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Cracked Foundation? Dampproof or Waterproof?


Your home sits upon concrete and cinder block that supports the entire weight of the home. This is called the home’s foundation. Like any foundation, if it’s not solid, the rest of the home will crumble.

You must keep water and moisture away from your home’s foundation and basement. Water can take hold of your foundation and cause big time problems.

If your foundation is showing signs of mold growth or cracks, chances are, you have a moisture problem.

But, many home owners get confused between foundation damp proofing and waterproofing. Which is better? Which is appropriate to use on your foundation?In short, waterproofing is needed to keep liquid water away from the basement and foundation. This is ultra important to keep in mind, as you will see later in the article.

water damage fixed with waterproofingDamp proofing, on the other hand, is needed to protect the foundation from moisture present in the ground around your home, even if there isn’t actually liquid water around.
If you use diverting downspouts to keep water away from the home, then liquid water won’t catch on and get into the soil around your home.

This can go a long way in keeping your home’s foundation strong. When you waterproof first, you can then damp proof.


By waterproofing and diverting water away from the home, you remove hydrostatic pressure on the foundation and basement walls.

Once this happens, you can damp proof with a foundation coating. If there’s a small hole in your damp proof coating, no real damage will be done. But, this is only true if no liquid water is present. Even under the best circumstances, damp proofing should be used in addition to waterproofing. Using it alone can be asking for basement and foundation trouble!Why?Because your home’s foundation will settle over time.

This leads to cracks in the foundation and coating.

This can lead to foundation failure over time. To keep your home’s foundation and basement fully dry and safe, use a combination of both waterproofing and damp proofing. The waterproofing will deal with the actual water that gets into your soil. If your home is below the water table or it rains often where you live.

Or, if like 90% of other home owners, your home was built largely on clay soils, then water in the soil can be disastrous!

All of that water gets into the soil and causes it to swell, putting undo pressure on the basement walls from the outside. This leads to big time damages. It will cause cracks and leaks, flooding and mold growth! It will keep your foundation from cracking and causing problems. Damp proofing it will then protect it from moisture. However, as we talked about earlier, simply damp proofing will ONLY protect from moisture.

Relying solely on this method can lead to damages that bring big time price tags to repair.