Do you need to waterproof a foundation?

A poorly designed foundation without proper waterproofing can lead to significant moisture intrusions and structural damage, endangering your neighborhood and family. Most waterproofing systems need protection during backfilling.

Do you need to waterproof a foundation?

A poorly designed foundation without proper waterproofing can lead to significant moisture intrusions and structural damage, endangering your neighborhood and family. Most waterproofing systems need protection during backfilling. Some manufacturers have their own protective plate for this purpose. A drainage or insulation mat can also function as a protective panel.

An economical 1-inch thick expanded polystyrene foam board works well as a basic course of protection. However, a manufacturer has a protection plate that functions as insulation, protection plate and drainage medium in one. There are a number of waterproofing products formulated for concrete walls. A friend of mine builder, Brian Long, is betting on Poly Wall's Home Stretch Liquid, a synthetic rubber product that has been used in the commercial market for more than two decades, but has only recently been introduced to the residential market.

The foundations are made of reinforced concrete, which is not waterproof and also comes with cracks. Most water is kept out, but steam and moisture can still penetrate. That's enough to create huge potential problems. Therefore, when it comes to waterproofing concrete foundations, the main goal is to keep water away from concrete foundations.

Waterproofing is often mistakenly referred to as a foundation waterproofing method. When building a house, a waterproof layer is often applied to the base to prevent moisture from entering the ground. This approach does not prevent water from entering the basement through gaps, cracks and holes during construction. Effective waterproofing of the basement should avoid moisture and water.

If the foil test showed that water soaks into the basement walls and leaves them damp, seal the inside of the walls with a high-quality waterproof paint, such as DRYLOK White Extreme Waterproof (available from Home Depot). As experts in waterproofing and moisture management, Basement Systems contractors specialize in designing waterproofing systems that fit the individual needs of a home. Another waterproofer once told me that in one of his jobs the general contractor sent a worker, after applying the waterproofing, to break the form ties inside a base. Maine builder Ben Bogie uses a peel-and-stick waterproofing membrane or a fluid-applied waterproofing product, also in combination with dimple mats and perimeter drains.

If you are using a waterproofing subcontractor, keep in mind that good waterproofers can be in high demand during the peak season. In fact, there is no waterproofing system that works without proper drainage, to the point that a manufacturer of waterproofing products will not guarantee its products if there is improper drainage or no drainage.