Steps to Waterproofing
- Determine whether water problem is an interior or exterior problem.
- Common sources of moisture problems on the interior are humidifiers, unvented clothes dryers, showering, and cooking. Make sure all areas are vented properly.
- Check inbound water lines for leaks, a licensed plumber may be needed for repairs. This is rarely the cause of water problems.
- If the problems continue to exist, we suggest that your next step be to contact a local professional waterproofing contractor. The work that is needed to waterproof a home is not usually a do-it-yourself project. A professional waterproofing contractor will be able to diagnose the problem for you and offer a solution.
- On the exterior, make sure that the soil is properly graded around the perimeter of home to ensure positive drainage of surface water. This may mean re-grading and/or surface drainage installation.
- Check to see that all roof run-off, gutters, and downspouts, are draining away from home with a positive slope. It’s best to get downspouts outlets 6’-10’ from home. Connecting downspouts to underground drain pipes is a great way to get the water away from the home.
- Also, look at all of the exterior concrete flatwork and verify that it has ¼” of fall per foot away from home. If your concrete is falling toward the home, the concrete will need to be taken out and replaced or the water will need to be re-routed. Re-routing can be done by area inlets or channel drains installed at proper locations.
- Basements and crawl spaces also need an exterior drainage system next to footing. This system needs to be a 4” corrugated or 4” perforated pipe backfilled with clean gravel and wrapped in filter fabric. Exterior drainage pipe should be run to daylight if possible, when not possible, the pipe should be run to a sump pit that can be installed on the interior or exterior of home and water pumped away from home there.
- Determine the size of sump pump to be installed. The correct sizing of your sump pump is critical, if a pump is too small it may not keep up with the amount of water coming in, run constantly, and get overworked. A pump that is too big is also bad, although it will keep up with the volume of water, it will pump water so fast that the pump will ‘short cycle’, decreasing its life dramatically. Choosing the correct sump basin can also help in sizing a sump pump.
- If an exterior drainage system is not an option, an interior under-slab drainage system can be installed and drained to the same sump pit/pump. These systems are meant to ‘control’ water, not prevent water, but are the only option in some instances.
- Water problems are the main cause for structural foundation repairs, if the cracks are bigger than a hair-line, you need to verify the foundation stability. This will require a professional engineer.
- Once a drainage system is in place, and foundation stability is verified, cracks in walls and floors need sealed. This process is done by epoxy or polyurethane injection.
My Foundation Repairs will put you in touch with a local Earth Contact Products contractor that will help you waterproof your home or business.