Waterproofing vs. Water Management

August 19, 2016 8:42 pm Published by Jane Azzinaro

When your home is first built, the builder is liable for anything that goes wrong the first year- cabinets falling from the walls, hot water heaters breaking, and basement leaks. The only way to waterproof a basement is to seal the foundation from the exterior.

Surface water accounts for a small percentage of water and is usually directed away from your home through grading. The majority of water comes from subterranean capillaries. These capillaries dump water into the original excavation’s backfill around your home. Typical exterior waterproofing consists of parging which is nothing more than a thin layer of cement to fill cracks, voids and rough spots in your wall followed by tar. Tar generally has a shelf life of five to ten years.

This is the only true way to waterproof a basement and when it wears out it requires excavation around each wall, all the way down to its footer to replace the coatings. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that for each foot down, an excavation must also go at least a foot out. You will require not only space for the trench, but for the dirt. Any obstructions, including plants, will need to be removed. Excavation is time consuming, messy, expensive, and does not solve an entire basement problem. Excavation does not address hydrostatic pressure or moisture already in your walls.

Water management is meant to solve the water problem by controlling any water or moisture before it causes any damage or concern. A proper water management system works to alleviate pressure on walls and floors by giving water an easy path to follow without coming into your basement.

By properly treating your basement walls, you can stop further decay and water will have no chance to sit before exiting your home. Unlike excavation, a properly executed water management system can carry long term warranties. Excavation generally carries a one to five year warranty. The other major drawback to excavation is the costs involved. Water management can be performed for a fraction of the cost!

If you would like to know your options regarding waterproofing and water management, contact Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing for your free inspection. Our experts can explain the differences and possibilities for your home, and leave a written estimate so you know exactly what will be involved. Call Mid-Atlantic today.

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This post was written by Jane Azzinaro