Most of the time, a homeowner with basement water problems and the basement waterproofing contractor that comes to solve them will have a few options to repair the damage and stop the water.
Take a common wall crack, for example. The preferred method of stopping seepage from a non-structural crack is to inject it from the inside with expanding polyurethane. But, if the crack is behind a finish wall or blocked by mechanical systems, it can be repaired on the outside with sodium bentonite clay.
Another frequently found problem is wall seepage through cracked or deteriorated mortar joints, porous concrete or over the top of the wall. The most effective way of stopping this seepage is to apply an exterior waterproofing membrane to the exterior of the foundation wall.
Installing the membrane is a fairly big job that requires excavating the wall, sometimes all the way down to the footings. A homeowner who wants to avoid the cost of all that work or who has outside improvements that he or she does not wish to disturb, may choose to manage the seepage instead, making use of that most versatile of basement waterproofing systems, interior drain tile.
The interior drain tile system will work best in managing wall seepage when it includes the installation of an effective system of basement cove molding.
Interior drain tile is a waterproofing system that alleviates hydrostatic pressure under a foundation and removes water to a sump pump for disposal. It is most frequently used to stop seepage coming through the cove joint where the wall meets the basement floor or through cracks in the floor.
Interior drain tile consists of flexible, corrugated, perforated plastic pipe that is buried under the perimeter of the basement floor in a bed of washed gravel to promote drainage. The ends of the pipe are connected to a sump basin.
When interior drain tile is installed in an existing home solely to stop cove or floor seepage, the concrete floor that has been removed to install the system is re-poured right up to the of the wall as it was originally. If it is to be used to manage seepage through or over a wall, a gap is left between floor and wall to collect water as it flows down the wall.
Some basement waterproofing contractors will leave this unfinished gap as is, hoping that it will be sufficient to collect all the water seeping from the wall. Others may try to re-purpose material like exterior drainage board to cover the gap.
When the installation is done properly, the contractor will install cove molding that is specifically designed to cover the gap and allow unrestricted flow of seepage into the drain tile at the same time it shields the gap from debris and presents a durable and attractive appearance. The cove molding should facilitate the installation of a vapor barrier or wall liner if the homeowner wants to encapsulate the wall to further manage the seepage.
Whether the homeowner chooses to encapsulate the wall or not, he or she must make sure that the basement waterproofing contractor doesn’t leave the job half-done when installing interior drain tile to manage wall seepage. At U.S. Waterproofing, we install the Forever Flow™ drain tile system and complete it with our custom manufactured cove molding made of high-impact plastic that not only ensures proper flow but looks good and works perfectly with our Dry Liner™ wall encapsulation system. If you’re having problems with water seeping through or over your walls, please ask for our free advice.
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