Many homes have basements that are entirely or at least partially underground. Underground water in the soil from heavy rains can sometimes penetrate a basement that is poorly water-proofed. At its worst, this can cause flooding in the basement, or at the least it can cause mildew and mold to accumulate which can be a hazard to the health of your family.
Basement Water proofing Guide
Here in Asheville, NC, Hurricane Ivan and other storms of 2004 flooded many parts here in Western North Carolina and especially Biltmore village was heavy hit with flooding rain water. Some of my closest friends were affected by the flooding, and many people suffered with rain-washed basements. Dont wait until the next serious rainy season! Get you basement water-proofed today!
Many people. when faced with a leaky basement, try to cover it up with paint. There are water-proof paints and polymers available, but in my experience that rarely work alone. The problem is that in order to install a water-proof membrane properly, it must be installed on the EXTERIOR of the basement walls. This is usually near impossible unless it is done properly during construction. Installing a membrane inside the basement, or using water-proof paint on the interior will only temporarily mask the problem, as water is still seeping into your homes foundation.
Another method if you have rough, unfinished basement is to have the floors slope towards a pit with sump pump that pumps the water back outside. The problem with this method is that is doesnt prevent the water from penetrating into your home in the first place, and often you will just end up with a frequently running sump pump during the rainy season and a wet basement! Even worse, if the pump breaks or malfunctions, you are left with no water protection at all!
The BEST method of water-proofing for leak prone basements is to have the exterior of the foundation excavated, a water-proof membrane of some sort applied to the foundation walls and then have a french drain, or exterior foundation drain installed in such a way as to divert the ground water AWAY from the foundation. This is the method that SHOULD have been installed during the new construction phase of your homes building. Usually perforated drainage pipe is installed with clean pea gravel installed around the pipe to prevent soil from clogging the perforations while allowing ground water into the drainage system. The drainage pipe are then installed with a sloping grade, to drain the ground water downhill away from the house foundation. Make sure to divert the water somewhere that wont cause flooding or erosion problems.
Basement water-proofing is a fairly serious project, that can easily be messed up. It is highly recommended to contact a professional basement water-proofer and get some estimates before attempting any do-it-yourself methods. I have seen all kinds of whacky things people have done themselves inan effort to protect their basements from flooding, and most of them ended up being a waste of money! From misapplied water-proofing paint, to poorly installed sump-pumps, take it from me and hire a professional water-proofer or at least hire a consultant to help you with your water-proofing plans.