Concrete Foundation

Should I seal my concrete foundation?

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    Concrete walls may only spring a leak on rare occasions, such as after a particularly heavy downpour or when the snow melts. Nevertheless, some of the walls leak water through holes that are in the concrete. The majority of water damage is caused by leaks in walls constructed below grade, also known as below ground, such as those found in the foundation of a house. The type of leak determines which patch or sealant is appropriate to use.

    This article will teach you how to seal and repair cracks in poured concrete slabs, floors, or walls. It will also cover how to seal cracks in concrete floors, foundations, and walls of other types of masonry.

    The following is a list of all of the current methods that are used to seal control joints or cracks that occur in those building surfaces, along with an explanation of the general procedure and a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of each method: grouts including portland cement, latex-modified, epoxy, modified epoxy-supported, and furan grouts, as well as any other products used to fill or seal cracks in concrete or other masonry surfaces and structures.

    At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer the best range waterproofing services to rectify your water issues.

    What's the difference between dampproofing and waterproofing?

    When it comes to preventing water damage in your home, it is critical that you have a solid understanding of the distinctions between dampproofing and waterproofing. A treatment that is applied to surfaces in order to prevent moisture from penetrating through those surfaces is known as dampproofing.

    On the other hand, waterproofing is a treatment that is applied to surfaces in order to prevent the surfaces from becoming damaged as a result of the presence of water. To put it another way, waterproofing protects surfaces from damage caused by water, whereas dampproofing stops moisture from penetrating the surface in the first place.

    Although both of these treatments are intended to protect your home from the damage that can be caused by water, waterproofing is the approach that will be most successful.

    Concrete Foundation

    What causes that mouldy smell in an old basement?

    It's possible that going back in time to a cellar in an old house is the most efficient way to get started. Surely you have a memory of that odour, the musty and musty-moldy aroma of an old basement. You could smell mould, and the growth of the mould was encouraged by the consistent flow of moisture from the soil through the unprotected walls as well as the concrete slab that you walked across. In days gone by, construction workers rarely bothered to apply even a basic tar coating to the foundations of buildings. They did not have access to large sheets of plastic, which are an effective way to slow down the movement of water vapour from the ground through the concrete slabs.

    In order to effectively waterproof a foundation, you need more than just one product; you need a system that consists of three essential components: a membrane to protect the concrete; a drainage mat to relieve hydrostatic pressure and allow water to drain down, instead of in; and a French drain at the footing level to carry water to a daylight drain or a sump pump.

    First Line of Defense

    The first step in the construction process is to apply a true waterproofing material to the exterior surface of the foundation walls. This is the first component in the system. This can be a coating that is applied with liquid or it can be a membrane that you peel and stick.

    Liquid-applied membrane. For the purpose of waterproofing concrete, more recent generations of liquid-applied materials that make use of SBR (styrene-butadiene rubber) are designed specifically. Because they are completely insoluble in water and are able to withstand hydrostatic pressure (although we do want to limit this pressure, as I'll explain further on), they are able to perform their function as an effective waterproofing agent. Since the substance is sprayed on as a liquid, its application results in a continuous membrane that is one solid piece. A liquid material can perfectly conform to the surface variations at critical areas such as transitions between the footer and the foundation wall, inside corners, or pipe penetrations without the need for a lot of complicated origami.

    Peel-and-stick membranes are an excellent alternative to traditional methods of waterproofing. To get the best possible results, I begin by applying a membrane with a thickness of forty mils to the horizontal ledge of the footing and continuing up the wall for approximately one foot to protect the vital footing joint. Peel-and-stick products with a thickness of forty millimetres and a width of approximately three feet should be overlapping the vertical leg of this cold-joint barrier. In most cases, we will hang the membrane vertically. Primers are required for the majority of peel-and-stick products that are designed to be applied over concrete. As soon as the primer has been rolled on, we remove the backing from the membrane and apply it. This creates a bond between the membrane and the primer that is extremely tenacious.

