Exterior Foundation Waterproofing 101: The Homeowner Basics

Blog

Exterior Foundation Waterproofing

Exterior Foundation Waterproofing

Are you interested in exterior foundation waterproofing as an added layer of protection for your home’s concrete?

At Childers Brothers we completely understand.

Because for the last 48+ years, we’re the kind of company you’ll need to call when the basement starts experiencing issues due to improper drainage: over-saturation, sinking, and heaving.

We’ll be the first to tell you that whether it’s coming from underneath or outside, this is a situation you simply can’t ignore.

  • Is the landscaping on your property properly graded, so it slopes away?
  • Is your gutter system functioning and in good working condition?
  • Are downspouts pointed away from foundation concrete (walls & flooring)?
  • Is there a kind of extra perimeter drainage or perhaps a good sump pump system?

Sandy vs. Clay-Based Soil

Here in our part of the country (the Texas panhandle and around Amarillo), we deal with clay-based soils. In other areas, it’s more sandy. As the soil absorbs water it expands, but with sand, the water has much more room to move and drain. The particles of highly expansive clay soil, on the other hand, are packed more tightly.

The swelling in the soil causes immense pressure to build up against your basement walls and foundation — especially when it’s been over-saturated because of a sudden weather event and/or poor drainage.

ANY little opening or crack (porous spots caused during construction are common) is going to get water pushed through. And, if there’s enough pressure, new cracks will appear to alleviate the stress.

  • They can come from concrete that wasn’t properly mixed and poured prematurely.
  • This allows aggregate or dry cement to form pockets inside the foundation.
  • Insufficient vibration; other measures taken to remove trapped air from foundation walls.

That said, now let’s look at a quick rundown of the primary methods you’ll run into depending on the contractor you work with.

The Five Primary Exterior Foundation Waterproofing Methods

Method #1: Applying A Waterproofing Membrane

This is typically done by builders during initial construction. An added ‘membrane’ or protective coating is applied to the exterior of your foundation.

However, as mentioned above, when the pressure from outside gets too great it will still push water through holes or gaps that appear in the membrane.

Method #2: DIY Waterproofing Paints & Primers

Again, this is helpful at strengthening your basement walls and flooring, but it doesn’t address existing or developing stress cracks. Eventually, with low-quality products, you’re likely to see bubbling begin as the paint/primer actually traps moisture and exacerbates the problem.

Method #3: Better Exterior Drainage Systems

Does your home have drainage pipes installed around the foundation footer to help prevent water infiltration? If not, then this is another way to add exterior foundation waterproofing.

The only downsides can be the initial prices of excavation to get down to your foundation footer and the mess it can cause to the nearby landscaping (not to mention additions, porches, decks, driveways, etc.).

Method #4: Improved Interior Drainage Systems

With these kinds of projects, foundation professionals may break through concrete to install drainage pipes, then route the water to a sump pump system. These battery-powered systems can cost a bit less overall and can be a great backup system for homeowners in areas prone to losing power during heavy weather systems.

Method #5: Epoxy Crack Repair / Exterior Crack Repair

The last method we will discuss today is one of our services: Epoxy Crack Repair.

This is where we inject and overlay a special resin (we use Prime Resins) to not only fix the crack in the concrete but mend it, so it’s stronger afterward. They also make it impossible for moisture to re-penetrate the treated cracks.

“At Childers Brothers, we’re all about precision. We utilize the tools and practices to determine exactly how much epoxy to use. We don’t just splash some epoxy over the crack’s surface—we get ALL the way inside the crack and completely fill it to provide a permanent fix.”

Wrap Up: Having Issues? Contact Local Foundation Experts

If you’d like to know more, or if you’re currently experiencing some foundation issues — don’t hesitate to reach out to your local professionals. Here in our area of Texas, Contact Childers Brothers, and we’ll be happy to answer initial questions. With nearly a half-century of experience, we’ve pretty much seen it all, and we’re here to help.