How does water enter my basement?

When your foundation is built, either through cinder blocks, stones, bricks, or concrete, there are waterproof properties that come with these materials. But after years of moisture sitting against that foundation there is a deterioration that occurs, as the cement that is holding the foundation together begins to crumble. That allows water to seep between the joints that hold it together, or in the case of a poured foundation, cracks start to form which allows water to seep in.

This process is sometimes sped up exponentially when a new home is built with bad materials or poor workmanship, which causes the foundation to crack prematurely. That in turn allows water to seep through.

Houses are sometimes built within a high water table, which means without a proper waterproofing system the water surrounding the basement will enter through the space where the wall meets the floor, and also enter through cracks in the floor. Sometimes there is so much water that it causes pressure to build up under the floor, making the floor heave up, creating large cracks and bumps in the concrete. The technical term for this process is hydrostatic pressure.

Also water may enter through a window, if there is poor drainage inside the window well.

Window wells have a drainage tube, which connects to the existing weeping tile system around the house. Sometimes these window well drains will get clogged with years of debris, and if combined with bad grading around the house (which directs water towards your window), the window well will fill up like a bathtub. Water will enter through the window itself, causing a large amount of damage to the home. It is very important to have your window wells checked by a specialist on a regular basis so that you can protect the home from serious damage.

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What is the difference between interior and exterior waterproofing?

The main difference between these two processes is that exterior waterproofing stops any water from entering your basement from the outside, which allows the basement to feel dryer, as there isn’t any moisture within the foundation walls. The disadvantage with exterior waterproofing is that it costs a considerable amount more than the interior option. Also, the exterior option is not always possible due to tight spaces between different homes, and extremely wet soil conditions, which makes it almost impossible to excavate safely.

Interior waterproofing stops the water after it has entered into the basement and is controlled through a series of membranes and weeping tiles that redirect that water away from the finished interior.

The disadvantage of the interior waterproofing solution is that you are not addressing the problem at its source, but rather directing the water away after it has already entered the basement. The upside to interior waterproofing is that it costs a considerable amount less than the exterior option.

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Why is basement waterproofing important?

Basement waterproofing is a very important part of the maintenance of your home, which will be the biggest investment of your life. When a basement wall is neglected there will be a significant amount of damage that can happen. Walls can start to bow inwards, which can affect the safety and structure of your home. Water builds up behind the walls and deteriorates the cement holding it together, and as the years pass by and the wall becomes weaker. The cement holding it all together then begins to fail, which allows water to enter your home and cause damage. Thankfully all this can be prevented by simply waterproofing your foundation walls and making sure that you have proper drainage.

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