damp proofing foundation wall interiors

I know this has been discussed before but I can’t find the link.

The only problem I can see with dampproofing the interior of foundation walls is that it would raise the average moisture content of the concrete. This may corrode rebar if PH of the concrete is incorrect, but typically rebar would be protected by passivation (http://www.peaktoprairie.com/?D=60). If the wall were subject to freezing, high moisture levels in the wall could be a problem.

damproof interior walls…why??? :roll:

need to WATERPROOF the outside of walls and backfill correctly/all-most gravel

have seen some fools apply tar etc on the inside where a crack is, still leaked,does NOT waterproof the outside, lolol sheesh!!!

anyone who recommends damproofing the inside needs an examination

Wouldn’t waterproofing the inside of a foundation wall be sort of like waterproofing the underside of the roof sheathing? It is the last possible point of moisture entry.

I have always recommended moistureproofing from the outside of the home whenever I’ve found interior moisture issues (that looked like they were eminating from the exterior).

Well, I agree with both of you, it’s not a great idea and I’ve never recommended it…

I was thinking of a situation in which slope of the exterior grade near the foundation is satisfactory, the home has a drainage system in good working order, but it appears that the foundation was never dampproofed and the uphill side (in the mountains) has moisture diffusing through the foundation wall, resulting in excessive moisture in the crawlspace or basement.

I’m not going to recommend anyone excavate around the home to dampproof the exterior of the foundation wall, and around here where it averages real low humidity they can ventilate the basement/crawlspace without too much problem, but what about dampproofing the foundation interior in a situation like this? Does it lock too much moisture into concrete resulting in concrete or rebar deterioration?

The real problem is how to deal with uphill surface runoff that is sub-surface by the time it reaches the foundation and maybe there’s a poor or missing perimeter drain or backfill system.

Mr Shepard,

sorry, another long one coming :-&

imo of doing this job nearly 3 decades it has NOTHING-zero to do with a
‘poor or missing drain tile-system’… those tiles are placed along the footing and at best will take “some water” that REACHES-that-area, away. But has nothing to do with water/moisture enters THROUGH a foundation wall, a crack,loose-old parging etc…as water travels/percolates down and sideways…from ground level to footing, including underneath driveways/patios.

that`s why the exterior of basement walls need to be waterproofed and backfilled w/most-all peastone, sand if ya have to.

and putting in those goofy shallow french drains around exterior perimeter isnt going to last either....sure...a couple will get lucky.....for awhile, most do not. Have seen time after time,decade after decade MANY homeowners try all this shtt and sometimes, geeezzzz....they spend hundreds and even thousand++ and wall still leaks. FIX the PROBLEM/area, put THAT money into FIXING the dang problem, this isnt that difficult to figure out.:mrgreen:

how this shtt has gone on this long is UN—believable! Most builders continue to backfill with soil that was excavated and also toss in blocks,bricks,pieces of concrete,wood,cans and other SHTT.

damproofing the exterior is pretty much like painting the walls, is NOT going to last too long, its cheap. the soil compacts and settles after they backfill, even after they may try and compact it with backhoe/bobcat. As soil settles it can pull down that top 1-2’ of sprayed-on THIN azz asphalt PLUS, most builders do not apply visqueen over asphalt and so the thin-asphalt deteriorates much quicker, its exposed to elements and was just applied.

lets see what T.C says here…

…house is about 2 yrs old, has vertical and horizontal cracks…leaks. Builder tries to bs and says its ‘normal settling’…AND wants to use EPOXY to resolve??? the situation!!! I D I O T ](,) ](,) ](,) ](,) ](*,)

TC says :mrgreen: "Your builder is a liar, inexperienced, ignorant…wait-you know what, if he builds every house wrong like yours he might actually believe the cracks are ‘normal’ :wink: Yup, TC is right-on-the-money

Heres where i jump out of the car with him driving.... he likes his drainage ideas, i dont...like i say, couple will get LUCKY, most wont.


he says perforated tile? no no no no…not my azz

http://www.oxfordplasticsinc.com/perforatedpipe.htm -Selecting Perf Pipe

“…we do not recommend the use of flex.plastic pipe at depths GREATER than 1.2 meters” And…this IS what alot of builders use too, have seen many, lol. The cheap-shtt can collapse due to the weight of backfill,compacting-settling process.

