It’s a Sunday afternoon in the fall and you, like most of your neighbors, are getting ready to watch the Packers beat up on the victim of the week. You grab some snacks and beverages and head downstairs to your basement man cave and settle in for the game.
Along about the second quarter, you start thinking “Boy, it feels damp down here.” Now, you’re no fragile flower – you’ve been living with Wisconsin weather all your life – but your damp basement is making you uncomfortable. You get even more uncomfortable when you look around and see signs of water on the floor and in the mortar joints of your concrete block foundation.
You may be tempted to let a minor seepage problem slide but you’re putting your home at risk if you do. Left unrepaired, basement water problems will eventually turn into structural foundation problems or mold problems and then you have a big job and a major expense on your hands.
Before it gets to that point, you have to fix the water problem and there are two ways to do it:
Interior Solution – One very effective way to stop basement seepage is to install interior drain tile. Consisting of perforated drain pipe buried next to the foundation footings in a bed of gravel, interior drain tile carries off ground water to a sump pump that would otherwise have seeped into your basement. In a concrete block foundation, weep holes are drilled into the lowest course of block to allow accumulated water to drain from the hollow block into the drain tile system.
Interior drain tile will also relieve hydrostatic pressure under your basement floor, eliminating yet another source of water in your basement.
Exterior Solution – Another effective way to eliminate water problems in your concrete block basement is to apply an exterior waterproofing membrane to the outside of your foundation walls. This is an asphalt-modified urethane product that is sprayed or troweled on in a heavy coat and provides a “positive side” seal on your concrete block walls. This is not to be confused with “damp-proofing,” which is like spraying a thin coating of driveway sealer on the foundation and is generally done during new construction.
If an exterior drain tile system is in place, as it is in the majority of homes in Milwaukee, the waterproofing membrane is covered by a textured drainage board that helps channel water down the wall into the drain tile system. It also protects the membrane from damage.
Faced with two very different options to repair basement water problems, the Milwaukee homeowner’s first important decision is to choose a basement waterproofing company that is not only proficient in both approaches but that has the expertise to recommend the right one. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve been keeping basements dry in the Milwaukee area for more than 30 years and our experts can diagnose your problem and recommend the best and most cost-effective solution. Why not schedule a free consultation today?
Still not clear on the sources of seepage in your Milwaukee basement? Ask your questions in the Comments box below.