FSM Service Tech

Exterior Excavation: Not the Best Choice in Basement Waterproofing

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A wet basement is usually any homeowners nightmare. Persistent leaks, dampness  and wet carpet….it is clear that water is a basement’s worst enemy. 

One way to fix your wet basement is to excavate around your foundation and install new drain tile.  However, since exterior waterproofing requires extensive excavation, there is often significant damage to the home’s attached features, such as porches, decks, landscaping, driveways, sidewalks, and air conditioning units.  Due to the extensive excavation involved, exterior waterproofing is usually a much more costly option.  In addition, to remain effective, drainage tiles must remain free of obstructions or clogs, and exterior drainage tile is very prone to clogging. 

Another thing to consider with exterior excavation is that when the dirt is dug up, the mounds of dirt taken out of the hole are dumped in piles on the rest of the yard.  When the soil is back-filled, this soil is looser and more porous than ever, meaning it will hold even more water.  As the loose backfill will settle over time, you’ll have to add soil around the foundation. 

A few other considerations are that exterior excavation does not address the issues of water vapor coming through your walls and floor, or the issue of humidity.  Also, if there is something that goes wrong and there is still seepage, what can be done?  Dig it up again?  Outside systems are not serviceable.

The bottom line is this exterior system is not made to last…the problem is still there.  And it is a very disruptive and cost-prohibitive process.

A more recent innovation, and one that is increasingly chosen by homeowners, is an interior drainage system.  Not only does it cost less and is least invasive, it has many other benefits over an exterior system.

Our WaterGuard system is a piping system engineered specifically for wet basements and designed to avoid the problems of other approaches.

When the WaterGuard Basement Waterproofing System installation begins, the perimeter of the floor is removed. This process is used on the floor only- the footing and foundation are not damaged by this process. If you have block foundation walls, weep holes are drilled into each core of each block so that the water contained within the hollow cores of the wall is continually drained away.

Clean gravel is laid down on the bottom of the trench, and WaterGuard is laid on top.  After more gravel is laid on top, concrete is laid back down on top of the system, it’s smoothed over and the area is cleaned.

Because the system sticks up above the floor about an inch, dirt and small objects from the floor can’t get in and clog it.  And since it is not sitting in the soil and is sitting on top of gravel, it won’t clog. 

If you would like more information on our interior drainage system, call us today at 1-877-DRY-MICH.  One of our highly qualified inspectors will come out to your home with a free inspection and recommend the best solution for your wet basement.  We proudly serve Michigan homes throughout the state, including Greater Detroit Metro, Ann Arbor, Livonia and up to Cheboygan, Cadillac and Alpena.

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