There are various methods for waterproofing a basement from the inside, however the best way to ensure a basement is sealed is by waterproofing the foundation on the exterior of the house.
Exterior foundation waterproofing requires digging a trench on the outside of one’s home, but it is worth it to ensure a basement is leak proof, or it may be necessary if there are big cracks in the walls. Once the house is excavated to the full depth of the foundation, cracks can be repaired from the outside and then a waterproof coating or membrane can be applied. These keeps moisture from seeping through the walls, but as an extra safety precaution, drainage panels added on top of the coating or membrane keep water from reaching the walls to begin with.
Waterproofing the foundation requires more than just sealing the walls, however, gutters and landscaping play a huge role in keeping the foundation dry as well. Clogged gutters cause water to accumulate in a certain spot. This water will overflow and pour down the side of the house and pool at the basement level. Improperly pitched gutters cause the same thing. Instead of leading water away from the foundation, water pours right down to the base of the house and sits there. This water will eventually find a way into your home, especially it if is sitting there for a while instead of ending up in the sewer system. Having clear and properly placed gutters can eliminate this problem.
Down spouts and down spout extensions also help bring water from the gutters away from the home. Down spouts should lead water at least 4 to 6 feet away from the foundation, but some experts suggest up to 20 feet away from the home. (This Old House) At the end of the down spout a dry well can be installed. A dry well is simply a hole dug in the ground that is filled with rocks for better seepage that leads, and keeps, water away from the foundation.
Landscaping can help keep a foundation waterproofed as well. If the grading around the house goes uphill towards the foundation, water is less likely to pool around the house. This can be done simply by adding more mulch closer to the house, or by doing the same thing with dirt as well.
Waterproofing the exterior foundation can be a bit of work, but it is worth it to ensure that the foundation, and subsequently the basement, is entirely dry. For more information on foundation waterproofing, please feel free to contact us.