    After installing the waterproof membrane, we proceed to instal the insulation layer. We only need one inch of foam where we are in Austin; however, in more northern regions, that number would naturally be higher. When it comes to installing the insulation, we have had a lot of success using plastic stab anchors. The anchors come with an adhesive on the back that can be peeled off and stuck to the surface of the wall membrane. Now that these are in place, all that remains to be done is to press the insulation into place so that it stays put. When we instal the drainage mat, we will be able to use the same anchors. The fact that we do not end up with any penetrations through the waterproofing membrane is the most important thing.

    Drain Down

    Many builders believe their work is finished after applying waterproofing to the foundation and proceed directly to the backfilling step of the project. But by doing so, you are allowing water to back up directly against the membrane, where it may find an imperfection and cause a leak. This can be dangerous.

    Placing a drainboard on top of the membrane is the most effective solution to this problem. This drainboard's primary function is to create an air gap, which will enable water that is moving in the direction of the foundation to hit that gap and then continue on its way to the footing drains. Consider the gap to be a pressure-control valve of sorts. It will be more difficult for water pressure to build up against the foundation if there is a gap in the structure.

    In a secondary capacity, the drainboard serves to defend the waterproofing membrane against any rocks, road base, or other types of backfill material that may be present.

    Drain Out

    A method to drain out excess water is an essential third component that must be included in any foundation waterproofing system in order to successfully protect the foundation from water and alleviate hydrostatic pressure. We always instal the conventional French drain system, which is a standard that people have been using on houses for many generations.

    This consists of a drain pipe that is laid in a bed of rocks and is run underneath the ground. In most cases, we will use a 4-inch Schedule 40. Since we discovered that Schedule 20 pipe can collapse (and the black corrugated pipe appears to be essentially worthless), we believe that going with the thicker-walled PVC pipe is the best option.

    The holes have already been drilled, and their bottoms will always be exposed. The pipe that surrounds the perimeter of the area is covered with a coarse gravel or septic rock, which needs to be kept separate from the soil in the surrounding area by using filter fabric so that the soil does not clog the rock.

    Do you need to check local building codes?

    Although local building codes can vary from place to place, the vast majority of them mandate that unfinished basements that will be used as living space must be damp proofed. But what should you do if you are certain that you will complete the basement within a year or so of moving into your new home? The solution is to waterproof the foundation as soon as possible to prepare for that possibility and to ensure that your basement will remain dry regardless of whether or not it is ever finished.

    What is a good waterproofing method?

    There is still access to the method of waterproofing that I implemented in my own home.

    Hot asphalt and rubber are both components of this substance. The final thickness of the coating is approximately one-eighth of an inch, or even greater. In order to prevent the coating from becoming damaged during the process of backfilling, a special insulating panel is placed in the hot liquid. This panel serves two purposes at once: as an insulator and as a drainage plane. The inclusion of rubber in the mixture gives the coating the property of elasticity; consequently, in the event that the foundation cracks, the coating will be able to stretch and cover it, thereby providing protection.

    This cannot be accomplished with proofing compounds. In the event that the foundation wall cracks, as most do over time due to the natural process of shrinkage, water will be able to easily enter your basement. It is also preferable to waterproof from the outside, as opposed to attempting to stop water from entering your basement space after it has already entered. Invest the money now, and make sure the building is watertight before the builder backfills.

    How to Seal a Leaking Concrete Wall

    What Causes the Leaks

    Reinforcing rods that have been set into concrete walls present the possibility of water infiltration. During the process of the home's construction, the rods play an important role in maintaining the stability of the concrete as it cures. At some point, the builders will take out the rods but will still leave the holes.

    As time passes, the building will eventually settle, which will cause the concrete to crack and develop voids. There is a possibility that some of these are so minute that it will be difficult for you to identify them. Any one of these gaps could be used by water to get inside the building.

    Looking for the best waterproofing company? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.

    Patching Holes

    Using hydraulic cement, you can repair any obvious holes or cracks in the surface. This product is typically sold in the form of a powder that, prior to application, needs to be mixed with water. However, some brands come in the form of a putty-like substance that is already ready to be plugged into place.

    You can even apply hydraulic cement as the concrete wall leaks, which enables you to treat the problem as it is occuring. This is a very useful technique. By removing any concrete that isn't securely fastened, the opening can be made slightly larger. After that, mix a batch of hydraulic cement according to the instructions on the package, and then work it into the appropriate spot. Hydraulic cement cures quickly. Mix only the amount that can be utilised in less than three minutes.

