There are many possible methods that can help waterproof a leaky basement, but they come down to two main types — interior or exterior waterproofing. Interior waterproofing isn't right for all basements, so it's important to learn more about it so you can find out if it's the right solution for your home.
Three techniques make up internal waterproofing. The first is an interior drain system, which is installed in the concrete basement floor to carry collected moisture out of the home. The second is a sump pump system. This requires a sump pit to house the pump and collect the majority of the water. The pump then moves the water out via the drain trenches.
The third technique is sealing the basement walls. Sealing begins with patching any cracks or holes in the concrete. Then a thick concrete coating is applied to create a watertight seal. This is followed by the application of a silicone sealant to further prevent water incursion. Finally, waterproof paint is applied over the coatings to further ensure water doesn't leach through the walls.
Interior waterproofing is often chosen because of the following benefits:
- Landscaping — No exterior excavation is necessary, so there are no concerns about damaging the landscaping around the house.
- Speed — Since excavation isn't necessary, interior waterproofing can be completed quickly in an unfinished basement, although the process will take longer if the basement is finished.
- Immediate — Interior waterproofing can be completed even if it is still wet and raining outside, while exterior methods must be done during fair weather.
- Cost - Generally, interior waterproofing methods are more economical as they don't require as much labor, time, or equipment to complete.
Of course, interior waterproofing isn't always the best choice. Exterior options may be better if any of the following is a concern:
- Disruption — In finished basements, wallboards and flooring must be removed before waterproofing methods can be used, and the basement will be unusable until the waterproofing is complete.
- Suitability — Not all water problems can be fixed with interior waterproofing. For example, if there is high hydrostatic pressure due to a high water table surrounding your home, then the water can eventually work its way through the walls in amounts that the sump pump can't handle.
Contact a basement waterproofing service, such as ACCA, to find out if interior waterproofing is right for you.