In this article, I’ll be telling you what waterproofing membranes are, the advantages of using them for basements and foundations; and how they can be applied.
Interior And Exterior Basement Waterproofing Membrane
Water seepage can be a real problem for homeowners.
It can damage your belongings, weaken the structure of your building, attract pests, and create an ideal environment for mold to grow.
To avoid all these, then you just have to stop water from coming into your home.
There are many ways you can keep moisture out, and waterproofing membranes have become one of the most popular approaches over the years.
What is a waterproofing membrane?
Waterproof membranes are sealants made with flexible asphalt modified polyurethane, and they are used to seal leakages in foundations, basement walls, and roofing.
They come in form of cured polyurethane sheets or liquid.
SEE: How To Use Flex Seal
The sheets can be affixed, while the liquid variant can be applied with spray equipment, a hand trowel, or a roller.
The liquid variant of waterproof membranes is the most commonly used because of its ease of application. When it cures, it transforms into a seamless unit that guards your home against water seepage.
One of the biggest advantages of using liquid waterproofing membranes is that even after it cures, it still allows normal cold and heat expansion and contraction.
Common Applications For Waterproofing Membranes
Waterproofing membranes can be used to solve a wide range of water seepage problems in your home. I’ll be discussing its applications below.
In many cases, homeowners find that the elevation of the grading in their home poses a problem. This is most especially if your home has a patio, sidewalk, or driveway beside it.
For instance, if your patio is located beside your house, and is seated in a position higher than the top of the foundation wall, then you will most likely experience over-the-top seepage.
When there is heavy rainfall or large amounts of melted snow, the standing water on the patio will flow to the lowest point it can find. This means it will roll downwards to your foundation walls and trickle through into your basement if there are spaces for it to pass.
You can use an exterior foundation membrane to stop this from happening, as you can apply it over small foundational cracks, or even across the entire perimeter.
This application can be done from the footing to the very top of the foundation wall.
Poured concrete foundations are prone to wear and tear over time, which in turn leads to cracks that can expand later in the future.
Wear and tear aside, concrete is generally porous, all thanks to the invisible pores that are scattered all across the surface. These pores and cracks are the ideal entry points for outdoor groundwater to enter your basement.
Waterproofing membranes can be used to seal these cracks and pores, which will prevent water from seeping through.
To effectively create a waterproofing membrane barrier for your foundation wall, the soil and paving (if any) have to be excavated first. This can be done by hand since it’s the small-scale excavation we’re talking about.
Although mechanical excavation would be a lot faster.
Digging by hand is hard work, and it will consume a significant amount of time.
While digging by machine would cost you a decent sum of money, since you will have to rent the machine or hire contractors who already have them.
The membrane is then applied after the wall has been prepared.
In this case, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone since you’ll be stopping the water seepage into your basement and the membrane will continue to uphold the structural integrity of your basement wall.
Your foundation wall isn’t the only part of the house that is susceptible to water leaks. The roof is equally prone to such dangers, especially during the rainy months.
As we all know, concrete roofs have become very popular in today’s architecture, as most commercial buildings you will find have one.
This is because concrete is very strong and can last for many years, and it’s only right that builders go for the strongest materials available.
But, as strong as concrete is, it can be very porous. It is filled with pores we can’t see with the naked human eye, and this creates a passage for water to flow through.
The case is even more severe with flat roofs on larger commercial buildings, as their roofs can take in a lot more rain than small private residences. The wider and flatter the roof, the more water it can hold, and the more water that is likely to pass through the cracks.
It gets worse when the roof has no drainage system installed. The ponds of water will build up quickly and begin to overwhelm your structure.
If this continues, your structure will begin to degrade and already-existing waterproofing materials will start to wear out.
Repairing or remodeling the roof is an option, but it is an expensive process.
One of the cheapest, most effective solutions is to apply a waterproofing membrane around the roof to keep water from seeping through.
Of course, you still need to have a proper drainage system installed on the roof to complement the efforts of the membrane. It’s true the membrane keeps water from seeping through, but it doesn’t channel it away from the roof.
The gutters on the roof have to remain unclogged for easy outflow of water.
Be sure that they are free of bird nests, tree leaves, and bits of tree branches. If you’re not one to climb high up a roof, then you can have the professionals come over to carry out the gutter inspections for you.
Advantages Of Using Liquid Waterproofing Membranes
Since this material has become very popular for waterproofing purposes, you could confidently say it has many advantages. Why else would it be widely used?
If you’ve never thought of using it before to seal your structure, then maybe the advantages I will list out below will give you a change of heart.
It is easy to apply: What’s a good product if it can’t be easily used? One of the biggest advantages of using liquid waterproofing membranes is their ease of application.
In fact, you will find that applying a liquid membrane is just as uncomplicated as spreading regular paint over a wall. All you need is a paintbrush, a roller, or a regular spray gun.
It doesn’t matter if your roof is vaulted or steep, application of the liquid membrane is still very easy!
The material is highly elastic: Surfaces that are directly exposed to sunlight and other weather elements are prone to expansion and contraction. These movements pose problems for many waterproofing products, but not for the liquid membrane.
This material is very elastic, which means there will be no cracks when it expands under heat, thus maintaining its original quality and strength.
It lasts long: It is very important that a quality waterproofing material has the ability to last long, come rain come shine. The liquid waterproofing membrane has this ability, and that is why it has become a preferred option among builders and homeowners.
Thanks to its toughness, you will be spared from having to carry out regular maintenance as many other waterproofing solutions require.
Liquid waterproofing membranes are resistant to weathering, ultraviolet radiation, and aging.
You can paint over it: While the finish of a waterproofing membrane is awesome, you can still paint over it if you wish. This gives you the option of blending the waterproofer’s color with that of the other parts of your structure.
All you need is a high-quality primer or an all-in-one paint for the best possible finish.
How Long Does Waterproof Membrane Last?
The long-lasting ability of waterproof membranes is among the major reasons for its popularity.
So, just how long can it last?
Well, a quality sheet of waterproofing membrane which has been properly installed by a professional should last you a very long time. On average, we’re looking at a minimum of 10 years.
This time bracket could extend a lot further, as there are top-grade membranes that are more expensive and stronger than the others in the market.
Most waterproofing solutions come with at least a 7-year warranty, and most of them don’t even have the lasting power of the membrane.
How Much Does Waterproofing Membranes Cost?
The amount of money you will spend on waterproofing membranes will depend on a few factors.
These include –
- Quality of the material
- The amount of the material you will need
- The manufacturer of the membrane
With all these considered, you can expect to spend between $10 to $20 for the liquid membrane, and about $70 to $100 for the sheets.
Waterproofing membranes are an effective, budget-friendly solution to external waterproofing projects.
They can be used to patch up leaks in both the foundation and the roof, and they can last for many years due to their ability to resist diverse weather conditions.
Consider using them today for your waterproofing needs.
Thanks for reading!