Have you noticed water pooling in your basement? Or do you find there is moisture buildup along areas of the walls or basement flooring? You may have guessed that you may require basement waterproofing to remedy and protect your damp basement from any future water damage. However before you begin installing your waterproofing system it is important to first prep your basement to allow for a smooth and safe project.
The rundown on basement waterproofing
Basement waterproofing is not a one-time project. Simple repairs such as covering the interior of your basement wall or removing gutters will not cure damp basement problems. Instead, waterproofing is a series of interconnected initiatives that work together to keep your basement as dry as possible.
Consider your home to have three interconnected rings or zones with the outermost, middle, and inner, that all work together to keep your basement dry. The area outside of the home but not joined to the house itself is represented by the outermost ring. This includes poorly graded soil that directs water toward your home. In this area, the best course of action is to stop the water before it reaches your home.
The outer surface of your home is represented by the middle ring. This is the home’s exterior such as the foundation wall, gutters, drainpipes, windows, and window well coverings. Here, you would want to ensure that water-elimination systems are working properly and that water-protection systems are keeping water out of your home. Finally, the inner ring or zone includes everything inside the basement, including the foundation wall, flooring, and sump pump. There are a number of solutions that can tackle each of these issues that include regrading the outside soil, installing exterior and or interior basement waterproofing. Whichever solution you may choose it is important to first prep your basement and surrounding areas before the project begins. This will ensure that the installation process can go as smoothly as possible for the professionals tackling the project and for you the homeowner.
Interior and exterior Installation process
The defining factor that will affect what kind of prep you will need is the type of basement waterproofing that will be installed in your home. Each has their own processes and will require a specific area to be able to complete the project. To start, exterior waterproofing includes a membrane that is constructed around the foundation of your home to block out moisture so that the concrete does not absorb it, fracture, and enable leaks. Following that is an outside drainage system, such as a French drain. Since it necessitates excavation along the home’s foundation, this technique may necessitate considerable effort.
The interior basement waterproofing method includes the use of pipes and drains that capture leaks or are built beneath the foundation to collect excess groundwater. This surplus water is sent to a sump pit, which is essentially a huge basin in your basement that retains water. Then there’s the sump pump, a water pump that sits within the sump pit and pumps water out of the basement and away from your house. Sump pumps typically start pumping water when it reaches a particular level in the sump pit. This will require digging into the concrete flooring to install the required piping and sump pump basin.
Prepare the basement before you or the professionals begin
Having a professional crew come into your home and work on your basement may sound like an inconvenience, but it does not have to be as disruptive or unpleasant as you may expect. The best method to guarantee the procedure runs smoothly and effectively is to prepare for the staff before they come. Complete these procedures before the basement waterproofing professionals come at your home to prevent any mishaps and go back to your normal life as soon as possible. The preparations will depend on the type of installation being performed. Interior basement waterproofing will involve prep of everything within your basement and home. Whereas exterior basement waterproofing will involve all your items outside your home.
Preparations for interior basement waterproofing
Installing interior basement waterproofing will require a great deal of work within the inside of your home. There are a number of things to consider when prepping not only your basement but your entire home for a project of this size. One of the first steps you can do to prep your basement is to clear moveable furniture, items, or debris at least 2 to 4 meters away from the work area and any pathways. Large or small items can be tripping hazards in projects of this size. You may have to move these items to an upper level of your home if you cannot reach the minimum distance for an appropriate workspace. In addition, an interior basement installation can be dirty and moving these items completely can avoid any dirt or dust that may accumulate on them during the process. Since you or the professional will be working on the walls of the basement you should also remove any pictures or other wall hangings near the work area to allow for ease of access.
Other preparations that can be made is, if possible, make away-from-home plans during installing times to escape the noise. The installation professional may try their best to keep quiet but some noise and vibrations are bound to happen. This may be especially important if you work from home or have small children that can be distracted by the noise levels. Lastly, if you will be at home or performing the installation you should keep pets and children in rooms away from the work area as there are a number of different hazards that should be avoided.
Controlling Dust – There is no way around it, breaking up concrete is a dirty job. While the professional installers or yourself are working, switch off your furnace or central air conditioning and block any return air vents until they are finished. Rather than covering your furnishings with plastic, pull everything out of the area and drape plastic from the ceiling to create a separate work area. If you have an unfinished ceiling, make sure the plastic reaches every joist area. You or the installers should use a large or industrial fan pointed at the window exiting your basement to exhaust the thick dust during any digging. Lastly, it is always important to wear a duck mask and hearing protection during these types of projects.
If you have a finished basement – You may still install a basement waterproofing system if your basement is finished, with stud walls and insulation covering the foundation walls. When removing the concrete, keep tiny pieces of the floor untouched to prevent the wall from collapsing. A 4 × 4-inch section every 6 feet is sufficient to hold the wall. Plan to tunnel beneath any impediments along the wall (such as a furnace). A home department store should have the majority of the items you would need for this project. Keep in mind, a pickup truck will also be required to transport the soil or any waste that accumulates, directly to the landfill. Check with your local building official first. Explain your proposal and inquire about any permissions or inspections that may be necessary in your region.
Preparation for exterior basement waterproofing
For exterior basement waterproofing there are a number of steps you can do to make the installation process much smoother. You can move plants away from the perimeter of your home to avoid plant, water, or root damage. This can be done on your own or have a landscaping professional move them and replant them when the project is completed. You can also remove any loose items or furniture from the perimeter of your home such as chairs or patio sets. Lastly it may be best to keep your driveway clear to accommodate work trucks or large bins. By having the equipment as close as possible to the work area, it can reduce the time it takes to complete the installation project.
Preparing your home so it is ready and accessible for either you or a professional can make the basement waterproofing project easier and quicker for everyone involved. Based on the type of waterproofing you are installing there are some essential ways to set up the workspace that ensure both safety and efficiency.