Why is foundation waterproofing important? We know how important water is to keeping our bodies and our planet healthy. In fact, just about everything we’ve ever been taught about water included words about how good water is and how we need to drink certain amounts of it each day and how water is the building block of life. What we usually don’t hear about is how water can also be corrosive and spell danger to our buildings and other structures. Without foundation waterproofing, you are putting your home or building in serious structural danger.
Water has a way of finding even the tiniest crevice or crack. It flows horizontally through ground so there is no way of avoiding water coming into contact with your home. If, however, you make sure that you take your foundation seriously, you will be able to ensure that instead of water working its way into your home, it simply flows around and under your home as it moves through the ground.
The two biggest dangers of having water invade your home are mildew and mold. Mildew and mold can eat away at the structural integrity of your home. The spores spread across surfaces making them dangerous to touch. Some molds are even dangerous to breathe and you can be sure that you are in for some expensive repairs should mold find its way into your home.
Just as you wouldn’t eat moldy food, you do not want to live in a moldy house. Mildew can also be destructive. Mildew is often found where water has come into direct contact with a porous surface. It is what turns the grout in your shower tile black. Just as you don’t want it to take hold of your shower, you don’t want it latching on to your foundation.
There is more to foundation waterproofing than the spraying on of the black “waterproofing” that many building companies offer. In fact, there are several methods of basement waterproofing available and there is no such thing as “too much” waterproofing, especially when it comes to your home!
Your first priority should be installing a well made foundation drainage system. This will keep ground water from running directly into your foundation and encourage the water to, instead, flow around your foundation.
Typically, the foundation drainage system is at least three feet of large gravel poured around your foundation’s drain’ tile. The gravel is then covered with a minimum of four inches of tar paper or straw before the backfilling begins.
Many people seem to think that foundations are naturally impenetrable. It is this thinking that causes so many homes to be structurally unsound or to need new foundations before they should. By being meticulous in your waterproofing you are ensuring that your home is structurally sound, safe to live in and protected against corrosive agents like mildew and mold. Don’t let anybody convince you that foundation waterproofing is a superfluous expense. It will be the best money that you will ever spend on your home.
The idea of cement waterproofing paint is something of a misnomer. While you want to choose a good waterproofing material for the cement surfaces of your home, most cement waterproofing materials can be treated to be different colors.
While it might be tempting to try to solve your home’s moisture problems with a simple coat of cement waterproofing paint, doing so will ultimately cost you more money. This is because the paint only takes care of the damage being done to the surface of your home. It doesn’t do a lot to keep the moisture from entering your home in the first place.
Many people seem to think that unless they live in areas prone to inclement weather, waterproofing the outside of a home or the foundation is merely an option. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! Whether or not you live in an area prone to heavy rain or snow falls, there will always be water in the ground.
While rain and snow are prone to the laws of gravity (falling downward), ground water is not. Ground water travels horizontally through the earth which means that a home built in an arid area is just as prone to water damage as a home built in a wet area.
Start the waterproofing the right way — with your foundation. Make sure that your contractors have experience in external waterproofing when putting in your foundation and basement and make sure that they give the foundation enough time to reach its full strength (a little more than a month) before they start backfilling it.
You will want to make sure that your foundation and basement have external drain tiles and that there is at least three feet of large gravel surrounding your foundation and basement to encourage ground water to move around your home instead of straight into it.
Of course, water damage can be caused within the home and it is often the basement that suffers. This is where the cement waterproofing paint looks like such a good idea. Before you apply the paint, however, make sure that your walls have had the proper concrete waterproofing put in place. A lot of times, the application of the concrete waterproofing materials can be used instead of the paint, which will save you money.
Of course, using cement waterproofing paint can’t hurt your home. Make sure that your cement surfaces have been properly cleaned and that any repairs that needed to be made to the cement has been done. Then, follow the directions on the brand of waterproofing paint that you have chosen.
Make sure you read these directions carefully and apply the paint exactly as directed. If you try to cut corners or do things your own way, you could end up costing yourself a lot of money in expensive repairs later on.
It is vitally important that your home be waterproofed. Even cement, something that looks like it could stand up to anything needs waterproofing. This is where cement waterproofing paint can be a valuable asset to have on hand.
Did you know that concrete is not waterproof by nature? Lots of people don’t know that. This lack of knowledge is what makes many homes structurally unsound because what are foundations and basements usually made of? Concrete!
It is important then that you understand that waterproofing concrete is an important step when it comes to the construction of your home and that a simple spray on waterproofing agent is probably not enough to maintain the structural durability of your home and to keep it safe from the infestation of corrosive agents like mildew, mold and rust!
The rooms most susceptible to water damage are rooms made of concrete — the basement for example. This is because when water passes into concrete, it often has nowhere to go so it acts as a catalyst for the formation of mold, mildew and other “house killers” that everyone would rather avoid. So then, how is waterproofing concrete done? There are several ways that you can waterproof the concrete in your home.
If you are interested in a do it yourself approach to waterproofing concrete, here are the steps that you need to follow:
1. Figure out what kind of concrete was used to build your home. Some concretes need more waterproofing than others.
2. When it comes to waterproofing, your first line of defense is an exterior waterproof membrane. There are different types of waterproofing membrane to choose from and the one you choose will be largely based upon how your home is built.
The Exterior Insulated Finish System is the most moisture resistant and can be applied with a trowel directly onto the concrete. It is also usually sold in different colors, so all you have to do is choose the color that most matches the rest of your home!
3. Before you trowel on the membrane, you need to prepare the concrete by filling any cracks smaller than one fourth of an inch with caulk and grinding away any uneven or rough concrete.
4. Clean the surface thoroughly and make sure that all traces of dirt, oil or other loose materials are gone.
5. When your wall is clean and completely prepped for the membrane, follow the directions on your wall’s “finish”. Typically the membrane is mixed in a bucket and then applied to the wall with a plastering trowel. Be careful to keep the membrane thickness the same as you apply it across the concrete.
Unevenness will do more harm than good.
When you are choosing your concrete waterproofing material, you want to look for something that contains a sealant. That sealant should be made of siloxethane or silicone, though in a pinch other types of sealant will do.
Waterproofing concrete does not have to be a complicated process and many people who live in concrete homes do their own waterproofing treatments as they are needed. Of course, you want to make sure that your foundation and basement are solidly waterproofed outside as well as inside.