Article No: 147

2006-05-03 08:29:21
Waterproofing: A Strong Foundation
By: Christopher Brooks

Image courtesy of Tremco Barrier Solutions and CertainTeed Corporation

Today's homeowners have different and specific needs in how their homes are designed and constructed: Circumstances such as climate, weather, terrain and landscape can all impact the type of foundation required. The good news? Many different types of foundation systems are now available for new homes.

Horizon Foundation Finishing Systems
For years, builders have searched for an attractive, durable way to extend the benefits of foundation wall waterproofing and insulation from the bottom of the foundation wall to the top. Tremco Barrier Solutions, Inc. in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, manufacturers of Tuff-N-Dri Basement Waterproofing System and Watchdog Waterproofing, has introduced its newest product innovation. The Horizon Foundation Finishing Systems provide both moisture and thermal protection to the exposed foundation between the grade line and sill plate - an area that, left unfinished, leads to as much as 40 percent of the potential energy loss from a home.

The Horizon Foundation Finishing Systems include the Horizon Insulated System, a two-part insulation and coating combination, and the Horizon Coating System, a coating-only system, to protect the exposed foundation wall. "The Horizon Insulated System not only provides footing-to-sill plate waterproofing protection, it also insulates the entire foundation wall from the outside, which is key to reducing condensation on the inside", says James Wells, Ph.D., Tremco Barrier Solutions' technology director. "It eliminates the need for interior insulation draping, which reduces the chance of condensation occurrence between the insulation and the concrete wall - virtually eliminating the cost of labor and materials for installing interior draping."

In focus group testing, consumers were pleased with the attractive system and expressed willingness to pay a premium for the added moisture protection, energy savings and enhanced appearance. "We know builders have been frustrated by the lack of an effective, attractive and affordable solution for energy and moisture control regarding the above-ground portion of the foundation," says Wells. "We are pleased to provide them with the system they've been waiting for, as we continue to lead the market in residential new home construction waterproofing."

30-year performance warranty
When you use Tuff-N-Dri to treat the below-grade foundation wall and the Horizon Insulated System above grade, you're creating a seamless, full-wall barrier against leaks, seepage and interior condensation, suggests Tom Cullivan, Tremco Barrier Solutions' national marketing manager. "With over 20 years of proven in-ground performance, Tuff-N-Dri is the basis for the Horizon Insulated System. Together, the two systems carry a transferable 30-year warranty for both the above- and below-grade portions of the outer wall foundation. This gives builders the confidence they need to extend the system benefits to homebuyers.

Three layers of protection
"The Horizon Insulated System starts with the Tuff-N-Dri Basement Waterproofing System membrane, which is extended up the exposed foundation wall from the top of the below-grade waterproofing system to the sill plate - providing an uninterrupted course of protection," Cullivan says. "Once the Tuff-N-Dri system is completed below-grade with the addition of Warm-N-Dri Foundation Board, Horizon ThermoPanel, a high-density insulation panel, is added above-grade. Placed on top of the waterproofing membrane, Horizon ThermoPanel is mechanically fastened onto the exposed wall. The mesh-reinforced system is completed with the application of Horizon Coat, a durable, attractive topcoat that repels water and is available in matte and coarse finishes. Also appropriate for walkout basements, the system is installed by specially trained Select Barrier Solution Contractors."

One of the more innovative and time-saving methods for creating an effective foundation system is the new Form-A-Drain Foundation Footing System by CertainTeed Corporation of Valley Forge, Penn. The company developed the system to handle three vital foundation functions: forming the footing, providing drainage for the foundation and reducing radon. It also provides savings in money and material costs. "Form-A-Drain vinyl lineal sections, couplings and corners are designed to ensure a precise form set-up. And because it is a manufactured product, there are no variations from piece to piece - allowing for a very flat and level footing," says Steve Gross, director of marketing for CertainTeed's Pipe and Plastics division. "Optional spacer straps can be used to hold the lineals in place at specified widths for consistent dimensions; rebar stakes can also be used, if desired, to pin the 90-degree corners and couplings. Proper staking with forming pins, wood stakes or CertainTeed grade stakes holds the system to the proper height as well as helping to keep the forms in place."

Integrated drainage
Gross points out even as you're setting up the footing forms, you're creating the drainage system: "Two jobs accomplished at one time, with no need to purchase and install separate drain pipe. It is an outstanding alternative to perforated pipe when it comes to drainage performance. It has a greater water intake capacity than traditional drain pipe. And its strong, rigid construction assures a quality installation."

Each lineal section is manufactured with one slotted wall, which allows the collection of water at the footing. The collected water then flows through the hollow core of the system to the drainage outlet, where it is safely discharged away from the home. Lineals are available with preapplied filter fabric for areas where soil conditions or local code requires geotextile fabric to be used.

"With Form-A-Drain, the foundation system is located where it should be - at the top of and on both sides of the footing," says Gross. "This is the optimum area of a home's foundation where water can be effectively collected and discharged away from valuable living space."

Radon reduction
The third aspect of this system is its ability to vent radon under the basement slab and around the interior perimeter of the foundation footing. "Because our system stays in place after the footing is poured, it's in perfect position to perform as part of a radon-reduction system," Gross adds. "Simply add a single outlet to one of the inner lineals and connect it to dedicated vent pipe, and it forms a complete loop around the inside perimeter of the footing, serving as a radon collection point in conformance with the EPA's Model Standards and Techniques for Radon Control in New Residential Buildings. It is accepted by local code officials and inspectors."

It's important to familiarize yourself with as many foundation systems as possible. Manufacturers offer a variety of choices for both above- and below-grade applications. Understanding how different systems work will help you and your customers choose the right waterproofing systems for their homes.

CertainTeed Corporation
(800) 233-8990

Tremco Barrier Solutions, Inc.
(800) DRY-BSMT

Based in Bucks County, Pa., Christopher Brooks writes about the home - inside and out - for consumer and trade magazines.