Why Do Basements Leak?
The first step in waterproofing a foundation is to identify the source of the leak. Because it generally isn’t raining when we arrive for our inspection, we recommend that you take photographs and videos showing exactly where the water is penetrating. This will help assist us in getting a better picture of what is causing the leak(s). However, if you aren’t able to snap a photo or take a video, our highly trained inspectors will still be able to find the solution to your problems! Here are some common causes and solutions:
Seepage at the Cove Joint:
This is one of the most common leaks that we encounter here in the metro-Atlanta area. A cove joint is an area where the slab and the wall meet. During typical residential construction, the builder digs into the ground and pours your footers. These footers then have the walls and floor (foundation) resting upon it. As illustrated above, there are seams between the footer, wall, and floor. The walls are typically sealed with a tar or other type of waterproofing membrane. A corrugated drainage pipe with holes (covered in gravel) is installed next to the footer to divert any water that accumulates next to the house. The area is then backfilled with dirt. Unfortunately, while generally effective for a number of years, this does not last forever. Often times, drainage pipes become clogged as they become infiltrated by Georgia’s red clay, roots, etc. This leaves the water with no place to go. As a result, during long periods of rain the hydrostatic pressure will push the water upwards and against the cove joint, thus allowing it to can seep into the foundation walls and into the home. Once that begins to happen, it’s a problem that will only get worse over time.
Floor cracks are very common in most basements. They are generally due to shrinkage during the original construction of the structure and/or settling. Most cracks never cause any problems. However, when hydrostatic pressure builds up, water can be forced from beneath the floor and into your basement. Simply sealing cracks will not permanently fix the problem as the water will find another way inside (often Cove Joints).
Cracks in the foundation walls are often caused by settling, shrinkage during the curing process, or stress on the wall. These cracks go all the way through the wall allowing water to come into your home. Cracks less than 1/8” are usually repaired by performing a Urethane Injection. They are usually repaired from the inside to avoid excavation on the exterior but can be repaired from the outside if an inside repair is not possible. Larger cracks may require a different solution, which your Inspector can go over with you on site.
Water leaking around pipe penetration is very common. Water, Gas, Sewer lines are usually only sealed with a temporary patch during construction. Over time they fail and water can leak into your basement. These are sealed from the interior by performing a Urethane Injection, which is much stronger than a patch as the entire void around the pipe is filled.
Form Ties (tie rods) are the steel rods used to keep both sides of the concrete forms together when the foundation is initially poured during construction. Unfortunately, they can rust over time and leave a hole in which water can make its way into your home. These are also repaired using a Urethane Injection either from the inside or the outside of the home. Your Inspector will determine the best solution during his visit.
Cinderblock walls often become an easy conduit for water to make its way into your home. The blocks have open cavities between them that are susceptible to filling with water. The water then makes its way through the walls and into your home. White crystal-like substances on your block water is a great indicator of water coming through the block and leaving these mineral deposits behind. We eliminate the water by drilling “weep holes” into each cinderblock and eliminate the water by installing the Interior Guardian Drainage system.
Basement Waterproofing Solutions:
Which Method is Right for You?
As every home is different, it is important to understand that the best waterproofing method for your home may be different than that of your neighbor. There are many factors that come into play when it comes to determining the right solution for your basement. While each situation is different, the best policy is always prevention rather than having to make costly repairs to your flooring, walls, and the like. Taking steps to waterproof your basement before water is present is highly recommended.
While it is often tempting to save money now by ignoring the problem, waiting to address water entering your basement can lead to much bigger bills in the future. Basement waterproofing methods can vary greatly, so be sure to do your research and find out what method is the most appropriate for your unique situation.
Next to your children, your home is your biggest investment. It is important to take the necessary steps to protect it. Don’t wait until you have a problem to do something about it. Give our experienced team at D.O.N.E. ATL to learn which of the following systems is best for you.
Guardian Interior Drainage System
The most common solution for Cove Joint Seepage is the installation of our Interior Guardian Drainage System. It is designed to control and prevent most types of seepage. It is installed beneath the floor and is designed to collect the water from multiple sources and channels it into a sump pump. A reinforced vapor barrier is run up the wall to the grade of the surrounding soil and permanently attached to it. This ensures that any moisture penetrating through hairline cracks, cinder blocks, mortar, and the like is captured and directed into the Guardian Tracking. The Guardian Systems come with a fully transferable LIFETIME OF THE STRUCTURE Warranty.
X-track Basement System
This system is primarily used for Cove Joint Seepage when there is a monolithic style foundation. Monolithic foundations are when the builder pours the concrete slab and the footer at the same time. The foundation wall is then poured (or built) on top of the footer. Due to the fact that the foundation and the footer are connected, the X-Track system is required. It runs above ground and creates a watertight seal between the wall and the floor. The system is then directed into one of our sump pump systems. Not sure if you have a monolithic foundation? Rest Easy! Our inspector will be able to identify this during your free inspection.
Exterior EZ-FLOW Drainage System
This exterior system can also be used to address foundation leaks when it is impossible or impractical to waterproof a basement from the inside. The exterior side of the wall is excavated all the way to the footer and the failed drainage pipe is removed. A waterproofing membrane is applied to the foundation wall, gravel is placed next to the footer, and the new EZ-Flow channel system is installed. The EZ-Flow drainage has a second layer of protection for keeping soil out. The pipe is wrapped in a sort of cloth sock which keeps Styrofoam “peanuts” around the pipe. This allows the water to flow in but helps keep the Georgia clay at bay. The area is then filled back in with the dirt that was excavated. The discharge line is then usually dug 20-30 feet away from the structure. While most digging is done by hand to minimize the removal of surrounding vegetation, we cannot guarantee its survival. For this reason, we strongly recommend interior solutions whenever possible.
DryShield Wall Paneling on Basement walls
In order to protect the basement walls, and give a nice aesthetic, the DryShield wall paneling system can easily be installed instead of the standard 12mil WhiteCap. It features a semi-rigid white plastic panel that will be installed on top of the wall surfaces. It is specially designed to drain water away into our interior drainage system and has a nice finished look. These panels ensure that all moisture (including water vapor) coming through the foundation walls is captured and prevented from entering your home.
The system is installed by attaching the wall paneling to the foundation wall itself with drilled-in white fasteners. The panels are guaranteed to never warp, fall apart, deteriorate, rot, or decay. This makes it a great alternative over other basement wall finishing solutions. A lot of customers get this system installed because of the finished look that it provides. We often have clients opt to have DryShield installed in their entire basement instead of just the walls we are waterproofing.
This wall panel system will help to give your once dull and lifeless basement a much brighter and professionally-finished appearance. After these panels are installed, you don’t need to worry about painting them, sealing them, or finishing them in any way! The system is affordable, durable, and will last for years and years to come!
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what our clients say
“Two months ago, D.O.N.E. ATL installed one of their crawlspace systems in my house! They were right! My gas and electric bills went down almost 30%. The best part is now I can store all of my wife’s Christmas villages down there without worrying about them getting moldy! Thanks, Guys!”
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Decatur, GA 30034
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