Can you waterproof a basement from the inside?

Some homeowners believe that basements only need to be waterproofed from the inside. They assume that by making the walls tight when finishing the basement, they won’t have to worry about any leakage or drainage problems. This misguided thinking can lead to many problems that extend far beyond just the basement!

As a homeowner, the state of your home is important to you. Not only because it’s a big financial investment, but also because it is your home. Remember how excited you were the day you signed on the dotted line and received your keys? Why wouldn’t you put in the time and effort to make sure your home is in nearly perfect condition?

If you live in an area prone to heavy rainfall, snowstorms and heavy snow melts, then you are aware of the damage this kind of weather can bring to your home and your basement. Being the responsible homeowner that you are, you have decided to invest in basement waterproofing for your home. But there are so many options to choose from, and there are various methods of basement waterproofing to think about. You also have to think about hiring a professional to do the job for you. And honestly, is interior waterproofing different from exterior waterproofing? Well, let’s find out, shall we?

Looking for internal waterproofing services? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered. 

The Difference Between Interior And Exterior Waterproofing 


Exterior Waterproofing

Exterior waterproofing is the first defence against water and consists of gutters and downspouts that collect water and lead it away from your home. This is why it is so important always to keep your gutters clean. Another important part of exterior waterproofing includes a waterproof membrane, which is installed around the foundation of your home to seal out moisture so that the concrete doesn’t absorb it, crack and allow leaks. Next is an exterior drainage system, like a French drain. This system can require some work because it requires excavation along the foundation of the home.

Drain tiles are fitted into the trench around the home, surrounded by gravel and then the entire system is covered with soil. The drain tiles will carry water away from the foundation before it has a chance to enter the basement. Although this method does involve some excavation, it can be well worth it.

Exterior waterproofing is also more expensive than interior waterproofing because it requires more work and more material. Still, it efficiently stops water from getting close to the foundation of your home. When your foundation stays dry, it doesn’t get weak and damaged, and it won’t crack to allow water leaks inside your basement or your home. So in turn, a pricy exterior waterproofing system ends up being reasonable, because it saves you money in the long run.

Interior Waterproofing

Interior waterproofing makes sure that water that leaks into the basement is re-routed out and away from home. These interior drainage systems are made up of pipes and drain that catch leaks or are installed under the foundation to collect excess groundwater. This excess water is directed to a sump pit, which is a large basin that stores water in your basement. Then comes a sump pump, which is a water pump that sits inside the sump pit and pumps water out of the basement and away from your home. Sump pumps usually begin automatically pumping water when it reaches a certain level in the sump pit. Most sump pumps come with a back-up battery so they can continue working in case of a power outage or during a severe storm.

Another method of interior waterproofing is made up of vapour barriers. These are made up of plastic or foil sheets and are installed along the walls of your basement to seal out moisture. Apart from an interior drainage system, interior waterproofing also works to seal any cracks and leaks that are letting water into the basement. These can easily be sealed so that they don’t allow any moisture or humidity to accumulate in your home. Investing in a good interior waterproofing system can greatly reduce the risk of a flood in your basement. These drainage systems are easy to install and generally cost less than exterior waterproofing systems.

Interior and exterior waterproofing both have their pros and cons. Interior waterproofing can only be used to remove water that has already accumulated in your basement, so they are not effective at preventing water from coming getting into the basement in the first place. Exterior waterproofing can be expensive, but it keeps water away from your foundation and from getting inside your home or into your basement. Regardless of the method, you decide on, what’s important is that you are making an effort to keep your home warm and dry. If you have any questions about waterproofing methods, or if you are interested in interior and exterior waterproofing for your home, contact the experts at Triad Basement Waterproofing for more information.

Can You Waterproof Basement From Inside?

Basements are built to take up water as they are built below grade. Humid basements can impair the pillars of your foundation, inflict damage to stored items, stimulate mould growth, and can slim down your home’s market value.

Water seepage into the basement is such a problem that fills homeowners with apprehension. Tiny trickle or small puddle might be a slight hitch for you, but it is, in fact, an alarm for a bigger problem.

Overly humid basements can make a hole into your pocket due to heavy repairs. Therefore, it is imperative to know certain ways to keep your basement dry.

What Is Interior Waterproofing?

Waterproofing outside of house basement drainage -“Interior waterproofing” is a misnomer because everything done inside the basement is more for managing water that has made it through the foundation. The water can be diverted to prevent widespread damage, but it doesn’t take into account the exterior damage that allowed the water through in the first place.

