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Exterior Basement Waterproofing

Here's Why Exterior Basement Waterproofing is the Better Option

Exterior basement waterproofing is a system of waterproofing to prevent the entry of the water into the basement from outside. Here are some facts about this system, its requirements, and its advantages.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Last Updated: Jan 22, 2019
Basements are prone to flooding and water damage, owing to the presence of ground water. Moisture and dampness in the basement can result in the growth of mold and mildew.
Waterproofing on concrete foundation
This can lead to rotting of the foundation, which can weaken the entire structure of the edifice. Waterproofing a basement becomes imperative to alleviate the problems caused due to groundwater.
However, most of the homeowners do not know the correct methods of waterproofing. As a result, they are often conned by contractors who install substandard waterproofing equipment. Exterior waterproofing system is the best option of preventing water damage in a basement.
Homeowners often face the dilemma of whether to go for exterior or interior waterproofing. Many homeowners actually get only damp-proofing, even though they might have paid for waterproofing. Interior waterproofing seals the entry of water from the inside of the basement.
Exterior waterproofing, on the other hand, prevents the entry of the water from outside and also reduces the force exerted by the groundwater on the walls of the basement. There are many myths by those who advocate the use of the interior technique. However, the fact remains that exterior waterproofing provides much better protection.
Though, the interior technique can prevent the water seepage, it does little to prevent the inside of the walls from getting damaged. This can ruin your wall paint as well as insulation. The exterior technique takes care of the inside of the walls by preventing water seepage.
Exterior waterproofing involves excavating the earth from around the foundation of the house. Waterproofing products are either sprayed or installed in sheets. This is where most subcontractors deceive unsuspecting homeowners. They apply concrete or unmodified asphalt with other damp-proofing masonry products.
These products become brittle when they dry. They are not efficient in sealing the cracks or flaws in the structure, which eventually allows water seepage. Some of the products are tar-based and are equally ineffective in blocking water. Tar loses its elasticity after a few days and gives way to water through the cracks and crevices.
Exterior waterproofing products are compounds of modified asphalt or urethanes. Some of these products are clay-based while the others are rubber-based. They have self-sealing properties, and generally do not harden upon curing.
As mentioned earlier, the groundwater exerts an enormous pressure on the walls of the basement, and if this pressure is not taken care of, it may lead to buckling of basement walls. To overcome this problem, a drainage system is installed which transports this water away from the house. Alternatively, a pump can also be installed for the same purpose.
Worker waterproofing a new house
Exterior waterproofing protects your walls and paint from water damage. It prevents your basement flooring from getting flooded. It also inhibits the growth of mold and mildew by alleviating the moisture and dampness in the basement.
It protects your possessions in the area and also increases the usable space. A moisture-free basement has more functionality than a damp, mildew infested one. Waterproofing also helps to keep your foundation intact and secures the entire structure. Thus, it is very important to get exterior waterproofing done.
Exterior waterproofing has several benefits over other systems. If you decide to go for this system, thoroughly check the credentials of the subcontractor before signing the contract.