There are two types of foundation waterproofing: internal and external.
Internal foundation waterproofing is a waterproofing solution that's installed inside the home's crawl space or basement, while external foundation waterproofing involves installing a barrier on the foundation's exterior.
External waterproofing typically occurs while the home is being built and falls into two categories: damp proofing and waterproofing.
Damp proofing is a spray that's applied to the foundation. While it doesn't waterproof the foundation, it does help limit the water that soaks through the foundation. Damp proofing a foundation is now common practice when a home is being built, but isn't enough to prevent water problems.
Waterproofing involves installing a layer or membrane over the foundation that prevents water from entering the foundation. This is typically followed with the installation of an exterior drain tile, also known as an exterior footing drain, to help move water away from the foundation.
Installing an external waterproofing system after a home has been built can damage the foundation and can cost up to 50% more than an interior system. To install the exterior barrier all of the soil surrounding the home is excavated with a backhoe.
Excavation runs the risk of damaging the foundation, and once the soil is removed so is the extra support it provides. Cracks and other structural problems could form which can lead to expensive repairs. Why risk it?
If you're experiencing water problems, the safest option is to install an interior waterproofing system.
Crawl Space vs. Basement Waterproofing
The type of waterproofing you need is dependant upon the type of foundation your home is built on. Crawl spaces are encapsulated, which involves completely separating the crawl space from outside elements and the dirt floor.
Crawl space encapsulation solutions:
Basement waterproofing can involve a below-floor drainage system paired with a sump pump and wall system. But if the waterproofing problem is caused by a foundation crack, then a foundation repair expert will need to be consulted.
Basement waterproofing solutions:
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