Have heard many talk SHTT about the clay tile, thing is, the clay tile is waaaaaaaaay better than the plastic, its thicker,heavier(costlier too…ding ding ding) and has shown it can withstand the weight of backfill and if they`d lay the shtt, butt-up agst each other there would be less problems with roots getting in em. Roots will easily get in those plastic perf tiles. http://www.loganclaypipe.com/pipeprods_b.html

In the end, what is needed is to Waterproof the exterior of walls at onset and backfill em correctly, little if any consideration is given to this most important process #-o …its almost as if they think somehow the GRADE is the most process to keeping water outta the basement, got NEWS for em from the Waterproofing Gazette…its not!!! But people will keep trying and spending money on alot of this crap and then wonder why it didn`t work or, cut down the amount of water but still leaks, more mold or efflorescence, maybe a wall beginning to bow in or even think they solved their problem and sell the house and then, oops, new owner has problem, time to sue!!

George Carlin…rule 1) never believe anyone in authority…government,police,clergy,corporate criminals etc HahAAhahaa!!


I’m in agreement with you in that backfill is seldom done correctly, John. It’s when the home is existing and I know they’re not going to excavate and re-do it correctly… it either stays like it is… or will dampproofing the foundation interior help at all. Or will it do more damage than good.

Do you think encasing perforated plastic pipe in gravel and wrapping the whole thing in landscape cloth (kind of like building a gabion) will do anything toward preventing crushing of the pipe from the weight of bacfkfill? I’ve seen a ton of it go in this way.

Hi. Ken;

This would be directed more to Mr. John Bubber than you and in hopes to make John B. what we mean.

John, It is fortunate that you have the experience to explain how waterproofing should be done, and agree with your prognosis of the problems.
Unfortunately, us as Hi’s do not have the privilege of having the previous Builder of a dwelling to do it correctly. We are there to address the problems and the biggest problem we face is what you are describing. It was not done right from the beginning.
What are the solutions. Well, I guess one could say, start over, but is that a realistic point of view for the Seller and the Buyer?

Drains pipe or foundation drains can be installed to eliminate the possibility of crushing and should be wrapped in fabric, and encapsulated with stone and a corrugated perforated pipe used as such as ABS schedule 30.

Since we all know that this is not going to happen in the Home Building Society due to cost, we can only come up with alternate solutions that the Homeowner can afford and not necessarily the best solution, but the most economical for the time being.




Depending on the condition of the foundation wall or block foundation wall, it is possible to recommend waterproofing on the interior, which is I agree not the best way to address it, but is sometimes a cheaper alternative fix than it’s counterpart.

We as HI’s have to be able to extend to the Homeowner the fact that Products are available to attempt the Dampproofing or water proofing from the interior. Although I agree, that is not the best solution, it all revolves around the green back and what the Homeowner or seller is willing to agree to.

Around this area, Residential Builders are still using the brush on grade mastic dampproofing like I used 40 years ago.
I use the Bituthane 4000 system on my Commercial jobs and never had a problem. The Home Builder using the mastic will give you job security.

Some of us do know the proper way of waterproofing foundations, but we are here to inspect them not build them.

I do not believe I would ever tell a home owner that the correct and only fix is to dig up the perimeter only to find out that the Cadillac of the water proofing system was used and just happened to fail in one area.

Nothing is guaranteed.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Has any one had experience where they inject some sealer through a small pipe with high pressuer with out digging Does it work does it last how expensive is it .
Roy Cooke




Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile: %between%

Mr Cooke,

sodium bentonite injections into the ground is more bllchtt, posted link on that… ‘NJ Consumer Affairs Dept.-Homeowners SUE Waterproofers’…several companies in New Jersey n Illinois tried that, didnt work and took off with homeowners money,did not come back. anyone who wants to ‘TRY’ it…like anything else…go right ahead. By the way, have to pay for that story/link all of a sudden-a quick archive.

