If you recently bought a home and are distressed to learn the basement is often wet, you may need to hire a contractor to waterproof the walls. A wet basement can be a health hazard because of mold and it can give your home a musty odor. Plus, you lose valuable living and storage space when the basement is too wet to use. Your contractor may recommend exterior waterproofing. Here's how it works.
The Exterior Walls Are Exposed
In order to keep the water from ever getting inside your basement, you need to have the outside of your home treated. You can also have interior waterproofing done, but this deals with the water that is allowed to seep inside. If exterior waterproofing is done correctly, you won't have to worry about water seeping inside any longer. The first step is to expose the foundation walls all the way to the bottom. This involves digging a trench and moving the dirt out of the way. Before that's started, the contractor will dig up bushes and other landscaping so they can be replaced once the work is done.
When the walls are exposed, the contractor can examine them for signs of damage due to the pressure of water against the walls. This is the perfect time to do foundation repair by filling in any cracks that are found.
A Waterproof Coating Is Applied
Next, the walls are cleaned and prepped so a waterproof coating can be applied. There are different coatings to choose from. One type is flexible when it dries so it won't crack. It is waterproof so no water can get through it and leak into your basement walls. The coating is then covered with a drainage mat. This mat has channels that catches water as it approaches the house and routes it to drainage tiles in the ground. The water runs into a trench that is deeper than your foundation, so the worry about water getting through the walls or floor of your basement is eliminated.
A French Drain May Be Added
To ensure the water is driven far from your home, the contractor may install a French drain system since there is already a trench dug in your yard. This entails adding gravel and a pipe in the trench that collects water as it approaches your house or rolls down the drainage mat. The water flows through the drain using gravity and empties in the street or a retention pond. This keeps it from gathering around your foundation and causing problems.
The good thing about an exterior waterproofing system like this is that it works 24 hours a day without the need of electricity or any other type of intervention from you. Once installed, it continuously drains water away from your home so you can dry out your basement and use the space any way you like. Talk with someone like Sohan and Sons for more information.