Cookie-Cutter Waterproofing Systems Don’t Work

basement footer floor thickness

Share this Post

Different factors come into play when you’re deciding on what type of waterproofing system to put into your basement. What kind of foundation you have? How wide is the footing? How thick is your basement floor?

Your contractor will not honestly know until he removes the first piece of the basement floor to install drainage.

Non-Standard Foundations

You have to get the right match. Don’t lock yourself into any cookie-cutter waterproofing systems. They don’t work well in most foundations and hardly adaptable to wide footers and thick floors. Once a cookie-cutter waterproofing contractor opens up your floor and finds that your foundation is constructed in a non-standard way, they will work around it.

Standard Poured Cement Foundation

Cookie-cutter waterproofing systems work around the restrictions and code-compliance by making compromises.

A standard foundation has a 16-inch wide footing and an 8-inch wall. If you sit the 8-inch wall in the center of a 16-inch footing, you have a 4-inch ledge on the outside… It’s not the vital side, but the ledge on the inside is what’s really important. The floor is poured, so it goes over, and it sits on top of that 4-inch ledge.

If drainage is sitting on the footing, compare it against the thickness of a floor that is 5 to 6 inches. A cookie-cutter gutter-like system doesn’t work because the floor thickness matches or supersedes the height of the system’s drainage. In this case, the gutter-like system must be installed above the footing, so the system flange can remain exposed after the floor is replaced on top of it with cement.

American Dry Basement Systems installers find thick basement floors in 25% of customers’ homes.

Loose stone is placed on top of the footing. The gutter-like drainage is placed on top of the stone. The system will be elevated high enough to expose the top of the system flange after the floor is replaced. Water runs freely over the footing, underneath the system, through stones to flood the area beneath the floor. The water must flood the entire area beneath the basement floor and within the depth of the floor before the gutter-system catches it.

Foundation Support is Lost

Keep in mind this particular system will require removing your floor off the entire foundation (footing) to install. Whatever support is beneath the floor (aggregate and backfill soil) will be responsible for holding up your floor. It is an incredibly heavy floor. It is common for unsupported basement floors to sink, crack and shift in the backfill soil beneath it.

The simple fact that a gutter-like system requires water to fill the area beneath your floor before reaching the system will erode, shift, and displace the backfill soil faster than ever before. The hydrostatic pressure outside your basement walls must reach a tremendous capacity of saturated soil and water to push water up underneath your floor. Don’t be surprised if the walls start cracking from hydrostatic pressure on the outside. Cyclical force placed on the outside walls, rainstorm after rainstorm, will crack sooner without any code-compliant floor support on the footing.

In Closing

We don’t believe in the one-size-fits-all. Cookie-cutter waterproofing systems are designed for quick installation, high returns, and no results. Afterward, they will tag you with service contracts to maintain your system. You will keep paying for it long after the installation.

American Dry Basement Systems always expects the unexpected by using customization. Our perimeter waterproofing installation works in any foundation (poured concrete, block, stone (rubble) and monopour) because the products we use are adaptable for extreme situations. It takes hard work, dedication, and years of experience to get it right. We always have the correct installation strategy for your particular basement.

A home is the number one investment we make in our lifetime. Make sure it is a healthy and safe environment by maintaining a robust dry foundation. The rest of your house and family will thank you for it.

poured concrete walls vs block wall foundations

5 Reasons Why Poured Concrete Walls Are Better

Which foundation wall is better? Is it traditional cinder block walls or the poured concrete walls? Homeowners are partial towards one foundation type over the other. Yet, like everything else, each foundation type has its own set of pros and cons.

Exterior Stone Foundation

Stone Foundation | Preventing Water Leaks

Types of Stone Foundations Importance of Waterproofing The Foundation What Causes a Wet Basement? Stone Foundation Waterproofing Solutions In Conclusion Related Articles A stone foundation’s primary purpose is to keep out moisture and insulate a home from the cold. There … Read More

solve the water problem in your basement

Do You Have A Water Problem in Your Basement?

Do you have a water problem in your basement? Then it is time to consider using an interior drain tile or drainage pipe system to remove any water seepage in your basement.

drain tile can save your basement

Drain Tile Can Save Your Basement

What is Drain Tile? Essentially drain tile is a way to protect your home from groundwater flooding. It redirects water away from your home before it can enter and cause damage. It is one of those things you never need – until you do!

Useful guide: Oil Spill