Héneault et Gosselin

What are the best ways to waterproof your foundations?

9 November 2015

Are you the owner of a house that was built before or during the fifties? Is there a foul smell or excessive humidity in your basement? Have you found fungus or insect pests ? Is there mold or rot on the floor or at the base of the walls?

Be careful, as it could mean that the waterproofing of your foundation is inadequate. If you have any doubts, here is an unmistakable sign: water infiltration during rainfalls and during the melting of the snow. Should this happen, renovating your foundation’s waterproofing might be a good idea.

Depending on the signs observed, there are 2 ways to waterproof your foundations: from the outside and from the inside. Here’s how to proceed:

From the outside:

If you’ve observed one of the signs mentioned earlier, then you should consider proceeding from the outside. First, we make sure that the drainage is effective and functional. Did you know that several houses built before the fifties simply don’t have a drain, as the installation of a drain was not widespread at the time? There’s also the chance that a terra cotta (clay) drain has been installed in your house. Since this type of drain can be crushed easily, its installation can often lead to water infiltrations. These days, we recommend the use of a French drain.

After making sure that the drain is functional and effective, we find a way to drain out the water. As municipalities don’t allow its disposal through the city’s sewer system, we install a catch basin in which the drain can empty itself. The waste water is conveyed to the basin, then evacuated by a pump in the sewer system. Its return is prevented by a non-return check valve.

Finally, we apply a drainage or water-repellent membrane depending on the foundation (poured concrete, rubble, concrete blocks). Your foundation will then be well waterproofed.

Did you know that in over 60 cities throughout the province we noticed the formation of iron ochre, a slimy substance that clogs drains? If that’s the case for your house, the waterproofing methodology should be reinforced by using unalterable materials, such as a rigid drain. Héneault et Gosselin has redefined its standards and offers a durable solution based on high quality that will give you peace of mind concerning this invasive reality.

From the inside:

We use this method if we notice cracks or ‘’honeycombing’’ in the concrete. These small holes appear when the concrete hasn’t been poured well. The first step is to strip the inside walls: we remove the gypsum and the insulation. We then cut an edge in the concrete slab and install the drain inside.

Then, as we would do if we were proceeding from the outside, we apply a drainage membrane which, with its high water shedding capacity, can convey the water to the drain. Once everything is done, we put the gypsum back into place. This technique is less invasive than if we were renovating from the outside. The downside is that with time, the outside concrete can crumble as it will not have been protected from the water.

No matter the method used, the key to success of waterproofing a foundation is the use of a good drainage system and of the right water-repellent membrane depending on your type of foundation. Let our experts assist you!

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