What went wrong? Waterproof membranes and paints can't provide total waterproofing protection because they don't stop water from leaking into the basement along the wall/floor joint.
Waterproof coatings and membranes attempt to to prevent water from entering in by creating a protective waterproof seal. At best, sealing is a first line of defense, not a complete solution. Despite today's high-tech materials, sealing does not provide permanent protection against every type of water intrusion from every possible gap or crack in a basement.
Water weighs about 60lbs. per cubic foot. When wet weather causes the soil outside your basement to become saturated with water, hydrostatic pressure against your foundation increases by thousands of pounds.
A waterproof membrane or coating can succeed in preventing water intrusion across most of a basement wall surface. But with high hydrostatic pressure, even a small crack or gap can admit a significant amount of water into your basement.
It's also important to note that membranes and paints can't do anything to seal the crack that runs between the basement wall and the concrete slab floor – a major source of water leaks in most basements.
Taking a realistic approach to basement waterproofing means paying attention to different systems and strategies that can work together. Used in combination, the methods described below provide the best protection against unwanted water in the basement.
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