A lot of people think of basement waterproofing as putting a sealer on their basement walls. This method only tends to be helpful if you’re experiencing minor dampness on the walls and even then there’s no guarantee. Interior sealers tend to be ineffective because they are unable to handle the build-up of hydrostatic pressure that water exerts on a foundation. Ever try to push a ball into a pool of water? The pressure pushing the ball back is hydrostatic pressure. Remember how hard it is to hold the ball down? If you times that by a thousand you’ll have an idea of the stress your basement is under. So when water is under hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds of pressure, a sealer is not going to be capable of holding that water back. Getting a dry basement means doing one of two things: Exterior waterproofing or Interior Pressure Relief System.
EXTERIOR BASEMENT WATERPROOFING
Exterior Waterproofing – The exterior of a home or building is excavated down to the footings to seal the walls with a combination of foundation sealers and plastic. Next a drainage board is installed against the building. Then a French Drain is installed next to the exterior footing and run away from the building by gravity. If this is not possible the water is directed into a sump pump on the outside of the building where it is pumped safely away from the structure.
INTERIOR PRESSURE RELIEF SYSTEM (FRENCH DRAIN)
Interior PRS (Pressure Relief System) – Also known as a French drain, the second waterproofing solution is installing a perimeter drain on the interior of the basement. This consists of an underground piping system surrounded by crushed stone, which is then concreted over. All the underground piping is then commuted into an interior sump basin where the water is then pumped into a sewer line or to the exterior of the building.
(Note: These systems can be either full perimeter or partial depending on your needs.)
At Main Line Waterproofing we can explain the ins and outs of both exterior basement waterproofing and Interior Pressure Relief Systems and see which method, if either, is right for you.