Everything You Need to Know About Wall Liner

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Moisture problems in the basement aren’t a matter of “if” — they’re a matter of “when.”

An astonishing 98% of all homes suffer water damage in their basement at some point, and whether you plan to finish yours or not, you need to keep moisture from creeping through your basement floor and walls. Without effective waterproofing measures in place, you’ll give mold an open playground to grow and a chance for moisture to damage your foundation.

So how do you keep your basement protected on all sides?

When it’s time to weigh their options, not many people consider a wall liner or even know of its existence. But this simple application could make the difference in protecting your space from the ravages of basement wall leaks. This article will explore the use of wall liners and how you can benefit from having them installed.

What Is a Wall Liner?

A reinforced wall liner is a thick membrane that goes over concrete or masonry basement walls. Heavy plastic liner or panels go up on your walls like drywall, completely covering the foundation wall.

The wall liner is designed for vapor and leak prevention. If you have minor cracks in your wall, they may not cause structural problems, but they can allow water to leak through. And given the porous nature of concrete and cinderblock walls, they can easily transfer water vapor even without cracks.

With a wall liner, you prevent water penetration, protecting everything on the other side from moisture.

Why You Need a Wall Liner

When you plan on finishing your basement, installing new walls usually comes with the territory. A dingy masonry wall needs more than a coat of paint to look like part of a living space, and that often means you will want to install drywall.

A new drywall installation entails more than nailing sheets into your basement foundation. You’re likely going to add insulation, and you’ll definitely need wood framing to hang your walls.

The problem is, water seeping through basement walls will attach to the insulation and potentially reach the wood behind the drywall. Before long, you could be facing accumulating mildew behind the wall and rotting wood framing. These issues lead to indoor air quality problems that can affect your health, and you may face structural damage to your walls that will need costly repairs.

When you install a wall liner, it prevents moisture from reaching your insulation, framing, and drywall. You won’t have to worry about mold and mildew developing or studs rotting behind the scenes.

How Wall Liners Fit Into a Basement Protection System

A wall liner doesn’t prevent water from entering the foundation wall but instead stops it from spreading to anything beyond the wall.

Where does that water go once it’s between the wall and the liner? Down, of course. The waterproof wall liner forces water toward the floor.

Now, you probably realize that this system by itself will result in water pooling at the joint where your wall meets your floor, which won’t do you much good in preventing basement water damage. That’s why it’s best used as part of a basement waterproofing system that stops and redirects water away from the foundation.

One of the most effective waterproofing systems is a perforated pipe installation under the floor that meets the wall. Installers excavate the edge of the concrete floor all around the basement’s perimeter. They create a trench, into which they then install porous PVC piping, a drainage line that leads to a sump pump.

The system is exceptional at rerouting excess groundwater that can start seeping through the floor. While the perforated pipe manages the water down below, the wall liner routes wall water to weep holes in the floor that draw the water into the pipe.

Benefits of Using a Wall Liner

Waterproof sealant is the obvious interior waterproofing alternative to a wall liner, but there are many benefits of using a wall liner instead of a painted-on product.

It’s cheap and easy to apply waterproof paint if you have bare concrete or masonry, but the advantages end there. Flaking and water permeation are still persistent worries with paint, and its failure could result in the mold and rot problems you’ve been trying to avoid. And since it’s a seal over the concrete, water can remain trapped in the wall and cause premature wear.

With a solid wall liner, you won’t have to worry about it failing or trapping water in the wall. It maintains a waterproof barrier for several decades, protecting your walls from all kinds of moisture damage.

Easy to Install

If you have a painted wall, waterproof paint is much harder to apply than wall liner. You would have to completely strip the wall down to the original material to give the paint a surface to grab onto and create a proper seal. 

Wall liner installation is a quick process, often taking less than a day. Plastic fasteners secure it to the wall, and joints are sealed over with tape.

With a wall liner, it doesn’t matter what kind of material your wall is made of or what condition it’s in. The wall liner is flexible enough to fit over odd-shaped walls, and you don’t have to do any special prep work to the wall to get it to work. It can even go over uneven rocks and uncovered dirt sections to create a seamless, complete wall.

Easy to Work Over

Even if you’re not ready to finish your basement, a wall liner is a great way to immediately enhance the look. The light color brightens the room, and the smooth surface is a definite upgrade to any naked basement wall. And once you’re ready to finish the walls, it’s easy to add your insulation and framing in front of it.

Is a Wall Liner Installation Right for You?

A wall liner could be a perfect solution no matter how far ahead you are with your waterproofing. You may already have basement protection in place that can get an upgrade with added wall protection. Or, if you’re starting from scratch, a wall liner can be an essential part of a comprehensive vapor and leak prevention system.

If you want to learn more about how a wall liner can solve your moisture problems, our team at Armored Basement Waterproofing is here to help. Contact us today to learn about our premium basement waterproofing solutions.