Do you need to waterproof foundations?

A poorly designed foundation without proper waterproofing can cause moisture intrusions and significant structural damage, endangering your neighborhood and family. The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that 60 percent of American homes have damp basements, and 38 percent are at risk of mold in the basement. Waterproofing resists the passage of liquid water that is not under hydrostatic pressure, which is the case when the base is filled with a material that drains well and is not subjected to standing water. The foundations are made of reinforced concrete, which is not waterproof and also has cracks.

Most water is kept out, but steam and moisture can still penetrate. That's enough to create big potential problems. That's why, when it comes to waterproofing concrete foundations, the primary goal is to keep water away from concrete foundations. A dry basement is a fun basement.

More than that, you'll be happier. Heavy rains can eventually weaken the foundations of your home if they are not protected. This situation will increase the cost of repairs. Dry basements protect against water and moisture damage, and waterproof bases will withstand flooding and leaks for added peace of mind as a homeowner.

In the construction order, the first component of the system is a true waterproofing material applied to the surface of the foundation walls. It can be a liquid-applied coating or a peel-and-stick membrane. Ideally, residential homeowners and commercial businesses should have a waterproofing professional attend an annual or biannual inspection to assess whether new foundation waterproofing is needed. If you're using a waterproofing subcontractor, recognize that good waterproofing materials can be in high demand during peak season.

Another waterproofing agent once told me that in one of his jobs the general contractor sent a worker, after applying the waterproofing, to break the ties of form inside a foundation. It is important to understand the benefits of foundation waterproofing and what the risks are for commercial and residential properties where foundations are not properly waterproofed. In fact, there is no waterproofing system that works without proper drainage, to the point that a manufacturer of waterproofing products will not guarantee its products if there is inadequate drainage or no drainage. Maine builder Ben Bogie uses a peel-and-stick waterproofing membrane or a fluid-applied waterproofing product, also in combination with a dimple mat and perimeter drains.

Gwenda Hunt
Gwenda Hunt

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