Exterior Foundation Waterproofing

How an Exterior Foundation Waterproofing Membrane is used as a Moisture Barrier

Learn how an exterior foundation waterproofing membrane can help your foundation.

By Frederick Marshall
May 30, 2013


Advanced Foundation Repair recently released an educational video and white paper which walks homeowners through how exterior foundation waterproofing membrane moisture barriers can be including in foundation drainage systems. “The purpose of the moisture barrier is to keep ground water from moving under a foundation.” states Fred Marshall, owner of Advanced Foundation Repair.

What is a Moisture Barrier?

Moisture barriers are exactly that. They hinder or stop moisture from moving from one place to another. Used through-out construction, moisture barriers come in various forms: moisture barrier film, moisture barrier plastic, or concrete moisture barrier.

Concrete Vapor Barriers

Don’t confuse a foundation waterproofing membrane moisture barrier with concrete vapor barriers which are installed when pouring a foundation. They help prevent damp cold and clammy concrete floors by stopping water vapor from moving through a concrete floor as well as hindering moisture from deteriorating the concrete and from damaging sealers and overlays. Place vapor barriers down before pouring the slab.

Exterior Foundation Waterproofing Membranes Moisture Barriers

For concrete slab foundations, bury foundation waterproofing membranes moisture barriers’ vertical layers of plastic in the ground around the perimeter of the foundation. Install foundation waterproofing moisture barriers after finishing concrete slab foundation installations.

Exterior foundation waterproofing membrane stop water as it flows up against it, thus preventing water from getting under a home. The purpose of the membrane is to keep ground water from moving under a foundation and to help maintain moisture levels in and around a foundation.

Moist Soil is Good

Keeping the right amount of water in the soil is important for foundation maintenance.

With too little water the soils shrink and the foundation goes down but with too much water the soil expands and pushes the foundation up. To help control situations where too much water is entering the soil, engineers sometimes call for the construction of a foundation waterproofing membrane moisture barrier.

While installing foundation waterproofing membranes is fairly basic, they are exceedingly labor intensive. Attention to detail is critical to ensure the moisture barrier does not have any tears or gaps. Foundation membranes are most commonly a polyethylene membrane. Check with a local hardware store for supplies then determine the depth of seasonal moisture. Dig a trench around the foundation then install the membranes so that they are below the depth of seasonal moisture. This could be as far down as ten to twelve feet. Many have an adhesive system that attaches to the top of the foundation. Back fill the trench.

Advanced Foundation Repair offers home repairs from the foundation up including foundation repair, plumbing, and general construction services. They have specialized in solving the foundation repair needs of Texas homeowners for over 100 years while their reputation assures customers that they will receive prompt honest and reliable service.

Frederick Marshall is the CEO of , 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+.


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