Selecting the optimal basement waterproofing system is crucial to permanently solving moisture problems. With so many products and methods available, it can be challenging for homeowners to determine what will work best for their unique needs and conditions.
Carefully evaluating the critical differences between interior, exterior, or combined approaches helps identify advanced solutions that keep basements reliably dry long-term. Learn more about basement waterproofing systems below.
- Interior Basement Waterproofing Techniques
Interior basement waterproofing Toronto involves sealing concrete walls, floors, and surfaces inside the basement to block further moisture intrusion and transmission into the space. Standard interior waterproofing techniques and products include:
- Liquid-applied concrete sealants fill in pores and small cracks in the concrete to prevent water absorption and seepage. Acrylics, epoxies, urethanes, and rubberized asphalt work well for this application. Products are rolled or brushed on.
- Membrane sealants, called coatings, form a flexible bonded barrier preventing water penetration. These products, such as DryZone and Black Jack’s Water Guard, stretch with minimal cracking and are designed to bridge small substrate cracks.
- Cementitious crystallization products like Xypex chemically react with concrete to seal pores and create water resistance within the concrete itself. These are not a surface coating but deeply penetrating.
- Plastic wall panels like DryBasement Waterproof Wall Paneling attach to basement walls with adhesive or mechanical fasteners to form a complete moisture barrier. Panels interlock and seal the seams.
- Special sealed and coated concrete floor slabs are poured or installed by technicians by technicians to bridge cracks between panels and seal slab joints. Urethanes, epoxies, and polyureas work well as crack-resistant floor coatings.
The benefits of interior waterproofing include substantially lower costs, less excavation and site disruption, and generally faster project completion.
However, interior sealants have limitations – exterior water pressure remains unmanaged, and despite quality installation, interior coatings and barriers may eventually fail or degrade over time, allowing renewed leaks. But for minor dampness or seepage, interior waterproofing can effectively waterproof basement spaces.
- Exterior Basement Waterproofing Techniques
Exterior waterproofing aims to directly correct the outside foundation concerns that cause water seepages like poor drainage, cracks in walls, faulty water barriers, or high hydrostatic pressure. Standard exterior waterproofing options include:
- Improving surface drainage through new properly-sized rain gutters, downspouts, catch basins, and underground piping that channels runoff water away from the foundation perimeter.
- Re-grading and re-shaping terrain around the structure to angle drainage away rather than towards the basement walls. Swales, French drains, and other landscaping drainage provisions help significantly.
- High-quality drainage improvements reduce the hydrostatic pressure of saturated backfill pushing against basement walls, the critical driver of moisture intrusion through cracks and pores.
- Concrete crack sealing using liquid sealants or hydraulic injections fills cracks and pores in poured concrete or concrete block foundation walls.
- Waterproofing sealers and membranes applied to the exterior foundation walls create a protective barrier preventing water from passing through. Elastomeric sheet membranes strongly bond for full-wall seamless water protection.
- Exterior drainage tiles and pipes are installed by technicians by technicians around the outside of the footing to collect groundwater and seepage before it reaches the basement foundation walls, draining it away from the perimeter.
The main advantage of exterior waterproofing is directly addressing the trustworthy source of water problems for a permanent solution. However, the excavation requirements make this a more complex, disruptive, and expensive approach. Yet, exterior techniques offer reliable long-term water protection for severe chronic seepage.
- Integrated Waterproofing Using Interior and Exterior Methods
Many waterproofing professionals recommend a combined approach for optimal moisture protection:
First, address exterior concerns and the root causes of basement seepage – improve surface drainage, seal outdoor foundation cracks, increase water diversion from the perimeter, and reduce hydrostatic pressure on walls.
Second, install interior French drains, sump pumps, and wall/floor sealants as an inner secondary moisture barrier to catch any remaining dampness infiltrating past exterior measures.
This integrated system controls the initial exterior water source and provides a robust inner backup barrier, keeping the basement dry.
The interior systems act as a critical failsafe in case the outer protections get overwhelmed or fail over time. This inside/outside approach ensures no moisture penetrates the basement space.