The best and most effective way to waterproof a basement is with french drains. The concept is very simple, direct water below the foundation and into a sump pit with a pump, relieving hydro static pressure that’s up against the walls and floor, creating a healthier, drier basement. It's not rocket science, but it's a job that you'll never want to do twice (especially if you have a finished basement). These systems need to work reliably for decades (we guarantee ours for life). This requires experience, ingenuity, and thorough inspections to understand the unique conditions affecting the basement, and how the walls, floor, and footing intersect.
BASEMENT WATERPROOFING WITH FRENCH DRAINS
There are several ways a french drain system can be installed in a basement. Some systems rest on the footing, others below the floor, or even outside. These systems aren't always interchangeable, and conditions specific to your basement should be the determining factor when choosing what type of system is best for you.
Cinder block foundation walls are hollow, and can fill up with water. That's why on a french drain system "weep holes" are drilled into the bottom row of the blocks. Without these holes, the block wall can fill up with water and start to deteriorate and erode.
If ignored this process can lead to failure of the foundation wall, requiring restoration.
These are the main, basic steps when restoring a cinder block foundation wall due to water erosion:
- Excavate, Clean and Prep Deteriorated Wall
- Restore Cinder Block Foundation Wall
- Waterproof Foundation Wall
CONCRETE AND CRACKS
There are all types of foundation wall cracks, some can be minor or even cosmetic others can be a sign of a serious problem that is getting worse. Concrete is constantly shrinking and will always crack.
Concrete is known for its high compression strength, but very low tensile strength. It is great at dealing with the weight of your house pushing down or "compressing" it. However, forces like soil applying pressure against the wall or a section of the footing settling lower over time causes the opposite action, asking the concrete to handle tension. Enough pressure and the concrete will crack to relieve this tension.
Lets split this up into two sections covering the two most common types of foundation walls, cinder block foundation walls and poured concrete foundation walls.