Step-By-Step Guide to Basement Waterproofing
Updated: Jul 24
While a little water in an unfinished basement or a damp feeling as you step onto the carpet of a finished lower level may not seem like cause for concern, they should not be ignored. Small leaks often get bigger and if not repaired, can lead to health risks or significant structural damage to supports.
If a musty smell greets you as you walk down your basement stairs, it could be a sign of mold or mildew growth. Fungi thrive in high moisture areas and can pose a significant health risk to your family. If the air feels clammy or damp, especially after a storm, it’s time to look for cracks. As a home settles, hairline cracks may appear in the concrete walls or basement floor.
Most only affect the aesthetics of the area and are no cause for concern. However, wider/deeper cracks presenting a dark, wet surface or water stains should absolutely be addressed.
Our infographic provides an easy-to-understand, step-by-step process to solving your waterproofing problems once and for all. Let’s review the 8 steps to basement waterproofing in more detail.
The most labor-intensive portion of the job is excavation. Heavy equipment must be used to remove soil and other debris for the full wall height to the footings and expose the weeping tile. In some cases this can be up to eight feet deep. The excavation area is cleared several feet wide for technicians to work and can be the length of one wall or the entire house perimeter.
2. WALL CLEANING AND EXAMINATION
Once the exterior foundation is exposed, the area is power washed to remove soil and any loose concrete. Now experts can get to the root of your water infiltration problems by examining the foundation for cracks or other openings.
3. REPAIR FOUNDATION CRACKS
By filling cracks and holes with a high-strength hydraulic cement, the foundation walls are once again structurally sound. This material generally hardens within a couple of hours and can be troweled to a smooth finish.
4. LIQUID MEMBRANE INSTALLATION
Aqua-Bloc brand liquid membrane is applied with a trowel to provide waterproof protection to foundation walls, footings and other construction materials. The rubberized asphalt finish helps to bridge cracks and holes for an additional safeguard against water infiltration.
5. GLASS FABRIC APPLICATION
Yellow Jacket is an open weave glass fabric specifically designed to provide extra protection against rotting, mildew and water wicking. Its bright yellow colour reveals any exposed areas during application to ensure complete coating compound coverage.
6. AQUA-BLOC SECOND COAT
Adding a second layer of Aqua-Bloc liquid membrane shields the foundation even more.
7. INSTALLATION OF DRAIN TILE
To alleviate excessive pressure on the foundation walls, it is necessary to install a weeping tile system to drain off water. The system is installed through several layers consisting of washed gravel, perforated PVC pipe that drains away from the house, and filtration fabric to prevent dirt from clogging the system.
8. THE FINAL LAYERS
The final steps include covering the weeping tile with 16 inches of gravel and then the entire excavation area is backfilled with soil.
If you are in need of professional advice for your basement water problems, we can help. The expert basement waterproofing method described above will provide a safe, healthy and dry living space for you and your family for years to come. Give us a call today.
About Aquamaster Basement Waterproofing
Aquamaster Basement Waterproofing is your full-service plumbing and basement waterproofing company assisting the Greater Toronto Area residents. We offer services such as drain repair, drain cleaning, basement underpinning, basement waterproofing, and more.