While not all homes have a basement, for those that do, waterproofing is essential. However, professionals often argue about the best ways to do basement waterproofing. There are two main options for the majority of homeowners.
A structure with a deep cavity for a basement benefit from a drained cavity waterproofing system. These structures typically are classified as Type C with Type B structures are those with built-in waterproofing mechanisms. To create the drained cavity, a space called a dimple allows water to run on the walls or floor beneath a plastic membrane fixed over the dimple. The water is then pumped out using a sump and pump system. To prevent some of the drawbacks of the plastic membrane, homeowners can add a dehumidifier to the room and add a thermally-insulated membrane rather than straight plastic. This allows the excess moisture to leave the room preventing condensation from pooling on the floor.
Non-waterproof masonry structures or those classified as Type A typically have floors and walls that are separate causing them to move differently as the home settles. A tanking system is often used as basement waterproofing for these structures using a coating made of bitumen paint, screed or asphalt. Simply putting a waterproof barrier on the inside walls does not work because water can push out the barrier from the outside. As the home settles, the waterproof coating may fall off with the brick due to a stretching force putting undue pressure on the masonry. Ultimately, how well the waterproofing works with tanking depends on the soundness of the structure.
Ultimately, basement waterproofing success comes down to using a reputable company experienced in sealing cellars. The integrity of the home can impact the type of waterproofing needed and the effectiveness of the technique. Be sure to ask the professional detailed questions about your specific basement before waterproofing begins.