When you hear the terms “damp proofing” and “waterproofing” in regards to your home’s basement and foundation, is there a difference? What do these terms mean?
There are differences – and these differences are extremely significant!
Foundation damp proofing is generally done during the construction phase to meet minimal building code standards. Damp proofing is a liquid asphalt based product (a pail is $20-30 and will cover 100 feet of any foundation). It is applied thinly like paint, has no rubber and therefore has no crack bridging capabilities. Its purpose is to stop dampness through a wall but not water penetration. This is why new homes will leak at one point or another. Homes built prior to 1980 have no damp proofing or waterproofing, which means they have no protection. The problem with this is unless you have a hole or crack the homeowner will not ever see how badly the foundation has come to deteriorate. Some homes never have a leak but when the foundation is exposed it has completely disappeared !!!
Foundation waterproofing is the sealing of a foundation. It is a product that waterproofs and has the capabilities to bridge foundation cracks or faults from movements. It also has longevity and can last up to 50 years. Hydro Guard is a commercial product that we use to waterproof. It has a life expectancy of up to 50 years. It costs $200-250 a pail and can do 20 feet of a typical foundation wall based on the 2 layer application system.This is the number one expense and most important step in basement waterproofing.The difference in the cost of a 50 foot waterproofing job versus a 50 foot damp proofing job is roughly $1,500-2,000 in material costs and $500 in installation costs.There are other waterproof products that are a lighter grade for residential and much cheaper than Hydro Guard Commercial however there would be no way to offer a 50 year guarantee like RCC does.
Be careful as some contractors may promise to install a certain product and when you are not home to see the work completed you can not guarantee these products were actually used. Waterproofing is often promised but in reality only damp proofing is applied which results in a huge savings to contractor.
Exterior Waterproofing Benefits
- It reduces the moisture in a basement which helps eliminate musty odors and other allergies that affect people.
- Waterproofing the exterior foundation walls will give you a structurally sound foundation and eliminates the amount of deterioration that will occur on your foundation walls. This can save your home thousands of dollars in repairs among other things. Sometimes belongings can be ruined by leaky basements where too much moisture buildup is damaging.
- Basement moisture or water problems can reduce the value of your home. Most Realtors will advise their customers to fix their basement before offering their home for sale. Therefore your property value will increase immediately once it has been waterproofed.
- Waterproofing your home can strengthen the foundation as water can weaken the structures base and cause settlement in your home which will cause interior cracks and lead to the shifting of the floors.
- Once your basement has been waterproofed, you will be able to go on vacation and have peace of mind.
Water buildup around near-grade basement windows can cause infiltration through your window sill. Adding or replacing malfunctioning window wells can ensure that rainwater buildup in front of your window occurs well below the window sill and is drained faster than it can pool up. Vertical weeping tile and a gravel drainage bed will ensure that any water entering your window area will be drained, giving you peace of mind that your windows will be free from water infiltration. Custom window well covers are also available, protecting your window well from debris that can reduce drainage.
Block or Brick Foundation
Different types of foundation walls require personalized waterproofing solutions. Block and brick walls will not always allow water to flow straight through. Due to air voids and mortar joints water can flow across the wall, following these voids. Water can be unpredictable in the way it finds new paths to flow, and will not always move in the same direction. Waterproofing on brick or block foundations can be done through the interior or exterior methods, but some overlap on either side of the viewed area of leakage may be suggested to cover up any other weak spots that could create a path of water entry. Blocks tend to have water settle in the bottom of the wall, and it can stay there well after any seepage into the wall. To remedy this problem from the inside block walls are drilled through, releasing any water and providing a path out of the wall for any future seepage.
Finding the point of entry for a leak is important to determining how to fix the issue. Areas of your home that are built at separate times are susceptible to joint leaks. The main areas are between your foundation wall and footing, the basement floor and foundation wall and wall joints between original homes to new extensions. Patching up these joints and properly sealing them is the key to preventing infiltration and extra damage in these joints.
Top of foundation
When homes are originally constructed, the foundation is built before the brick or siding above. The point where these two components meet is called the sill, which can leak if it is not sealed correctly or if the seal fails over time. This can cause water and moisture infiltration even when there is no hydrostatic pressure built up against your foundation wall. Rainwater can simply make its way through the gaps in your sill as it flows down the side of the house. Attention to this detail will prevent water from leaking above your foundation wall, causing damage to your first floor framing and infiltrating into your basement.
- Exterior waterproofing requires excavation around the perimeter of the building. The excavation depth depends on the elevation of your property. Most excavations range from 4 to 8 feet deep and approximately 2 ½ feet wide.
- Once the hole has been excavated, speed shoring is installed to ensure the safety of the workers and prevent any soil from caving into the area dug.
- Excavation is to the footings where the old weeping tiles are removed and new 4 inch weeping tile with filter cloth are installed.
- Foundation walls are then cleaned and inspected for any voids or structural cracks. The defective areas are chiseled out and repaired with non-shrink specialized cement which expands when applied to the crevices.
- A trowel on rubber membrane is then applied, which will be the main component to waterproofing your foundation; this product has the elongation which will allow it to expand if any further settlement occurs in the foundation.After the first layer of rubber a mesh is installed into the rubber for reinforcement. Then another layer of rubber waterproofing is applied.This is a commercial grade system guaranteed for 50 Years.
- A soil side drainage sheet (not the dimple stuff you may know). This is commercial grade drainage which you will see when you notice a large building like a condo or office building being built. It is fastened to the top with a termination bar. This acts as a protection board and a drainage membrane.
- Once the waterproofing and membrane has been installed a layer of 3/4 inch clear gravel is placed over the weeping tile to maximize the drainage to its fullest potential.The amount of gravel is determined by the crew on site and is based on the soil. To much gravel could cause the weeping tile to take too much water too quickly. Not enough may cause weeping tile to get clogged or drain to slow
- If your home has any windows below grade and you require a window well, it is installed and a 4 inch weeping tile is installed vertically down from the inside of the window well to the footings and filled with ¾ clear stone in order to create drainage in the window well.This pipe is not connected to weeping tile like most people think. That would cause the weeping tile to clog very quickly.
- Then the area is filled back in with its native soil and compacted to its original level. Once this system is completed you have fully waterproofed your foundation and will have no further issues with water penetrating into your basement.
All work completed by RCC Waterproofing Inc. carries a Lifetime Warranty. Your RCC Waterproofing Inc. signed contract is your actual Warranty Certificate.
RCC Waterproofing Inc. warrants all materials and workmanship only pursuant to the job description details on your written contract, providing the home owner has made payment if full!
*Effective Feb 1, 2017