There are different methods for waterproofing your basement, so if you're having trouble with wet walls or a musty odor, talk to a contractor about your options. There are two approaches to waterproofing. One is to waterproof the interior walls and the other is exterior waterproofing. Below are why you may want to choose exterior waterproofing and some methods for waterproofing the walls.
Why Exterior Waterproofing Might Be Best
Each situation is different, but exterior waterproofing is often the best choice since it keeps water from seeping into your basement. Interior waterproofing methods deal with water once it has seeped through the concrete. Plus, interior methods often rely on a sump pump to get rid of the collected water, and if the sump pump fails, your basement might still get wet.
The exterior method involves putting a waterproof barrier on the walls that blocks water and vapor from leaking in your basement. Your contractor can choose between coatings applied like paint and membranes that attach to the walls.
How Exterior Walls Are Made Waterproof
The contractor has to dig a trench next to your house that uncovers the walls down to the footings and that allows plenty of room for workers to apply the waterproof coating. Next, the walls are cleaned to get rid of clinging dirt so the coating adheres well. If cracks are found, these may be filled before the coating is applied.
If your contractor decides to use a membrane coating, the pieces of the membrane are overlapped so there is no worry of water leaking through the seams. The membrane reaches to the bottom of the foundation so no concrete is exposed and vulnerable to water or vapor seeping through.
If your contractor uses a coating that's applied like paint, they may start with a primer that helps the coating stick. Then the coating is sprayed on or applied with a trowel and allowed to cure. Multiple layers may be needed to reach the thickness necessary to make the walls waterproof.
These coatings have an elastic quality, expanding and contracting along with the concrete so there is no risk of cracks developing. An advantage of a coating applied this way is that there are no seams that water or vapor could potentially leak through.
Exterior waterproofing applied to basement walls should last for decades, and it may last for the life of your house. Exterior waterproofing can eliminate worries over a damp basement, wet walls, and a musty odor so you can use your basement for storage or as a spare room and without worrying about your belongings becoming water damaged.
To learn more, contact an exterior waterproofing company.