Basement Waterproofing Methods and Tips

Waterproofing Systems: Methods for Controlling Water Leaks

Basements leak because water collects around a home’s foundation causing a buildup in hydrostatic pressure that forces water through cracks, normally along joints where the floor and walls meet. Floors rarely leak unless there are cracks.

The following are several types of basement waterproofing systems that offer different solutions and offer various levels of return on investment.

  • French Drain System – this is a system that is buried along the leaking perimeter walls below the basement floor. The French drain consists of a perforated plastic pipe that is connected to a sump pump. The pipe is recovered with cement leaving weep holes that collect water seeping into and through the basement walls.
  • Hollow Baseboard Molding – the hollow PVC baseboard is glued with waterproof epoxy along the joint where the wall meets the floor. The hollow channel created by the baseboard collects seeping water through weep holes and sends it to a sump pump. The hollow baseboard system can save hundreds of dollars over the French drain system.
  • Sump Pumps – collect water that builds up around the foundation through a series of pipes under the basement that are connected to perforations in the sump pump well. This system relies on the buildup of hydrostatic pressure to force water into the sump pump well. This system is limited in its area of coverage, which often requires more than one sump pump system in a large basement.
  • Interior Sealants – this is technically a water sealant application that is spread on the interior walls and floors of a basement to help control dampness that often results in mold and mildew problems. A good waterproofing sealant is often used to support the other three systems above.
  • Humidifiers – provide extra support for interior wall sealants to help control moisture and dampness in a basement. Humidifiers are not good for basements that actually leak water through cracks in walls.
  • Ventilation System – sometimes the water problem is due to condensation due to poor ventilation of the basement. Installing a basement ventilation system often corrects this problem.