Mr Shephard,

imo- you could ‘TRY’ it on a poured wall, NOT BLOCK! Block walls can deteriorate, anything from small/large roots growing against OR, roots can make their way into existing cracks and widen the crack. Water/moisture can certainly lead to mold or efflorescence and the water could deteriorate cells of blocks, especially the lower blocks where most water that enters eventually winds up before coming onto bsmt floor. and as always, soil pressure can cause cracks in basement wall, leaks, bowing.

as for Waterproofing Exterior on EXISTING homes, this is what we/handful of others have done a long time. when a homeowner has water coming along 1-wall in due to crack(s), old-loose parging… then this is all they need to Waterproof-outside at…that point in time.

say homeowner only has 1 wall, or 1 corner or 2 different areas/2 cracks-2 diff walls and… that will be all they need done at…that-point-in-time. Say the house is 50 years old…NO other area/wall is leaking, no other area has efflorescence/mold etc then, the rest of walls after all those years are still fine and so no reason to BLLCHTT them into any more work/footage than necessary…know what i mean? :wink: MOST jobs we`ve done ONLY needed 1 wall or couple areas done…yup.

problem is, many-not all companies WILL try and Bllchtt people into more.

Buttttttt, if you have a house that has efflorescence showing on 1 area of a basement wall AND…it`s because there is a crack or, because the walls were only parged/damproofed or, not damproofed at all then That Area needs to be Waterproofed if one wants to FIX the problem and be done with it.

Fix the problem area(S)… correctly. Again, Im NOT saying waterproof an entire wall or all the way around when a HO only has 1 or 2 problem areas.....what did Tricky Dicky Nixon say? :-k :-k "I am not a crook" .. well, we really arent and some others aren`t either but in THIS business there are quite a few!

Now some will say ,there will be problems/leaks in other areas if ya just fix a corner or 1 wall etc. And that will be true in SOME cases, in cases where the parging on outside of blocks is becoming loose then more than likely, other areas will begin to leak and they`ll need further work done BUT why try and talk them into something they may not need for 5-10-25 more years? Have done TONS of jobs where parging was loose/cracked, maybe not allowed to set when built or just from water in soil against wall or roots and just waterproofed the area(s) where the HO was leaking/getting water on floor at cold joint, most have not needed any other work, yet. They may in years to come and they may not.

In about 75% or so of all jobs we`ve done where HO just needed 1 corner etc waterproofed due to a corner crack, they have NOT needed any more work done.

as for peastone n perf drain tile, have also seen some encase tile in gravel with and without cloth/socks. have seen some builders fill the tile with gravel, dont know if that is what you also mean. yes,if enough CARE-time is taken to encase plastic tile then it should better withstand weight of backfill but most dont know or take the time. sometimes the tile will hold up and sometimes it doesnt, but it is not why a leak occurs in basement, not imo. people will believe what they like. again, that tile is along footing, has nothing to do with water/rain that percolates through soil ABOVE it and can enter through cracks etc etc. Most basements leak because of direct-openings on outside, most are below ground in/through the basement wall but some are Above ground and then, sometimes a HO has BOTH, a crack etc in bsmt wall and openings around bsmt window/tuckpointing needs etc. I`d stay away from perf plastic tile, clay and pvc are best

Remodeling basement, selling house whatever… it comes down to DEFINING what the problem(s) is, IF there is one at…that-point-in-time!

Finished basements- These INSIDE Cos who dont want to even look at the basement wall when there is a leak are only concerned about selling folks the only thing they do, Inside Drain tile/Baseboard systems, almost always w/sump. They are NOTTT Defining the problem, got to SEE the Basement WALL to define problem!

In many of these situations with finished basements the ONLY problem(s) are going to be 1 crack or, rod holes in poured wall or maybe even an opening(s) ABOVE ground where water is FIRST entering and then it runs down-the-wall BEHIND the drywall and folks ONLY see it at cold-joint, coming onto floor where bottom of wall and floor meet.

WHYYYYY :mrgreen: dont these companies DEFINE the actual-problem, ya know? Why pay for THEIR Inside perimeter water-diverting system when 1) there is only 1-2 areas that leak 2) water is FIRST entering from the outside,they are not stopping water from entering,mold/efflorescence 3) the homeowner may ONLY need to replace a basement window or tuckpoint mortar joints etc 4) the HO may ONLY have one/several Rod holes behind drywall that are beginning to leak/give way, its all they need to fix 5) and sure, may be a crack or 2 behind drywall....then Waterproof them correctly on Outside, all these are waaaaaaaaaaaaaay less costly to FIX actual problems/leaks than any Inside perimeter Bllchtt system. These Salespeople give less than 2 craps about defining the problem or,most-always they dont have the expertise.

