the basement walls. These days, exterior waterproofing is done to some extent during new home construction. However, in older homes, it wasn’t always done or done correctly, so digging up the foundation might be necessary to fix the underlying issues.
Cracks visible on the inside of your basement often continue through the foundation and show on the outside as well. Therefore, for a long-lasting effect, they should be filled on both ends. This can be a meticulous and time-consuming job, but you can’t leave cracks open if you want a dry basement.
Parging is a process of applying a thin layer of mortar over concrete or masonry. This procedure leaves the foundation walls smooth but, most importantly, it helps fill voids, gaps and holes, creating a more sold, stable surface.
There are many waterproofing compounds that can be applied to the exterior of your foundation, including epoxy-based coatings, asphalt base and polymer products. Not all of them are created equal and it’s important to choose a Maryland exterior waterproofing contractor who uses modern products and technology, rather than outdated methods. Coatings are applied to the foundation walls and it’s better if they are expanded to cover the footing.
While waterproofing coatings help seal basement walls, a waterproofing membrane can do it even better. A membrane applied to the outside of the foundation walls establishes a physical barrier between the walls and ground water. Modern membrane systems are very durable and can withstand both water pressure and cold temperatures in winter.
A water barrier, such as a rubberized membrane, works even better in a conjunction with a French drain system. Where membrane repels the water, drainage pipes laid along the perimeter of the foundation pick it up and carry it away. A French drain system can help improve drainage not only around your foundation, but throughout your yard as well. This means fewer soggy spots and less pressure on your foundation walls.
Sometimes, bad grading is partially to blame for your wet basement problems. When your house is located in a low spot in comparison to the neighboring homes, it is more prone to flooding. On top of that, if your own property is graded so that it slopes toward the foundation, the flooding risk is even higher. Of course, you can’t reshape the entire landscape, but regrading your own property is possible and can help reduce the strain on your basement walls and relieve the pressure off your french drain system.
Gutters and Downspouts
Even though they are located on the roof, gutters and downspouts affect your basement. Missing, damaged or improperly installed roof drainage system leads to roof runoff water pooling around your basement. Gutters should be fixed and regularly cleaned to avoid clogs and water spills. Downspouts should end a good distance form the house, so that the water can flow away from the foundation.
All these methods protect your foundation from moisture and prevent water from getting through your basement walls. However, if your property is located in an area with a high water table, walls are not your only trouble spots. Water could be coming through the floor and to solve this issue, you might need a sump pump system.
Contact Basement Waterproofing Tech if you have any questions about the best ways to keep your basement dry this fall.