Is it possible to have a foundation without water infiltration issues? If you live in an exceedingly dry climate, then the answer is "maybe." For most people, water will nearly always find a way into a basement that lacks proper waterproofing. The reason for this sad state of affairs is simple: your foundation sits below grade, and water will naturally flow toward it. Without waterproofing, water will eventually find its way into small cracks and other imperfections. Over time, the flow of water can worsen these defects and lead to additional flooding. For existing structures, two general waterproofing categories exist to deal with this issue: positive-side and negative-side waterproofing.
What's the Difference?
The terminology may sound strange, but it's relevant to the task at hand. To understand how these options function, imagine a cutaway of your home and its foundation. The soil surrounding your foundation applies pressure to the walls, pushing in on them from all directions. As water enters the ground, it will also apply pressure to the walls. These high-pressure areas are the "positive" side.
On the other hand, the interior of your foundation is effectively a void in the ground. Soil and water want to flow into this area, and it's only the presence of your foundation walls that keeps them at bay. This portion of your foundation is known as the "negative" side. In theory, you want to keep the negative side of your walls free of all moisture.
Which Should You Choose?
For new construction, the answer tends to be obvious: positive side waterproofing methods are superior. By adding waterproofing systems to the foundation's positive side, you prevent moisture from infiltrating the concrete at all. Not only does this keep your entire dry, but it also protects the concrete and prevents damage from water contracting and expanding with temperature changes.
The situation can be more problematic for existing structures. Waterproofing on the positive side requires access to the exterior foundation, which may require significant excavation. Adding waterproofing to the interior is much simpler since it should be readily accessible. In many cases, taking this approach will be drastically cheaper.
Selecting the right one for your needs will depend on your situation. If you are only dealing with small amounts of water or moisture, then the cost of excavating your foundation walls may be much too high. On the other hand, severe flooding problems may require this approach, especially if you want to protect your foundation walls from further damage.
The best way to select a waterproofing method that's right for your home is to discuss your specific problem with a waterproofing contractor. They can evaluate your situation, provide estimates, and ultimately recommend a waterproofing method to fit your budget.Share
21 December 2020
When I flipped on the news last winter, the last thing I thought that I would see was my own neighborhood. Unfortunately, I discovered that our entire area was directly in the path of a dangerous mudslide. Instead of relaxing and enjoying my normal morning cup of coffee, I found myself scrambling to gather together family heirlooms and emergency clothing. After the mudslide passed through, my home was in shambles. Fortunately, damage contractors helped us to make things right. If you are faced with a dire situation, don't fret. Damage recovery experts can help you to get back to normal sooner than you might think.