External Basement Waterproofing
While the concrete that makes up the foundation of your home – poured walls or masonry block – seems extremely solid, it is actually very porous and susceptible to water infiltration. Basements are constructed in phases with a level concrete footer installed first, allowed to dry and harden completely, and then the foundation walls poured or set on top. The area where the footer, floor and walls meet form a seam around the perimeter and a place where water can seep inside. Of course, the majority of the basement is located underground. With this in mind, builders mitigate any concerns through the installation of exterior waterproofing products such as tar sealant, drainage pipes, dimpled drainage mat or membrane while the walls are exposed. However, once the foundation is back-filled, these methods may not always provide permanent waterproofing protection. Exposure to excess ground water through heavy storms, poor drainage, wicking from the rising water table and wall cracks caused by hydro-static pressure from the packed soil can all lead to a wet basement and damaged possessions.
Before seeking professional help, there are a couple of things you can do to alleviate poor drainage conditions outside of your home. Good roof drainage is an essential component to keeping a dry basement. Make sure your home has clean gutters and a sufficient number of downspouts that discharge four to six feet from the foundation. These simple projects will keep excessive water from collecting in the soil along the walls. You can also check the soil grading around the perimeter of your home. It should slope away from the home. Clean fill dirt (not topsoil) can be used to establish the proper grade so water drains away from the foundation walls.
CALL AN EXPERT
If you have experienced any of the signs that there may be water leaking into your home and rectified any roof or ground conditions, it is time to call in reinforcements. While many homeowners are capable of managing “Do-It-Yourself” projects around their residence, exterior waterproofing will require expert advice by a reputable and experienced specialist. For over 20 years, Aquamaster Drain, Plumbing & Waterproofing, Inc. has been providing permanent waterproofing solutions for thousands of clients in Toronto and the GTA. A visual inspection of your foundation and drainage analysis will be performed to determine the extent of remedial work needed.
Before you panic and envision your yard being torn up, understand that excavation is not necessary in all instances. Our professional inspectors will work diligently to find the root of the problem and correct it with as little disruption as possible. The first step is to inspect the condition of existing weeping tile with a drain camera. This system, also known as a French drain, uses pre-engineered or perforated pipes, gravel and a fabric filter placed in a trench around the exterior of the home to redirect surface and ground water away from the area. This repair can be completed without significant excavation.
Should a more extensive repair be needed, Aquamaster specialists have the equipment and expertise needed to safely and quickly correct the condition. If adding or replacing the waterproof membrane is needed, the foundation wall will be exposed through excavation, cleaned and inspected for cracks. Crack repairs are handled first and require widening the space with 45-degree cuts, filling it with hydraulic cement and covering it with a rubberized asphalt membrane. Once all cracks are remedied, a top layer of waterproofing membrane is installed, new drainage tiles are placed and back-filling completed.
External waterproofing methods, while more labor intensive and expensive than interior installations, do provide significant benefits. The interior of the home has little or no disruption, the only exterior preparation needed is moving landscaping away from the work area, large gaps and cracks are repaired permanently, plus the wall and home above are more structurally sound and impervious to water infiltration.
The professionals at Aquamaster Drain, Plumbing & Waterproofing, Inc. are committed to providing exceptional external waterproofing services and your complete satisfaction. Protect your family and your investment, contact a representative today.