How Basement Waterproofing Approaches Can Differ


Consistently dry basement walls and foundation decrease risk of mold, insect infestation, and structural decay. Keeping hydrostatic pressure from breaking down concrete is key to effective waterproofing. Your foundation repair professionals can help you develop the basement and foundation in a way that minimized water damage risk.

ExteriorExterior Approach

The foundation of your house should be surrounded by a footing drain that leads water away from the exterior. This drain should lay atop filter fabric that lines the side of your house and the irrigation trench that runs around it. Four-inch PVC pipe laying atop three inches or so of crush stone should fill this fabric-lined ditch. Once properly covered with more crushed stone and sand for added protection, this exterior drain is your first line of defense against hydrostatic pressure.

Interior Approach

Building the basement with a 10-inch layer of crushed stone beneath its floor helps defend against flooding due to hydrostatic pressure. Polystyrene insulation covered with vapor barrier that won’t easily puncture is the appropriate layer between the crushed stone and your basement floor. Install a plastic drain pipe that runs from the inside of the basement floor out to daylight so that a sump pump can force out any water that happens to collect inside.

Drainage Information

Both interior and exterior drains should run to another solid pipe or two that leads all water away from the home and to safe daylight. This means the water should run to a stream, sewer, or other appropriate irrigation that does not cause erosion or flooding elsewhere. At minimum, the pipe should run at a 1/4-inch downward slope to be effective. We can apply waterproofing sealant to your foundation’s walls for added protection.

United Structural Systems can provide waterproofing services. Call us at (615) 307-9510 for a free estimate or our other services.

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