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As a homeowner, it is important to ask what the biggest threat to your largest investment really is. Beyond breaking in by criminals and the overstaying of welcomes by in-laws, nature’s elements are what can devalue your home quicker than anything else can. It could be legitimately argued that among natural ‘disasters’ water damage is a more persistent and consistent threat than both fire and wind.
Heavy rainfall can sprout up in an instant and snowstorms and the subsequent melt provide a huge stress on the foundation around a house. Not only that, there are pipes running through the home every day that could give way at any minute which makes waterproofing the house inside and out such an important undertaking. The issues caused by water exposure are much more than damage to your property, as it brings with it mold, bacteria, and the risk for electrical shock among others.
The biggest area of risk for water in your home – is water outside your home. Gutters and downspouts are designed to collect water and disperse it away from your home. If they are improperly installed or aligned, they can actually direct water right towards your foundation. Gutters need to be cleaned, angled toward the downspout, and free of gaps between the roof. The downspouts should also be directed away from the foundation and into some sort of drainage.
Other exterior waterproofing has to do with the grade of the soil around your foundation. It should be positively graded at a minimum of 6” pointing away from the home. Negative grade soil will collect water and actually force it into the foundation. Another level of exterior waterproofing includes coating the foundation with a waterproof membrane that will deflect any moisture that it comes into contact with.
Heavy winds during storms can force water towards the foundation as can an ill-placed lawn sprinkler or a leaky exterior spigot. In these events,it is best to have another line of defense on the interior of the home to prevent damage. A sump pump is one of the most popular ways to collect water that enters the basement andlead it safely outside. Sump pumps serve as both a first and last line of defense in a way to back-up the exterior waterproofing methods while also protecting the interior.
It is also wise to install vapor barriers on the walls of a basement to help seal out natural moisture, especially in a finished basement. The interior waterproofing of a vapor barrier or protective coating helps to protect against smaller cracks and leaks that are providing a constant supply of water when it rains.
The best way to understand both interior and exterior waterproofing is that they work in conjunction with each other. The exterior waterproofing measures are put in place to prevent water from reaching the inside whereas the interior methods are there to protect the inside when it does. For the best waterproofing advice and options, Dr. Pipe Drain and Plumbing Services can help you make sense of it all.