Waterproofing basement walls

Over the years, contractors have used a number of different methods for waterproofing basement walls. Providing complete waterproofing for foundations the first time is critical, because repairs after the fact can be very costly and disruptive. There are many opportunities for failures well after the installation is completed, due to incorrect design or poor execution. Even a seemingly minor leak can be a symptom of hidden moisture-related deterioration below the surface. In these cases, basements often must be excavated to reveal the source of the problem. For this reason, waterproofing systems should be designed to perform throughout the life of the building. 

Contractors have often used hydrophobic waterproofed concrete (which repels water) or hydrophilic waterproof concrete (which absorbs water) for waterproofing foundations. While these solutions work well for some building applications, they should not be used for Grade 3 basements, since these need to be completely dry environments, according to BS 8102:2009. Additionally, waterproof concrete requires regrouting and repairing in these situations. This patch-it approach is not just time-consuming, it can cause additional problems, sometimes trapping or redirecting moisture within the foundation. This results in headaches and high repair costs, particularly for finished basements where the wall and floor finished might need to be ripped out and replaced to find and resolve the leak.  

In addition, sheet membranes may not be feasible in waterproofing some foundations. For example, in heavily reinforced soil retaining or diaphragm walls, it’s not practical to have to form sheets around the protruding rebar. In these cases, AQUELLA™ fluid-applied waterproofing is the most suitable method, as it was engineered specifically to protect dense rebar. It cures to form a single membrane that seals around rebar, eliminating the need for ongoing patching. By creating a comprehensive waterproof barrier on the side of applied hydrostatic pressure, AQUELLA™ waterproofing prevents moisture from entering the foundation wall in the first place. 

Learn more about AQUELLA™ waterproofing 

  • Waterproofing