    Masonry Waterproofing

    When it has reached its final stage of curing, concrete is a porous material. It is also capable of developing small openings the size of pinholes that function as capillaries to allow water to pass through. A waterproof masonry product should be used to completely encase the concrete wall.

    Apply a thick layer of this material to the wall and work it in all directions to ensure that any pinholes are completely covered. The material is dense, significantly more dense than latex paint, but it can be applied with regular paintbrushes nonetheless. After they have had time to dry, waterproof masonry products combine to form a membrane that is impermeable to water and stops water from passing through the wall.

    Attacking the Source

    Find out where the water is coming from that is getting through the concrete wall. Check to see if a gutter or downspout is causing water damage to a wall that is above grade.

    It is important to ensure that the land surrounding the building slopes away from the structure in such a way that water can flow downhill and away from the foundation. Either install gutters or make sure the ones that are already there are clean and not allowing water to pool up behind them. Put in downspouts that will direct the water several feet away from the foundation of the building.

    Why Sealing a Foundation isn't a DIY Project.

    When most people talk about "sealing a foundation," they are referring to the process of applying an exterior waterproofing membrane. This membrane is a thick coating of asphalt-modified polyurethane that is applied to the walls of the foundation in order to prevent water from penetrating the structure. It is typically a good idea to instal an exterior waterproofing membrane in order to prevent seepage because these membranes are very effective on foundations made of both poured concrete and masonry.

    But there are a number of reasons why it's best to let a professional seal a foundation:

    Sealing a foundation is very labour-intensive.  

    Do you like to dig? Like to dig? You'd better if you're considering a DIY membrane project. The first step is to take down any decks, patios, sidewalks, or planters next to the house in the affected area. Then the real work begins.

    To instal the membrane, the foundation wall must be dug out to a depth of up to eight feet, and the trench should be wide enough to work in. Oh, and because it's right next to the house, all the digging has to be done by hand.

    The right materials can't be found at the hardware store.  

    There are scary stories on the internet about people who "seal" their underground basements with roofing tar and plastic sheets, and the endings are always pretty gory. The polyurethane used by professionals is a special kind made to be in contact with soil. It won't wear away over time like the polyurethane you buy at the store. Depending on the situation, heavy-duty drainage board and insulating material may also be used.

    Drain tile may be needed.  

    When applying the waterproofing membrane, a trained professional will be able to evaluate the groundwater situation and make a recommendation regarding whether or not the foundation would benefit from the installation of exterior drain tile. Even if they guessed correctly about how to install it, a homeowner is not likely to be able to do it correctly and would have a difficult time doing so anyway.

    Got a lot of spare time?  

    Even if you are interested in taking on the job, you will need to devote a significant amount of time to it. Even with the assistance of a few people who are not disabled, the excavation process can take several days to finish.

    The wall must then be meticulously cleaned, the membrane must be applied, and it must be given time to cure before the drainage board or insulation can be installed. Finally, the excavation must be backfilled. That does not even take into account the demolition of any exterior structures.

    How to seal control joint & expansion joint cracks in concrete slabs

    Photograph of a sketch depicting typical crack patterns in a poured concrete slab Here, we will discuss how to select the appropriate method for repairing or sealing cracks in masonry surfaces such as poured concrete floor slabs, concrete foundation walls, or brick or masonry block foundation walls. We will also go over how to apply the method. Epoxy sealants, polyurethane foam sealants, and hydraulic cement crack repair sealants are all types of crack repair sealants that are discussed here.

    In order to assist in recognising foundation defects and to assist the inspector in distinguishing between cosmetic or low-risk conditions and conditions that are likely to be important and potentially expensive to repair, different types of foundation cracks, crack patterns, differences in the meaning of cracks in different foundation materials, site conditions, the history of the building, and other evidence of building movement and damage are described. This is done in order to assist in recognising foundation defects.

    Types of Sealant Repairs in Concrete & Concrete Structures

    Control joint sealant

    Control joints, which are designed to control where cracks appear in concrete that has been placed horizontally or vertically, are themselves sealed against water, frost, debris, and to handle recurrent movement (listed below) using a flexible sealant. This allows control joints to control where cracks appear in the concrete.

