Most homeowners understand that a wet basement is a serious problem –one that can cause mold to grow, wood to rot and property value to plummet. Research done by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association and Canadian Construction Materials Centre has established that many factors contribute to wet basement problems. At Omni Basement Systems, we combine this valuable information with the extensive training, technical support and patented products provided by the Basement Systems International Waterproofing Contractor Network. Spread out over 4 countries, this group of over 300 waterproofing contractors has successfully waterproofed thousands of basements. Nobody knows basements better.
Good drainage where it’s needed most. Corrugations in this stiff plastic membrane create many small drainage channels where foundation walls meet the footing. Any water that leaks through walls can move to drainage tile that runs inside the footing.
One reason that many waterproof coatings fail is that it’s more effective to move water than to trap it. When the basement has an effective drainage system, water can be moved out and away from the house rather than pooling and exerting high pressure against foundation walls and basement slab floors.
Since many basement water leaks occur where foundation walls meet the concrete floor slab, our waterproofing strategy is to promote good drainage in this area. We often retrofit a corrugated plastic drainage membrane along the basement wall/floor joint. This “Leak-Bye” membrane is cut and bent to an “L” profile to fit vertically against the base of the foundation wall and horizontally atop the footing. The stiff corrugated material is immune to water damage, and does an excellent job of moving water to the drainage tile installed just inside the footing.
Water that makes its way to the drain tile inside the foundation can move by gravity to a storm sewer or to a “daylight” drain outside the house. But more often, we install an “active foundation drainage system” that utilizes a sump pump. The drainage tile deposits water in a sump pit that’s usually located in a corner of the basement. A float valve automatically turns on the sump pump when the water reaches a preset level, pumping the water outside the house. In cases where basement humidity is high, we recommend running a dehumidifier that can also drain to the sump pit.
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