Basement Waterproofing is a general term that describes the range of services performed to fix leaky basements. We often get inquiries as to “How much does it cost to waterproof my basement?” That is the equivalent of taking your car into a dealer and asking, “How much will it cost to fix my car?” The answer is generally, “It depends on what is needed”.
The first step in basement waterproofing is to identify the source of the leak. This can usually be accomplished by consulting with the homeowner to determine how, when, and where the problem occurs. If the basement is unfinished, diagnosis is much easier because water leaves a trail. Rest assure, however, as our Estimators are also well trained to help you find the source of the problem in a finished basement.
Do you know the source of your seepage problem?
Here is a basement with common seepage issues. The wall on the left is a masonry wall, commonly made of block, brick or stone. The wall on the right is a poured concrete wall, identified because it is solid (poured in one piece). Click on the word which points to your basement’s problem area (mortar joint, sump pump, window well, over top of foundation, foundation wall crack, tie rod, pipe penetration, porous concrete, cove joint, floor drain, floor crack) for an explanation and the services we offer to correct it.
Common Problems and Solutions
A good portion of our repairs involve sealing foundation wall cracks in poured concrete foundations (poured concrete is the most common type of foundation in the Louisville metro area). Cracks are readily visible in an unfinished basement; leaking cracks leave water stains on the foundation wall. In a finished basement, the diagnosis starts by identifying the area where water first enters the basement, then searching the exterior for a crack. Most cracks extend to the top of the foundation wall, which is normally exposed above the soil line.
Another common basement waterproofing problem is when the source of seepage is at the cove joint, where the floor and wall meet. Often this is caused by hydrostatic pressure, which occurs when the water table rises after prolonged rain or snow melt. The accumulated weight of water in the ground (8 pounds per gallon) forces water underneath the footing and up into the basement. The best solution to this type of problem is the installation of a Drain Tile System, with a sump pump used to discharge the water. The drain tile (called a French drain in some parts of the country) relieves the hydrostatic pressure by providing an easy path for the water to escape, thus eliminating the water pressure so that the seepage problem goes away. The problem can be addressed from either the interior or exterior.
Sometimes the diagnosis will show water coming over the top of the foundation, through the mortar joint between the brick that sits atop the foundation wall. This situation occurs because the exterior grade is built up above the top of the foundation wall, either by earth or by the previous construction of driveways, walks or patios. This can easily be confirmed by running a garden hose on the ground alongside the area in question. Water will usually enter the basement quickly, so we recommend that you stand-by ready to turn off the water at a moments notice.
Often, lowering the grade is not a viable option in these cases. We usually recommend that an Exterior Subsoil Membrane be applied to the below grade portion of the wall in situations like this. It only needs to cover the wall from the soil line down and overlap the foundation by about 6 inches. Membranes are also very effective for waterproofing brick and stone foundations.
Start with a Free Consultation
There are many other ways water can enter a basement, as well. The key to waterproofing your basement starts with properly diagnosing the source of the problem. Champion Waterproofing offers a free consultation and estimate by a trained and experienced estimator as the first step in basement waterproofing. Click this link to contact us and set up an appointment. See what some of our customers have to say.