Should I waterproof my basement from the inside or outside?

Anyone who has dealt with a flooded basement knows how frustrating and messy cleanup and remediation can be. Add to that the cost of repairs, and you’ll see why waterproofing the basement makes sense. Basement waterproofing not only prevents floodwater and moisture from damaging your basement floor and walls but more importantly, it keeps your home dry and free of mould.

When waterproofing the basement, you have three options. You can waterproof the interior or the exterior or both. Let’s see what each involves.

If you’re considering completing your basement, have undergone a flood you might be looking into different methods to waterproof your basement. There are two distinct methods to waterproofing your basement: exterior and interior.

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

Waterproofing the Basement Interior

Sealing the interior is the first step in preventing future water damage from leaks or flooding. The process starts by opening a trench inside the basement. Next, an internal French drainage system is installed within the trench to direct water that gathers to a sump pump. After this, the trench is sealed with concrete. Internal sealants are then used to seal cracks that may let water seep through to the basement.

Though they cannot stop flooding in the long term, sealing closes up cracks on walls, floors and ceiling, so no water gets inside, the most effective solution to flooding is to install basement sump pumps. When submerged, the sump pump will drain out large quantities of water, quickly eliminating the threats posed by floods, including water damage.

Concrete breakout is a common technique in full interior basement waterproofing. It’s useful in identifying leaks and potential leaks in the basement and walls of the foundation. For an amateur, this is hard, risky work, but for waterproofing experts, it’s a relatively easy repair that takes no time.

Summers can be hot and humid in Virginia, something that can make the indoors unbearable. If you find there’s too much moisture in the air, consider installing a dehumidifier. It will bring down the moisture levels in your basement to about 50 per cent. Reducing moisture levels will discourage mould growth and reduce the amount of time you’ll need to run your air conditioner.

Don’t forget to install a basement grated drain pipe, as it will keep floodwaters out of your entryway.

Waterproofing A Basement

Waterproofing the Basement Exterior

No matter how beautiful the outdoors look, danger always lurks around the perimeter wall, especially the soil surrounding the basement. Telltale signs that you have moisture issues emanating from the outside include damp cold floors and water puddles. Exterior waterproofing not only keeps the basement dry, but it prevents moisture buildup and stains as well as mould and mildew from taking over your home. When coupled with internal proofing, exterior drainage will keep water out of your home.

The first step in waterproofing the exterior is channelling water away from the basement and foundation walls. For this purpose, you will have to install gutters and downspouts. Installation is pretty simple and will cause minimal disruption to your yard or landscape. If yours is in place, make sure it’s functioning properly and not clogged.

Next, excavate the ground around your foundation and install a waterproofing membrane topped by drainage panels. This will stop groundwater from coming into contact with the basement walls and provide an easy path for water to follow down to the drain below your foundation. Ensure it’s sloped so that water doesn’t collect around the perimeter. Alter the slope or grading of soil around the home if that helps.

If you have a driveway, create drains to channel water away from the home to a drainage area. Ensure yours have metal grates to keep debris and leaves that can cause clogging out.

Signs That You Need Basement Waterproofing

As a homeowner, there are few things more alarming than water intrusion. The structural damage that water can cause is serious, the health issues associated with mould are urgent, and the risk of further damage to your home is of the utmost importance.

Once water gets into your home, the damage it causes can easily mean that you’ll need to replace insulation, drywall, and, depending on the extent of the damage, the framing.

Mould is difficult to remediate and costly in both the health issues it can cause and the dollar amount you will spend to mitigate the source.

If you notice any of the following eight signs in your home, contact a waterproofing professional immediately:

  • Water puddles in the basement
  • Water stains on the floor or walls
  • Leaks coming from the floor or walls
  • Condensation on basement windows or doors
  • Swelling or warped doors
  • The smell of dampness that doesn’t seem to go away
  • Visual confirmation of mould or mildew
  • Cracking on the floor or walls

In the event that a water leak has gone unnoticed for a long period of time or moisture issues have not been addressed appropriately, your home’s foundation can be compromised and must be repaired.

Foundation repairs are handled by structural engineers and are more extensive than the waterproofing itself. If you notice cracks, leaks, or bowing in your basement walls, it’s most certainly time to call in a foundation repair specialist.

