Depending on the application, you may need a waterproofing membrane or a vapor barrier. The two are distinctly different as they perform different jobs. A waterproofing membrane keeps water from seeping into the basement or crawlspace. A vapor barrier stops the moisture from penetrating the walls if the moisture is in a vapor state. A waterproofing barrier is a liquid that is usually “painted” onto the concrete. It hardens into a rubbery substance. Waterproofing barriers do slow vapor from getting into the home, but will not stop it completely. A vapor barrier or moisture-reducing barrier may be made from epoxy, a polymer-based substance or polyurethane. This material fills pores and stops moisture vapor from entering the home.
A vapor barrier is more often used in climates where the air has a lot of moisture in it, usually close to a body of water where the humidity is very high. A vapor barrier crawlspace is common in colder climates that have a lot of humidity. It is not used to stop the movement of air, but to stop the moisture that forms on the home from entering the basement or crawlspace. Vapor barrier installation is an important part of keeping mold from forming in homes or allowing moisture in crawlspaces.
If a vapor barrier is installed where it is not needed, it may prevent the basement or crawlspace from drying out if it should get wet. This is common if the vapor barrier is used inside an air-conditioned building or any space that is below the grade of the ground.
The contractor must take several things into consideration before installing a vapor barrier, including the amount of moisture in the air, the amount of moisture in the soil around the building and whether the vapor barrier is going to be more of a hindrance should water get into a crawlspace or basement.
Damp Proofing vs. Waterproofing
Damp proofing is not the same as waterproofing. Damp proofing uses a tar-based liquid that may be “painted” on or sprayed on the basement or crawlspace walls that are underground. Damp proofing keeps the moisture for the soil from soaking into the cement or block walls. Damp proofing is fine where the water table is lower than the base of the walls. Damp-proof moisture barrier walls work fine as long as there are no cracks from form ties and the fill is not rough enough to damage the material after it has been applied. The building must also have good surface drainage for damp proofing to work.
Buildings with poor surface draining, that do not have additional drains such as a French drain, or that have a basement below the water table should be waterproofed instead of damp proofed. If you are not sure whether your home should be damp proofed or waterproofed, you should always opt for waterproofing. A professional waterproofing company will be able to tell you whether it is better to damp proof or waterproof your basement or crawlspace.
The topography of your property also makes a difference. If your home has a walkout basement that is built in the side of a hill, gravity easily moves water away from the house and damp proofing would probably be sufficient. However, your neighbor as a basement with 10-foot walls that sits on a flat property should use waterproofing instead of damp proofing.
Contact H&H Pest Control and Waterproofing
If your home’s basement or crawlspace is always damp or has water puddle on the floor or flood the basement, contact H&H Pest Control and Waterproofing for an evaluation to waterproof your basement."Topics": ,