Most Inside Co`s want $5,000 ( if your lucky and have small house) up to $17,000+ for these inside systems, SHTT, replacing/caulking the basement window, tuckpointing or if problem are cracks along 1 wall and wall is about 30 feet long, thats around $2,100 to 2,700 to Waterproof correctly, depends on depth to footing and a few other factors. Got milk?

those ABOVE ground openings account for about 20-25% of all leaky basement problems imo, from what weve witnessed throughout these years.... MORE than those who have problem under bsmt floor! NO Shtt! So much concern seems to go into problem under the floor, especially from these goofy Inside Cos, of course they`d like everyone on the planet to believe most problems are under the bsmt floor, BLCCHTTT Mister! :mrgreen: No way!


when basement is finished and if there is any doubt as to what the problem/leak is then…running a hose-water test on Outside will help define the problem(s)…when was the last INSIDE water-diverting Co anyone heard of taking-the-time and running this water test to, DEFINE HO problem? Shtt, they don`t give a shtt about defining anything, lolol, they ASSUME EVERYTHING and sell,sell,sell!

In The Court Of The Crimson King, if you enjoy Jon Bonham`s work on ‘When the levee breaks’ then buy this one and TURN it UP :mrgreen:


Mr Marcel, :mrgreen:

the ‘realistic point of view’ as you say for the seller `n buyer has been, is and always will be to…fix any problem correctly. if they have 1 wall that leaks/has cracks etc or say, 2 walls with just 1 or 2 cracks/leaks on each wall then fix the problem, waterproof the cracks/part of wall.

why play around and hope and pray and somehow assume that by adding/sloping soil or mudjacking a slab or installing a shallow subsurface french drain will somehow waterproof the cracks…thats why water is entering, the cracks or other OPENINGS, not because the grade isn`t sloped away or slab settled toward a wall or the dog knocked off the extension of downspout.

having ones mind at ease that they arent going to get sued after sale of house and doing-job-right–fixing the problem(s) beforehand, i would think far exceeds what the cost will be.

what weve seen over the years is that most folks just have 1 wall or couple areas of 2 walls that need to be waterproofed correctly, were talking $800-875 or so if its just 1 crack or 1 corner… one 30’ wall 6’ deep would be about $2,400…say there are 2 areas on 2 walls and both need 20’…so we have about 40’, one day job around $3,200-3,400 then add those city permit fees, Grrrrr. some cities sure like to butt in and get their chunk, pisses me off:mrgreen:

after all these years, if i remember correctly-gettin old, the total number of homes ive bid on that needed waterproofing all-the-way-around is less than 100, not many. again, most HOs just have 1-2-3 areas or 1 wall that has some cracks/loose parging etc…thats WHY they leak, thats why MANY have efflorescence on walls in those areas, may have some mold too.

lets see, 1 crack in poured wall…to epoxy inject MOST want $450-650 and it takes them 1-2 hours. Versus, hand dig on outside to footing, haul all clay-soil away, waterproof the crack, backfill with all peastone for $800-875…not going to leak IF its done correctly versus about 50% of ALL injections RE-leaking. Hmm, whats best for homeowner and NEXT homeowner? :wink: where`s the big difference in cost

over and over, the BEST, most realistic,common sense point-of-view for seller/buyer is to FIX the problem, don`t play around with it, fix it.

and in order to ‘fix’ problem correctly one must first DEFINE the problem…right? lolol, sorry but GOT to SEE that PART of wall where problem/leak is, its common sense. Many who are very smart people, seem to NOT use their smarts/common sense here, on this subject.

