Exterior Of A House

How do you waterproof the exterior of a house?

Water is a quiet, damaging element in a home. If your home’s exterior walls are not waterproof, you can face damage from invading moisture. Damp walls are excellent breeding grounds for mildew and mould, which can damage the home and lead to health problems for occupants. With proper waterproofing of a home’s exterior walls, however, such damage can be avoided. Products are available to let you do the work of waterproofing the exterior of your home yourself.

Exterior basement waterproofing is a proactive rather than a reactive way to ensure that you have a dry basement. Ideally, it is done while a house is being built. Still, exterior basement waterproofing can be undertaken with any basement, whether it is a basement of poured concrete or one of masonry block walls. The experts at Accurate Basement can guide you through the process your specific basement needs.

We have a wide range of external waterproofing services at Hitch Property Constructions.

Simple Steps to Waterproofing Exterior Walls

The Exterior Of A House

Check walls for faults.

Waterproofing external walls are the best solution only if the walls become damp as a result of rainwater or moisture. Before shopping around for waterproofing products, it’s important to eliminate any other causes of structural dampness. It could be anything, from cracks in your bricks or condensation within the wall to a burst water pipe. Once you fix the issue, you can apply a waterproofer as a preventative measure. 

Clean your gutters 

The problem with clogged gutters isn’t only that they may flow over the edge, down your walls; they also retain rainwater, which is gradually absorbed by the roof’s wood or fascia boards, potentially leading to a series of problems, including rotten wood, leaks, and mould. You can avoid all these and keep your home healthy by simply cleaning your gutters twice a year.  

Select the right waterproofer 

A series of waterproofing products are available today to help homeowners protect their homes from external moisture. Here are a few products you should consider:

  • concrete waterproofing coating, which is a cement-like product that adheres to concrete and masonry permanently; it can be applied to any surface, including painted walls;
  • silicate-based concrete sealer, which reacts with the ingredients in masonry and concrete to form a waterproofing coating; this sealer can only be used on unsealed/unpainted walls;
  • Waterproofing paint, which is similar to acrylic wall paint, with the main difference that it delivers better waterproofing performance. It’s very important to choose a breathable formulation that is specially designed to allow walls to breathe and eliminate moisture. The product can be applied to surfaces previously painted.

Use plaster waterproofing additive.

Plastering can help improve aesthetics, make walls more solid, and protect them against moisture ingress. Though most exterior plasters have waterproofing characteristics, you can eliminate water infiltration problems and prevent reoccurrence by simply adding a waterproofing admixture to the plaster.

Prepare your walls for waterproofing: Irrespective of the product chosen for waterproofing exterior walls, you have to bring your walls in good condition first. This means that you need to use a good-quality filler to repair cracks and patch holes. Allow the filler to dry optimally before grinding. Then sand away rough, uneven areas, remove dust by cleaning the surface with water and let the walls dry completely to ensure good adhesion between the waterproofer and the substrate.

Apply the waterproofer

You can use a roller or a brush to apply the waterproofer. If a second coat is required, allow the first coat to dry and then apply the second coat fully. Use enough product to create an impenetrable barrier against infiltration.

Test 

Conducting a water-tightness test is very important to evaluate the effectiveness of the products used for waterproofing exterior walls. For this test, water should be sprayed on the wall surface for a couple of hours, keeping the nozzle at a 30-degree angle. Your home will pass the test only if a moisture meter shows there is no moisture. By waterproofing exterior walls, you’ll not only prevent serious damage but also boost the value of your home.  

Why Would Exterior Basement Waterproofing Be Needed?

Wet basements happen because of water in the surrounding soil finding its way through cracks and porous parts of the basement wall. Concrete walls can have spots that allow water to seep through due to problems when the concrete walls were poured, and masonry block walls can develop cracks along mortar joints.

The type of soil also affects water getting through to your basement, too. Soil absorbs moisture and expands; the degree of that expansion differs with the kind of soil. The clay soil that is common in much of Milwaukee and its surrounding area absorbs a lot of water, expands a great deal, and drains poorly. All this expansion and swelling creates pressure around the foundation, and that pressure can force water through any small opening.

What Is Exterior Basement Waterproofing?

Exterior basement waterproofing can deal with all of these issues. The basic method involves excavating the soil away from the external basement wall, installing the appropriate moisture barrier, filling the surrounding area with gravel, and establishing a footer draining system. A sump pump may or may not be necessary. The basement wall may need some prep work, and the moisture barrier can differ; the certified experts at Accurate Basement will be able to tell you precisely which moisture barrier will work best for your basement. The gravel fill is especially important given the kind of soil in our area.

