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ebuckley002 12-14-2012 05:41 PM

Basement waterproofing question
Hi there,

First post in these forums, so apologies if this has already been covered. However I'm completely torn between options for waterproofing my basement and I could really use some advice.

Our basement sometimes has a small amount of water coming through the floor, and sometimes the fieldstone is damp with condensation. I understand that the latter is quite frequent as the stone tends to sweat. (We also used to have some moisture at the corners, but this disappeared after I installed downspouts correctly.)

We want to finish the basement and have had quotations for two systems - an interior perimeter drain with a sump pump, and an epoxy-type sealing. The sealing process is much more expensive and frankly the service has poor reviews, but the basement remodeling contractor is in favor of it.

I understand that with the perimeter drain system that water still enters the basement, but I don't understand why this should be a problem if the insulation has a vapor barrier. I'm also doubtful that a "lifetime" guarantee with a sealant can really be enforced.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to which is best, or are they both acceptable as long as they are done properly?

Thanks in advance!

tylernt 12-17-2012 04:51 PM

I would not trust the sealant. Foundations only have to move a little bit with frost heave, the sealant cracks, and now you have no seal.

It's really, really hard to keep water out of a basement. Easiest thing to do is go ahead and let it come in, use vapor barrier to control it, and let the perimeter drain and sump pump take care of it.

concretemasonry 12-17-2012 05:13 PM

Sealing the walls will do nothing to prevent the water coming in through the floor. It is just a band-aid.

A perimeter drain removes the water around the home AND reduces the hydrostatic pressure that forces water to find a leakage point somewhere into the living space.


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