When it comes to waterproofing your basement there are three common methods. These are exterior waterproofing, interior weeping tile, and crack injection.
The most effective waterproofing method is exterior waterproofing as it’s the only method which fully waterproofs a home’s foundation. The exterior wall is sealed and a French drain system, also known as a curtain drain or footing drain is installed. If this method isn’t an option due to access to the exterior or your budget, then the interior weeping tile is recommended. Interior waterproofing methods are usually used when the exterior is inaccessible like we have with cramped yards here in Toronto, or when cost is a factor.
The interior method utilizes drainage in the basement as a way to control the water by removing it with a sump pump. The crack injection is more of a temporary band-aid solution and is recommended for just small cracks. The water could still seep into the concrete behind the cracks with this method and the foundation may erode over time. The best way to find out which type of system you need is to contact a professional waterproofing company.
The best way to keep water out of a basement in the first place is via exterior excavation to the bottom of the home’s foundation and around the perimeter of the home. The proper type of drainage system is installed and the walls are treated to keep water at bay. Structural engineers believe this is the best option since it keeps water out rather than simply controlling it. A good waterproofing company will examine your crawl space or basement to get to the root of the problem and then suggest the best solution for your specific needs.
With exterior waterproofing, a waterproof membrane or coating is topped by drainage panels. The water flows freely down the panels to the exterior French drain system which sits at the bottom of the home’s foundation. The water is moved a safe distance away from the foundation via a sump pump or by gravity and it is removed through a storm drain, dry well, drainage ditch, or a low-lying area of the property. The French drain is basically a trench which is slightly sloped and filled with gravel and perforated piping to divert the water. The pipe is wrapped in a water-permeable material to keep debris out of it.
Interior Weeping Tile
Water seeps into basements through porous cement-based floors and walls if there’s nowhere else for the liquid to go. If an exterior excavation isn’t possible the next best solution is the interior weeping tile method, which is basically an interior French drain system. Water applies powerful hydrostatic pressure against a basement floor and walls and if it can’t seep through them it will pool at the bottom of the walls and can gradually seep through the inside surface. An interior weeping tile system doesn’t technically waterproof a basement, but it effectively controls the water and channels it away.
A trench needs to be dug around the basement’s perimeter, approximately 18 inches from the walls and to below the footings. Weeping tile is installed and covered with gravel before the floor is re-poured. A sump pump is placed at the end of the weeping tile and removes the water. The weeping tiles attract the water since it gravitates to the lowest point. The water is then carried away before it can rise over the footings and the end result is a dry basement.
Like the interior weeping tile system, crack injection is really a water-control system not a method of waterproofing. However, it’s a common and inexpensive way for homeowners to seal small cracks in a building’s foundation. This is more or less just a temporary or band-aid solution to keep water out of the basement though as you’re just sealing the cracks. The crack injection method doesn’t get to the root or cause of the problem as it just deals with the result of it. Water will continue to try to find a way to seep into the basement and it can eventually choose a different route.
For more information on wet and leaking basements and the proper solutions for them please feel free to contact us at Nusite Waterproofing. We are glad to provide our Toronto area customers with free home inspections and estimates and will work hand in hand with you to decide on the best option for your unique situation and budget.
Nusite Waterproofing Contractors has been providing basement waterproofing in Toronto for over 30 years. We are a family business and take pride in our level of customer service as well as our professional work. You can contact us here to schedule a free consultation and written estimate.