Understanding the term Waterproofing is essential to choosing the right company to waterproof your basement or crawlspace.
You might understand that waterproof means not affected by water. I could fill your basement with products that were made of glass, ceramic, and plastic all of which are waterproof but that wouldn’t mean your basement was waterproof. It would mean that when your basement floods nothing in the basement would be damaged, but that isn’t the same as having a waterproof basement is it?
So if you were going to waterproof a basement how would that be done. This was the answer I found by Googling it:
Definition of WATERPROOFING
1 a : the act or process of making something waterproof; b : the condition of being made waterproof
2: something (as a coating) capable of imparting waterproofness
That is a pretty common accepted meaning, so if you were going to waterproof a basement you would coat it with a material that would make it waterproof.
If it was raining outside and I had a rain jacket, which we know is waterproof, where would I put it? I could put it on next to my skin then put on a sweatshirt over that and a jacket over that and go out in the rain. Mind you my coat and my sweatshirt would get soaked but I would remain dry inside my rain coat, right? We see the obvious problem here. To truly be effective as waterproofing, it needs to be on the outside.
If a company sells you waterproofing the #1 thing to remember is it must be done on the outside. If there is any work to be done on the inside — dehumidifiers, pipes, digging, drilling and piping on the inside, then it is not waterproofing, it is water management or flood control.
Waterproofing involves a barrier that is impervious to water. New gutters, downspouts, grading, and drain pipes are water management. If water is coming into the house through a basement window, then these are effective ways to treat the problem, but if the walls are damp and water is seeping up from around the floor by the walls, it will not solve that problem. For that you need waterproofing.
Besides waterproofing your basement, you want to protect it from damage that comes from other sources that cannot be addressed from inside. If you saw a root growing through the basement wall and into a hole in the floor how would you fix it? If the outside wall was cracking and beginning to bow inward how would you stop that? These are things that cause basements to leak. I have found roots 2” in diameter growing into concrete block walls. I have seen walls that crumbled on the outside that had to be rebuilt. Why did it happen? Water and water pressure. I can make the wall waterproof and roots and water pressure can still destroy your basement.
Simple rule of thumb, no water = no water pressure and no roots. If I stop all the water from going through the walls and roots or water pressure crushes the walls, then what was the point of doing the waterproofing? None. So a system is needed to remove the water away from the house too. Water management becomes a part of a system of waterproofing or it can still ruin your home.
There are lots of companies that claim they are water proofers, but if they do not meet these things they are not truly water proofers.
#1 Waterproofing is done on the outside and involves a waterproof barrier.
#2 Waterproofing involves a system that identifies and repairs damage occurring to the outside wall and repairs that before waterproofing barrier is applied.
#3 Waterproofing involves a system that eliminates water build up and water pressure against the walls of your basement, which minimizes root growth and prevents further damage to the basement walls.
Any company that comes to your home claiming to be water proofers should be able to show you how their system does all three things. NVBWS does all 3 and uses their own state-of-the-art proprietary products that not only work, but are energy efficient and not harmful to the environment; even using recycled materials for some of our products helping, to eliminate some of the trash in our landfills.
Please take the time to research our company and products online at http://www.nvbws.com/ or contact Jon, our waterproofing expert at 540-974-2755.