What Are the Benefits of Exterior Basement Waterproofing?

The benefits of exterior basement waterproofing are significant. It prevents water from entering your basement rather than managing water that has already gotten in. It directs water to the exterior drainage system, away from your foundation. The gravel relieves the hydrostatic pressure that can otherwise build up. Most importantly, it gives you a truly dry, pleasant basement. Having an exterior basement waterproofing system means the elimination not only of seepage or wet spots but of nasty musty odours as well, so your basement becomes usable living space. Naturally, it also increases the value of your home.

Exterior Basement Waterproofing

Gutters and downspouts are an essential component of your overall basement waterproofing plan.

Make sure gutters are clean.

The frequency you need to clean them varies directly with the maturity of foliage around your house.

At our starter home, we had two, 100+-year-old maple trees towering directly over our house. I would need to get up there at least twice a year to perform a HEAVY cleaning.

By comparison, our current home is in a newer subdivision. No tree on the block even approaches our roofline. Regardless, get up there at least once a year to give them a quick clean out ensuring all gunk is clear, including loose asphalt sediment that erodes from your shingles.

If you have a power washer, bust it out and make quick work of it. Otherwise, a ladder and garden shovel should do the trick. Always remember proper safety techniques on ladders. 

Make sure gutters are properly pitched. 

If your gutters are clogged or pitched improperly, water will accumulate or flow away from downspouts causing it to fall over the edges instead of where you want it to go.

If it’s falling over the edge of your gutters, you might as well not even have gutters. Water will continue to fall at the base of your house, near your foundation, which is exactly where the gutters are trying to divert it away from. This water will eventually find its way into your basement instead of the sewer.

If you suspect your gutters are improperly pitched or inadequately sized for your roof, head out during your next heavy rain and take note of your gutters performance.

Alternatively, get up there with your garden hose and spray away; if there is substantial accumulation with a hose, it’s likely not keeping up with moderate rain either.

Looking for external waterproofing Melbourne? Check out Hitch Property Constructions.

Downspouts & Downspout extensions 

Now that your gutters are performing well don’t get sloppy on the downspouts. There is not much downspout, but every downspout should have an extension.

I’ve seen them done in many ways. Pieces of extra downspout, flexible tubing (usually comes in brown or green), or automatic versions which rollout during rain and retract otherwise are most common.

I use the flexible tubing version for my home, but the key is to make sure its dispensing water 4-6 feet from the house and away from your foundation.

Landscape Grading

The pitch of everything surrounding your house is another key component to successful exterior basement waterproofing.

Dirt/Mulch/Grass 

Seems simple enough, and it is. People don’t think to look at it or fix it. The trick here is to make sure the grading around your foundation is tapered away from your house.

As you add new mulch annually make sure you add more towards your house and less away from it creating a gently slope to carry away water. It doesn’t need to be dramatic, just enough to let the water flow naturally.

Concrete/Asphalt

Over time, concrete and asphalt will tend to settle and usually in the wrong direction. This creates a pitch towards your foundation.

There are options (some more expensive than others) to fix this. Asphalt is usually easier to repair compared to concrete. If concrete is an issue, you may want to explore mud-jacking. I have no first-hand experience with that process, but it’s one way to avoid completely replacing sunken concrete.

Benefits of Exterior Foundation Waterproofing

Protect Your Family Members With Medical Conditions

Your home is a space to give your loved ones somewhere safe to call their own. The problem is that home can sometimes cause them more problems.

Dampness and moisture can aggravate certain medical conditions, especially respiratory conditions.

Mould spores are nothing to joke about, so you want to keep them out of your home as much as you can.

Exterior foundation waterproofing can stop the mould spreading before it can get a chance, meaning your family stays happy and healthy.

Waterproofing Covers All Areas Where Leaks Could Come In

Do you think that you’ve covered everything when it comes to waterproofing your house? Unless you have the expertise, you could well be missing a spot, and water can still be getting in.

When you hire an expert to waterproof your home, they’ll identify and waterproof all possible entrance points to your home.

Areas of your home’s exterior that local experts will waterproof include:

  • Your chimney and roof
  • Windows
  • Siding
  • Decks and more.

You’ll be amazed at what needs waterproofing in your home.

Foundation Waterproofing Protects Your Belongings

Damp and mould are the number one enemy of your belongings.

You’ve got to ensure you’re doing your best to keep them safe. If it gets into your home, it can run down walls quicker than you’d think.

