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Porous concrete wall

Concrete walls are porous, which means water can get through them and damage your basement. To fix this, have a drainage system in place.

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Homeowners should note if their basement has a problem with water leakage and humidity. Water in the basement can damage the foundation and walls of the home, making cracks and harming structural stability. There are also health reasons not to have a humid basement. It can lead to mold and mildew and it, in turn, can cause health problems. 

If your walls are made out of concrete, you may feel a sense of false security, since concrete seems to be sturdy and safe. However, it’s a mistake to think so, since concrete can be porous and water can easily leak through it into the home.  

Why Is This Happening? 

Concrete looks like a solid material that’s firm and sturdy, and that’s why it’s used in construction. However, when the concrete is poured and once it dries, it loses a lot of water. It evaporates, leaving small pores within the material wide open.  

Cement paste (a substance that’s used to keep the concrete together) is made out of calcium. Calcium dissolves when it comes to contact with water meaning that the same will happen to the paste itself. In the long run, therefore, the wall will inevitably become more and more porous and susceptible to humidity.  

What Should Be Done About This? 

There are things a homeowner can do to prevent this problem from impacting their home. It’s partly about making sure the basement is sealed and the water can’t get in, and partly about draining the water outside of the perimeter. Installing and maintaining a comprehensive basement waterproofing system is an investment, but one that’s less costly than fixing the damage made by the humidity. 

Here are essential parts of that system: 

An Interior Drainage System 

An interior drainage system is used to collect the water accumulated in your basement and move it away from it using a series of drains and pumps, as well as the grading of the basement.  

The system is made to be clog-free so that it doesn’t get backed up by small debris or other objects that may end up in the drains together with the water. This also means less maintenance and worry for the homeowners. Interior drainage systems come with long-term warranties and the installation process rarely lasts more than a few days. 

A Sump Pump 

A sump pump is another essential part of the drainage system. It can be a lifesaver in some circumstances. When a home is located in an area with a lot of rainfall, a sump pump is the best way to remove the water from the area, since an ordinary slant isn’t enough in those cases.  

A sump pump should be located in the sump pit, which should be the lowest point in your home so that all the water is collected in it and then drained away from the perimeter. The pit also protects the pump from debris and keeps it operational. It’s useful to have a backup pump as well and especially one that’s not connected to the electrical grid but battery-powered instead.  

A Wall Vapor Barrier  

Once the water is drained away from the home, a homeowner should install a barrier that will keep the humidity from entering it again. There are a few ways to accomplish this, but a vapor barrier is one of the most reliable and easiest to install, and it comes with a longtime warranty. 

The barrier is installed by being attached to the walls. It creates a seal around the basement and any excess water that may enter the property is then drained into the drainage system, which guides it away from the foundation.  

A Dehumidifier 

Humid air can be a source of many health problems and in the long run, it can damage wooden construction and basement walls themselves. Ordinary dehumidifiers used to treat your home won’t do in the basement since there’s more humidity there and the basement walls are thicker.  

Installing a dehumidifier in a basement should be done so that it’s connected to the drainage system and moves the humidity towards the sump pit and thus outside the home. Our dehumidifiers can remove four times more water than ordinary ones. They also clean and filter the air, and help reduce the growth of mold and mildew in the process. Once this alteration is made, a basement could be turned into a more useful and livable space – such as a home gym or an extra room.  

Porous concrete may end up damaging your basement and turn into usable space. That’s why it’s essential to have a drainage system in place. A free inspection and repair quote provided by the experts at AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists is the best first step towards creating a waterproofing system that will suit your needs. 

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