The Complete Basement Waterproofing Guide For Midwest Homeowners
Discover the most common ways water gets into your basement and what you can do to keep it dry.
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Exterior Basement Waterproofing
Common Exterior Leak Problems
Common exterior leak problems around a foundation include the following:
One common cause of foundation leaks is clogged gutter systems that don’t direct water away from your home. As the runoff soaks into the ground around a foundation, it can cause clay-rich soil to expand, erosion-prone soil to wash away, and hydrostatic pressure to build up and push moisture through foundation walls.
Another common source of exterior leaks around a foundation can be from poorly installed or maintained drainage systems. If excess moisture builds up in the ground around the foundation, it can eventually penetrate the foundation wall.
In some cases, leaks can also be caused by surface water from heavy rains or snowmelt seeping into the ground and accumulating around a foundation. This is particularly true in areas with poor soil drainage, where excess water can be trapped near the foundation.
Foundation leaks can also be caused by plumbing leaks.
Exterior Waterproofing Process
Excavation to expose the foundation wall – The first step in exterior waterproofing is to excavate around your foundation. Excavation is necessary to ensure adequate space around the foundation wall to apply the membrane.
Apply the exterior waterproofing membrane – Once excavation is complete, the next step is to install the exterior waterproof membrane. These membranes are made of durable materials that can withstand the elements and are applied directly to the foundation wall, either spray-applied or a sheet membrane (like rubber). The membrane acts as a barrier, preventing water from seeping into the foundation and causing damage.
Install a drain tile system – Finally, a drain tile system might be installed at the base of your foundation (footing level) for added waterproofing. A drain tile system prevents excess moisture from building up in the ground around the foundation.