What is Foundation Waterproofing?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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Foundation waterproofing is used to stop water from seeping through a building's foundation. Most foundations are concrete in design and as such are subject to cracking and erosion should water be allowed to penetrate it. There are several different types of foundation waterproofing, and each has its own particular advantage. Properly applied, foundation waterproofing can effectively seal out moisture and damage for decades. Whether it be a liquid-based foundation waterproofing which is sprayed or brushed onto the concrete or a membrane-type of board which is applied over the concrete, waterproofing is a must in the construction of any structure.

Liquid membranes are sprayed or brushed onto the surface of the concrete prior to back-filling the dirt around the foundation. This type of foundation waterproofing goes on as a thick liquid and dries to the consistency of a rubber-like product. Liquid type waterproofing has the benefits of easy application and low initial cost. The process is fairly expedient, but the downside is that the covering can vary in thickness. The skill of the applicator is the most important factor in getting a uniform coverage of the liquid foundation waterproofing.


The sheet membrane foundation waterproofing is another option in covering the exposed concrete foundation. This type of waterproofing comes in large sheets that are composed of an asphalt and rubber-like material attached to a plastic-like membrane. One side of the membrane is covered in a very sticky adhesive with a paper backing covering it. To apply the sheets, the paper is removed and the sheet is pressed against the concrete wall. The adhesive is not very forgiving and sticks well to whatever it first comes in contact with. The sheets are typically applied by two people, with one at the top and the other at the bottom to smooth out any wrinkles.

The sheets of waterproofing are placed side by side, and then a rubber-like tape is applied over the seams. This waterproofing has the benefit of going on at a uniform thickness and takes no time to dry. The dirt can be back-filled around the foundation as soon as the sheets are put into place and the seams are taped. The downside of using this type of foundation waterproofing lies in its cost. The membrane panels are typically more expensive than the liquid materials and due to the stickiness of the adhesive, should a sheet happen to installed incorrectly, it cannot be removed without destroying it.


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