    Recurrent movement

    When movement is considered normal, perhaps because of traffic vibration or temperature swings, and when the movement is not threatening structural damage, cracks in concrete should be sealed and repaired using an injection of epoxy resin or polyurethane in areas where repeated movement is anticipated. In my opinion, a flexible sealant should be used in these situations.

    Stop a water leak

    Concrete cracks should be sealed and repaired as soon as possible whenever it is critical to stop water from leaking through a crack as soon as possible, seal those concrete cracks by injecting either epoxy resin or polyurethane sealant into the cracks in the concrete.

    Structural repair

    Seal and repair structural cracks: for some situations (typically where an engineer who is an expert in masonry repair has made an assessment), actual structural repairs are made using injectable epoxy resin and possibly in some (probably low-load) cases by using injectable polyurethane sealant. In other situations, actual structural repairs are made using injectable polyurethane sealant.

    This application of injected epoxy resin is probably most appropriate when cracks have appeared due to non-recurrent stresses. When we epoxy cracked structural concrete or a concrete slab that was broken because of an initial installation error or by a subsequent event, we expect the repaired area to be as strong or stronger than if there had been no crack present. This is because epoxy is a very strong adhesive.

    Structural reinforcement

    Some manufacturers of sealants, such as Sika, offer a seal or wrap-and-seal system that adds additional strength to preexisting concrete structures like concrete columns. This type of system can also be used to seal cracks.

    The utilisation of synthetic fabrics, carbon fibre fabrics, and other wraps may be included in the category of structural reinforcing wrap systems. These products could also be utilised on steel or concrete that has been harmed as a result of the elements, specifically frost, corrosion, or weather.

    Surface repair

    It is possible to apply specialised "healer-sealer" crack sealants to working surfaces, such as industrial work floors or parking decks, that have spider-webbed shrinkage cracks that are not structural in nature. Examples of such working surfaces include parking decks and industrial work floors.

    We have a huge range of waterproofing services Melbourne at Hitch Property Constructions that offers stress-free services for any water problem you got!

    Who are you gonna call?

    So, despite all of your efforts, the water continues to seep into the basement. Are you going to pick up the phone and complain to yourself? A warranty is something that should be provided by a professional.

    Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are a wonderful thing and an admirable pursuit for homeowners, and they even have the potential to keep your basement dry. Do not attempt to do jobs that are better left to professionals such as cleaning your gutters and making sure that the discharge from your downspouts and sump pump is more than ten feet away from the house.

    FAQs About Sealing Foundation

    A concrete foundation is generally not sealed. Although a concrete wall gets wet, water doesn't pool on it as on flat work, so it doesn't need sealing as much. After the concrete has been poured and cured, adding a sealer helps protect it from future damage, corrosion, and stains.


    What happens if I don't seal my concrete? Concrete is a porous material that readily absorbs liquids. In freeze-thaw climates, the expansion of frozen liquids can destroy the surface of unsealed concrete. Oil, salt, fertilizer, and other household chemicals can discolour and damage unsealed concrete.

    You can use a caulk and backer rods to fill the gaps between the foundation and a sidewalk. They are pretty much used in the same way to fill the gaps between the foundation and the home. And in some cases, if the gap is relatively small, you can use the caulk by itself.

    While sealing a concrete driveway can extend the life of the concrete by preventing cracks and fading, it also can be a pain to install. Sealer wears away and needs to be applied every few years. Once the sealer begins to wear, it can crack and peel, making your driveway unsightly.

    The foundation is one of the most important structural elements in any home or building. Building occupants' health and safety depend on the structural integrity of the building's rafters. 

    Sealing the foundations is one way to prevent water damage. A waterproof barrier is applied to the foundation's surface to prevent water from seeping in and causing damage. 

    There are numerous advantages to sealing the foundation of any home or building, and this simple procedure is one of them. Sealing the foundation helps to keep water out, which helps to prevent damage such as cracks and settlement. 

    In addition, it can reduce the amount of heat that is lost through the foundation, which can help improve energy efficiency. Regular foundation sealing is necessary to maintain the value of your home or building.

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