Why Interior Repair is Usually a Better Approach

A number of problems can cause crack repair wet basements. From our experience, the best approach to a leaky basement comes from the inside.

It takes less time

It takes a great deal of time and effort to remove and replace the soil, exterior drainage systems, decks, fences, landscaping, and utility lines outside of foundation walls. There is also an increased risk of damaging tiles, utility lines, root systems, requiring additional time to repair them.

It is less expensive.

Injecting into an interior crack may cost several hundreds of dollars, but removing and replacing soil and landscaping may cost several thousand. Also, there is less risk of additional costs for repairing and replacing damaged tiles, utilities, fences, decks, and landscaping.

It can be done during any weather.

Exterior work cannot be done when the ground is frozen or wet. Also, it requires an entire crew to be scheduled during dry weather. Work on other projects may delay their ability to work on yours. An interior crack injection can be performed during any weather and requires only one person.

It detects the source of the leak.

If the problem isn’t visible on the inside walls, you can’t be certain of the source of the water. From the outside, there could be any number of rod holes leaking. The only way to know the exact source of the leak is to observe the entire interior wall from the inside.

It repairs voids in the wall.

Injecting a polymer into cracks in foundation walls fills the voids through the wall while exterior repair only patches the outside.

It lasts longer than concrete patches.

Concrete patches will eventually crack and leak due to the same conditions in the soil that caused the leak in the foundation in the first place. Polymers are waterproof and expand and contract during temperature changes.

It is less dangerous.

Anytime crews dig a hole on the outside of a foundation wall, there is always an increased risk that the soil will cave in or there may be another type of mishap on the excavation site.

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

Quality of the Repair Depends on the Person Doing It

Crack injections for crack repair in VirginiaFrom a warranty standpoint, whether the leak repair is done from the inside or outside doesn’t matter. Both methods are commonplace in the industry, and if exterior repairs weren’t effective, those contractors would be out of business. Like anything else, the quality of the work is the best determinant of the success of a repair.

What is most important is the skill and attitude of the professional waterproofing working on your basement leak. They must be able to make an accurate diagnosis of the problem and repair the leak without taking any shortcuts. The reputation of the contractor and personal testimonials are often the best way to judge who will do the best job of fixing your basement leak.

Methods for Waterproofing the Interior of Your Basement

There are a number of different methods (and types of products) you can use to waterproof your basement from the inside. The four most popular methods include:

  • Waterproof concrete coatings: Thick, cement-like coatings that permanently adhere to your walls. They’re intended for concrete or masonry, like cinderblock walls. You’ll brush the material on using the type of brush recommended by that brand’s instructions. Most of these coatings can’t be applied to walls that have already been painted.
  • Silicate concrete sealant: Sometimes, these are referred to as “densifiers.” Like concrete coatings, they can’t be applied to painted walls. They are appropriate for masonry and cement walls, as well. They penetrate the wall, so they don’t flake off. Usually, once they are cured, you can paint them over them. Be sure to check the label, if that’s your plan. 
  • Plastic sheets/panels paired with a drainage system: This is one of the more expensive solutions; rather than trying to prevent the water from getting through the basement walls at all, it is trapped between the wall and the plastic. It then runs down the plastic and is collected by a drainage system that is emptied by a sump pump. 
  • Waterproofing interior paint: A specialized acrylic or latex paint that is applied in a very thick layer (or many thin layers, depending on the brand) to the interior of the basement wall. 

Avoid Flood Water and Moisture Problems

Water in the basement is any homeowner’s worst nightmare. As well as causing the wood to rot and metal to rust, damp basements create good conditions for mould to grow and pests to thrive and infect your home. The cost of mould remediation and water damage repairs can run into thousands of dollars. Why wait till your basement gets flooded to act?

You can avoid all the above problems by waterproofing and exterior of your basement. Never attempt a DIY as you could apply the wrong solution to your basement. Where leakage has occurred, we encourage you to use interior and exterior basement waterproofing solutions.

Interior waterproofing can suffice, but you never know what nature has in store for you. You may wake up one day and find floodwater in your basement. For this reason, it’s best to install internal and external basement drainage systems.

Should I Waterproof The Inside Or Outside Of My Home?

