Why merely sealing the basement wall floor joint (cove joint) isn’t enough
While it’s tempting to think that merely sealing the basement wall floor joint (cove joint) will solve the problem, it won’t. Just sealing the basement wall floor joint does nothing to alleviate the hydrostatic pressure built up in the soil outside the basement wall. At best, it will be a temporary fix that won’t hold.
Hydrostatic pressure is strong enough to crack a foundation wall and cause it to bow inward. That means it’s strong enough to push water into your basement through invisible cracks in your basement wall. It will also eventually push water through any seal you create between the basement wall and floor
. Water always finds a way in.
In other words, merely sealing the basement wall floor joint is a band-aid solution. It doesn’t solve the root problem, which is excess water in the soil leading to the build-up of hydrostatic pressure.
For more information see Basement Drain Systems: The Secret To A Dry Basement.
Drain tile is a better way to keep water out of your basement
If you want to keep water out of your basement for good, a drain tile system is the way to go because it prevents excess water from building up in the soil. This, in turn, prevents hydrostatic pressure from building up.
There are two types of drain tile systems, exterior, and interior. Here’s how they work:
Exterior drain tile system – An exterior drain tile system can be easily installed when the home is under construction. However, exterior drain tile systems can also be installed in existing homes. The first step is excavation down to the level of the footer. After that, a shallow trench is dug and lined with gravel. A perforated pipe is placed in the trench, covered with more gravel, and then the excavated soil is replaced.
Excess water in the soil will flow into the perforated pipe and be directed away from the foundation via gravity or a sump pump.
Interior drain tile system – An interior drain tile system is installed around the inside perimeter of your basement, under the slab. The slab is broken up using a jackhammer, a shallow trench is dug, lined with gravel, and then a perforated pipe is placed in it and covered with more gravel. If the basement will be finished, the drain tile system will be covered with concrete. If the basement isn’t going to be finished, some homeowners opt to leave it open with just the gravel.
Excess water in the soil under the slab will flow into the drainpipe and be channeled to a sump pit. When the sump pit fills with water, the sump pump kicks in and expels the water away from the foundation.