How Basement Waterproofing Works

Finished Basement

Basement leaks and standing water are serious issues that can lead to more significant problems and structural issues in your home. Unattended water in your basement can lead to mold, spreading unhealthy spores, insect and termite damage, and permanently destroying your home and possessions. But how does basement waterproofing work? How can you protect yourself and your possessions? Read on below for the answers to all these questions.

How Does Basement Waterproofing Work?

There are two types of basement waterproofing, interior and exterior. Combining both provides the best protection and is essential as most building codes will not require basements to be waterproofed when homes are built. Interior waterproofing includes the following elements of protection:

  • Dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers are a classic method to reduce water and condensation buildup. Most dehumidifiers draw in warm air, pass it through refrigerated coils, and deposit the moisture into a basin. Using a dehumidifier requires attention and daily or weekly draining of the reservoir unless the system is setup to feed water outside of the home.
  • French Drains: A French Drain assists by removing water caused by hydrostatic pressure in your home plumbing. The installation of a French Drain includes opening a small hole in the basement where previously standing water can flow and be pumped out by a sump pump, which is then moved to the sewage system installed in your home.
  • Sump Pumps: Sump pumps can work with or without a French Drain and pump water from the basement. Most basements will only need one pump; however, if your basement is large, it may need a more sophisticated pump or two sump pumps working in tandem.
  • Sealing Cracks: Due to the nature of being surrounded by soil, the pressure of the earth and expansion or contraction in hot and cold seasonal conditions can cause cracks or more significant gaps in the foundation. These should be sealed and repaired as soon as possible to stop the damage from growing and possibly letting in more water from the soil or natural rainfall.
  • Vapor Barrier Installation: A vapor barrier is commonly a sheet of thick plastic, that stops moisture from entering and can make your basement more comfortable by maintaining a constant temperature, similar to insulation.

Exterior waterproofing is a more involved process requiring excavation of the basement area. Exterior waterproofing involves placing a waterproof barrier, similar to a vapor barrier or similar coating, around the basement’s foundation. This process stops almost all external water from entering and has the added benefit of reducing the cracking of basement walls. This process, while expensive, can be the dewatering solution you are looking for if interior options are not working.

Why You Should Consider Waterproofing Your Basement

Even if only a tiny amount of water builds up in your basement, the consequence of inaction can cause many problems for your health, cause permanent damage to the structure of your home, and potentially destroy any possessions stored in your basement. Below are several signs that waterproofing your basement is necessary:

  • Mold: Dangerous molds require water to thrive and love humid, dark, and cool environments. This means that a damp basement provides the perfect conditions for mold to grow, which can spread dangerous spores affecting your lungs and creating the need to clean more often.
  • Humidity: Humidity is the killer of wood and vinyl products. As most homes are constructed with lumber and can have vinyl flooring, a buildup of moisture can cause warping of the walls, and furniture and damage to floors, which can lead to dangerous conditions.
  • Water Damage: Unless your possessions are in perfectly sealed containers, water and humidity can find their way inside, reducing the strength of boxes and ruining books or paperwork as well as other belongings.

Reach Out to Tom’s Basement Waterproofing for a Few Quote Today

If you’re concerned that your home may need basement waterproofing, there is no one better to call than the experienced team at Tom’s Basement Waterproofing. We’ve been providing this much-needed service throughout Michigan for over 40 years! Give us a call today at (586) 776-7270 to set up a free consultation with one of our foundation repair experts.