Having a basement is great. It gives you extra space for storage, an entertainment room, or even an area for additional bedrooms. Imagine heading downstairs to relax to watch your favorite show and finding an inch of water instead. Sounds like an expensive headache.
Usually, there are minor warning signs that people shrug off before this occurs, such as a small amount of water dripping or damp areas on the floor. Some people shrug it off, thinking it’s normal for a basement; it’s not. Instead, it’s often a sign of a larger problem, and you might need your basement waterproofing.
Basement waterproofing involves materials and techniques to keep water from getting into a basement. It manages the water under the floor by removing areas where groundwater can seep into your basement. There are two main ways companies do this: waterproofing from the interior and exterior waterproofing. We’ll get into both of these methods later. FOr now, if you need more resources on waterproofing your basement visit southbendfoundationrepairservices.com.
What Causes Moisture in the Basement?
Many different things can cause moisture in the basement, leading to cracks and leaks. However, below are some of the most common reasons that cause dampness in your basement.
- Improper soil and drainage systems – if water can’t drain away from your home after a while, it causes enough pressure to make its way into your basement.
- Poorly installed or maintained gutters – if your home’s gutters aren’t positioned correctly, it can cause water to drain into your home. If you don’t ensure that they are routinely cleaned, the water builds up and gathers around your foundation.
- Improper slope – you want the ground around your home to lean away from it instead of towards it.
- Hydrostatic pressure occurs when water accumulates outside of your home and puts pressure on the outside walls, causing them to crack.
- Cracks in the basement walls, floors, doors, or windows – this is the way for water to get into your home. Water will always get in the easiest way it can.
- Condensation – basements are damp, and condensation can quickly form, allowing for mold in mildew to invade your basement and then spread into your home.
Is Waterproofing a Basement Worth It?
The short answer is yes, it’s worth it. Your basement is vital to your home’s stability. The basement is an essential part of your home’s foundation. It keeps the house level and makes sure that it’s structurally sound. Groundwater causes pressure against the walls and floor. As the pressure builds, it can cause dampness or condensation to form. These are both common signs you need to have your basement waterproofed.
Benefits of Waterproofing
There are a lot of benefits to having your basement waterproofed beyond keeping your items dry. So let’s get into them now.
- Improved air quality – Mold and mildew love dark and damp areas, making basements great. Both of these have spores that blow throughout your home, which can cause respiratory issues, trigger allergies, make sinuses worse, and other issues. Plus, mold and mildew give off a musty odor that stinks.
- Strengthens the foundation – it’s your foundation when you have a basement. It’s what makes sure your home doesn’t start sinking or become unsafe. Even minor cracks allow moisture into your home, leading to insects, pests, and mold. Also, it’s a good bet that there’s an underlying issue if you start noticing cracks.
- Lower Insurance Claims – According to FEMA, 1 inch of water in your home can cause $25,000 worth of damage. Basement flooding doesn’t just affect your items. It also leads to damage to wood, drywall, and other materials. Even minor leaks can cause extensive damage to your home, leading to a lot of damage.
- Increases the value of your home – If you’re thinking about selling your home in the future, basement waterproofing is a good idea. A house that doesn’t leak or allow moisture shows people your home is well taken care of and is more appealing.
- Remodel your basement – Perhaps you want to put an entertainment room in your basement or a bedroom or even install a home gym. If so, you’ll want to waterproof your basement first. Otherwise, you run the risk of ruining all of your hard work by flooding.
Interior vs. Exterior Waterproofing: What’s the Difference?
Once you decide to waterproof your basement, it’s now time to decide which of the various methods you should choose. Let’s look at the main differences between the two other than the obvious.
Interior basement waterproofing
This type of waterproofing is often the less expensive option. What happens is that workers make sure all cracks or holes in your basement walls and floors are properly sealed and no water can creep in. Basements have drainage systems that catch and lead excess groundwater away from home. Vapor barriers are made of plastic or foil sheets installed along the walls of your basement. These sheets, along with internal waterproofing and the proper drainage system, work together to ensure that water and humidity don’t accumulate in your home.
Exterior basement waterproofing
This option is more expensive, but it does deal with the causes of the water accumulation around your home. It consists of gutters and downspouts installed and adequately directed away from the house. Once installed, you want to make sure they are clean and free of any debris that can plug them up. A waterproof membrane installed around the foundation seals out moisture preventing the concrete doesn’t absorb it, cracking, and allowing moisture in. The next step is to establish an exterior drainage system. While this can be quite extensive and take a bit of time due to excavating around the home’s foundation, it’s well worth it. Once the excavation is complete, drain tiles are fitted into the trench around the house, surrounded by gravel and then covered by soil. The drains then carry the water away from the foundation, ensuring the soil around your home stays dry.
Which Method is Best for Basement Waterproofing?
Each home has its unique issues and the best way to handle them, which means that your needs may differ from those living around you. That being said, prevention is always the preferable choice. Waterproofing your basement before it floods prevents water damage and many other issues that come along with it.
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