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Basement Waterproofing in Nashville, TN
A wet basement is an unsettling sight for homeowners. Along with damaging personal property, moisture in the basement can lead to toxic mold and costly structural repairs. Basement waterproofing is in order.
Fortunately, there are several options for how to go about fixing the problem. The waterproofing system you choose to go with needs to be comprehensive. A complete plan will protect your family, your home, and your personal property – now and in the future.
Let’s take a deep dive into how water gets into the basement. We’ll go over the different waterproofing systems available and offer guidance on how to choose the best basement waterproofing solution for your situation.
What Causes Water in the Basement?
Water can find its way into the basement in a number of ways. Being the lowest level of a home’s foundation, basements and crawl spaces are the most vulnerable to water problems. Before discussing potential solutions, we’ll discuss the most common ways that moisture enters your home.
Having a thorough understanding of what causes water in the basement can give us a better idea of which solution is most appropriate. Water problems can destroy your property and cause potential health risks. It’s important to isolate and fix these problems before they escalate.
Primary Causes of a Wet Basement
Ineffective drainage around the house
Ineffective soil and drainage systems are among the most common causes of a wet basement. If the drainage system around your house is ineffective, rainwater and groundwater will pool up around the foundation. When this happens, the soil becomes over-saturated and water easily makes its way through small cracks in the foundation. Direct water away from the foundation to avoid this.
Poorly maintained gutters
The purpose of gutters is to direct rainwater away from the foundation. This is particularly important in regions that experience a high volume of rain – such as Middle Tennessee. If gutters are poorly maintained or clogged, rainwater will accumulate around the foundation and find its way into your basement. The goal is to divert water away from the home.
Ground sloping toward the foundation
To effectively divert water away from the home, the ground surrounding it should slope away from the foundation. If the slope is graded improperly (sloping toward the foundation), water will pool up around the foundation and find a way into the basement.
Hydrostatic pressure is a major cause of basement water problems. It occurs when water pools around the foundation. In an effort to relieve the mounting pressure, water will force its way through cracks in the basement walls and floors. In some cases, hydrostatic pressure can be so intense that it creates cracks in the foundation. This is why it’s so important to have properly maintained gutters and effective drainage around your home.
Cracks in basement walls and floors
Cracks in basement walls and floors, as well as doors and windows, make it easy for water to flow into the basement. Find and fix cracks to avoid this from happening.
It’s no secret that basements tend to be damp places, with the humidity level often differing from other levels of the home. For this reason, basements are prone to condensation. Condensation can have negative consequences, including mold, mildew, insect infestation, damage to personal possessions, and potential foundation damage.
Basement waterproofing is needed anytime a structure is built at or below ground level. Waterproofing and drainage are especially needed in cases where the groundwater is likely to build up in the soil and raise the water table.
A higher water table causes hydrostatic pressure to build up beneath the basement floor and against basement walls. This pressure forces water through cracks in the foundation walls. It can also come through openings created by the expansion and contraction of wall joints. Hydrostatic pressure can cause major structural damage to foundation walls, as well as contribute to basement mold and mildew.
The more water problems are able to persist, the worse the problem gets – and the more it will cost to fix in the future. So without further adieu, let’s shift the discussion to the methods used to effectively waterproof your basement.
Basement Waterproofing Methods
With a better understanding of how water gets into the basement, we now shift attention to fixing it. There are three effective methods for preventing a wet basement. For a long-term solution, most homeowners require a blend of the following water management strategies.
Interior Basement Waterproofing
This method involves waterproofing your basement from the inside. Sealants and coatings are used, as well as encapsulation and other methods of preventing moisture accumulation. Interior basement waterproofing methods are among the easiest and most affordable solutions for a wet basement.
The process begins with identifying vulnerabilities. This includes identifying cracks in the walls or floors, as well as improperly sealed doors and windows. This is an important step. Cracks in the walls and floors are the most common way for water to find its way into your home. Ensuring that everything is watertight will drastically reduce the amount of moisture in your basement.
