Waterproofing your basement pays off when the rain starts

What’s the most vulnerable part of your home? Most Victoria homeowners think it’s their roof. Wrong. The feature that carries the heaviest burden and takes the biggest pounding is your foundation. Unfortunately, it’s also the most ignored aspect of your home, because it’s largely underground, hidden from view. But when the water starts to leak in -- which will occur in most basements at one point or another -- the foundation suddenly gets all of the attention.

In Victoria, this problem is made even worse by our rainy weather, dense clay soils and high seismic activity. Lots of water, poor drainage and frequent earth movement put a lot of stress on concrete foundations – and even more on masonry block walls. Contrary to what most people think, concrete actually absorbs water. As rainfall increases, the water table around the outside of your house rises, putting pressure against your foundation, which could eventually crack, leading to leaks.

You can prevent this by not only regularly cleaning your perimeter drains, but also properly waterproofing your foundation. Most older homes in Victoria have been damp-proofed with a liquid asphalt applied to the outside of the foundation – a big difference from waterproofing. Damp-proofing is a minimum code application that is cheap to apply. It inhibits water penetration, but does not prevent it. Over time, this coating starts to flake away and as hairline cracks appear on the foundation, the tar doesn’t stretch to fill them, allowing moisture to seep in. The common musty smell in basements is often a symptom of this problem.

If you want to do it right – and eliminate musty odors, mold, mildew and water leaks permanently – waterproof your basement from the exterior. Every reputable contractor – including Mike Holmes -- recommends this approach because it’s proven. Using waterproof paints, sealers or interior trench/sump pump systems may help – but they are all half-measures that won’t permanently fix a leaking foundation. Nor will they get rid of damp basement side-effects like mold. Excavating around the exterior of your house and applying an elastometric emulsive membrane seals the wall, provides a drainage plane for water, and stretches over future cracks to provide an unbeatable triple layer of basement waterproofing protection.

Here’s a series of photos/video showing before and after waterproofing:

Raintek offers a permanent solution to protect the most important and vulnerable part of your home – the foundation. Visit our Foundation repair and waterproofing page for more details on our approach. If you have an urgent need, one of our waterproofing experts will be happy to answer your questions right now.

Reliable, Prompt, Courteous. This is our promise to you. Call Raintek at 250-896-3478 today.