How to Waterproof a Basement

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Few things are more damaging to a home than water damage. It accounts for almost a quarter of all home insurance claims and sometimes isn’t covered at all.

Most homes that experience significant water damage have leakages in their basements. Standing water in your basement can wreak havoc on many of your home’s most important structures and appliances. Properly waterproofing your basement is key to avoiding costly home repair bills.

There are a few ways to waterproof a basement, but one stands above the rest. Learn how to waterproof a basement with Armored Basement’s proven method.

Basement Waterproofing with a Subfloor Pressure Release System

Water will always find a way into your home. No matter how many sealants you use, you’ll always be fighting a losing battle against groundwater and the hydrostatic pressure that forces it through the minuscule cracks and crevices in your foundation.

Armored Basement’s waterproofing system is unique in the way it routes water out of your basement. Rather than using sealants, water is directed toward sump pumps and ejected from the home.

This method is called a subfloor pressure release system.

The first step is for a crew to clean and prepare your basement. Then, the crew digs the channel along the inside of your basement walls. The channel, a form of an interior French Drain, guides the water to your sump pump. A vinyl plate provides enough separation from the ground, wall, and foundation for water to flow into the system or outside.

Note that larger basements may need more than one sump pump for maximum efficiency. Your technician will offer advice on the number of sump pumps you need and how powerful they should be.

Finally, the crew lays concrete over the system, so it’s ready for use. You’re now free to lay tile or finish your basement without worrying about water leakage.

Wall Liners

Keeping your walls dry is another important step in waterproofing your basement. Water can damage wall structures like drywall and framing, and water that makes its way into insulation can cause mold.

For these reasons, wall liners are a highly recommended additional layer of protection. They keep your walls safe by preventing water from finding a way through your basement walls and routing it into the subfloor system.

You’ll have two options for wall liners. One is made of heavy-duty vinyl and the other is composed of 8mm thick Dura Skrim plastic sheeting. Your technician will advise you on which is most practical for your home.

Window Drains

Many basements have windows, you’ll likely want to install window drains. They feed right into the subfloor system, so your sump pump can eject the water before it causes flooding. These are a relatively low-cost way to ensure that water doesn’t enter your home through your basement windows.

Stairwell Drains

If your basement has access to the outside, it’s likely through a set of basement stairs. In the event of a rainstorm, water can pool in the stairwell and contribute to basement flooding. Install a stairwell drain to prevent this.

Stairwell drains are significantly larger than a typical floor drain. They drain much more efficiently than their smaller counterparts, so they’re a valuable line of defense against flooding. 

Like window drains, they can feed directly into your subfloor pressure release system.

Benefits of the Subfloor Pressure Release System

This method of basement waterproofing is tried and true and offers many benefits over more temporary waterproofing methods.

Fight Hydrostatic Pressure

Water in a constricted space exerts a significant amount of pressure. This is called hydrostatic pressure, and it’s a major hurdle to overcome when waterproofing a basement. 

Consider the soil around your home’s foundation. If it’s saturated with water, it puddles around your home. This water presses itself against your home with thousands of pounds of force. With so much force, it’s only a matter of time before the water finds a weak spot and ends up in your basement.

Installing a subfloor pressure release system is the only way to mitigate the effects of hydrostatic pressure. Even exterior waterproofing methods designed to alleviate the accumulation of groundwater can’t fight it effectively.

Sealants Are Only a Temporary Fix

Some homeowners turn to sealants to protect their basement from water damage, but they are strictly inferior to a subfloor system.

Over time, even the highest quality sealants will break down and eventually fail. Some claim to last years, but the truth is that you’re likely to only see a few months’ worth of waterproofing.

This means you need to monitor how much time has passed since you last applied a sealant and reapply when necessary. This takes a significant amount of time and energy, as sealant requires specific conditions to work properly. Failing sealant also provides a weak point for water to force its way inside your home.

Lifetime Warranty

Armored Basement’s subfloor system comes with a lifetime guarantee. This guarantees that your basement will be protected from significant water damage for however long you own your home. 

As a homeowner, this sort of peace of mind is invaluable. Water damage can cost thousands of dollars to fix, and it can affect the health of you and your family.

It leads to mold and mildew, can cause wooden structures to swell and warp, and can cause metal structures to rust. If it’s not dealt with, you risk structural damage to your home.

Learning How to Waterproof a Basement is Important

Basements are prone to water damage, and knowing how to waterproof a basement prevents the development of mold and keeps your home’s foundation sturdy.

You’ll need to install a robust subfloor pressure release system to fight basement flooding. This French Drain-style system keeps your basement dry by guiding water toward a pump system that ejects the water outside. It’s the only way to combat the hydrostatic pressure that contributes to the bulk of basement floods.

If you need help waterproofing your basement, reach out to Armored Basement. They’ll build your drainage system and protect it with a lifetime guarantee.