Internal Basement Waterproofing
Whether you use your basement for extra storage, a laundry area or additional living space, it is important to keep that level of your home clean and dry. Unfortunately, water often finds a way indoors through many places you may not anticipate or easily see. Water infiltration can occur through a variety of sources – condensation, wall cracks, windows, concrete seams or the basement floor. While the tendency to ignore or cover a leak may be tempting, remember that prolonged moisture exposure can lead to major problems. It can cause mold or fungus growth leading to serious health risks as well as compromise the structural integrity of your home’s foundation. At the first sign of trouble, contact the reliable professionals at Aquamaster Drain, Plumbing & Waterproofing, Inc. for a no-obligation assessment.
A basic understanding of the type of problem you may be facing will help you determine the best remedy for your family’s health and budget. It’s likely you’ve seen condensation on your bathroom mirror after a shower. A similar condition can occur when moist, warm air collides with the cool basement walls. Condensation can be eliminated through regular aeration by opening windows or installation of a dehumidifier. However, a simple test of taping plastic wrap over a damp spot will identify a more serious leak problem if moisture appears on the wall side of the plastic.
Another typical problem area can be from your windows. Window well leaks can occur from insufficient sealing. Proper installation will link window well drains with foundation drains. Adding covers or crushed stone in the well area will also allow for proper water drainage away from the window and foundation.
INTERNAL WATERPROOFING TYPES
Internal waterproofing can be divided into four separate types: Concrete waterproofing coatings, silicate-based concrete sealers (densifiers), acrylic waterproofing paint and plastic sheets or panels. Thick coatings dry into a solid, cement-like finish and adhere permanently to both concrete and masonry walls. Special applicator brushes can provide a decorative appearance. Sealers must be applied to an unfinished concrete surface for optimum absorption and hardening. As the sealer penetrates through the concrete pores, a chemical reaction bonds the product to the wall for a permanent, waterproof surface. Thick acrylic paint is formulated to provide waterproofing capabilities over many layers. It can be applied over previously painted surfaces and also covered with standard pigment to complement the room.
Plastic sheathing is another method of interior waterproofing and is used with floor drainage systems. This product acts as a barrier to stop water from seeping into the room. Any water infiltration runs down the back of the panel, into the floor drainage system and out through use of a sump pump discharge system.
Floor leaks caused by underground hydrostatic pressure are generally managed through a drain tile system. A plastic, perforated pipe and membrane are installed below the floor around the perimeter of the basement. It is connected to a sump pump and covered with porous gravel. Any water leaching through the floor or walls is safely pumped out.
The most common interior water problem is caused by wall cracks. The natural composition of concrete is negatively impacted by environmental pressure, exposure to water, salt and the freeze-thaw cycle of Toronto winters. Cracks are classified by activity and severity. Dormant cracks are non-moving and are relatively harmless. An active crack is still expanding and can affect the foundation’s strength and durability. All cracks can allow water to permeate to the interior and present safety risks.
Waterproofing experts are well-versed on the different types of cracks and remediation methods. The preferred method for repairing interior cracks is to inject expanding polyurethane. The area is cleaned to remove any loose particles. Plastic injection tubes are inserted and fast-curing epoxy applied over the entire area. Polyurethane is injected through the tubes to fill the crack for a tight seal that remains flexible enough to resist further fracture.
Internal waterproofing methods are often preferred by homeowners. You will find the repairs to be more budget-friendly and less disruptive than exterior waterproofing, can be performed in any weather and the repairs are protected from natural elements. The professionals at Aquamaster Drain, Plumbing & Waterproofing, Inc. can provide expert advice, high-quality waterproofing services and a transferable 25-year warranty for peace of mind. Call today for your free assessment.