Comparing Basement Waterproofing Methods

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Inna Lazarus

Subject: Waterproofing a base of the house

We are finalizing the choice of firm to do the mold and waterproofing.

We have 3 firms we are considering and each uses a different approach:

1. Asphaltic emulsion - This seems to be old school but cheap and reliable in the short term

2. Xypex - this is a substrate that penetrates more deeply into concrete. More expensive and the old asphaltic emulsion would need to be removed first

3. MiraDrain - a thick perimeter adhered to the concrete that is unpenetrable. Probably the most expensive.

Do you know about these or can you refer us to someone that can give us an unbiased opinion of what is best for us?

Obviously each firm is biased and works hard to explain why the other approaches wont work.


Subject: I recently got a mason to

I recently got a mason to waterproof the basement as there was some leakage due to drainage issues. This is the second time in a year. The last time he used some cheap quality waterproofing material, this time I made it a point to buy Roff hytite. It is supposed to be the best for basement waterproofing and even though it’s just been a few months, it looks good, I am happy with the results, Interior works for me.

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Mold in a basement is a common problem. My company helps people with this every day. Some of the answers you received were helpful but not all the information is correct. First, you need to eliminate the two main ingrediants that mold needs to survive. The first one is water intrusion. This is a must. I am assuming you have no water intrusion as you make no mention. The second componant that needs to be eliminated is moisture. Moisture is also humidity. Basements need to be kept airtight in the summer months. Some folks have posted that you need air flow in your basement. Nothing could be furthur from the truth. When you open any windows for example, not one micron of air goes out of the basement, Warm humid air is sucked into the basement. Houses suck air into the basement and it meets the cool surfaces and skyrockets humidity. The windows must be kept closed and a dehumidification device installed to ensure humidity stays below 60% humidity. The dehumidifier should be energy star rated and purchasing a seperate humidity guage is a must to monitor the unit's progress. We like to keep our customer's basements at 50% humidity. This eliminates the smell that is active mold spore growth. Once the water and humidity is brought under control. Remove the organic materials that have mold on them. Walls, sheetrock and studs that have been affected. Follow the advice of previous posts as you must ensure that you do not affect the rest of the home. Once removed, install new walls using as much inorganic material as possible. We also install vapor barrier over the walls and seal the floors to stopwater vapor transmission into the basement. Poly plastic is not a acceptable vapor barrier. It is not "zero-perm" and will still allow moisture transmission. It will also crack and break into pieces over the years. A PVC liner rated "zero-perm" is the correct product in this application. Depending how large the basement is and if it is sectioned off will determine the dehumidifier strength. We use the Santa Fe line of dehidifiers as they are super energy efficiant and work like a dehumidifier on steriods. I hope this helps and I wish you the best in Basement Health!

Where is the home located, what is the exterior wall construction and type, how is the space heated?


It could be a whole host of different scenarios that would generate that result.  It is nearly impossible to tell but I would say that most basement moisture problems are a result of bulk moisture intrusion or condensation issues. 


Given the deep and hard winter this year, it could be a condensation issue that hadn't previously been shown.