Any homeowner with a nicely finished basement has been faced with the threat of water seepage, a problem that invariably leads to damaged valuables, not to mention wasted time and money. At the first sign of water seepage, some waterproofing companies will attempt to tackle the job from the inside. A professional full-service waterproofing company such as Atlas Restoration, however, provides homeowners with a variety of basement waterproofing repair solutions, including the application of an exterior foundation waterproofing membrane.

An exterior foundation waterproofing membrane is a below-ground waterproof barrier. Typically they are rolled-good or sheet products that are liberally affixed to the wall, or cold fluid applied sealants made of flexible asphalt modified polyurethane that can be applied to the foundation with a hand trowel, a roller, or with spray equipment. The benefit of the liquid product is that upon curing, it becomes a single seamless unit designed to protect your home from water penetration, while still allowing the normal expansion and contraction due to heat and cold.

Common Applications for Exterior Foundation Waterproofing Membranes:

  • Grading Problems: Elevation of grading around your home can often be an issue. If your patio, for example, is located right next to the house and sits higher than the top of the foundation wall, you could be faced with what is called “over the top seepage.” After a rain or snow, water pooling on your patio seeks a lower point and flows next to and over the top of the foundation wall creating the seepage inside. The application of an exterior foundation membrane in that area would eliminate this problem. Exterior membranes can be applied in minor problem areas or around an entire structure, from the footing to the top of the foundation wall.
  • Porous Foundations: Problems can also be due to the type of foundation wall in your home. Poured concrete walls tend to crack, but each crack can be treated individually. Masonry foundation walls are made of brick, concrete block, telephone tile or stone, all of which can be porous, and all of which use mortar to bind the pieces together. The mortar is weaker than the masonry units and over time, water will slowly wash away, causing separations in the wall. Cracks may also begin to develop due to weakened mortar and settling of the foundation. Water will begin to penetrate the mortar and the situation will continue to worsen unless immediately remedied.

To create the waterproof barrier with an exterior membrane for a foundation wall, the earth (and paving, where applicable) next to the wall must be excavated, either by hand or machine. This digging can be costly, but it is necessary to fully tackle the problem. After the wall is prepped and the membrane is applied, you can feel confident that seepage will not continue in your basement and the structural integrity of your wall will be maintained.

Atlas Restoration handles the most complex of problems in your Chicagoland home's basement or foundation. If you go with Atlas, you can be confident that you will be provided with the services, materials, and attitude which are all based on the idea that your home is as important to us as our own.

Example of exterior membrane.