Why Should You Waterproof Your Basement?

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Are you sick and tired of your basement flooding every winter through spring? Maybe you’re trying to determine why your basement is flooding and what repairs are available on the market? 

If you want to learn about the primary causes of basement water damage and common repair approaches, this article is for you.

Dalinghaus Construction Inc. has been in the foundation repair game since 2015 and holds over 100 years of combined foundation repair experience. We believe educated homeowners make the best decisions: especially when it comes to waterproofing your basement.   

This article covers the primary causes of basement water damage, common repairs for water-damaged basements, and why you should absolutely waterproof your basement.

Primary Causes of Basement Water Damage

Before we dive into the pros of waterproofing your basement, it’s imperative to understand why your basement is flooding in the first place. Waterproofing a basement is often a multifaceted procedure, involving mitigating future water damage by repairing the basement itself and implementing a proper drainage system.  

Here are common causes of basement water damage:  

Poor Drainage Systems

Basements are particularly susceptible to rainwater and groundwater leaks when there are no proper drainage systems – french drains, gutters pointed away from the home, and inclined concrete at the base of the home. Water needs to be regulated away from the basement.

If the moisture is not directed away from the home, it will settle around the foundation and eventually begin to leak inside through basement wall cracks, cold joints, and porous concrete walls. 

Learn more about – The Water Table

Improper Slope

Just like with all foundations, not just basements, the ground around the home should be set at an angle, sloping away from the home. This uses gravity to shed water away from your basement. When there is no slope or the slope is inverted to run towards the home, water quickly accumulates around the base of the basement and can incur serious structural damage.  

Basement Cracks

Basement cracks are an obvious culprit when it comes to water-damaged basements. Basement cracks can pop up anywhere –

  •   Ceilings
  •   Walls
  •   Floors
  •   Around window frames and doorframes

Cracks provide the perfect opportunity for moisture to leak into your basement and cause a tremendous amount of water damage.

Improperly Maintained Gutters

Gutters are one of your first lines of defense against water-damaged basements. Gutters need to direct water away from your foundation. Ensure that your downspouts are pointed away from your home and that you keep your gutters free of leaves and other debris.

Basement Condensation

Basements are naturally wet and dank spaces, and it is not uncommon for condensation to occur during the winter months. Condensation is particularly prevalent on wooden walls and sheetrock, which can instigate mildew and mold growth.

Hydrostatic Pressure

Water is an incredibly powerful element. As water sits around your basement, accumulating more moisture and more weight, it begins to push against your foundation with a tremendous amount of pressure. This pressure can push outside water through your porous basement walls, causing them to “weep.”

In short, hydrostatic pressure is caused by unmitigated standing water.   

Read also: Rain and Southern California

Common Repairs for Water-Damaged Basements 

Now that we understand the most common causes of basement water damage, let’s cover the most common repair methods used in the foundation repair industry.

Basement Interior Waterproofing

There is a large litany of DIY options to waterproof your foundation from the inside out – epoxy coatings, polyurethane foams, hydraulic cement, and more. Homeowners also utilize dehumidifiers to combat condensation during the winter months.

Professional foundation repair companies utilize carbon fiber wraps in conjunction with epoxy to address basement wall cracks and leaks.    

To learn more about carbon fiber crack repair, read our article Structural Carbon Fiber – Foundation Repair for Cracked Footings (7 Steps). 

Basement Exterior Waterproofing

A far more invasive and, consequently, expensive form of basement foundation repair is exterior waterproofing. This involves heavy excavation around your foundation to expose the basement walls. A polymer-based coating is then applied to the exterior of the foundation. These polymer coatings only last 25 years at the most.

Why Should You Waterproof Your Basement?   

Now that we’ve highlighted the primary reasons for basement water damage and a few common repair options, let’s touch on why you should definitely waterproof your basement.

You should waterproof your basement to:

  •   Avoid mold, mildew, and effervescence (improved air condition for asthmatics)
  •   Preserve the structural integrity of your home
  •   Ensure your property is not water damaged – electronics, furniture, etc.

Water damage is kind of like money in the bank – it accrues interest over time. The longer you go before addressing the water damage in your basement, the worse the damage becomes – detracting from your property value.

In conclusion, here at Dalinghaus Construction Inc. – we highly suggest your implement a better drainage system ASAP if you’re having basement water damage issues. In addition, we also suggest interior basement repair as opposed to exterior repair in terms of efficacy and monetary return.

Are You Ready to Renovate Your Basement?  

In this article, you learned the primary reasons for water-damaged basements, 2 common basement waterproofing repairs, and why you should waterproof your basement.

Are you considering renovating your basement into a living space? Then you’ll need to implement an egress window. To learn more about egress window installations, read our article What is an Egress Window? (Functionality & Benefits).

Dalinghaus Construction Inc. works diligently to educate the world about the best practices for foundation repair through our blog and Youtube channel. We’ve serviced hundreds of foundations in Southern California and Arizona.

If you live in SoCal or Arizona and would like to book a free foundation inspection, click on the link below.


Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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