Is Your Basement Waterproof?

As the last big winter storms make their way through Canada they often like to leave a parting gift. Are you suffering from a wet basement or suffering from the big defrost?

There are really only two options available to solve wet basement problems: interior or exterior. Interior work uses drainage inside your basement to control the water that is entering and directs it to a sump pump. This method is not technically waterproofing, it is a method of water control. Water control systems allow the water in, in order to pump it back out. True basement waterproofing is accomplished only by exterior excavation to the bottom of the foundation, installing proper drainage and treating the walls to prevent water from entering. Let the water into your basement and pump it out, or keep it out altogether. This is the main difference between waterproofing (exterior basement waterproofing) and water control (interior basement waterproofing).

Top 3 Methods of Waterproofing a Basement

1. Exterior Basement Waterproofing

Exterior basement waterproofing is the best method for preventing water in the basement of your house. The following are basement waterproofing methods that can be used to improve your basement waterproofing from the outside.

Dig an Effective Drainage Ditch

If you have a chronically wet yard or basement digging a drainage trench may be a great solution for your property and wet basement. There are multiple by ways to go about digging a ditch. Always call or click before you dig anywhere on your property.

Rain Gutters Too Close to House

If possible run your rain gutters on your roof as far from your foundation as possible. If you can’t move your gutter spout consider purchasing an extension to draw the water further away from your house. Another possible option is installing underground gutters that run to dry sumps.

Ground Maintenance to Protect a Leaky Basement

Check the landscaping around your house. Is it sloped away from your foundation, flat, or sloping towards it. This tends to happen with older houses as foundations settle and the ground compacts around them. Doing a little dirt work can allow for rain water to run away from your house, rather than towards it.

2. Interior Basement Waterproofing

Sump Pump

Sump pumps can be instrumental in managing water flow into your basement and are the most popular interior basement waterproofing methods. If you already have a sump pump but are still having waterproofing issues with your basement than there are a few ways to diagnose the problem. Is your sump letting in enough water to thoroughly let the water drain? Also, make sure you have a reliable sump pump and have one on hand as a spare. Look for a higher quality pump that can take the load of water that flows into your house’s basement. The higher power sump pumps tend to run a little quieter as well, which is a great benefit. The location of your sump pump can be an issue as well. We recommend placing your sump pump as close to the foundation as you can. The closer to the foundation the better.

French Drain

Many older houses with foundations using super porous materials such as a stone Season foundation can’t always keep water from the exterior out. For this reason some older houses have French Drains that are used to collect and move rain water away from your house. Learn more about how to dig and install a French Drain in this great article.

3. Interior & Exterior Drainage

Cracks in the foundation, floor or the basement can always be sealed up. For guarantee on the longevity of the crack repair you are best to call a professional. Learn more about how to spot the signs of a problematic foundation crack.

Preventing Water in the Basement

When you finish your basement there are a few things you can do to prevent future water in the basement, and save some money. Run a baseboard around the perimeter using pressure treated wood, then run sheet rock above that. Just be sure it’s higher than the usual water level when water does come in.

If you live within a city one idea is to take a sample of the water from your sump and have it tested for chemicals. If it shows positive for chlorine and/or fluorine there may be a leak in a water line somewhere contributing to your water problems.

If you need help waterproofing a basement or just need someone to take a look at your leaking foundation in your house give us a call.