The process of making a structure or an object immune to water is called waterproofing. Waterproofing is beneficial in areas that endure heavy downpours or generally have a moist environment. The term waterproof often indicates resistance to seeping of water when in liquid form. On the other hand, damp proofing refers to water resistance when in the form of dampness, moisture, or humidity.
Any man-made thing or structure is bound to deteriorate sooner rather than later without proper maintenance. Natural factors such as wind, water, climate change, air, humidity, earthquakes, flood, etc., are the major factors that cause this deterioration.
Let’s talk about water. We all know that water can ruin even the biggest and strongest structures and foundations if precautions are not adopted. Hence, enters the waterproofing! It is done to the building that is under construction to stop moisture accumulation. Waterproofing can also be applied to an already constructed structure as a further improvisation to it or during renovation, etc.
In the olden days, waterproofing was done with pitch or tar (mainly of ships or boats), but waterproofing is done with advanced methods in modern times. Now, for waterproofing, sealings or elements that are repellent or resistant to water are used. O-rings and gasket are the preferred water repellent.
Waterproofing is useful for many purposes like:
- During the building of a structure, mainly in the areas prone to heavy rainfall or with humid environments,
- In basements
- In electronic devices
- Articles of clothing such as wader, swimming costumes, tents, or raincoats, etc.
- The packaging for paper
- Underwater research purposes
- For Cartons of liquid
Types of Waterproofing
There are quite a few methods that you can choose from to waterproof. To name a few-
- The first, most common, and easiest method is waterproofing via cement. It’s easily available, and just after mixing it, it is applicable. It can be used to waterproof bridges, decks, tunnels, etc.
- The second method makes use of a primer. It is called Liquid Membrane waterproofing. In this, multiple layers of primer are coated to the area with water retention problem via a trowel, roller, or spray.
- Another method of waterproofing a building is by coating bituminous. Mostly preferred in foundations of concrete.
- The other method of waterproofing is called bituminous membrane waterproofing. It is a combination of polymers, asphalt, and filler. Therefore, it is self-adherent.
- The next method is Polyurethane Liquid Membrane Waterproofing. Most commonly, this method is used with flat surfaces like a roof. It can be used for kitchens, bathrooms, water tanks, basement, decks, swimming pools, balconies, etc. This method is quite expensive.
Things to consider while waterproofing of basements
The materials used and techniques involved in preventing water penetration into the basement of a building, structure, or house are called basement waterproofing.
We often get to hear, “My basement stinks.” or “My basement is flooded!!” Before getting it fixed, certain factors need to be considered.
- First, you need to find out whether it is the trouble of water retention that needs fixing and not anything else. This you can figure out by checking for water accumulation. There might be puddles on the floor of the basement, peeling of paint, carpet being wet, distorted panels, a humid moldy or muddy odor are the clear indications of your basement needing waterproofing. Especially after a heavy downpour, do a thorough inspection of your home’s foundation walls. And make arrangements accordingly.
- Secondly, check for the options available for effective waterproofing. Choose according to your need. And keep in mind the problems such as condensation, leaking window sides, shaking of foundation walls, clogged or broken drain, mold growth, cracking in the walls, etc. During the waterproofing of basements, there are three options that you can make use of:
- Either a repair or long-term
- Or A quick repair
- Or the combination of the ways as mentioned earlier
- Thirdly, with today’s methods, waterproofing has become easier to apply and almost non-invasive. This point is about the household damage that the whole scenario of water accumulation would be causing. There will be cracks and gaps in the wall. It might harm the electronic devices hung or attached to the walls. Also, damp walls can cause a short circuit as well.
- Fourth, one must take into account the time that the basement will need to get fixed. It may be done in a day or take till about four days or longer, so any gathering in the house must be avoided. Also, one must consider the weather conditions, or some unexpected nuisance can delay the supposed time.
- Fifth, it is easier to delay, isn’t it? But no. The longer you wait, the more time and resources the basement will need. So do not delay to fix.
- Sixth, figure out where the fixing is exactly needed. Usually, the walls and foundation need fixing, but sometimes it is the drain tiles that need to be waterproofed. Drain tile, whether outside or inside, rarely needs maintenance. Also, the installation of both the drain tile is somewhat different. If the basement is under ongoing renovation, the installation of the inside drain tile is better, but otherwise, an outside drain tile is recommended.
- Seventh, consider your plans while waterproofing the basement. Waterproofing of the basement can be an expensive endeavour. It is recommended to spend with precision and planning.
So, by keeping all these points into account, you can make your basement water-resistant. And if you come across moisture on the wall or damp floors, you already know what to do.
Techniques you can use to make your basement waterproof
Waterproofing is not just a way to protect your property but also to provide a habitable and safe home. So, is your basement too humid all the time? Let’s see how you change that.
- There is a technique called interior waterproofing, which is used when the basement of your home or building is flooded already. It is a method in which waterproofing is done inside to avoid liquid from dropping or pouring in.
- The next technique is exterior waterproofing. This waterproofing method is more expensive and requires digging of the foundation. Then the outside of the walls is made waterproof. It is quite effective if money is not an issue.
- Another technique involves installing a drain on the floor. This is amongst the easiest way to make the basement waterproof. It is advised to install a sump pump with this method, as it assists in pushing water out easily without overwhelming the drain.
- This next technique is that of filling Mortar and splits in the cracks of the foundation. It usually happens sometime after the house or a building has been made, i.e., when the foundation settles. This is the most common method of waterproofing.
- This next approach is a classic method of waterproofing. In this, holes are drilled around the foundation, and then clay is poured into it to seal the cracks and make it water-resistant. It can be quite expensive and not very effective.
- Then there is this method called epoxy waterproofing. In this method, chemicals, resins, and epoxy is involved in sealing the cracks and only recommended if the gaps are slight or Small. It is sort of a Band-Aid to the cracks for a long period.
- Another method, which we consider under the head of a professional method of waterproofing, is the use of rubber sealants. They are liquid in their base and are easy to apply to the basement’s walls. It creates a durable resistance for your basement, making it waterproof. It is difficult and dangerous to use for amateurs and, therefore, to be handled via professional.
- Another method of waterproofing is French Draining. This method is from the olden days of waterproofing. In this, water is forced to drain away from the foundation of your structure. However, it requires space around your building to make holes for pipes that allow water to pass.
- Yet another method is making the slope in a form that is ground away from the foundation. This method is not very expensive as it requires building a slop that causes water to flow somewhere away from the foundation.
With these methods in mind, you can check which method suits your needs better and opt accordingly.
Factors that determine the cost of waterproofing the basement
The cost of basement waterproofing depends on basically three factors: the size of your basement, how old your house is, and the type of foundation it has.
It is clear just how useful waterproofing can be for your house. Waterproofing, in short, has become a way to protect our property and provides us with a habitable and safe home without any moldy odor or puddles on the floor. Moreover, it is not just homes and infrastructures that require waterproofing many other objects and devices, such as cosmetics, electronic devices, smartphones, accessories like handbags, wallet, purses, watches, paper packaging, liquid containing cartons makes use of waterproofing as well.