Your home’s foundation serves a critically important purpose. The foundation of your home is what supports the home entirely. Water can enter through wall cracks and mortar joints, up through cracks in the floor, over the footing, under the footing, and by bleeding and sweating off the walls. If you find standing water in your basement or crawlspace, discover cracks in the foundation, or see that your basement walls are wet, then you have a potential water disturbance problem.
Our goal is to prevent foundation damage. To prevent foundation damage caused by water, we can add proper drainage, redirecting water flow
Your home is probably one of the most important investments in your lifetime and its structural, long term durability is important to us and we are sure it is to you as well. Most foundation walls are brick, concrete block, or poured concrete. Engineers and General Contractors agree that the most common water entry points are over the top of the foundation, through the walls and through the floor/wall joint, creating wet basement problems. If your goal is to make sure that your basement never leaks again at any time, we can repair that for you! Depending on your specific issue or goal, this is accomplished through the installation of an interior or exterior drainage system. Our basement waterproofing technicians are considerate and will be able to give you a proper solution.
Basement waterproofing involves techniques and materials used to prevent water from penetrating the basement of a house or a building. Waterproofing a basement that is below ground level can require the application of sealant materials, the installation of drains and sump pumps, and more.
Waterproofing is usually required by building codes for structures that are built at or below ground level. Waterproofing and drainage considerations are especially important in cases where ground water is likely to build up in the soil or where there is a high water table.
Water in the soil causes hydrostatic pressure to be exerted underneath basement floors and walls. This hydrostatic pressure can force water in through cracks, which can cause major structural damage as well as mold, decay, and other moisture-related problems.
Several measures exist to prevent water from penetrating a basement foundation or to divert water that has penetrated a foundation:
- Interior wall and floor sealers
- Interior water drainage
- Exterior drainage
- Exterior waterproofing coatings
- Box type waterproofing
- Foundation crack injections
In poured concrete foundations, cracks and pipe penetrations are the most common entry points for seepage. These openings can be sealed from the interior. Epoxies, which are strong adhesives, or urethanes can be pressure injected into the openings, thus penetrating the foundation through to the exterior and cutting off the path of the seepage.
In masonry foundations, interior sealers will not provide permanent protection from water infiltration where hydrostatic pressure is present. However, interior sealers are good for preventing high atmospheric humidity inside the basement from absorbing into the porous masonry and causing spalling. Spalling is a condition where constant high humidity or moisture breaks down masonry surfaces, causing deterioration and shedding of the concrete surfaces.
Waterproofing an existing basement begins with excavating to the bottom sides of the footings. The dry walls are sealed with a waterproofing membrane, and new drainage tiles are placed at the side of the footing.
Causes of water seepage and leaks
Water seepage in basement and crawl spaces usually occurs over long periods of time and can be caused by numerous factors.
- Concrete is one of the most commonly used materials in home construction. When pockets of air are not removed, or the mixture is not allowed to cure properly, the concrete can crack, which allows water to force its way through the wall.
- Foundations (footings) are horizontal pads that define the perimeter of foundation walls. When footings are too narrow or are not laid deep enough, they are susceptible to movement caused by soil erosion.
- Gutters and downspouts are used to catch rain water as it falls and to discharge it away from houses and buildings. When gutters are clogged or downspouts are broken, rainwater is absorbed by the soil near the foundation, increasing hydrostatic pressure.
- Weeping tile is a porous plastic drain pipe installed around the perimeter of the house. The main purpose of external weeping tile is preventing water from getting into a basement. However, these pipes can become clogged or damaged, which causes excess water to put pressure on internal walls and basement floors.
- Water build up inside window wells, after heavy rain or snow, can lead to leaks through basement window seams. Window well covers can be used to prevent water from accumulating in the window well.
- Ground saturation is another common form of basement leaks. When the footing drain fails the ground around the basement can contain too much water and when the saturation point is met flooding can occur.
Warning signs of water damage
Signs that water is seeping into a basement or crawlspace often take years to develop and may not be easily visible. Over time, multiple signs of damage may become evident and could lead to structural failure.
- Cracked walls: Cracks may be horizontal, vertical, diagonal or stair-stepped. Severe pressure or structural damage is evident by widening cracks.
- Buckling walls: Usually caused by hydrostatic pressure. Walls appear to be bowed inward.
- Peeling paint: Water seeping through walls may lead to bubbling or peeling paint along basement walls.
- Efflorescence: White, powdery residue found on basement walls near the floor.
- Mold: Fungi that usually grow in damp, dark areas and can cause respiratory problems after prolonged exposure.
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