What Contractors and Builders Need to Know About Foundation Waterproofing Sealing

Waterproofing Sealing

Owning and maintaining a building is a constant battle against water intrusion. Whether through leaky roofs, broken window seals or foundation cracks, homeowners, tenants and contractors are always looking for solutions to keep the water out.

Concrete foundations are built for their durability, but despite their solid-seeming appearance, concrete foundation walls are very water permeable. Diffusion is slow, but anyone who has ever been in an unsealed basement knows the smell of mold and mildew growth that comes with gradual moisture intrusion.

Foundation waterproofing sealing is a critical component of constructing and maintaining a building’s foundation. A high-quality waterproofing system not only provides a membrane to keep liquid water out but also keeps water vapor out as well. Whether you’re building a new foundation or repairing an existing one, choosing the right foundation waterproofing will extend the building’s longevity and reduce long-term maintenance costs.

Talking to Homeowners About Foundation Waterproofing Sealing

Foundation of Waterproof Sealing

Getting a homeowner to commit to resealing a foundation can be a task, especially if the work involves exposing the exterior foundation, which is an expensive undertaking. Often, homeowners may incorrectly believe their foundation has already been waterproofed when, in fact, they have only been dampproofed, which is the minimum code requirement in many jurisdictions.

During heavy rain events, water can infiltrate through solid concrete. Many building owners will wait for visible foundation cracks and water accumulation before calling a contractor. By helping them understand the other signs of moisture intrusion, you may be able to solve larger problems, like mold growth and foundational deterioration, before they happen.

Signs to look out for include:

  • Staining on drywall
  • