Basic Steps for a Dry Basement in a New Home

October 15, 2012

Buildings, whether they are skyscrapers or a family's home, rest on concrete foundations for support. The foundations form the basement area of a building and these basements have many different uses. Homeowners use them to store the furnace and other mechanical systems of a home. And also the basement area is commonly used to give more living space. Of course, the living space and its contents such as rugs, furniture and entertainment areas must be kept dry. During construction, there are some basic steps that need to be followed to make sure the basement stays dry.

1. Spray the Foundation with Waterproofing.

A true waterproofing product has the ability to stop water vapor, water under hydrostatic pressure and span cracks that develop. There are several different types of waterproofing available, but the most common in the residential market are polymer-modified asphalts. The waterproofing should be installed to the height of the final grade of the building.

2. Install a Drainage System.

Drain tiles placed around the exterior of a foundation at the base are usually the minimum requirement for building codes. It is also recommended that a drain tile is installed on the interior of the basement below the floor. This inexpensive system collects ground water that is then removed by a sump pump or drains away from the house by gravity. Lack of adequate drainage results in water coming up through floor cracks and also where the floor meets the wall.

3. Proper Grading Slope Away from the Building.

The soil grading needs to slope away a minimum of 6" within the first ten feet of the building. This will allow the rainwater to quickly move away from the home and not cause leaks.

4. Functioning Gutters and Downspouts.

A large amount of water comes off of a roof during rains. This water needs to be channeled away from a building through gutters and then away from the foundation by the downspouts. These basic steps, when followed by the builder of a new home, will ensure a dry basement for years.


For the first step here are our waterproofing membranes.


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