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6 Important Steps To Waterproof Your Basement: Homebuilding Tips

waterproof a new house

Building a new home is as invigorating as it is stressful. The last thing you want is to have it all done only for your new basement to crack or leak. That’s why we suggest investing in reliable waterproofing solutions before the construction process is complete.

This guide is for everyone who’s building their own home over a basement. You likely have a lot of help getting it done already, and you may have a team of professionals doing tasks that you yourself can’t do. This article will list everything you can do on your own as well as tasks that should be left to the pros.

Why You Should Waterproof Your New Basement

As a nationally recognized expert in basement waterproofing, we’ve seen pretty much the entire gamut of things that can go wrong when your basement isn’t waterproofed.

  • If moisture enters into your basement, Moisture in homes, it can lead to mold growth, oxidation of metals (ie. rust), destruction of paper products, and overall discomfort.
  • Flooding via cracks in your basement walls poses a risk to your entire building project. If a big storm comes, all that water is going to try to find a way into your basement. Waterproofing techniques—footing drains, interior drains, sump pumps, and vapor barriers—prevent water from entering you home, reducing the risk of flooding and associated damages.
  • A dry basement not only means peace of mind, it extends your home’s usable space for recreation and storage.

Things You Need for Comprehensive Basement Waterproofing

When it comes to selecting basement waterproofing methods for your new house, there are a range of options. These methods are meant to both prevent water from pooling in the basement (especially in the cove joints) and reinforce the structure proactively against the formation of wall cracks.

Basement walls with vapor barrier on them and a JES tech installing a basement sump pump

1. A Basement Wall Vapor Barrier

When it comes to protecting your home from the elements, a basement wall vapor barrier is the place to start. With a range of options available, selecting the right foundation membrane for your needs is essential. Traditional peel-and-stick membranes offer a hydrophobic barrier that shields your home from rainwater. Alternatively, you can explore liquid-applied membranes or semi-permanent sealants to provide the necessary protection.

JES tech installing interior basement drainage

2. Interior Drainage

Yard drains and footing drains aren’t enough to keep water away from your foundation. That’s why you need a basement drainage system inside the basement as well. It might seem contradictory to the meaning of “waterproofing,” but you actually need to let some water inside your basement in order to control it and relieve the pressure it’s putting on your basement walls.

Interior basement drainage does just that. An drainage system inside your basement takes the pressure of and move the water to a place where you can pump it out away from your foundation—which leads us to the next point…

JES tech installing basement sump pump

3. A Sump Pump

A sump pump is a key part of how you get water out of your basement. Water flows from your interior drainage system so that the sump pump can (you guessed it) pump it pumps it out. It’s like a pressure valve on your waterproofing system as a whole.

The exact ways in which a sump pump works varies depending on the type of machine you have, but they all pretty much do the same thing. Just be sure to get one that is fitted to move the proper amount of water out fo your basement based on how much water is moving hrough your drainage system.

One last note: sump pumps usually plug into a wall outlet, and they sometimes come with a battery backup. We highly recommend these in case of a power outage.

JES-branded basement dehumidifier

4. An Energy-Efficient Basement Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is going to be the thing that ensures your home’s continued protection against basement moisture. It will clean the air of any remaining moisture, ensuring the driest possible living space and deterring mold growth and other forms of moisture damage.

We recommend calling a professional for this in order to determine the dehumidifier that can handle the amount of space in your basement.

5. French Drains

Also known as “exterior drain tiles” or “perimeter drains,” you can probably have your contractors install a French drain while digging out the perimeter of your home. These pipes need to rest in gravel canals to direct water away from your foundation and basement. You won’t need to worry about connecting these pipes to your sewer. Instead, you’ll be able to have them direct water wherever you like, as long as it’s a reasonable distance away from your home.

construction workers damp-proofing home exterior

6. Damp Proofing

If you’re interested in a less construction-oriented waterproofing solution, you can always damp proof your home. To damp proof your basement and foundation during construction, you’ll need to ask your contractors to spray this tar-based emulsion along your walls. This way, you’ll create a hydrophobic barrier between the outdoors and your support structures.

One of the best things about damp proofing is its overall affordability. That said, if you want more comprehensive waterproofing, consider stacking this solution with something else or investing in one of the better waterproof emulsions on the market. Local contractors should be able to tell you which of the available emulsions will best suit your budget and location.

Need More Help? Call JES!

When you’re waterproofing a new home, the site work is almost as important as the solution you’ve chosen to work with. That’s why you always want to collaborate with foundation and basement repair professionals and experienced construction workers. While DIY-ing a waterproofing solution may seem appealing, it’s always best to leave this kind of work to the professionals.

Are you ready to protect your future home? Reach out to JES for a free inspection and estimate, and start discussing what waterproofing solutions may best suit your new home.

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