Building An Addition: A Homeowner's Guide

Did You Make These Exterior Waterproofing Mistakes With Your Home?

by Toni Richards

A leaky basement can ruin your day. Not only will you spend the day trying to stop the leak, but you have to move your furnishings to safety. It could take hours. Waterproofing the exterior of your home can help you avoid this unfortunate scenario. However, it is important that you avoid these mistakes that other homeowners make with the waterproofing. 

Failing to Take Care of Runoff

When it rains, water that fills your gutters is supposed to be pushed away from the foundation of your home by the downspouts. However, this does not always happen. If the ground beneath the downspouts is flat or not properly surfaced, the water can end up flowing back towards your home's foundation. Each time this happens, the foundation of your home becomes more vulnerable towards being breached by the water.

You can prevent this by making sure the ground beneath the downspouts and near your home is properly surfaced so that the water flows away from the home. There are several ways to do this, but one of the most effective is to make sure there is a slope leading away from your home. You can also ensure the downspouts are setup to push the water several feet away instead of a few inches.

Failing to Apply a Waterproof Coating

Concrete is a porous material. After repeated exposure to water, the concrete will start to crack and water can flood into your basement. If your home has already been built, you will need to have the foundation waterproofed to keep the water from penetrating the exterior of the concrete.

The easiest method of waterproofing the concrete is to apply an asphaltic material to the surface. The material is applied using a roller or brush. Your foundation will have to be exposed to apply the material. The material will extend down to the drains. The finished coating will have a liquid rubber appearance, but it will keep the water out.

If your home has not been built yet, you can ask the builder to use waterproof materials to construct the foundation. For instance, a specially treated concrete that has a low ratio of water to cement will help protect your home.

You should not wait until the water starts pouring into your basement to act. A consultation with a waterproofing company like Rite-Way Waterproofing can provide you with the answers you need about protecting your home from water.