Interior waterproofing methods are effective ways to reduce humidity and prevent condensation. Sealants and coatings, along with encapsulation, can create a waterproof barrier when applied to basement walls and floors. The most effective interior basement waterproofing requires the installation of a waterproof membrane.
It is worth noting that interior basement waterproofing methods tend to be reactive strategies. They address a symptom of the problem (water in the basement) but do nothing to address the underlying reasons for a wet basement. Addressing the outside of the house can reveal more effective ways of preventing basement flooding.
Exterior Basement Waterproofing
Exterior waterproofing methods attack the root of the problem. For this reason, they tend to be more effective long-term solutions than interior methods. The goal with exterior waterproofing is to find the vulnerable points that exist on the outside of the house. The lowest hanging fruit here is in faulty gutters, sloping, and drainage.
Gutter systems must be properly installed and maintained so they can direct rainwater away from your home’s foundation. Additionally, clogged gutters will spill water along the base of your home, increasing the likelihood of basement flooding. Keep your gutters clean and keep them functioning properly. Diverting water away from the house prevents water from entering the house.
In many cases, exterior basement waterproofing will require the soil around the foundation to be excavated so a polymer-based sealant can be applied to the exterior walls. This can be an effective means of keeping water out of the basement. But most homes with basement flooding will require the installation of drains – either internal or external. This sort of comprehensive water management system is by far the best solution for a wet basement.
Interior & Exterior Drainage Systems
Proper drainage is essential to keeping water out of the basement. The function of a drainage system is to direct water away from the foundation of your home. There are different types of drainage systems on the market that can divert the water away from your home. The soil surrounding your home is a strong indicator of how well the yard is naturally draining. If the soil surrounding your home retains moisture, you may need to install a water management system.
Internal drainage system – sump pump
Pay attention to the way the ground surrounding your foundation slopes. If it slopes towards the home, rather than away, you are at an increased risk for flooding. In cases such as this, we install a sump pump to collect interior water and pump it away from the foundation. A sump pump removes water that accumulates beneath or around the foundation, diverting it away from the structure.
Our sump pumps are the most energy efficient, highest performing, and longest lasting on the market today. Combined with a bell-shaped sump basin, you will be assured that the system will protect your investment for many years to come. Sump pump systems continue to function in the event of a power outage. They are reliable even when the weather is not. This is a highly effective way of keeping water out of your basement.
Exterior drainage system
Keeping water from entering your basement through an exterior drainage system prevents water problems in your basement – now and in the future. This can be done with the use of exterior drainage systems, such as a French Drain.
Our external drainage systems consist of installing a waterproofing membrane that combines the durability of asphalt with the elasticity of rubber to provide a long-lasting barrier against water leaks. It is applied by using a roller or spray to a foundation to stop water from entering. The dimple drainage board is a drainage application prefabricated that consists of a solid, formed, three-dimensional core covered with a geotextile filter fabric bonded to the dimple side of the core.
Next, we install a 4″ perforated drain pipe beneath the foundation. This effectively drains water away from the foundation. The drain pipe has a superior crush resistance and exceptional water volume capacity, all while conforming to building codes for both commercial and residential application.
If proper basement waterproofing steps are not taken, moisture in the basement can potentially cause structural damage, leading to foundation problems. Foundation problems are a major concern for property owners. Avoid this issue by ensuring that you keeping water out of your basement.
Basement Waterproofing Products – Earth Contact Products
Ground Up Foundation Repair uses Earth Contact Products (ECP) for all of our foundation repair and waterproofing materials. Their products are the best on the market – hands down. We guaranteed all of our work. We offer a lifetime transferable warranty on many of our services. Earth Contact Products help us keep this promise.
Nashville Basement Waterproofing Experts
Different waterproofing methods are appropriate for different homes. It can be tempting to ignore the problem until it gets out of hand. Waiting to find a basement waterproofing solution can lead to much larger problems in the future. Your home is your biggest investment. It is important to take the necessary steps to protect it.
The experts at Ground Up Foundation Repair will find the best solution given your circumstances. We offer FREE ESTIMATES and stand behind all of our work. Contact us today to get the water out of your basement for good.