Basement Waterproofing Myth: Water in My Basement is Par for the Course

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 by James E. Lord

Basements leak.  They get wet.  That's just the way it is, right?  Wrong.

A common basement myth goes something like this: a wet basement is par for the course of homeownership.  Leaks are to be expected; just accept it.

If that really were the case, then today's homebuilders wouldn't be constructing new basements and coating the exterior with damp-proof barriers.  Builders wouldn't bother installing exterior drainage systems.  If leaky basements were just something to grin and bear, then why attempt waterproofing at all during construction?

Leaking Block Walls in Fairview Heights, ILHomebuilders are wise.  They realize that when they construct a home with a basement, they're effectively building a home in a hole in the ground—a "clay bowl."  Builders know that after construction, even though they backfill the hole with loose soil, that clay bowl is still there with a home—and water—sitting in it.  So, they apply a damp-proof coating of some kind to the exterior walls and lay perforated pipe along the outside of the footing for drainage.  Then, they backfill and finish building the rest of the home.

At this point, there are two things working to keep a basement dry: the damp-proof coating and the exterior drainage system.  The problem comes sometime after construction, when the damp-proof coating deteriorates and the exterior drainage system begins to clog.

When it rains, the water saturates the loose soil around the basement and runs down to the exterior footing drain.  The perforated pipe has small holes or slots in it to accept the water, but—since it's a pipe with holes that sits in dirt—mud and silt can wash into the pipe as well and clog the pipe.  That's how the exterior footing drain fails.

When the damp-proof coating has deteriorated and the exterior drainage system has clogged, there's no longer anything present to alleviate the hydrostatic pressure that builds up around the foundation.

So, the problem is not that wet basements are "par for the course."  The problem is that the most common waterproofing methods used during construction don't last forever.  They deteriorate, clog, and are impossible to maintain or service.  That's why basements get wet...

...Unless homebuilders decide to use permanent basement waterproofing methods from the very beginning.  These permanent solutions can also be retro-fitted into existing structures, and these products and methods do keep basements dry all the time.

That's what this website is all about.  Basement leaks are not something you must endure time and time again.  Our website is devoted to these basement and crawl space waterproofing solutions.  Browse before and after photos, read case studies, and view photo galleries that showcase our patented and proven solutions.

 

About the author
James E. Lord lives in the St. Louis Metro-East with his wife and three sons and serves as Digital Marketing Manager & Corporate Trainer with two industry-leading home improvement contractors. James coaches best-in-class professionals to be masters of their trade, and produces quality web and video content that wows clients, annihilates the competition, and generates new business every day.

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