We will be looking at new construction waterproofing tips for basements and foundations.
The importance of waterproofing your basement cannot be overstated.
And many experts have said the waterproofing process is best done during the construction phase of the foundation and basement.
There are several reasons why these experts are of this opinion, and we will be discussing them in the rest of the article.
We will also be discussing why waterproofing your basement is important, regardless of whether it is done during the construction phase or after.
Importance Of New Construction Waterproofing
As we all know, the exterior foundation is a very important part of a new home or any home for that matter.
When the foundation is well-built, it will be able to give the building the much-needed structural support, and it will also help to stop water from making its way into the structure.
As far as managing moisture is concerned, it all begins with the construction of the foundation.
Modern-day building codes only demand minimal preparation for foundation construction, and the term they use to describe this is “damp-proofing”.
The Difference Between Damp Proofing and Exterior Waterproofing
A lot of people are not familiar with the term “damp-proofing”, and this is why they sometimes confuse it with waterproofing. And while they are very similar, there is a slight difference.
Damp-proofing involves adding a moisture-resistant coating over the exterior foundation, which will, in turn, reduce the moisture that is coming in from the ground outside through the foundation wall into basements.
In this scenario, an adequate amount of damp-proof material is used above and below grade.
I have to mention though, the damp proofing material cannot guard your home and its foundation against liquid water, it can only prevent soil moisture from seeping through.
As for exterior waterproofing, this will guard your home from actual water trying to make its way into your home’s foundation as a result of hydrostatic pressure.
Remember that your foundation is built with poured concrete, and concrete is a porous material, which means moisture can seep through the pores.
If the foundation is not well guarded against soil moisture, then it will be susceptible to hydrostatic pressure.
In case you don’t know, hydrostatic pressure is the force with which groundwater pushes against the foundation walls of your new home, and forces its way in through the pores.
Hydrostatic pressure can also cause cracks in your basement floor and walls, which further exposes your basement to flooding and severe water damage.
The Waterproofing Process For Your Newly Constructed Basement And Foundation
Below are the steps you should expect a professional waterproofing service to take during the new construction basement and foundation waterproofing.
- They will apply rubber membranes on the foundation’s outer walls
- They will embed fabric mesh onto the initial coat of rubber membrane
- They will add an extra coat of rubber membrane over the mesh
- For drainage sake, you should expect the waterproofing company to include soil-side drainage to the building’s foundation wall
Benefits Of Waterproofing During The Construction Phase
If you’re currently building a home, then it would be in your best interest to begin waterproofing simultaneously. Of course, you can waterproof later on, but doing it now is always the best choice.
Why do you ask? Let me give you a few valid reasons.
It will save you money
If you finally decide that the construction phase is the best time to waterproof your foundation and basement, then you are on the right path, as you will be saving yourself thousands of dollars down the line.
The costs involved with waterproofing your basement during the construction phase are much lower than the costs you would incur after.
If you don’t waterproof now, your basement will be prone to all sorts of groundwater damage.
This means you will have to fix the cracks in your foundation, clean up the flooding in your basement, and still pay for the waterproofing which you dodged from the onset.
Add these extra repair costs to the cost of waterproofing, and you will wish you had done it during the construction phase.
It is more convenient
When you waterproof during the construction phase, you will protect your foundation and basement from water damage. If you don’t, you will have to face the inconveniences that come with fixing these damages in the future.
Besides the cost of repair, other inconveniences you could face include –
- Moving your cars around
- Possibly moving out of your house temporarily until the repairs and waterproofing is complete
Why suffer these inconveniences when you could have avoided them earlier, simply by waterproofing during the construction phase?
Your new basement will be free of mold and efflorescence
Imagine moving into a new home, only to start seeing mold growth along your basement walls, floors, and ceilings a few weeks after. That would be heartbreaking for any homeowner, as it means having to deal with dangerous mold when you’re barely settled in.
In case you’re not aware, mold can cause allergies in humans, and can also infect the lungs, which will, in turn, lead to complications in breathing.
As if that’s not bad enough, mold looks terrible, and it can mess up the looks of your newly built basement walls.
Besides mold, efflorescence can also develop on damp walls.
So if your basement isn’t waterproofed early in the construction phase, you’ll walk in one day to find efflorescence growth on your new basement walls.
Imagine having to start cleaning a basement wall that you just built!
Your new home will be free of musty smells
Every part of a new building is supposed to smell fresh, even spaces as low as the basement. After all, it is laced with fresh-smelling paint and new furniture.
But guess what can alter the freshness of your new basement? The musty smell from mold growth.
Mold is known to produce a foul odor, and if the mold colony expands, the horrible smell will become more pronounced.
This could’ve been avoided if you had waterproofed your basement during the construction phase, since moisture (which promotes mold growth), will not be able to penetrate your foundation and create a suitable environment for mold to form.
It promotes structural strength
Keeping water away from your new basement doesn’t only prevent the formation of mold, it also protects your entire building from structural damage.
The more water seeps through your poured concrete foundation walls, the weaker it becomes. Let’s face it, water will always flow to the steepest points of any surface, so you cannot stop it from trying to get in, you can only stop it from actually getting in.
If your new building hasn’t been waterproofed, then hydrostatic pressure will take full effect and begin to slowly damage your foundation. In no time, you will begin to notice cracks in your basement walls and floors. You will also find cracks around the perimeter of your foundation.
This is bad for the integrity of your building, as a weakened foundation makes the building prone to collapse, thereby unsafe.
It keeps your belongings safe from water damage
If you’ve never experienced a flooded basement, then you’ll have no idea of the kind of damage water can do to your belongings.
It can negatively affect your furniture, boxes, clothes, and other woodwork. If they are damaged beyond repair, then you’ll have to discard them and replace them. Think of how much that will cost you.
It increases your property value
When you waterproof your foundation during the construction phase, the value of your home will automatically appreciate. At least will be a lot more valuable than if it wasn’t waterproofed.
This particular point should be of interest to those in the real estate business, as they would understand how valuable a sound building is in the market.
On the flip side, a building that has not been waterproofed will not attract high prices in the market. In fact, real estate developers usually advise home sellers to waterproof their buildings before they put them up for sale to attract better prices from potential buyers.
It keeps your mind at peace when you move into your new home
Considering all we have discussed the benefits of new construction basement and foundation waterproofing, it is safe to say that homeowners who have taken this step will be at peace when they move in.
Knowing that your new home is safe from mold invasion and that the structural soundness of your foundation is intact, you can be more confident living there.
You also will not have to worry about water damaging your belongings.
New construction basement and foundation waterproofing has proven to be cheaper than waterproofing after the building has been completed. For this reason (and many more) it is the right step for property owners to take.
I advise you to talk to a professional contractor to get more details on waterproofing during construction.
I trust this article has been informative.
Thanks for reading and good luck!
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- Basement Waterproofing Solutions: 5 Sealing Methods & Systems
- Waterproofing Basement Walls: Guide To Fixing Damp Units
- Exterior Basement Waterproofing Process & Products For Outside Walls