Article No: 238
Waterproofing: Foundation Waterproofing
By: Kevin Polk, Epro Services Inc.
A waterproof foundation adds value to a home without significantly increasing the home’s building costs. Many people today are transforming their basements into additional living quarters, and in many cases fancy home entertainment centers. It only makes sense to ensure the foundation against water intrusion with a high-performance waterproofing system. It is frustrating to visit a jobsite and see a $500,000 home with only a $200 dampproofing application on the exterior wall. For a slight increase in cost, in comparison to the total cost of the home, a builder can install a warrantable waterproofing system. With tough times upon the industry, many builders are looking to cut costs and add value to their homes. Waterproofing is often a place to do this since it is invisible to potential homebuyers. The subject of waterproofing usually comes up only when there is a problem. The best remedy for this situation is to construct a foundation and waterproofing system that will never have a problem.
Many products offer effective solutions to foundation waterproofing. Epro Services Inc.’s goal is to provide a comprehensive system approach to waterproofing a foundation as opposed to a single product or theory. By including multiple components, the contractor can build in his own insurance policy that barring multiple simultaneous failures the foundation will never leak.
The System III approach involves installing a comprehensive waterproofing barrier and water management system that work together to provide the ultimate in waterproofing efficiency.
FLUID APPLIED WATERPROOFING: A fluid applied waterproofing product offers many benefits over dampproofing and sheet applied products. By using a fluid applied product, the installer provides a monolithic, 100 percent adhered, flexible membrane to the foundation. A product that has been approved in accordance with ICC-ES has been independently tested to ensure its ability to bridge cracks, adhere to concrete and masonry, have low moisture vapor permeance, resist hydrostatic water pressure, resist decay, and remain pliable through temperature extremes.
DIMPLE DRAINAGE PANELS: By installing this drainage board the applicator provides three very important features to the waterproofing system. First, the tough high-density polyethylene product protects the primary waterproofing material from damage during backfill. Second, all hydrostatic water pressure against the foundation is eliminated by having the free drainage plane against the foundation wall. This allows any water that would otherwise be present in the soil and collect against the foundation to flow immediately to the footing drain. Third, since the drainage composite is made of high-density polyethylene it provides an additional waterproofing barrier for the foundation.
FOOTING DRAIN: The footing drain allows free flow of water away from the foundation, by either extending to daylight or directing the water to a sump where a pump discharges it.
By incorporating the multiple components of the system into the waterproofing assembly and performing the installation the waterproofing contractor can walk away from the project knowing he provided a completely comprehensive system that will last for the life of the structure.