Waterproofing Basement Walls from Outside

The basement studio is my one escape from the real world. But when it was time for rain and moisture, I got worried about if water would be seeping through the walls. It made me anxious that I’m going to lose my neat escape zone. So, I got very concerned, which made me led to thinking how to waterproof the basement walls.

Now, waterproofing the interior walls wasn’t enough because it was more of a reactive measure; I couldn’t wait for a damp wall, you know.

Waterproofing Basement Walls from Outside

So, I started looking for proactive methods of waterproofing basement walls from outside. Keep scrolling, folks! If you don’t want to give the water and moisture any chance to damage those basement walls, then I’ve got some great content for you.

Why Do You Need To Waterproof Basement Walls?

Do you know what causes the basement walls to damn or wet? It happens when the water from the ground surrounding the basement seeps its way into the wall pores, cracks, leaks, etc. In the case of concrete walls, there can remain tiny pores that let the water in. And in the case of masonry, mortar joint cracks and leaks are common issues.

Water seeping in depends not only on the wall cracks or pores but also on the basement’s soil. For instance, clay soil allows the absorption of more water droplets than any other soil type. After absorbing the water, the ground expands and gives pressure around the building foundation, allowing water inside through pores and cracks.

The Five Steps To Protection

Protecting the exterior basement walls is more of water management than waterproofing. It is because you’ll need the help of some exterior digging and installation methods. It’s not that tough as it sounds; give it a read.

Installation of an exterior waterproofing membrane

No matter the reason for water seeping through the walls, either mortar joint deterioration, porous concrete spots, faulty foundation installation, etc., installing an exterior waterproofing membrane can tackle all of that. It creates a sealant that restricts the water from damaging the foundation. Now, how to do that?

  • Dig down the foundation up to eight feet deep.
  • The excavation can extend up to the whole perimeter of the building or a single room.
  • Next, you need to remove the soil, spilled concrete from the wall. The wall must be made even, and ample time should be given for total cure.
  • After the curing, you should apply asphalt modified polyurethane to the masonry.
  • Alternate to the asphalt, you can also apply an insulating material or maybe a thick plastic drainage board.

It not only allows to keep the water out but also adds support to the foundation.

  • With the success of applying an impermeable exterior waterproofing membrane, fill back the excavated area. And you are done!

Protection by moisture membrane

The installed moisture membrane allows superior protection from outside water from seeping in. It especially gives complete security to the foundation from water or moisture damage.

Installation of exterior drain tile

Not permanently, the exterior waterproofing membrane can hold the pressure of the surrounding soil. To add another layer of protection, you can install an exterior drain tile. But, how to do it?

-Collect gravels and wash off the dirt to put them at the bottom of the excavated area.

-Make a system of porous PVC pipe that lays uniformly with the entire foot length of the excavation.

Sump pump installation

Now, install a sump pump and connect one or two ends of it with the perforated pipe. The line isn’t generally kept bare; a filtration fabric surrounds it to restrict the dirt.

The final step includes covering the pipe and system with gravel and filling up the excavation.

The total system is what we call the exterior drainage system, where the drainage board pushes water inside the drain tile creating exclusive drainage of the housekeeping the basement crisp!

Repairing exterior crack

You can also settle for another exterior waterproofing method which includes repairing the outer wall cracks. As you already know, pores and cracks allow water inside the foundation and ultimately the basement walls. So, getting rid of the primary crack problem can be a great way to waterproof the walls. Let’s see what you got to do-

  • This process also needs digging but not as broad as that of the other methods. You need to do just a little digging at the crack spot. Dig it down to the footing of the foundation.
  • For the next step, you’ll need granular sodium bentonite. Fill up the hole with the clay, which allows groundwater absorption and forms a plastic layer preventing it from entering the foundation.
  • Finally, you can put back the soil on the excavated area and no more wet basement wall problem!

Tricks and Tips

  • Before you hop on to the solution, determine the source of water seeping inside first. Find out whether it’s cracks, leaks, pores, or simply technical problems of the foundation.
  • Do not work or waterproof the exterior walls with water already inside the basement.
  • If your basement does not have a proper window well drainage system installed, dig from below a couple of feet from the window well to the bottom of the foundation. Next, fill it with gravel.
  • Do not forget to seal the interior of the basement walls for effective results.

Advantages of exterior basement wall waterproofing

  • Restricts water from penetrating the walls rather than tackling the water already inside.
  • Allows water to the drainage system keeping the basement dry
  • The layer of gravel soothes the hydrostatic pressure
  • Eliminates the odor that comes along the water from inside the basement.
  • Eliminates the extra cost of repairing or rebuilding the basement walls again and again.
  • Makes the foundation stronger.

Expenses Regarding Exterior Basement Wall Waterproofing

The exterior basement wall waterproofing expenses depend on a few critical factors-

  • The square feet size of the basement
  • The distance of the foundation footing from the plinth
  • The number of walls that need repair or waterproofing
  • The water source is the water seeping in from pores, poor foundation construction, or cracks?

What method would you prefer for waterproofing, waterproofing membrane, drainage tile, repairing the cracks, or all of that?

Read more: 8 Ideas Paint Color for Basement with No Natural Light

Leave a Comment