In this article, we’ll be discussing interior basement waterproofing systems and products, so stay with us!
When your basement leaks, there are two aspects to waterproofing, interior, and exterior.
For exterior basement waterproofing, all the protective work is done on the outer part of the basement. This is more of a preventive measure aimed at keeping water or moisture from ever getting into the basement.
How To Waterproof A Basement From Inside
On the flip side, we have the interior basement waterproofing approach. This involves waterproofing basement walls from inside, and it’s a combination of both corrective and preventive measures.
Since the repairs are focused on the inside, it remains one of the best remedies for damp or wet basements. A damp basement is an attraction or a breeding ground for harmful mold and mildew.
First of all, mold doesn’t look good, secondly, it can cause health problems, especially allergies and respiratory issues.
This further stresses how important it is to waterproof your basement.
What Products Can Be Used For Inside Basement Waterproofing?
To waterproof your basement from the inside, one, two, or all of the products listed below can be used.
Honestly, you wouldn’t need all these products for interior waterproofing (that’s assuming the leakage isn’t too severe). However, if the building has been abandoned for many years, and the basement has been left unattended during that time, then the interior waterproofing process would be more tedious.
Here are the common interior basement waterproofing products you will need.
- Interior air gap drainage membrane
- Drainage tiles (weeping tiles)
- Drainage tile connector pieces
- ¾ inch gravel
- Sealing cement
- Paint sealers
- Concrete sealers
- A sump pump
Benefits Of The Interior Basement Waterproofing System
There are many benefits to interior basement waterproofing systems. Many of these benefits are tied around these 3 factors –
- Solving a hydrostatic pressure problem
Space: When the area with the leaking problem cannot be accessed from the exterior, then an interior repair is the next viable option.
Remember, the basement is at the bottom of the building and is surrounded by the foundation soil. This can make access to certain areas from outside a real problem.
If not for anything else, working on leaks from inside the basement affords you a lot more space.
A hydrostatic pressure problem: In some cases, the water problem you are facing in your basement may not even be a result of a foundation leak, it could be a hydrostatic pressure problem.
This is where the groundwater beneath the concrete slab moves up and down, causing the water to push through the basement slab, or through the point where the floor and walls meet.
The groundwater could also be a pointer to an underground creek, just beneath the area where the house was built.
Cost-effectiveness: Another advantage of interior basement waterproofing is its cost-effective nature. This is more pronounced when it is being carried out on an unfinished living area.
It eliminates mold and improves internal air quality: It is quite dangerous to have mold growing on your basement walls and floors. They are allergenic and can worsen an already-existing respiratory problem.
This is where internal basement waterproofing comes in handy. Not to say exterior waterproofing cannot keep mold from growing inside, we’re simply saying that cutting the mold off from their expected breeding place is much better.
An internal waterproofing system also ensures that there is better air around the basement.
Installing Interior Basement Drainage System
To install an internal drainage system, there are careful steps you must follow. You have the option of doing it yourself, but your best bet would be to hire a professional contractor.
They are equipped with all the tools and materials they need to get the job done, and they have many years of experience. They will charge a fair amount of money for the job, but it’ll be worth every penny in the end.
However, if you believe that you’re up for the task, then feel free to follow the steps below to install your interior drainage system.
Before you begin though, make sure that the area where you want to work has been cleared of any obstructions. You wouldn’t want anything getting in your way while you work.
Also, ensure that you have all the tools and materials you need at hand so you don’t get stuck halfway.
Step 1: Break the floors around the perimeter
The floors around the perimeter where you plan to install the system have to be broken. The strikes should be made about 6 to 10 inches away from the foundation wall.
To break the ground, you can use a large strong hammer to strike the ground. Keep in mind this is a physically tasking job, and it could leave you fatigued at the end.
If after this stage you feel you can continue, then let’s move on to the second step.
Step 2: Remove the concrete
After the floors around the foundation perimeter have been broken, you will need to clear out the concrete then dig a trench to create space for the weeping tile.
Step 3: Install the weeping tile
After the trench has been dug, you should make sure the spaces are swept free of debris so the weeping tile can be installed to fit. Handpick the rubble if you must, just ensure the trench is free.
Now you can install the perforated weeping tile and move on to the next step.
Step 4: Connect the weeping tile to a discharge
After the installation of the weeping tile has been completed, you have to link it to a discharge. A sump pump or a floor drain is the most common discharges you can find in the basement, so connect it to anyone you have.
As long as it can channel the water away from your basement, then it’s problem solved!
For those who don’t know, a sump pump is an electronic plumbing device that is designed to collect water in its basin then discharge it to the main sewage system outside.
The pump works with the use of a sensor that picks up water levels and signals the motor when it has become excessive. It is at this point the pump begins to suck the water away from your basement.
As for the floor drain, it is a much simpler drainage mechanism than the sump pump. It is usually located at the steepest end of the floor, which is where any standing water will flow to.
It then sucks the flowing water through the drain and into the sewers.
Step 5: Install a dimpled sheet of drainage membrane
This is the next step to follow after connecting the weeping tile to a discharge. Install the dimple sheet on the interior exposed wall, right where the drain system has just been installed.
Step 6: Add some gravel
You’re almost done installing your interior basement waterproofing drain. But there’s still some work left to do.
Now you have to add a layer of ¾ clear gravel over the weeping tile. This will ensure that there is maximum drainage potential.
The layer of gravel keeps other dirt and debris away from the weeping tile, while still affording space for water to flow through it.
As long as the membrane and gravel have been put in position, water from either above or below grade will drain through the system.
Step 7: Add a layer of concrete
The final step to take in the installation of your internal basement drainage system is to spread a concrete mix over the open trench where the weeping tiles were placed.
This will give it a nice, professional finish and protect the tiles at the same time.
Remember, the concrete should be laid over the trench so it reaches its original ground level.
Using Interior Waterproof Paint Sealants
Now that you have installed an effective water drainage system in your basement, it would be nice if you backed it up with other interior waterproofing products.
A paint sealant is a great product to use on the surface of the interior walls of your basement. Luckily, you can find it in pretty much any home improvement store near you.
The sealant works by filling up the tiny porous gaps found in concrete walls in a water-tight manner. This blockade restricts external water from seeping through to the surface of the interior basement walls.
To use the paint, first clean off the surface of the wall and ensure it is free of dust or other unwanted particles. If the surface isn’t clean, the paint will not bond well with the wall surface.
The next step is to use a roller paintbrush and apply a thick coating over every area of the wall. The thicker the coating, the harder it is for moisture to flow through.
Can you waterproof a basement from the inside? Yes.
So, guys, that’s all you need to know about interior basement waterproofing systems and products.
Flow the steps here to install the interior drain system yourself, or hire a pro to help you in waterproofing basement walls from inside.
Thanks for reading!
- Exterior Basement Waterproofing Process & Products For Outside Walls
- Basement Waterproofing Solutions: 5 Sealing Methods & Systems
- Waterproofing Basement Walls: Guide To Fixing Damp Units
- SealOnce Basement Waterproofing System: How To Use