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Do You Need A Basement Membrane?

There are a lot of different waterproofing methods that go into making a basement safe from water infiltration, methods applied both during and after the initial construction. For instance, construction workers will fill the hole surrounding the basement walls and foundation of a building with gravel instead of something denser like dirt or clay because it allows water to move freely down and into the perforated drain pipes that sit beneath the foundation.

One waterproofing method is called a basement membrane, a special waterproof layer that goes on the exterior side of basement walls to keep water out. So what is it, and why would you bother with the expense of applying such a membrane?

The Alternative

Basement walls rarely go up without some layer of waterproofing protection, but different materials have different costs. Some basement sealers are inexpensive, but in exchange they don’t always hold up against a lot of water seepage. Instead, they crack and fall to pieces after a few years, and if the seepage continues it may get into your basement walls.

What Makes The Membrane

The word “membrane” may get you thinking that you need to roll it out along the basement walls, but that’s not necessarily true. For instance, one of the most common basement membranes is the bituminous membrane, also known as an emulsion, and better known as asphalt. Along with being a water-resistant road surface, asphalt is also used on most roof tiles for the exact same purpose: to be both durable and waterproof.

Still, bituminous membranes aren’t the best or the most popular option. The thick asphalt is hard to apply, and it eventually dries and becomes water permeable. Instead, the most popular basement membrane is the liquid foundation type: it’s cheap, it’s easy to apply, and it doesn’t dry the way bituminous membranes do.

Of course, the best time to apply any waterproof layer to a basement exterior is during construction, which is why AA Action Waterproofing offers consulting services for homes and buildings built in and around the state of Maryland. We’ve been waterproofing homes for three decades, and in all that time we’ve never seen a waterproofing project we couldn’t finish.

This entry was posted in Basement Waterproofing on August, 08, 2016