New homes are usually built with a basement waterproofing system installed. If you live in an older house, you might need to waterproof the basement yourself if you want to renovate the basement or just eliminate mold.
There are different approaches to basement waterproofing. The contractor has to consider the reason for your wet basement and your budget. Here's how a contractor may go about waterproofing your basement so it stays dry.
Dry Out The Interior
The contractor may seal up cracks in your basement walls and floor to keep out water. They might also seal around the basement window to make sure water can't leak in. In addition, they may eliminate problems with condensation by wrapping exposed plumbing pipes and setting up a dehumidifier in the space.
These steps help keep your basement dry, but they won't keep water from seeping through the concrete due to hydrostatic pressure. If water gets in your basement occasionally, the contractor may install a drainage system for the most protection.
Choose Interior Or Exterior Waterproofing
A drainage system can be installed in the basement to collect water and pump it out, or a drainage system might be installed outside to keep water from getting in your basement at all. Each method has its good and bad points. While both are disruptive, the exterior method involves digging a trench that tears up your yard, and you may prefer to avoid that if possible.
Installing an exterior drain involves excavating around your house so a drain can be put in at a level below your foundation. This process exposes the exterior walls and gives the contractor an opportunity to apply a waterproof coating or membrane to direct water to the drain below once it's been installed in the trench.
An interior drain is also installed below the foundation, and the contractor has to bust up the floor to install the drain. Water that seeps through the concrete walls falls in the drain and flows to a well where a pump kicks on and pushes the water back outside.
In some cases, the contractor may encapsulate the basement with plastic sheeting to ensure no water that seeps through will get your basement wet. Your contractor might also advise a battery backup for your pump so it will work even when the power is out during a storm.
If your reason for basement waterproofing is to make the basement dry so you can turn it into a living space, then using the right method is important so your floor, electronics, or furniture won't be ruined by water or mildew.