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    © Mark Saville 2006  

Concrete Foundation Waterproofing

 
 
 

The subject of Concrete waterproofing is as broad as concrete products themselves so this article will attempt to shed some light on the subject. First off, there are many products that offer concrete water resistant properties from simple sealers to complex spray-on rubber membranes.

 
 

Concrete is porous and will transfer water with ease and even the slightest bit of moisture inside a foundation is a real problem. The first point to bring to the mix and the first thing to ask yourself is how much water is involved and what level of system do you need to keep moisture out of your basement? Full-blown water-proofing systems can be expensive and may not be needed. Every situation requires a different level.

The height of the backfill, the amount of water in the soil that creates hydrolic pressure all come into play. If you have a 6 foot backfill then more care must be taken because of the extra surface area of the damp soil. In this case a rubber membrane with a drainage layer board would be in order. For a short stub wall in a crawl space type situation simple asphalt coating will do the trick.

 
 

Foundation water-proofing and damp-proofing can mean many things. Most local building code standards state that damp-proofing is the minimum requirement it will depend on your local building department so asking them to get the requirement is in order.

 

 

concrete foundation waterproofing
In this case a simple ashphalt coating will work fine.

The photo above is an example of asphalt damp-proofing in a crawl-space situation with the footings sitting on rock . This system can be all that is required if you take the time to fill any form tie holes and voids in the concrete with a good roofing cement and make sure that no bare concrete is visible. If you're rolling it on make sure you use a brush to dab the voids and get all of the foundation wall covered.

Make sure your foundation has a weeping tile system and is backfilled with sand not a clay or organic type soil. Any water that enters from the surface must be transferred down through the sand and into the drainage system. This is very important part of your foundation water-proofing system and will help to keep moisture away from your basement. A lot of people don't realize that you must keep the water away from the foundation wall as best you can. Backfill with sand and add a soil that is native to your area on the surface as a cap to keep as much water as you can from draining down the side of the foundation. Also use an eavestrough with proper downspouts to direct water away from your foundation.

 

© Mark Saville 2006 Reprint with Permission only.
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