How to Effectively Waterproof Your Foundation
Did you know water is one of the most common causes of foundation damage? If left unchecked, moisture will damage your home and make daily life more difficult.
Basement Authority of West Virginia has been helping homeowners keep their foundations protected from water issues since 2003. We know how and why water gets into your foundation — and the best ways to stop it.
Understanding the Importance of Foundation Waterproofing
You probably know your home’s foundation supports the weight of the structure and allows it to remain stable. Ultimately, it is one of the most important parts of your home.
That’s why protecting it from water is a valuable investment. Having a compromised foundation may cause serious structural problems or—in the worst case—complete collapse. When it comes to foundation strength, there are three key factors to consider:
- Type of soil your home is built on
- Depth of your foundation
- Quality of your home’s construction
These all play a role in determining the strength of your foundation, and they can all be affected by water. Let’s review how moisture actually causes damage so you can easily identify problem signs before they get worse.
Identifying Signs of Foundation Water Issues
Just as a doctor looks for symptoms to diagnose an illness, identifying signs of water damage will provide context for what is happening to your foundation. Spotting these symptoms early can make the difference between a simple waterproofing fix and costly foundation repairs.
Cracks and Fissures in the Foundation
Cracks and fissures in your foundation are a clear indication that soil has shifted, likely due to water. After heavy rain or snow, water seeps into the ground, leading to erosion.
Some of this water may also soak into your foundation and whether its surface (leading to cracks). Foundation cracks will lead to more significant problems, such as water infiltration in your home, wall cracks, or uneven floors.
Musty Odors and Mold
If you notice dampness, mold, or musty odors in your crawl space or basement, it may be a sign that water is seeping into your foundation.
Eventually, the moisture will also lead to mold growth, creating an unhealthy and unpleasant living environment. Mold can cause respiratory problems and other health issues, especially for those with allergies or asthma.
Efflorescence refers to the white deposits that often arise on walls, floors, and ceilings in damp areas.
It appears when water mixes with minerals found in building materials like concrete. This is an early sign that water has infiltrated the foundation and will likely cause damage.
Pooling Water Around the Foundation
If you notice water pooling around the foundation of your home, it’s probably due to faulty yard drainage or malfunctioning gutters.
Unfortunately, water around your foundation easily seeps through cracks and fissures, and also puts a lot of pressure on foundation walls—leading to even more damage.
Overall, it is crucial to keep an eye out for any signs of foundation water issues. Addressing these issues quickly will protect your home’s foundation from worse damage.
Choosing the Right Foundation Waterproofing Method
So, foundation waterproofing is important because it helps you avoid extensive damage, but what are the methods that actually work? There are several methods of waterproofing, including exterior waterproofing, interior waterproofing, and drainage systems.
Exterior waterproofing is a tried-and-true way to prevent water damage. There are a couple of different tools used for exterior waterproofing, some of which are already standard for most homes today.
Gutters and Downspouts
One of the most well-known examples of exterior waterproofing is a gutter system. Most homes have some type of gutter system.
With proper gutters, precipitation is captured quickly and then moved away from your home’s foundation through downspouts. Keep in mind, downspouts work especially well if they extend about 10 feet away from your home.
Underground Drainage System
Other exterior waterproofing methods involve excavating around the foundation of your home and applying a waterproofing membrane and a drainage system.
The membrane is applied to the exterior walls of the foundation, creating a barrier that’s meant to prevent water from seeping through. A drainage system is then installed to direct water away from the foundation and prevent it from pooling around the base of your home.
While this method has been done for years, it is costly and time-consuming. Consider if you actually want an installation crew excavating your yard for a few days.
While exterior waterproofing options are useful, interior waterproofing is often easier and quicker to install. Generally, interior waterproofing is used to block or redirect any water that comes in through floors and walls.
Some examples of interior waterproofing solutions include:
Interior waterproofing is helpful for homeowners with limited yard space, and the solutions don’t take up much space, so your basement or crawl space stays functional.
Vapor Barriers and Waterproofing Sealants
Waterproofing sealants are used to literally seal walls and floors, creating a barrier between water and your home’s foundation. They are incredibly effective, but only if they are applied correctly and are made with high-quality materials.
Vapor barriers are a popular sealant choice for many homeowners. They can be installed in both basements and crawl spaces. However, attempting to install store-bought vapor barriers on your own can lead to less than desirable results.
Professional installation ensures that the vapor barrier has a clean seal. Basement Authority of West Virginia uses CrawlSeal™, a 20-mil vapor barrier that is practically tear-proof and keeps water out for good.
Waterproof Your Foundation with Help From Basement Authority Of West Virginia
Choosing the right waterproofing method for your home’s unique situation is essential for preventing water damage to your property, safeguarding your family’s health, and maintaining your home’s value.
Identifying signs of water damage and choosing the right waterproofing method is the best way to keep your foundation protected for years to come. Remember, prevention is always preferred when it comes to your foundation.
Waterproofing your foundation early will help you avoid larger foundation problems in the future and cut down on costly repairs. If you’re interested in learning more about foundation repair, or you want to schedule a free inspection, contact Basement Authority of West Virginia today!