When your basement was built, the foundation contractor should have installed a perimeter drain system and waterproofed the walls. Too often, this is not the case. Instead, contractors use cheap methods that are not effective at preventing water entry. These cheap shortcuts commonly used by many contractors contribute to an exterior waterproofing system that does not last for more than about 7-10 years.
Common Basement Water Issues in Florida
What causes water issues? Moisture is transferred from the outside of the building to the basement interior by four primary mechanisms:
- Water Flow: Water takes the path of least resistance – if this is into your basement, then that is where the water will flow.
- Capillary Action: Concrete is a porous material, it is very hard yet porous. Think of capillary action being like a wick. As concrete sets in water, this water is absorbed by the concrete until it becomes saturated and then disperses moisture inside the home.
- Vapor Diffusion: This is much like capillary suction, except with water vapor. Water vapor only needs the smallest of openings to penetrate a structure and raise humidity levels.
- Air Movement: Any time that a door or window is opened not only are you bringing air in to the home but you are pulling air from the basement to the upper living levels. This is known as stack effect. Your home acts like a chimney drawing air from the bottom toward the top.
If you notice foundation leaks, damp walls, or musty odors, water may be entering your Florida home by one of these methods.
Exterior Waterproofing for Florida Homes
What should you do? If exterior water is making its way into your basement or crawl space you are in the need of proper exterior waterproofing. To properly waterproof your home it will need to be excavated. The footing will need to be exposed and all exterior issues will need to be dealt with.
Proper exterior waterproofing is no small chore and should not be attempted by unqualified people. Our team will clean the foundation walls and apply a polymer waterproofing product. This is then covered with a dimple board to allow water to flow downward. Next, a drain pipe system is installed that routes to a sump pump or to daylight. The drain pipe is covered with clean rock and a geotextile material to prevent soil from clogging the system. Soil backfill completes the process.
Also, keep in mind that if you are moving the exterior water to a sump pump system, this sump pump must be up to the task. We offer effective solutions for interior drainage as well as exterior.
For professional exterior waterproofing, contact Foundation Professionals of Florida. We serve Tallahassee, Lake City and Jacksonville, FL and the surrounding areas.