Concrete Foundation Waterproofing
And how to stop the source.
Pin Point the Source
Bad smells, molding, peeling paint, wet carpet, unexplained moisture on tile and spotted walls are signs of moisture leaking through the foundation. Why is there water under and around your home foundation? Most of the time, it is either foundation drainage issues or under slab leaking pipes.
Know your water sources. They can include broken gutters/downspouts or poor drainage during the rainy season.
Under Slab Leaks
Sewer, septic or water pipes break and leak under slabs. Unexpected water bill spikes and foundation heaving are a sure indication of a water leak. Fix the leak and you fix the moisture problem while avoiding additional damage to your foundation.
Follow our DIY Leak Detection Video for tips for simple step by step water leak detection check anyone can do with leak detector equipment found at any hardware store. Start with shutting off all the water in your home and then check your meter. If the meter is moving then you probably have a leak. If the meter is not moving, you make have a sewer/septic problem. Unfortunately these types of leaks require a plumber. Call a professional to test for a more detailed slab leak and to have the leak fixed.
Whatever the source of water is you are going to need to deal with it before you can start waterproofing foundations.
DYI Concrete Foundation Waterproofing of Cracks
Now that the water source has been taken care of, you can fill foundation cracks.
- Exterior Foundation Cracks
Silicone caulking is an easy DIY fix for waterproofing foundations with cracks. Isolate where on the foundation the work is needed to be done. Completely expose cracks, cleaning out dirt or debris. If using water let dry before applying the silicone. Let the silicone dry before returning any mulch or landscaping products.
- Interior Foundation Cracks
Locate foundation cracks. Completely expose cracks by removing the carpet or other flooring. Let wet areas dry and then clean all dirt or debris from the crack. If using water let dry before applying the silicone. Apply the silicone evenly throughout the length of the crack. Run a trowel or scraper over the silicone ensuring the silicone is flat on the surface. Unevenly dried silicone makes floor covering uneven as well. Let the silicone dry before reinstalling flooring material.
Note: If one side of the crack is higher than the other side of the crack, you may want to have a foundation expert check that your foundation is level and stable.
External Foundations Waterproofing Membranes & Moisture Barriers
Moisture barriers are vertical layers of plastic that are buried in the ground. As water flows up against a moisture barrier, it is stopped and prevented from getting under a home. There are many ways for waterproofing foundations here are four methods in particular.
- Exterior insulated finish systems (EIFS) waterproof outer foundation walls. EIFS creates an aesthetically pleasing coating over outer concrete walls while providing a moisture resistant surface. It serves a dual purpose of insulating and waterproofing outer foundation walls.
- Polymer-based liquid membrane coatings are for both outer walls and floors. Either sprayed on or rolled onto concrete directly. While they are quick to apply and low in cost, their application does not always offer an even surface coverage.
- Self-adhering sheet membranes provide the consistency that liquid membranes do not. Be careful as they stick to anything, improper installation leaves gaps, and you need two people to install.
- Silicone sealants are an easy to use method for waterproofing foundations. They serve a dual purpose of crack filler and sealer. They are best used for cracks that are one quarter inch thick or less. Application can be by done by either using a sprayer or a paint roller.
While waterproofing foundations may keep out the water it might not solve the cause of the problem. Early detection and water diversion techniques are the best ways to reduce the chances of significant foundation waterproofing issues. If you need help determining the cause or fixing the aftermath, call a professional to inspect your foundation repair issue.
Frederick Marshall is the CEO of Advanced Foundation Repair, LLC, a foundation repair company specializing in home repairs from the foundation up including foundation repair, foundation drainage, exterior foundation waterproofing, foundation irrigation, and plumbing services. Advanced Foundation Repair has specialized in foundation repair needs of Texas homeowners for over 100 years. Connect with him on Google+.