Common Problems of Exterior Waterproofing


For homeowners a wet basement is a nightmare. Cracks, leaking walls or floors, if ignored, can cause serious problems. It is important that homeowners perform regular maintenance to ensure they take care of problems of exterior waterproofing before they advance to cause costly damage. Persistent leaks or dampness can result in a soaked basement and weaken your structure. Basement waterproofing consists of a range of services to fix leaky basements. There are various waterproofing repairs designed to handle common exterior waterproofing problems. If you notice water in your basement, make sure you investigate and solve the problem starting from outside of your home. Regular home maintenance can help you avoid most of these common problems.

  • Foundation wall cracks- If you notice some seepage in your poured concrete foundation, then it is likely because of foundation wall cracks, which are often caused by stress and settling or shrinkage in the concrete’s curing phase.
  • Over top of foundation may not be coated well.
  •  Floor cracks that allow water through.
  • Porous concrete. This can affect both newer and older foundations. For instance, honeycomb can develop immediately after the concrete is poured, a poorly consolidated concrete becomes soft faster and causes the surface to erode and crumble.
  • Pipe penetration. Water seeping around gas, electrical, water and sewer lines.
  • Cove joint. Heavy, prolonged rains may cause ground water along your foundation walls or beneath your basement floor to rise and cause water to seep upward through cove joint, i.e. where wall and floor meet.
  • Window Well. Water gathering inside the well can come through the window or window frame right into the basement.
  • Mortar joint. Over time mortar may deteriorate and allow water to seep through open mortar joints into the building.
  • Sump pumps that aren’t installed properly.

How will I know I have a problem?

It is easy to know if there is a problem because you will notice the following signs:

  • Cracks running diagonally or vertically from the top of your foundation wall to the bottom.
  • Leaking walls.
  • A buckled or bowed foundation wall, drywall cracks, and a sinking foundation.
  • Honeycomb concrete.
  • Cracked basement floor.
  • Water seeping around sewer, gas, water and electrical lines.
  • Basement seepage problem.
  • Water coming up from your floor drain.

What can I do to prevent the problem?

Most drainage leaks are linked to drainage issues around the outside of a home. To prevent common problems of exterior waterproofing, do the following:

  • Don’t allow large amounts of water to collect around your foundation.
  • Keep gutters clean to avoid overflow of water near your foundation.
  • Ensure the soil around your foundation perimeter is sloping away from the house so that rainfall doesn’t collect against foundation walls. Clean fill dirt (and not topsoil) is a good option to create a slope around your house.
  • Perform regular inspections to tackle problems before they cause more serious damage to your home.

Regular maintenance can help you identify potential problems and deal with them before they advance. It helps you maintain a better living environment and saves you money in huge repair costs. Proper maintenance can also help to get buyers quickly when you want to sell your house.