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Basement Waterproofing Options: What's Best for Your Home or Business?

April 03, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 184

If every rainstorm leads to puddles in your basement, or if the room feels damp and humid year-round, it's time to look into basement waterproofing. Depending on how your building is constructed and what you want to spend, you have an array of options.

A wet basement isn't just frustrating-it's also potentially dangerous. In addition to the general unpleasantness of a room that's always damp or leaking, you're risking water damage to any belongings you store in the room, or you're losing good storage or living space because the basement is uninhabitable. Basement leakage and humidity can damage your home's foundations, potentially leading to costly structural repairs and replacements. And then there's the mold that can thrive in a damp, dark environment such as a basement. Mold growth can damage your property and put you and other building occupants at risk for severe allergies and respiratory diseases. If you're struggling with a wet basement, don't wait to consider basement waterproofing. Here are a few options that might work for your home or commercial space.


If your basement is made of poured concrete, you may experience seepage or leakage due to cracks or holes, especially in areas where pipes penetrate the foundation. In this case, your basement contractor may be able to apply a sealant to the interior or exterior walls and surfaces. The sealant is pressure-injected into the cracks to ensure that it completely fills the open area, stopping water from entering the foundation or wall. This basement waterproofing option can last several years, if applied properly.

Weep Holes

For basement foundations that are constructed from cinder blocks, a sealant alone cannot stop the leakage or seepage. Cinder blocks have holes in the middle that can hold accumulated water, which then contributes to structural damage and mold growth over time. One of the most common basement waterproofing scenarios for cinder block foundations involves drilling small holes, known as "weep holes," into the lowest blocks, to allow for water drainage. As the water drains out of the foundation it goes into drains around the perimeter of the basement to be channeled out of the building.

Sump Pumps and French Drains

A sump pump collects accumulated water from drainage areas and pumps it out of the basement. Generally, the water will be moved far away from the building, perhaps to a nearby dry well. Professional sump pump installation -including a battery backup for power outages-can ensure that your basement stays dry even in the heaviest of rainstorms.

Another common basement drainage option is a French drain, and you can have one installed inside your basement or around the perimeter of your building, depending on your needs and your budget. A basic French drain is a trough, covered with gravel or rocks, through which a perforated pipe is run. Water enters the pipe by trickling down through the rocks and is directed, via a specifically designed pipe pathway, away from your property. An interior French drain will be installed below your basement floor and may collect water from the foundation's weep holes. An exterior French drain is designed to keep water from getting into the foundation in the first place; the water will enter the drain rather than seeping into the foundation and will be channeled away. A French drain can be installed together with a sump pump or can act on its own, depending on the system's design.

A professional basement contractor will be able to advise you on the strategy or combination of strategies that's right for your home or commercial building. He'll also be able to look for signs of existing mold or water damage and can help you correct those issues before the problems get worse. Your basement may not be the most beautiful or most used room in your building, but that doesn't mean you can just ignore leaks and water damage. Waterproof your basement and foundation today so that your home or commercial building will work for you tomorrow and in the years to come.

Penny Jones is a home improvement buff and a senior Internet marketing strategist for Prospect Genius, a leader in local online advertising.

Source: EzineArticles
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Article Tags:

Basement Waterproofing


Foundation Repair


Crawlspace Waterproofing


Sump Pump Installation

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