If you have anything against these walls, you’re looking at damage almost instantly. It’s worse if you’re storing items in a damp room, such as a basement. You could find you lose a lot of possessions to mould before you even know it.

Exterior foundation waterproofing will stop that water coming into your home and encouraging mould, so your possessions are safe.

Protect The Aesthetic Of Your Home

Every homeowner wants their home to look good.

Depending on the neighbourhood, you may be required to keep it looking up to code at all times too. You may have a beautiful paint job on your exterior, but water can damage it quickly.

Peeling paint isn’t a good look, so you want to avoid it. Whether you paint your home yourself or have someone paint it for you, you’ll want to waterproof the exterior first.

This will stop water from damaging the paintwork, and ensure the paint stays looking good for longer. Many local painters will waterproof your home before they paint, so ask yours if they can provide that service.

Exterior Foundation Waterproofing Stops Water In Its Tracks

Yes, some water prevention methods aren’t up to the task.

Damp proofing, for example, can stop the water reaching the inside of your home. However, it doesn’t stop it penetrating the exterior of your home.

Over time, this will lead to structural problems and more issues for you to deal with. It may seem easier or cheaper, but it may not be the right way to deal with water in your home.

Waterproofing your exterior foundation stops water from getting into even the exterior of your home, meaning it can’t cause any damage at all.

It’s the best way to protect your home.

It Raises The Value Of Your Home

A building that suffers from damp or moisture inside is a red flag to any potential homeowners.

It shows them that there are serious problems with the home and that it’s going to cost them a lot of time or money later down the line to fix them.

It will put a lot of buyers off and even lower the value of your home.

If you use exterior waterproofing on your foundation, on the other hand, it shows buyers that you’ve taken good care of the property.

You’ve stopped the water in its tracks, meaning your home is dry and safe for all.

You’ll see the value of your home rise if you use this method to waterproof your home, so it’s worth considering if you’re thinking of selling.

Does Your Home Need Exterior Waterproofing? Contact Your Home Exterior Specialists Now! 

Exterior Foundation Waterproofing Is A Long Lasting Solution

The problem with a lot of waterproofing methods is that they’re only quick-fix solutions.

You may think you’ve stopped the water from getting into your home, but it’s found a way in again.

Exterior foundation waterproofing, on the other hand, is a much more permanent solution. It creates a barrier that will stop any moisture from finding its way into your home, meaning you can sit back and relax.

In some cases, it’s even been known to last a lifetime!

Protect Your Home’s Structure

Damp does so much more damage than you’d know.

It can look unsightly, cause health problems, and damage your possessions. What you don’t know is that it’s damaging the house itself.

Take your roof, for example.

When water gets in, it can cause the roof beams to rot if left long enough. Soon, this damages the entire roof.

Leave it long enough, and you’ll have to replace the entire roof. If you’re vigilant and choose exterior foundation waterproofing, you’ll stop any of this from happening.

Increase Space In Your Home

If you’ve protected your home against damp, then you won’t have any spaces in your home that you can’t use.

The basement, for example. Now that you’ve protected it, you know it won’t get damp. You can use it as a hobby space, or use it as an extra room.

You’ll never have to worry about water getting in and ruining that space.

At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer Melbourne external waterproofing services. 

How to Waterproof an Exterior Wall

Step 1

Strip the finish from the concrete portion of your exterior wall using paint stripper or by hiring a professional to remove the finish. You must expose the bare concrete in order to allow the waterproofing product to penetrate and protect the wall.

Step 2

Wash the wall with the power washer and a mild detergent to remove all residue of the chemicals that were used to strip the wall.

Step 3

Patch any cracks in the concrete larger than the size your waterproofing product will effectively seal. Use a trowel and concrete filler to fill the cracks, levelling the filler so that it is flush with the existing wall. Allow the filler to dry thoroughly before proceeding to the next step.

Step 4

Sandblast the wall or brush it with the wire hand brush until it is rough to the touch. A rough texture is required to allow the product to “grip” the surface.

Step 5

Rinse the wall thoroughly with the power washer or hose to remove any debris. If indicated by the manufacturer, keep the wall moist during the application of the waterproofing sealant.

Step 6

Apply the waterproofing sealant to the wall with a brush or roller. Make sure you apply enough product to coat the wall despite the rough texture thoroughly. If more than one coat is indicated, allow the wall to dry before applying the second coat.

As you can see, there are all kinds of reasons why you should consider waterproofing your exterior foundation. It’s long-lasting, effective, and will have a positive effect on your family’s health and well being.

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