Your basement should still have proper waterproofing on the inside. A working sump pump drains in the centre of concrete flooring, and routine checks with a moisture detector will prevent water from staying around your foundation and causing damage Any cracks in the floor or the walls should be sealed and all the caulking around the doors and windows should be airtight. If the basement is unfinished and you have no plans to finish it, an interior weeping tile system can help divert water.

Waterproofing only the inside of a basement isn’t a permanent solution. It might buy you some time if the outsides of the foundation are weakened, but it can’t prevent all problems. The moisture you notice in the basement is usually a problem that starts from the outside of the foundation. By ignoring the importance of exterior waterproofing, moisture, and mould can become health concerns that spread throughout your home. By combining interior and exterior waterproofing, you get the most solid basement possible. 

Combining Interior And Exterior Waterproofing

Waterproofing outside of house stone foundation: Waterproofing the outside of your foundation is the best way to shore up your basement. Interior waterproofing can prevent water damage from getting worse, but having the repairs done on the outside fixes the weaknesses where the start. This stops water from entering the home, protects the concrete or stone of your foundation from erosion, and prevents the foundation from crumbling. 

Rather than just installing a membrane or using a patching compound inside the basement, exterior repairs prevent large gaps and cracks from growing. A crushed Roundstone barrier and a weeping tile system will work together to move water away from the sides of the foundation rather than let it through and forcing you to stop it at the interior part of the wall.

Interior waterproofing does do one thing exterior waterproofing can’t: protect your basement from internal leaks. If a pipe breaks or the hose on your washing machine gives out, a well-designed basement system can stop the problem from doing more damage. But by making both a priority, you are protecting your basement and the rest of your home from major damage in the future.

Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of internal waterproofing Melbourne services. 

Interior Benefits

The internal system method may be the best option depending on these three reasons:

  • The area cannot be addressed from the exterior due to confined space or no access.
  • The water problem is not a foundation leak. Still, a hydrostatic pressure problem, which means the groundwater under the concrete slab raises up and down and causes the water to penetrate through the basement slab or where the wall meets the floor. This groundwater can also mean that there could be an underground creek where the house was built.
  • The Internal System is a cost-effective solution for unfinished living areas.

Basement Waterproofing Is the Key To Preventing Mold and Promoting Air Quality

Mould can be a serious problem if it develops in your home. Mould will gradually destroy the area where it colonizes and has the potential to create health problems for your home’s inhabitants.

Moulds create allergens (substances that cause allergic reactions), as well as irritants and even toxic substances, called mycotoxins. Anyone inhaling or touching mould or mould spores can develop allergic reactions.

People with bronchitis are more sensitive to mould or poor air quality. Mould grows from tiny spores that are not visible to the naked eye but exist in both outdoor and indoor air. Mould can begin to grow indoors if it is present on a wet surface. The only thing mould requires to grow is moisture or water and dust. As the dust is everywhere, it can begin to grow indoors if it lands on a wet surface. That should tell you something about the hazards of a damp or wet basement.

One of the mistakes many homeowners make regarding water or dampness in their basement is they tend to let the problem go until the timing is more convenient to address it. That can be a huge mistake! Water damage tends to get worse with time, and you don’t want to give mould a chance to develop. If it does, it’ll cost you more in the long run, trying to get rid of it, along with the potential health issues.

If you suspect you have mold in your home and you start looking for solutions, you’re likely to encounter the term “mould remediation,” which means remedying a mould problem. Since mold normally goes undetected until it’s in the advanced stages, enlisting the help of a certified inspector would be a wise choice. Certified mould specialists are equipped to deal with mold in the home and will be current with up-to-date products, procedures, and regulations.

However, when it comes to keeping mold out of your home, few would argue that prevention is the best option. So once you notice a moisture/water problem, have it fixed or looked at sooner than later.

Seepage Problems that Require Waterproofing Inside

Basement seepage occurs for several reasons and from a number of sources. Regardless of how it enters the basement, water that ends up there starts in the ground surrounding the foundation.

Water exists in the ground just about everywhere, although in some places it may be located very deep below the surface. The level of groundwater called the “water table,” is more or less stable depending on the geographic features of the area but can be raised or lowered in times of heavy rains and drought, respectively.

Groundwater under the foundation creates hydrostatic pressure that exerts force upward against the basement floor. Water in the soil around the foundation creates lateral or sideways pressure that exerts a force against walls. Either of these forms of hydraulic pressure can cause cracks and force water into the basement, and pressure increases as more water are absorbed into the soil.

