If you are building a new house, you can avert the crisis of a wet and flooded basement by waterproofing the foundation. There are various waterproofing products in the market and making the right choice for you can be pretty confusing. The following is just a summary of the commonly used waterproofing systems for foundations to help in your decision.
1. Liquid Rubber that is Hot Applied
This forms a monolithic membrane and is made of rubberized asphalt.
Benefits: It can be used for uneven and rough surfaces. It is watertight and free of seams. Build up of moisture and water migration is eliminated so it provides strong protection to the structure.
Disadvantages: One has to prime the surface first. It has to be applied in sheet layers hence so it has a low elasticity.
2. Cold Applied Liquid Rubber Membranes
These are made from liquid rubber and are described as elastomeric polymerized coatings.
Benefits: It dries quickly, easy to apply and cold applied. The liquid is able to penetrate small holes, making it bridge any possible crevices and cracks, especially in the foundation wall. This waterproofing option is quite economical.
Disadvantages: If the holes or cracks in your structure are large then you will have to use cement before application of the membrane. Some of these products may require that the concrete be cured for a long time before application to ensure proper bonding.
3. Cement Based Waterproofing
It may have waterproofing chemicals, plasticizer and other additives to increase its effectiveness and durability.
Benefits: Use is very easy. It is paintable. Often one coat is all it takes. Weather resistant, corrosion resistant and low in cost.
Disadvantages: The surface has to be even before application, free from cracks, oil, protrusions or other material that will affect the bonding.
4. Sheet Membranes
These are of various types. The most commonly used product is waterproof polyethylene film that has rubberized asphalt laminated onto it.
Benefits: It has a consistent thickness. It can cover bigger holes, has resistance to pressure and is mechanically strong. It can be used on various surfaces such as wood, masonry, metal and concrete.
Disadvantages: Application can be hard. Higher cost and additional work needed.
5. Bentonite Waterproofing
Usually comes in the form of sheets and panels. With the bentonite clay being between two layers of polypropylene fabric, that is puncture resistant.
Benefits: The clay absorbs water. It is chemical resistant, has no fumes and is not toxic.
Disadvantages: The foundation has to be backfilled to confirm the seal’s integrity.
The best thing is to use is what you are comfortable with, depending on your requirements, or better yet contact an expert. This is a sure way to ensure that you won’t have a flooded basement and that the waterproofing is done at initial construction, translating to dry and flood free basements in the future.