Foundation Waterproofing How to – Compare Effective Ways for Stopping Water
Foundation waterproofing can be a band-aid that hides a bigger problem. Find & fix water sources for longer-lasting and drier solutions.
Pinpoint the Source
Why is there water under and around your home foundation? Most of the time, it is either foundation drainage issues or under-slab leaking pipes.
Signs of a leaking foundation include:
- Bad smells
- molding, peeling paint
- wet carpet
- unexplained moisture on the tile
- spotted walls
Foundation Drainage – Know Your Water Sources
They can include broken gutters/downspouts or poor drainage during the rainy season.
- Gutter & Downspout Drainage
Homeowners see it every year. Spring storms, flash floods, and rapid downpours transform yards into massive puddles. Days later, your feet still sink into muddy lawns. Gutter downspout drainage systems help by moving that standing water away from homes.
Consider a French drain. The system is simple to install. Find the supplies at any local hardware store. Foundation French drains can be very effective. They drain subsurface water away from a foundation.
- Foundation Landscaping
Set up foundation landscaping so that it takes care of home foundation maintenance. Learn how to water your garden while keeping foundation moisture levels even. Find planting selection suggestions. See how foundation swales help move water away from the foundation.
- Under Slab Leaks
Under Slab Leaks Sewer, septic, or water pipes break and leak under slabs. They cause unexpected water bill spikes. Symptoms include foundation heaving. Fix the leak. That will fix the moisture problem while avoiding more damage to your foundation.
How do you know if you have a leak under the foundation?
The first step is shutting off all the water in your home. Then checking your meter. If the meter is moving, it may be a water leak. If the meter is not moving, it may be a sewer/septic problem. Unfortunately, these types of leaks need a professional plumber. Call Arch for a more detailed slab leak test and to have the leak fixed. Whatever the water sources, the first stop is fixing it. The next step is waterproofing your foundation.
DIY Concrete Foundation Waterproofing of Cracks
With the water leaks fixed, you can fill foundation cracks.
- Exterior Foundation Cracks
Silicone caulking is an easy DIY fix for waterproofing foundations with cracks. Isolate where on the foundation you need work done. Completely expose cracks. Clean out dirt or debris. If using water, let it dry before applying the silicone. Let the silicone dry before returning any mulch or landscaping products.
- Interior Foundation Cracks
Locate foundation cracks. Completely expose cracks. Do this by removing carpeting or other floorings. Let wet areas dry. Then clean all dirt or debris out of the foundation crack. If using water, let it dry before applying the silicone. Apply the silicone evenly throughout the length of the foundation crack. Run a trowel or scraper over the silicone, making the silicone as flat on the surface as possible. Unevenly dried silicone makes floor covering uneven as well. Let the silicone dry before reinstalling the flooring material.
- Note: Is one side of the crack higher than the other side of the foundation crack? Consider having a foundation expert check that your foundation is level and stable.
External Foundations Waterproofing Membranes & Moisture Barriers
Moisture barriers are vertical layers of plastic that get buried in the ground. As water flows up against a moisture barrier and stops before getting under a home. There are many ways to waterproof foundations. Here are four methods in particular.
- Exterior Insulated Finish Systems (EIFS)
EIFS systems waterproof outer foundation walls. They create visually pleasing coatings which get applied over outer concrete walls. They provide a moisture-resistant surface. It serves the dual purpose of insulating and waterproofing the outside of foundation walls.
- Polymer-Based Liquid Membrane Coatings
These are for both outer walls and floors. Either sprayed on or rolled onto concrete. They are quick to apply and low in cost, but their application can create an uneven surface coverage.
- Self-adhering Sheet Membranes
This provides the consistency that liquid membranes do not. Be careful. They stick to anything. Improper installation leaves gaps, and you need two people to install it.
- Silicone Sealants
There are easy-to-use methods for waterproofing foundations. They serve a dual purpose as a crack filler and sealer. They are best used for one-quarter-inch thick or less-sized cracks. Either use a sprayer or a paint roller for application.
Waterproof foundations. It keeps out the water but might not solve the problem’s source. Early detection and water diversion techniques are your best bet. They reduce future chances of significant foundation waterproofing issues. Do you need help determining the cause or fixing the aftermath? Give Arch a call. We would be happy to inspect your foundation.