Encapsulation or Waterproofing Paint? Which Should You Choose?


When you apply waterproofing paint, the pain adheres tightly to the wall’s surface, filling the outermost pores of the concrete. This prevents water from coming through and traps it inside the wall. Unfortunately, we’ve never found a waterproof paint that works dependably. We can't rely on these products because we insist on providing our customers with permanent solutions. Over time, efflorescence (a crystalline or powdery deposit of salts often visible on concrete, brick, stucco, or natural stone surfaces. It occurs when water leaves behind salt deposits on the masonry surface) will begin to build up behind these walls, building pressure that will cause the coatings to blister, peel, and flake off. Moisture will also occur behind these walls, contributing to the failure of the waterproof paint.

Ultimately, most professionals see waterproof paints as a temporary patch for their problem. They’re inappropriate for waterproofing basement walls and are likely to fail, usually in six months to two years.

Encapsulation is not glued in place like wallpaper. It’s installed to fill a tiny gap between the white cap and the wall. This lets the water through the concrete but not directly into the basement. The moisture only reaches the inside of the white cap and then slides down into the drainage, then away from your home's foundation with a sump pump.

Depending on the cause of your home’s moisture problem, the fix could be a simple do-it-yourself remedy or require the assistance of a foundation and basement specialist. If you’re considering waterproofing basement walls, the following tips will help you get started on the right foot.

Determine the source of the water.

Because concrete is porous, you can often see wet streaks that let you know where the water is coming in. Look for streaks along cracks, at the corners of windows, between mortar joints (for cement block walls), and around pipes where they enter or exit, such as a water-supply line or a sewer pipe.

Take steps to keep water away from your basement.

Sometimes, the solution to wet basement walls is easy. For instance, remove foundation plantings, such as bushes and flowerbeds, that require watering and allow water to seep into the basement. Also, inspect and, if needed, repair guttering and downspouts to ensure they’re directing water away from your home. It’s also good to grade your yard away from the foundation—at least a two percent slope.

Install interior drainage solutions.

Another method of attaining dry basement walls is to install a drainage system beneath the floor inside the basement. The drain is similar to the exterior drain tile described above, but it’s located just inside the basement walls; new walls are built on the inside, so the original basement walls are not visible. This is another job for a foundation contractor. When it’s done, you’ll have new, dry walls, and any residual water that seeps through the old basement walls will be directed to the drain channel and pumped away.

The post Encapsulation or Waterproofing Paint? Which Should You Choose? Appeared first on Basement and Crawl Space Solutions - Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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