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What is Basement Waterproofing

Aug 17, 2007
One of the things that is key to a finished basement is a dry interior. Many have sump pumps and drains to remove excess water from their basements. However the optimum situation is to posses a waterproofed basement.

The waterproofed basement will prevent many of the common issues associated with failed pumps and removal systems. So the question for you is does your house posses a basement that is waterproofed. To answer that question you can do several tests.

The first thing to look for in a waterproofed basement is standing water along the edges of the basement wall and floor. Many times there will be a small spill way that removes the excess water to a sump pump or a drainage line.

If you are lucky and don't find standing water in you basement area you can perform a simple test to see if your basement waterproofing is up to standards. More than likely you will have a cement block wall that protects your basement area from the soil surrounding it. To see if you have a potential basement waterproofing problem through the wall you should tape a twelve by twelve section of clear cellophane wrap to the wall.

Simply check the cellophane wrap after the next heavy rain. If the wrap shows any signs of moisture you have a basement waterproofing problem. This moisture indicates that the waterproof containment system in your basement is not functioning properly.

This can be for several reasons. The basement waterproofing you have can be composed of one or several of the following items.

You may have a waterproof paint applied to the outside of your concrete block wall. This waterproof paint should have been applied to your wall at the time that your house was built. Many times the color of the basement waterproof substance will be black. This waterproofing is more than likely a petroleum based product. Over this substance you may find a plastic sheeting.

The plastic sheeting is a second barrier designed to keep the water away from the cement block walls. This basement waterproofing method however has only about a ten year lifespan as the material will become brittle and damaged as roots and soil movement attack it. Outside of this the house may posses a french drainage system.

The waterproofing allowed by a french drainage system is absolutely critical if you have a seepage problem through your as built basement waterproofing system. The french drain is typically a corrugated plastic tube with one inch holes drilled around it. This pipe is buried 4-6 foot in the ground in front of your foundation wall. The waterproofing of your basement by this method is more of a diversion of water rather than penetration prevention.

So what are your options if you don't have one of these systems waterproofing your basement. The market has created several different systems available to you now. You can paint the interior wall of your structure with a waterproofing substance or install a post build french drain. Either of these options are available to you.
About the Author
Charles Cater writes on many different subjects. Visit his affiliate sites at http://www.affiliatewebsitepromotion.com.
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