What You Need To Know Before Waterproofing A Basement

Bringing in a basement waterproofing services firm to address problems you're seeing is an appealing option for many homeowners. There are, however, some concerns that may need to be addressed before a single coating of waterproof material goes on the wall or floor. You should be aware of these three potential issues before you ask anyone about basement waterproofing contractor services.

Exterior Sources of Trouble

One of the biggest problems that ought to be addressed in advance of waterproofing a basement is where there might be sources of water coming into a basement from outside. For example, a poorly placed gutter along the side of the house might be redirecting water toward the foundation and basement. This could lead to major structural problems that aren't going to be fixed just by waterproofing the basement. Likewise, these issues could undermine the surface the coating will be applied to, rendering all your effort worthless.

Another problem that many people overlook is vibrations coming from nearby sources, particularly roadways. If your house is close to a road, especially one that gets heavy vehicle traffic, the rumbling can actually slowly break down the basement walls. Before you waterproof anything, you'll want to look for evidence of debris on the inside of the walls. If you see any indications that dirt and concrete are falling inside the basement, you should get a foundation or basement contractor to help you shore things up before you waterproof the space.

Airflow Issues

Ventilating air into a basement can produce condensation even in the driest of environments. Leaky vents and poorly designed air return systems can conspire to pump humidity into a basement. If you seal up the basement area without fixing these, you'll simply be providing a fresh surface for condensation to end up on.

Ground Water Levels

When you live in an especially wet part of the country, you may have groundwater exerting pressure on the walls of the basement at depths as little as two feet. In regions like the northeast, these issues can be compounded by the freezing and thawing of the ground over many years. It's a good idea to learn what the groundwater level is on your property in order to establish exactly where the basement needs to be waterproofed. Folks who have homes built on the sides of hills, for example,  may end up needing to waterproof to higher points than anticipated.