Is foundation waterproofing necessary?

If the local code requires compliance with the International Building Code (IBC), waterproofing is required when a hydrostatic pressure condition exists and moisture protection is required where it does not exist. If the base is below the local water table, a hydrostatic condition exists and waterproofing is required. 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 some construction projects, it is necessary to apply waterproofing before the foundation concrete is cast.

This approach is commonly needed in environments with high groundwater levels in urban locations and in any structure where homeowners are concerned about water infiltration through the foundation slab or confined walls. Waterproofing is only necessary if you don't want water damage. If you manage it as an uninhabited outdoor space, you can live and let live and apply steam protection to the roof above. Most waterproofing systems need protection during backfilling.

Some manufacturers have their own protective plate for this purpose. A drainage or insulation mat can also function as a protective board. An inexpensive 1-inch thick expanded polystyrene foam board works well as a basic protective layer. However, a manufacturer has a protection plate that functions as insulation, protection plate, and drain medium in one.

Some are used in conjunction with an aerosol waterproofing membrane, while they are sold as standalone waterproofing materials without the elastomeric coating (synthetic rubber). 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. 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.

If you're using a waterproofing subcontractor, recognize that good waterproofing materials can be in high demand during peak season. Meanwhile, in the real world, digging outside and applying wall waterproofing there, along with a perimeter drainage system, is the only truly effective waterproofing. Interior waterproofing techniques, such as waterproof sealants, are also effective in reducing moisture and preventing condensation.

Gwenda Hunt
Gwenda Hunt

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