If you’re considering completing your basement, have undergone a flood you might be looking into different methods to waterproof your basement. There are two distinct methods to waterproofing your basement: exterior and interior.

The wall has been coated with one of a couple ‘waterproofing’ substances: pitch vinyl or with concrete.

The most frequent strategy is covering the wall using pitch, which is what builders do. The wall is coated clean then toss sprayed on the walls and footer. The most critical issue with sour is the fact that it will quickly become brittle and crack in the point at which the walls and footer fulfil (this is a point of constant motion for a home stinks ). For this reason, most have begun utilizing vinyl sheeting in following construct scenarios. Vinyl will not crack and is completely watertight. The vinyl is then stuck to the wall down to the footer. The biggest issue with all the vinyl, though it does not tear, is it will never be completely attached to the concrete footer and walls and also the water goes around back it although the base.

Exterior drainage.

This strategy also entails digging the external foundation to beneath the ground, installing a drainage pipe. This tube will then drain the water which builds up out the base to a local drainage area. This necessitates an area of runoff close to the building that’s no less than a foot (or more) under the basement floor. These kinds of systems are extremely common with contractors. The proportions of those that live to endure the refill of this base dirt are unbelievably low. The most significant issue with this particular system is the sum of pressure in the sand and mud from over is too much for any drainpipe to bear. The drainage pipes are usually quickly clogged.

The other choice is inside waterproofing, and this is the very likely alternative.

Interior waterproofing is set up by digging a trench on the interior of the base wall around the outside of the cellar. Waiting in the base of the well is a pump which pushes the water out. They’re also much more straightforward to support and guarantee.

Basement waterproofing inside or outside

If you are wondering whether you should do your basement waterproofing inside or outside, there are many things to consider. I often visit homes where people have occasional leaks in their basement only under very heavy or unusual weather. These people tell me it can take a very long time before the water starts to seep into the basement and then after the weather passes it can continue to leak in for a while longer. Then I talk to people who within a few minutes of almost any rain or snowmelt they see water coming into their basement.

These two scenarios typically depict two different types of problems and can be one way to know if you should lean towards inside or outside waterproofing. Two types of water can enter your basement; surface water from rain and snow melts, and groundwater that builds up underneath.

If you have a surface water problem, you will see wet basement walls that start around grade or the dirt level outside of your home. If you have a negative slope towards your home from a driveway, patio, sidewalk or even sunken soil, that rain and snow will naturally run towards the home. They can wear down the original seal to your basement walls causing dampness and cracks. It may be that you have taken care of all of these problems but still have chronic wet basement walls with paint peeling, mould and musty smell etc.… This means the seal to the foundation outside is not working any longer, and that water is getting into your walls. In this case, waterproofing your basement from the outside will stop the water from getting to your foundation and will preserve it from further damage. It is possible to install an interior system and give you a dry space, but the condition is not stopped.

Suppose you are experiencing the other scenario where the water comes in only along the floor at the base of the wall after prolonged weather, and your walls are mostly if not all dry. In that case, you are experiencing groundwater build up under your foundation that has nowhere else to go, but through the seams where the basement floor meets the walls. In this case, an interior basement waterproofing system will catch the water before it builds up and drains it away from your home. Often this system is called a hydrostatic relief system because it eliminates the pressure that pushes the water in through those wall floor seams. Waterproofing the outside, in this case, will not get the water that is building up under your floor and you would still have seepage under those heavy conditions.

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

The Bottom Line

Regardless of whether you need interior waterproofing, exterior waterproofing, foundation work, or a combination of the three, your home can be fixed. Sometimes the solution is as simple as diverting water away from your home.

In most cases, the best way to handle a water intrusion problem is to address the easy tasks first.

For example, have your gutters inspected, talk to a drainage expert about the grade of your yard, and then worry about the interior of the basement. If those solutions don’t fix the problem, you’ll likely need to move on to the exterior.

Running a dehumidifier can help immensely with mould growth, and keeping windows or doors open can also help by bringing in the fresh air and drying out the basement. You can do your part to keep issues from forming, but only with the issues you can see or smell.

More important is an inspection by a professional who can assess the status of your waterproofing methods whether you are buying a brand-new home, constructing a home, or buying an older home.

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