Not all basement waterproofing repairs are created equal. There is a big difference between a basement waterproofing professional and a general handyman who is a novice. We are not saying that someone who is mechanically inclined and has a little know-how is not capable of attempting a repair. We have just learned over the last 50 years that amateur and do-it-yourself repairs will generally fail over time.
Why basement waterproofing repairs fail:
1. The repair never took effect from the outside:
Interior surface patching methods are prone to leak again because the water isn’t stopped at the source - on the exterior of the foundation. This is why interior injection methods are particularly effective. The sealant gets through the thickness of the foundation to seal the entire crack, not just the inside wall surface.
2. The materials used are not meant for waterproofing:
This one is particularly true for exterior repair types. Before the advent of modern waterproofing methods, a common way to waterproof a foundation was to excavate the entire wall and apply tar to the surface. Eventually the tar hardens and cracks, allowing the seepage to recur. We like to call this the “Roofer’s Approach to Basement Waterproofing.” We have even seen roofing paper and shingles applied to a foundation wall. It just doesn’t work. Basement waterproofing materials wouldn’t work on a roof either!
3. Poor water management on the exterior:
Let’s face it - if you have water sitting against your foundation, the chances of your waterproofing repair failing increases tenfold. Having overflowing gutters, downspouts dumping next to the building and negative grading all spell trouble for your foundation. We have even seen structural damage occur (including additional cracking) just because of poor water management. This is something that all homeowners should pay attention to, not just those with seepage problems!
4. The real issue was not even addressed:
Trying to build the dirt up next to the building and pouring concrete next to the existing foundation are two common approaches amateurs often take. Rarely are you able to divert enough water to keep the ground next to the structure from becoming oversaturated, especially during heavy storms. Water easily gets under concrete, especially sidewalks. Raising the soil is ineffective, and it can lead to seepage “over the top” of the foundation.
There is nothing wrong with trying to do your own home repairs. And calling a handyman is a great way to deal with things that the common homeowner cannot address. However, foundation waterproofing repair is a specialized trade - that is why over 300,000 homeowners have trusted U.S. Waterproofing to fix their seepage problems. Contact us today to schedule a free evaluation - we always take the most effective, conservative and economical approach to solve the problem with our time tested methods.