Importance Of Waterproofing

Are you building a new home or performing maintenance or repairs? Find out why waterproofing is an essential part of construction or home maintenance.
Owning a home has many benefits. However, it can also often feel like an extra full-time job. You must oversee multiple aspects of maintaining the property and the structure itself if 

you move into an existing home. If your plan is to have a custom home built, you must also contend with the many aspects of the construction process. Staying on top of construction and maintenance is the only way to make sure your family and possessions are safe inside.

One of the most essential parts of keeping a home structurally sound and safe for your family, pets, and belongings is waterproofing. Left unchecked, water can do a lot of damage. You may already know how to waterproof your home from the outside by having the land properly graded. Land grading allows water to flow down a slope away from your house. There are also steps you can take inside to continue the waterproofing process. Here is why waterproofing is important and how to make sure it is done properly.

What Does Waterproofing a Space Within Your Home Entail?

Waterproofing a space inside a home can involve different processes, depending on the type of space. For example, in a bathroom the priority is ensuring the integrity of the flooring. Some flooring, such as certain laminate flooring, is already waterproof. Other flooring materials require added protection from leaks. For example, you might opt to install waterproof material underneath bathroom flooring as it is installed. Doing so creates a barrier that limits the spread of water to other areas.

In an area like a basement, the process is a bit different. Basements can get quite damp for several different reasons. Since they are in the ground, they are surrounded by damp soil. Often, water can seep up through the water table under basement floors. Therefore, a water barrier is necessary. There are also waterproofing materials that are frequently applied to basement walls. Some homeowners also use sump pumps to help them waterproof their basements. Repairing foundation cracks and leaks is also an essential part of waterproofing basements on an ongoing basis.

Why Do You Need to Waterproof Parts of Your Home, and What Can Happen if You Do Not?

One of the top reasons to waterproof your home is to protect your property from damage. Such damage may occur from internal leaks like a broken toilet or sink. External water penetration can also create similar damage. That damage may start with water-saturated beams, walls, floors, or other parts of the home itself. 

After saturating the structure, water can also damage your personal items. For example, any belongings stored in your basement may become damaged or destroyed, if the basement floods. Your homeowner’s insurance may give you monetary compensation for such damage. However, family photos and certain other objects are irreplaceable in terms of sentimental value. Some other reasons to waterproof your home include:

What Common Parts of Your Home May Require Waterproofing?

The first parts of your home you must waterproof are its structural barriers. Those include the roof, external walls, and the foundation. Next, it is necessary to determine the best way to waterproof the basement. To do so, you may need to install a sump pump or French drain

The next step is to apply waterproofing measures to any rooms in the home where obvious water sources or sources of dampness are present. It is particularly important to waterproof areas with active plumbing because plumbing failures are common. Left unchecked, they can become catastrophic. Here are some examples of areas that usually have dampness or active plumbing:

  • Mudrooms

  • Laundry Rooms

  • Kitchens

  • Bathrooms

What Other Areas May Require Waterproofing?

Some homes have additional somewhat unusual areas that require waterproofing. If your home is one of them, it is important to remember to waterproof those areas. Any areas with direct outdoor exposure need some degree of waterproofing. For instance, a balcony or a screened porch is constantly exposed to moisture. If such a structure is on an upper floor of your home, waterproofing it is even more essential. Doing so may help prevent rotting wood and eventual structural collapse.

How Can You Find Waterproofing Contractors Near You?

When you are ready to waterproof part of your home, you might think you can do it yourself. That is possible for small projects. However, certain waterproofing projects present major safety hazards. Basement projects are particularly tricky because they often require digging near gas lines. You may also lack the proper tools for certain waterproofing projects. If you cut corners now, you may have to pay high repair costs when your waterproofing efforts fail.

There are waterproofing contractors all over the country. They specialize in finding appropriate ways to prevent dampness and mold from infiltrating your home. They also know how to lessen flood risks with various waterproofing techniques. Here are some top websites to use to find one locally:

How Much Does Waterproofing Your Basement or Bathroom Cost?

Like many other home improvement projects, the cost of waterproofing depends on the size of the project, as well as the location. Waterproofing a small bathroom may cost around $500. A large basement waterproofing job can range in cost from approximately $2,000 to $7,000 or more. Any problems encountered during the process, such as damaged electrical or gas lines, also contribute to the total cost. 

The way in which a space is waterproofed can also affect the cost. For example, some basements only require a process called damp proofing, which is less expensive and invasive than full waterproofing. Basement waterproofing projects can also involve either internal or external sealing processes. Those differences can create large cost differences.

When Should You Call a Waterproofing Contractor?

A final important thing to know about waterproofing your home is when to call in a waterproofing contractor. The most obvious time is during the construction process if you are building a new home. However, you also may need to call in a professional to assist you in an existing home. One reason is to update an older home with modern waterproofing measures. Another is when putting on an addition and adding a room featuring plumbing. If you ever notice leaks or flaws in your existing waterproofing, you must also get the problem fixed right away.