Recently we received a call from a potential customer that had water in her basement. She found our company through a search on the Internet and mentioned our approach to waterproofing foundations seemed like more of a permanent solution than some of our competitors which offered foundation waterproofing solutions working from the inside, something that is more of a temporary fix and it prompted me to write this article to explain the correct approach to waterproofing your foundation.
As a homeowner, your biggest investment is probably your house, but not only is it an investment, it is your home, a place where you keep your family safe, secure, and warm and too often we come across homes that have moisture or water in their crawlspace or basement, this can lead to all sorts of issues from damage to health issues related to mold.
Thankfully, there are permanent solutions to waterproofing your foundation. There is a saying “if your drainage is a mess, call us”. This is really where it all starts, your drainage. Since we are based in the soggy and water-saturated area of Seattle and the Greater Puget Sound we have seen these issues come up numerous times, even after another waterproofing contractor has completed their supposed fixes working from the inside, but we know the problems stem from the outside.
It’s much like the analogy of a doctor giving you medicine to hide a problem, rather than diagnose what the problem is, and typically our diagnosis results in resolving the drainage issue, rather than offering temporary fixes to hide the problem.
Here is typically what your solution should entail for waterproofing your home and foundation. A house that is built on a foundation should always have what is called footing drains that may or may not be tied into your gutter drains surrounding the perimeter of your house. If you have water in your basement, it is often because of failed footing drains if there are any footing drains, so what is needed to be done is to first excavate around the perimeter of your foundation.
At this point it is important to excavate to the base of the foundation and put a waterproofing membrane around the entire foundation, it is important to note, that some contractors may put an alternative material, one that does not create a true waterproofing membrane. After the membrane is applied, it is time to install your new footing drains using a perforated pipe, you can ask your local supplier for detailed instructions. Make sure all your footing drains are sloped in the direction to your discharge point away from the house, possibly even to a dry well.
You have now completed a two-part waterproofing system for your house and at this point, water should not be penetrating your house, but you are not quite finished. You still need to order and fill the trench with drain rock, cover with filter fabric, and backfill before you are finished.
I understand visualizing the process can be daunting, especially if you have decks, patios, driveways, landscaping, etc. around your foundation, that’s why it is best to always use a qualified waterproofing contractor in your area. Just make sure they use an approach similar to the solutions we recommended in this article, one that offers a permanent solution with a 100% lifetime guarantee.