You see how thorough Mr Caoimhin Connell is,dont see too many here doubting what the man says,knows. I dont write like Mr C and obviously don`t have his overall-mental-aptitude :wink:

But what i do have, on one-subject, is that same mental aptitude, got milk? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Started posting because i finally got fed up with hearing same shtt being repeated, over n over, year after year NOT as much with HIs as to hearing all the BLLCHTTTT from many of these Inside owners/salespeople, tired of it and tired of the lies/deceit/false claims etc. Its the homeowners i give a shtt about, seen too many get screeeewed! Could have simply kept quiet or, gone on and agreed with many of these creeps and their distortion of the truth for my own self gain, shtt…god knows my wife sure would love all that extra CASH! I might even get more extra curricular activity which most of us enjoy

Oh, as for many other-links written by those with little if any knowledge on this subject, sorry, i am not impressed, hardly. Have read books written by SUPPOSED Waterproofing experts, lolol, its mostly all BLLLCHTTT! There are MANY more Bllchttt articles-links than those that speak the truth, i try and post the one`s who know or mostly see the entire picture

6th para… http://www.yodergroup.com/concrete.asp <–they get it

-Basement Walls http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/publications/marineclay.htm#2

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/publications/marineclay.htm#4 Diagnose Problem


maybe better title would be, “What most builders dont know OR dont care about”…
overall article is dang good, what IS hydrostatic pressure MOST need to be concerned about, what is best backfill, COMPACTION and, try and be a lil more carefull when using Tonka trucks near homes

http://www.shakeronline.com/dept/building/FAQ.asp#top -Wet Basements Q n A 1 and especially

all of these are much more truth-defined than ‘natural handyman’ `n many other links,imo…Not trying to knock Mr Natural handyman, lol, am sure the guy is great with many things, question here is, is he an EXPERT on basement waterproofing

emecole? they SELL epoxies etc, of course theyll be mostly one sided in their views. they say at top of link you posted.. "concrete repair is PERMANENT w/epoxy resins etc...." permanent? really? again, from what weve seen, all epoxy etc repairs are NOT permanent, imo its a misleading statement

Another company who does injections, the Crack team… just sent them this question…“Have 1 vertical crack in BLOCK wall, thats it, no other cracks-leaks, would YOU guys repair this from Inside or Outside?”… here was their reply…“the symptom you describe is exactly what we specialize in repairing and our work is done from the INSIDE”

They kidding??? Block wall!!! You can`t waterproof/inject a vertical crack that is on the OUTSIDE from the inside! lolol Experts? Bllchttt!

The concrete network? are they basement waterproofing experts? just asking, how many waterproofing jobs has the owner of concrete network, jim peterson done? fair question…no?

D Bowie…news had just come over, we had 5 years left to cry in, news-guy wept and told us, earth was really dying…my brain hurts alot :mrgreen:


Your posts are very informative…I would love to get into the waterproofing business…sounds very satisfying. Keep up the posts…I for one am glad for them…

Thanks Mr Neumann…

homeowners sure could use MANY more honest/hard working mfrs in this BIZ!

if you need any info from my azz to help start, say the word, call if you like. as each year passes more n more get into this biz and unfortunately only learn about Inside systems and are bllchhtd on Exterior waterpfg. and so, as each year passes moren more homeowners file more complaints, lawsuits, da shtt–the problems are not getting defined which obviously would lead them to correct `n best remedy and…in many cases, LESS costly!

John Bubber;

I too enjoy your knowledge of waterproofing techniques and logic.

I am not a green horn to waterproofing systems on the exterior myself, and also a concrete Contractor that utilizes the Western Aluminum forming systems that you depicted in one of your links.

I have worked and used the Grace Bituthane 4000 system with the hydroduct 120 for years and have never had a problem, and when I say years it is quite a few. It goes back to the old system of mastic on the wall with a 6 mill poly applied to the wet mastic and Styrofoam bead board as a protection board. Didn’t have a problem with that either.

The key to cracks in a foundation is to have it constructed right to begin with and that is why you are busy doing what you do. They never are.

I see Residential foundations poured everyday locally driving by and just shake my head. I don’t even stop.

Ejection epoxies and interior fixes, I never believed in myself because they do not work and is merely a monthly or yearly bandaid. The cracks are caused by structural failure and inadequate backfill material or procedures the the common Residential Builder most likely will not have a clue.
The only thing we can do is educated them and educate the signs of inadequacy to as many people as we can.

You are doing part of it and fully understand where you are coming from.
You do not have to educate me in the system, for I know exactly know what you are saying, I just use a different proven system and have complete control as to what is going to be backfilled against my foundation.
Dealing with 4000 PSI concrete most often then not, I have a little buffer for strength but not an excuse to skimp on a good permeable backfill material and waterproofing material that will take that water directly to that underdrain and remove that lateral force against my walls.
Good posts.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile: