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Waterproofing

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A leaky ceiling or wet basement is the bane of any homeowner. It can lead to destruction of furniture and cause structural damage too. Dampness will also attract wood rot and termites. Waterproofing methods are used to prevent water entering into various sections of building structures. Check out the common causes for leaking basements. Take a look at various options for basement waterproofing.


Waterproofing

Basement waterproofing and foundation waterproofing methods are aimed at keeping water and moisture away from the house basement. Damp proofing methods protect the foundation from moisture. Minor leaks and dampness can be tackled with waterproofing paints and sealers. Waterproofing coating systems form a coat over masonry to prevent moisture from passing through.

They can be applied on house interiors and exteriors. But often the leakage may need a more professional solution - one that takes into account the drainage systems, grading, wall structure and rain gutters. Some waterproofing methods include injection of chemicals such as sodium bentonite or polyurethane into basement cracks to solve the problem of wet basements.

Sodium bentotite swells to many times its dry volume when it is first applied in slurry form. The slurry will penetrate and plug cracks. Basement walls can be coated with waterproofing felt or fabric coated with coal-tar pitch. This serves as an effective barrier against seepage. A film of polyvinyl works as a vapor barrier on the exterior surface of walls and serves as effective waterproofing.

Diverting water away from the foundation of the house is the first step towards waterproofing the basement. Ensure that rainwater and snowmelt does not accumulate near the foundation. A perimeter drain tile or gravel backfill can be effectively used to circumvent any water collection near the house foundation.

This system will relieve hydrostatic pressure and allow the water to travel into the drain tile and away from the house. If you face a problem with downspout discharge, install downspout extender pipes. You can even connect the downspouts to underground pipes.


Basement waterproofing

You can look for signs of water leakage in your basement. Keep a keen eye for any damp spots. Any sign of mold or mildew is indicative of moisture. A leaky basement will give off an unpleasant odor and harbor small insects in nooks and crevices. Causes for basement leakage are many:


  • Improper surface drainage

  • Clogged rain gutters

  • Wrongly positioned rain gutter downspouts

  • Plumbing leakage

  • Cracks in foundation walls

  • High water table

  • Poor exterior grading along the perimeter of the foundation that allows water to flow back towards the house

  • Plant and shrub overgrowth adjacent to foundation walls

  • Leakage in joint walls

  • Floor cracks

Ensure that water flows away from the house and does not collect adjacent to foundation walls. Do not leave open cracks on driveways and patios since they will lead to water intrusion into the foundation. Caulk them and seal them well. Insulating water lines can prevent condensation that can lead to leakage. Direct the downspouts to runoff a few feet away from the house foundation. Ensure that rain gutters are free of leaves and debris.

Ensure that shrubs are planted at least 6 feet from the house foundation so that the roots do not disturb the soil compaction and cause the land to slope towards the house. Proper drainage is essential for any house since it ensures that ground water is properly removed. You can install a sump pump if you cannot ensure gravity drainage. This pump can raise the water to a level that makes it easy to be carried away through a drain line.


Waterproofing contractor

Do your homework before hiring a waterproofing contractor. Check out waterproofing contractors from friends and neighbors. Determine the overall quality of the waterproofing contractor's jobs. Check with the National Association of Waterproofing Contractors if you are considering major waterproofing measures.

First get an inspection done by the waterproofing contractor so that he can give you a proposal and estimate. Negotiate for a written contract with the chosen waterproofing contractor with payment terms clearly specified. Do not pay too exorbitant up front deposits. Instead draw up a schedule of payments that closely tracks the work progress.

Check the warranty offered by the waterproofing contractor. Ensure that waterproofing contractors comply with safety programs. Since many waterproofing materials are flammable, keep them away from fire, smoking materials and any sources of ignition. Working with chemicals can cause skin injuries.

Protective clothing and gloves as well as protective eyeglasses must be used. Use a respirator if you are working with dangerous solvents with deadly vapors. Exercise caution when working with chemical waterproofing sprays for fear of injecting toxic chemicals directly into your bloodstream.


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