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Addressing Basement and Crawlspace Water Problems

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It is important to have a clean attic and crawl space. You head down to the basement to get the holiday decorations, a cup of hot chocolate in hand. Then you get halfway down the stairs and see it – WATER. It happens often, but there is a way to prevent these basement water disasters. By waterproofing your basement, you can make sure this inconvenient and frustrating situation doesn’t catch you by surprise.  Request information from Plumbing and Pipeline Solutions (SA) Pty Ltd to learn more.

Basement Waterproofing Overview

A basement is usually located either entirely or partially under the ground floor of a home or business. Daylight basements are only partly underground and are most often used for bonus rooms. Underground basements are often unfinished and used for storage or as laundry rooms and for hot water tank placement. They can sometimes function as garages.

While there are differences in how they’re used, flooding is one problem almost all basements have in common. When your basement floods it can be a nightmare. Not only is it inconvenient, but it’s also a dangerous and expensive problem. Basement waterproofing before there is a problem is smart homeownership.

If you’re already experiencing flooding issues, don’t try to manage it yourself. If a basement starts leaking, it isn’t going to stop.

Contact a professional for a permanent approach to stop the flooding before it can cause extensive damage.

There are different approaches to waterproofing a basement.

Approach #1 “The Mechanic’s Approach” 

When you take your car to your mechanic because the brakes are squeaking, you want them to fix the problem. The mechanic returns the car to you once it is fixed. A few days later, you find yourself back at the mechanic’s because something is wrong with the transmission. He charges you a second time to fix this problem.

Basement waterproofing companies can take this approach to your problems. If you notice water coming from a crack in your basement wall, they fix that crack and should give you a warranty.

If you notice a second leak, they will have to come back. At this point, they may recommend a different approach.

Approach #2 Interior Basement Waterproofing 

Sometimes if a block or stone wall begins leaking, you can’t fix it without major effort. It may require you to hire an excavating contractor like GBC Excavating to work around the exterior of the foundation so it can be sealed, drained, and waterproofed. Or you can have a foundation company put in an interior basement waterproofing solution, like The Smart-Dry system designed by Smart Foundation Systems in the Kansas City area.

The Smart-Dry system is a good “catch-all” alternative that can collect water from several different sources. This system will take care of water coming under or through walls and groundwater seepage.

Approach #3 French Drain System 

If you have water leaking under, over, or through walls, or if you need a wall to be pushed back into place, a French Drain System is the best approach.

A French Drain system requires excavation of the exterior of the wall. The next step is the installation of a new HARD PIPE drain system, and then wrapping the system in a dirt-filtering fabric. Finally, your waterproofing company needs to backfill the excavation.

This system allows proper drainage and is a complete fix for all waterproofing issues.

Crawlspace Basics 

Crawlspaces are much smaller than basements. If they are used at all, it’s for storage.  Moisture develops because the crawlspace has direct contact with the ground beneath a house. If you’ve noticed moisture buildup and stagnation in your crawlspace, you need to address this before mold and mildew form. Otherwise, you may have even worse problems, such as rot, or rodent and vermin infestations.

Experts recommend crawlspace encapsulation to make buildings more energy-efficient and help prevent mold and mildew while keeping out unwanted pests.  A crawl space repair company would be your best bet to getting the problems fixed.

Approach #1 Vapor Diffusion Barrier 

Rolling out basic sheeting plastic is a simple, inexpensive approach to controlling moisture in a crawlspace. However, it’s not always a practical solution. The plastic sheeting can’t entirely prevent moisture migration, but it does slow it down.

Sometimes it’s necessary to install a perimeter drain and sump pump within the crawlspace to most effectively control water issues.

Approach #2 Crawlspace Foundation

Photo by Smart Foundation Systems


This is a two-step process. First, a waterproofing company needs to determine whether they can encapsulate the crawlspace in its existing form. They also need to check and see if there are bulk water problems. Your waterproofing foundation company will also need to investigate the possibility of back-drafting combustion appliances. A company with well-trained technicians will then be able to determine what is best for your crawlspace.

If a waterproofing foundation company can encapsulate your crawlspace, that entails:

  • 100% ground coverage with a vapor barrier, seams, and junctions of barrier will be sealed
  • Sealing any crawlspace vents
  • Insulating foundation walls and band joists
  • Condition the air with one of three methods: dehumidifier, a small amount of supply air from the HVAC system, or small exhaust fan

The benefits of encapsulation are significant. Relative humidity will stay below 60%, even when outdoor humidity is higher. Other benefits include:

  • Reducing the chance of costly floor repair
  • Lowering energy bills
  • Maintaining the quality of heating/cooling ducts
  • Adding an attractive resale feature

There is a lot involved with basement waterproofing and crawlspace water problems. Check your local area internet listings for a company that does foundation waterproofing to help with these problems. You may want to check the online reviews for the company you are considering or ask people you know for referrals.

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