Why is Basement Waterproofing Important?
How Harmful Can Water Be to your Basement/Foundation?
Sitting next to a river or hearing the crashing waves at a beach can be very calming, but water can pack a mighty punch. Any momentum or just the shear weight of the water can cause significant damage to anything in its path. Flowing water will always travel through the path of least resistance. It can cut a path through mountains, countryside, roads, basically anything you put in front of water it can get through. Foundations of homes are no different.
Everyone knows carrying a 5-gallon bucket of water is no easy feat. Water in high quantities has the weight and power to push cars down a flooded street. Imagine what groundwater can do when pressed against your home's foundation. If you have a typical concrete foundation, exterior water can put stress on your foundation walls. This force is known as hydrostatic pressure. The definition of Hydrostatic pressure is, the pressure exerted by a fluid at equilibrium at a given point within the fluid, due to the force of gravity. Hydrostatic pressure increases in proportion to depth measured from the surface because of the increasing weight of fluid exerting downward force from above.
If your foundation has any cracks this pressure could cause them to become larger and could cause structural issues.
Why High Humidity Can Be Harmful?
Everyone knows the feeling of walking outside in the middle of a humid summer day after being in the air conditioning and you feel like the air smacks you across the face and you instantly start sweating. Humidity relates to the amount of water vapor that is in the air. It turns out that high humidity is the last thing you want in your basement. At around 70% relative humidity or RH for extended periods of time mold spores will start to grow. Mold can cause allergic symptoms of watery eyes, runny, nose, sneezing, itching, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, headache, and fatigue. Repeated exposure to mold can cause these symptoms to intensify and could cause severe allergic reactions.
How Do You Know You Need Waterproofing In Your Basement?
If you find any of the following in your basement, you should look into installing basement waterproofing.
- Water- standing or running water- whether you find water on the floor or running down the walls
- Water Stains- are the remanents of where water was and dried up and left its mark on the floors or walls
- Unwanted Smells- musty, damp odors in the air
- Efflorescence- a powdery substance left after the evaporation of moisture- is slightly different than stains from water alone
Erickson's Approach to Waterproofing
At Erickson Foundation Solutions we believe installing partial waterproofing systems won't save you any money in the long run.
If a homeowner is experiencing water entering from one wall of their basement and they want to stop the water from coming in, the homeowner might think that sealing that one wall would be sufficient. In most cases, the water will move to one of the adjacent walls and that wall will eventually start coming in from another one.
At Erickson, we want the problem fixed right the first time. We don't want to keep coming back to fix a similar issue every couple of months.
When a design specialist at EFS enters a home with problems with water in their basement they will recommend a full waterproofing system. The full waterproofing system will include a full perimeter drain with a sump pump and a SaniDry dehumidifier.
The reason we recommend a full waterproofing system is so we can collect any water from all of the walls and direct that water into a sump pump. That water is then taken out of the basement and pushed away from the home. The final part of the waterproofing system is the SaniDry dehumidifier, which will control the moisture in the air and prevent mold growth.