Understanding the Waterproofing Problems in Your Home

25 Apr

Finding moisture in your basement is very common. However, most people don’t understand what is happening to their home or how to solve the problem at hand. In a basement that is rarely inhabited by the homeowners, moisture isn’t a significant problem in the short term. But nowadays, people finish their basements to create living spaces, that when wet can result in hundreds of dollars worth of damage.

Water gets trapped under carpets and behind drywall and can start to grow mould and mildew, which in turn, may create health problems and compromise the integrity of the structure of the home.

Finding water in your basement can result in problems such as:

  • Structural damage
  • Toxic mold
  • Moisture
  • Stained floors and furniture.

Worried this could be happening to your home?

Well, if you have a moisture problem in your home, you are probably familiar with mildew and water-related damage. But, this shouldn’t be a problem you have to live with. Good quality waterproofing is essential to living in a clean, happy, and healthy home.

Understanding the Problem

Waterproofing describes the process of making an object completely impervious to water.

Waterproofing is usually part of a building’s construction process but can be added onto later on. Remember, good waterproofing doesn’t just keep water out, it also allows for proper drainage to keep water away from a building in the first place.

To understand the problem you first must determine where the water is coming from and how it is entering the home. There are 3 sources of moisture that permeates your home:

  • Rain or ground-water
  • Using humidifiers, unvented clothes dryers, hot showers, and cooking
  • Condensation forming when hot humid air condenses on cold surfaces

So how does one keep outside water sources from entering the basement? A good slope away from the building structure helps water drain away from the home. It is also very important to ensure gutters and downspouts are set up to do the same. Basement leaks are a result of pour slope and bad gutters and downspouts.

Signs of Poor Waterproofing

The signs of poor waterproofing can appear anywhere, but are most noticeable on the roof, in basements, on the exterior walls of a building, and in any area of your house that is typically exposed to the elements and seasonal changes.

Below are some of the frequently encountered signs of poor waterproofing:

  • Water trickling out of walls
  • Puddles on the floor
  • Stains riding up from the baseboards
  • High humidity
  • Condensation on walls and floors
  • Strong mouldy odour
  • Deteriorating carpets

Despite this extensive list, some of the most important visual signs of poor waterproofing, or deterioration of waterproofing, that you can watch out for are as follows:

1. Foundation wall cracks

The foundation is the most important part of a structure and is, unfortunately, the most susceptible to water-related damage since any precipitation that falls seeps into the ground around a building. Cracks may begin to form if gone unchecked over time. Not all cracks are something to worry about but, when in doubt, it is best to have a professional come in and take a peek.

2. Faulty roofs

When the membrane of a roof begins to wear down as it ages, leaks can occur. This water can seep into the ceiling below and cause all sorts of damage. Make sure your roof is well sealed and that you are changing your shingles — or other roofing — as needed to protect against leaks.

3. Sump pump problems

A sump pump is a pump that redirects unwanted water elsewhere. A sump pump failure can be a big deal. Not only will it lead to a wet basement and a weakening foundation, but can result in hundreds to thousands of dollars in repair costs. The best thing you can do for yourself in do regular maintenance on your sump pump to make sure it is always up and running when you need it most.

4. Inefficient drainage

Another way water can easily enter your home is through poor drainage; a problem that can be made worse by wet weather. If the water directed by the eavestroughs is drained near to your foundation, it will lead to water accumulating that will probably end up in your basement.

Type of Waterproofing

There are so many types of waterproofing solutions on the market that it can become overwhelming. So, where should you start if you have a basement moisture problem that you are hankering to fix? Well, we have you covered. Below is a list of just of a few of the best options for you to consider as you begin your waterproofing journey.

1. Wall waterproofing

There are several methods of waterproofing your walls, including:

  • Implementing waterproofing primers and paints
  • Using crack injections, which involves injecting a “glue” made up of 2-part epoxy into a crack to seal it up
  • Get exterior excavation waterproofing; a technique that uses a waterproof membrane or a waterproof coating that prevents water from entering the basement
  • Building a sump pump

2. Brick waterproofing

This method involves treating and sealing the exterior bricks of a home that have become damaged due to water; primarily frozen water that has caused the bricks to expand and contract as they freeze and thaw. Due to this process, bricks can become subject to prolonged dampness that causes mould to form in the cracks of the mortar.

Here is how this problem can be solved:

  • Clean the bricks
  • Apply a coating of your chosen waterproofing product
  • Let it settle and then re-apply with another, thicker layer
  • Repeat this process every couple of years to ensure it stays waterproof

Remember, each home is different and the best waterproofing method is based on the problems you’ve experienced. While each problem is different the best policy is to use preventive methods from professional plumbers.

For more information about waterproofing your home, call Brothers Plumbing at ​844-296-6398 or contact us here.

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