Having a solid foundation can lead to a stable home. The foundation serves as the cornerstone of any structure, but it is still possible to make improvements that would benefit your home and your family. One option that can benefit your home is to waterproof the foundation. Foundation waterproofing can be done in several ways, but they all provide similar benefits to the homeowner.
In recognizing the benefits of foundation waterproofing, you can see the need to have it done to your home. Soon after the process is done, you can begin enjoying these benefits for yourself.
1. Extra Living Space: Waterproofing a basement can create additional living space. Rather than having a damp, dreary area under the home, you have a clean, dry area perfect for an extra bedroom or even a small apartment.
2. Extra Storage Space: If there’s one thing we all have, it’s too much stuff. Finding a place to store the things we don’t use regularly can be a problem, but you don’t need to spend monthly money on a storage unit. Foundation waterproofing can produce a dry, clean area in your basement or crawlspace where you can safely store items.
3. Healthier Home: Did you know that an estimated 50% of the air you breathe in your home originates in the basement or crawl space? This is due to the stack effect, which occurs as warm air rises and escapes through the roof, pulling air out of the basement or crawl space to fill the void.
Before foundation waterproofing, you may have various issues, such as mold, high humidity, or insect infestations below your living space. Foundation waterproofing eliminates those issues and provides cleaner, healthier air throughout your home.
4. Lower Energy Bills: The stack effect we discussed earlier can also pull humidity out of the basement or crawl space into the living space. Since humid air is more difficult to heat or cool, you may experience higher energy bills throughout the year.
Basement waterproofing lowers the humidity in the basement to an acceptable level, and this benefit is then seen throughout the home. You can expect lower energy bills immediately.
5. No Basement Flooding: A problem with basement flooding is common in many homes. You may even consider it a normal part of home ownership in some cases, but that is not the case.
Basement flooding may be common for some, but it should never be considered normal. The water produces all sorts of issues and can even undermine the foundation. Basement waterproofing eliminates the water that would otherwise harm the basement.
6. No Old-House Smell: You may not notice that you have an old house smell, but many homes do. This is not just a problem with having an older home. That smell comes from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) left behind by decaying mold and bacteria.
Foundation waterproofing eliminates high moisture levels in the basement or crawlspace. As a result, you don’t have a problem with mold and mildew, and the old house smell will be gone forever.
7. Protect Your Foundation: Part of the foundation waterproofing process is channeling excess water from the surrounding soil. That water could cause the soil to expand and put pressure (hydrostatic pressure) on the foundation walls, eventually causing them to crack and weaken.
Foundation Waterproofing – Exterior Vs. Interior
Foundation waterproofing can be done as an exterior project or an interior project. The process is different, but the goal is the same: providing you with a clean, dry basement suitable for living or storage.
Exterior Foundation Waterproofing
This form of foundation waterproofing is often done before the completion of construction. It can be done after construction, but it is an extensive project.
The area near the foundation wall must be excavated, and a drain pipe will be installed at the footing level. This perforated drain pipe is placed in gravel, allowing water to enter the pipe but keeping any silt from entering.
The exterior drain pipe will drain to a sump basin, where a sump pump can pump the water out and away from the foundation.
While the exterior foundation wall is exposed, a waterproofing membrane is put on the wall. The membrane will keep any water from entering the basement through the walls.
Other processes will also be included with exterior foundation waterproofing, including the possibility of yard drainage, downspout extensions, and window well drainage.
Interior Foundation Waterproofing
This process is often considered after the initial construction is complete. It is also designed to keep the basement dry.
A drain tile system will be installed under the slab to capture excess water in the soil and direct it to a sump pit. A sump pump with battery backup is installed to pump water out of the sump pit when it reaches a predetermined level.
If there are any existing cracks in the basement wall, they can be repaired using carbon fiber straps and epoxy injections. This permanently seals the cracks and strengthens the wall.
A vapor barrier is installed on the interior of the basement wall. This helps to ensure that the basement is kept dry at all times.
Any foundation can be waterproofed, including crawl space foundations.
If you’re in Chicagoland and would like the benefits of foundation waterproofing, contact The Real Seal today. One of our friendly associates will get back to you to set up a foundation inspection and provide additional information.