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Groundwater Control

clock April 6, 2010 09:45 by author blogadmin
Water drainage foundation systems prevent the build-up of water against foundation walls by eliminating hydrostatic pressure. In the absence of water pressure there is no longer a force to push water through a crack or cold joint in a foundation.

 

Foundation water drainage systems rely on two fundamental principles:

 

  • Keep rain water away from the foundation wall perimeter
  • Drain groundwater with sub-grade perimeter footing drains before it gets to the foundation wall

Water drainage foundation systems are different from waterproofing systems. Waterproofing relies on creating a watertight barrier without holes or other means for water to enter. It can’t be done with concrete. Even boats need pumps or a place for water to run. Water drainage foundation systems prevent the build-up of water against foundation walls, thereby eliminating hydrostatic pressure. No pressure, no force to push water through a hole or crack. Remember, we know concrete walls will have holes or cracks.Mixing control joints with water management is a fundamental requirement for functional foundation systems that provide an extended useful service life.

Damp proofing should not be confused with waterproofing. Damp proofing protects foundation materials from absorbing ground moisture by capillarity (like a wick). Damp proofing is not intended to resist groundwater forces (hydrostatic pressure). If water management is used, 100% waterproofing is not necessary. However, control of capillary water is still required (dampproofing). Damp proofing is typically provided by coating the exterior of a concrete foundation wall with a tar or bituminous paint or coating.Draining groundwater away from foundation wall perimeters is typically done with free-draining backfill such as sand, gravel or drainage boards with drainage properties. At the base of the foundation a footing drain will carry away the water either to daylight or a sump pump. It is a fairly simple process of directing water to a piping system that will carry the water away from where it can do damage.Remember, step 1 is to guide rain water away from the foundation. Step 2 is to drain the ground water to a collection point so that it can be safely removed.



Expectations of Waterproofing

clock March 28, 2009 16:39 by author blogadmin
Understanding what type of waterproofing needs to be done and the limitation of this work is the first step to fixing your homes water problems. Sealed interior waterproofing systems are the best choice for basement waterproofing.

Basement waterproofing contractors usually provide some form of drainage system as one of their services to solve a wet basement or crawlspace. While drainage is critical to solving water problems, it is also crucial that homeowners understand the purpose and limitations of waterproofing their homes.

 

The definition of waterproofing is the process of making an area impervious to or unaffected by water. Residential waterproofing is necessary to allow basements and crawlspaces to become useful areas of the home. Basements can be converted to new living space without the usually damp and musty smells that generally accompany a basement. Methods of waterproofing include exterior and interior systems, each having their benefits and drawbacks.

 

Much criticism of interior waterproofing has been made due to the unregulated nature of the industry. Many less than credible contractors install systems without real knowledge of their actions.  These objections can be overcome with a sealed system of basement waterproofing. By not allowing collected moisture to re-enter a home these sealed systems can help with decreasing humidity, mold spore and radon levels by their nature of being sealed.

 

These waterproofing systems are installed along the interior perimeter of the basement dumping their contents into a sump pit then expelled by a sump pump. The drain tile is installed next to the footing and encased in crushed stone to filter potential clogs. Once the drain tile is set in place and connected together the system is completely covered with concrete keeping the water and gases from entering the interior living space. While many basement waterproofing systems install below the floor on sealed systems install next to the footing instead of being placed on top.

 

Systems that are placed on top of the footing are done so to gather water that runs down the walls. The major issue to with this type of system is the back is left open for wall water. This open back design also allows collected water and gases to reenter the living space causing higher humidity levels and possible radon infiltration. So when your basement must be waterproofed from the interior specify a sealed drainage system to protect your home and family.



Waterproofing Residential Foundations

clock March 14, 2009 18:42 by author blogadmin
Keep your home dry and safe by installing an adequate waterproofing system. It will conserve energy and stop mold growth for your residential foundation.

Many times the terms waterproofing and damp proofing are used interchangeably. The terms waterproofing and interior water diverting are also used interchangeably. All of these terms sound like they accomplish similar goals, though they do not. Understanding these terms is critical if you want to keep your foundation dry and structurally sound. Knowing what these methods can and cannot do allows you to pick the best method for your home.

 

Years ago many homes were spray coated with solvent-based asphaltic products. These materials didn’t actually waterproof foundations, they damp proofed them. These asphaltic coatings only prevent the transmission of water vapor into the concrete. Waterproofing materials prevent the transmission of both liquid water and water vapor. Now, many so called waterproofing companies attempt to divert the water that damp proofing does not stop. These interior water drainage systems do not prevent water from coming through the concrete. They are designed around the fact that water is coming through the foundation and they divert this water to a sump pump that expels the water outside the structure. Obviously this is contradictory to the definition of what waterproofing is.

 

Today the most commonly used material is a rubberized asphalt coating that can be sprayed on or used as a peel and stick sheet product. Whether using the spray or sheet rubberized asphalt it must be protected from ultraviolet light so it must be covered and protected when exposed to sunlight. Next are polyethylene sheet membrane systems. These are three layer systems with the two outside made of high density virgin polyethylene sandwiching a layer of recycled polyethylene.

 

No matter which of these systems that you use it needs to be protected from damage from backfill, to insulate basements and provide water drainage away from the membrane. Soils with high water content produce significant hydrostatic pressures against foundation walls. This hydrostatic pressure can cause water to penetrate the smallest holes and cracks. Thus waterproofing actually consists of a waterproof membrane and drainage next to this membrane which moves water to the exterior drain located alongside the footing.

 

This system of waterproofing is even more important these days due to the fact that homes are sealed tight. Building homes tighter in order to conserve on energy increases the problems of mold and mildew growth because relative humidity increases inside the building envelope. Stopping water from entering a basement makes a true waterproofing system a must these days.  Waterproofing, not damp proofing or water diverting is the answer to a healthy and dry home. Knowing what is available and what is necessary for your home is the key to making your home dry and safe.



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