How Exterior Waterproofing Is Different From Interior Work

Construction & Contractors Blog

When trying to keep water out of the bottom of a house, you have two options: interior and exterior waterproofing. The interior approach includes doing things like installing pumps and coating the walls. Going with exterior waterproofing, on the other hand, is a much more effective solution. Read the following to learn about what that means and how suitable it might be for your situation.

Digging In

Instantly, the most obvious difference you'll notice when a job begins is that exterior projects call for doing a lot of excavation. In some cases, this may include performing work on the foundation itself to address problems like cracks.

One of the main reasons that excavation is done is to create an area where water can be diverted away from a building. Simply put, why try to keep water from getting in when you can give it somewhere else to go?

Digging is done to install new stones and soil that will provide better water flow. Likewise, pipes are installed in the new layer of dirt to help water vacate the area more quickly. In some instances, downspouts from gutters can be tied into these pipes to reduce erosion caused by falling water. As you might guess, this is also a good time to upgrade your home's gutter system. Pumps and foundation drains can also be tied into these diversion pipes.

When the job is done, you have what is essentially a more advanced version of the French drain. The surrounding soil will provide better drainage, and the water will be directed away to a specific spot, such as a city water system, the bottom of a hill, or the end of a driveway.

Membrane

While there is direct access to the outside of the foundation, most installers will put in membranes. These are barriers that are designed to prevent water from getting through the wall. Membranes are installed prior to filling in the excavated areas. Sealants are sometimes applied, too.

Is It a Good Choice for You?

Small amounts of leaking may be solved with interior work, especially in relatively dry regions, but sealing the inside doesn't protect the foundation. Doing exterior work is an investment of time and money that returns value over many years. You can expect the job to cost about $10 to $15 per linear foot, although deeper digs may be more costly, particularly for buildings banked into hill slopes.

Get in touch with an exterior waterproofing company in your area to learn more.

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