Exterior waterproofing typically refers to the application of a waterproof membrane to the exterior walls of your basement foundation. There are many benefits to this method, particularly when it is compared to interior waterproofing options.
1. Integrated Structural Protection
Interior waterproof coatings may keep moisture from seeping through to the interior of your basement, but they do absolutely nothing to protect the actual foundation structure from constant moisture exposure. This means moisture damage can cause cracks and flaking in the concrete, or lead to rot issues with any wood components in the foundation. Exterior waterproofing applications keep the moisture out of the main structures so damage is no longer a concern.
2. Superior Mold Prevention
Moisture also leads to mold and mildew, which produces unpleasant musty odors, causes stains, and can result in respiratory illnesses. Interior treatments may not be complete, which means moisture may seep in unnoticed under carpets or behind the drywall in a finished basement. If you treat the exterior, you can finish your basement without any worries of potential mold growth from outside moisture leaks.
3. Interior Space Conservation
Some interior waterproofing techniques can eat up floor space in the basement, which is an issue if you hope to use that space for living areas or storage. Trenching is one water mitigation strategy that takes up a lot of room since it depends on the installation of an interior drainage trench. Applying a waterproof membrane to the exterior will often eliminate the need for such a technique.
4. Ongoing Long-term Protection
Many homeowners shy away from exterior waterproofing because it is viewed as invasive since the foundation walls must be excavated out so the membrane can be applied. Although this is necessary, it is typically a one-and-done endeavor. Internal waterproofing coatings, on the other hand, often need to be reapplied every few years. This means you must empty out the basement frequently in order to maintain some semblance of waterproofing.
5. Multifacet Waterproofing Options
You can combine exterior waterproofing membranes with other strategies to further decrease the chances of water incursion into the basement. One popular combination is to combine the membrane with perimeter drain trenching. Water is stopped by the membrane, but it then trickles into the drain trench and is routed harmlessly away from the basement walls. This reduces water pressure against the foundation, which in turn prevents structural damage.
Contact an exterior waterproofing service to learn more about this method.