Basement Floor Cracks 

Basement floors are essentially a flat covering that has no structural purpose in the home’s foundation – a basement with a dirt floor is just as strong as a foundation with a poured concrete floor. Accordingly, basement floors are pretty thin, averaging about four inches of poured concrete.

With the floor being so thin, it is common that, when hydrostatic pressure beneath the floor increases because the soil has absorbed more water, the floor can crack in one or multiple places. Since the floor is nonstructural, these cracks don’t represent any danger to the foundation. Still, they are often a source of seepage, particularly when the water table rises due to heavy or sustained rains.

Wall Cracks  

A crack in a poured concrete foundation wall is the most common source of water in the basement. Although poured concrete foundation walls are fairly thick at eight to ten inches, lateral pressure from oversaturated soil surrounding the foundation can exert enough force to create nonstructural cracks in the wall. Wall cracks can also form when a foundation settles or sinks.

Nonstructural wall cracks like these can be identified by their random occurrence and their width, usually less than a one-eighth inch. Structural cracks, which indicate a more serious problem with the foundation, are generally wider than a one-eighth inch and occur in a pattern. A wall with structural damage will have a vertical crack in the centre and two angled cracks across the upper corners. Not visible from inside are vertical racks at each corner where the wall has begun to separate from the adjacent ones.

Cove Joint 

When a foundation is built, the first step is to pour a footing, a wide slab of concrete that describes the perimeter of the foundation and helps to distribute its weight. When that cures, the foundation walls are either poured in forms or built by masons on top of the footing. In either case, there is no bond between the footing and wall, so a tiny gap remains between them.

When the foundation is complete, the basement floor is poured, which also does not bond to the walls leaving another very small gap. This is called the cove joint, and when hydrostatic pressure builds under the foundation, water can be forced through it into the basement.

How to Waterproof Basement Walls from the Inside?

Here are some of the steps you can take to protect basements from water intrusion.

Redirect water away from your foundation

Land grading is important when you have water inside your basements. If the slope of the ground runs towards your foundation, runoff can leach into below-grade rooms during times of heavy rainfalls or accidental water problems.

If the ground slopes are 6 inches 10 feet away from your home’s foundation, you may face drainage issues. Thus, poor grading can compromise the overall integrity of your home.

To stop water from entering the basement, you need to grade your yard. This will help elude the entry of incoming water. So, a key to keeping your basement dry is the positive grading of the landscape (away from your base).

How to grade? By creating mounds of soil or trough-like depressions, you can reshape the landscape to divert the water flow.

Fill cracks and gaps.

If you find water dripping through gaps or cracks into the basement, you need to seal them with hydraulic cement. It contains some additives that aid the cement in adhesion and expansion.

As the sealant sets rapidly, it easily travels deep into the cracks and crevices to prevent more water from coming inside. If this task is beyond your expertise, take help from a professional basement waterproofing company.

Apply a masonry waterproofing product to the walls

If your foil test confirms water seepage in basement walls (inside water source), peel the existing paint off. Seal/coat the interior of the walls with a suitable masonry waterproof product. When the paint dries, the sealant forms a watertight bond to stop water from seeping through. This is how you can waterproof your basement walls from inside.

Add or upgrade gutters or downspouts.

Gutters and downspouts work to channel water away from your house. They play a conducive role in maintaining good structural health of your home or building.

If you lack gutters or sump pumps, consider adding them. If you have already installed downspouts for gutters, do fasten metal or plastic extensions. It will help to capture runoff or excess water and drain it far away from your base.

Check out our Melbourne internal waterproofing services here. 

Install an interior drainage system

Installing a French interior drain and an efficient sump pump system is the best-known method to provide the utmost protection against water dribbling or accumulating in your basement.

This is a bit of a hard task but solves the water problem. To layout the French drain connected with the sump basin via a drainpipe, you’ll have to dig the trench on your basement floor.

Then fill the trench with more gravel. The drain tile takes excess water to the sump basin, and then water is discharged out of your house through an electric pump.

Nothing gives homeowners cold feet than wet basements. Since basements or cellars are constructed below ground level, water can easily get into to make things worse.

The sooner you troubleshoot and find a comprehensive fix to the problem, the easier it is for you to maintain your home and keep the inhabitants safe and healthy.

Interior waterproofing of the basement is a good option to consider if you want the area dry and clean. This is because it is much less invasive and can be done without any substantial exterior excavation.

Also, it doesn’t drive your budget up. Basement waterproofing is a requisite for preventing mould growth and keeping the very area dry. You need to take some necessary steps to yield the best results.

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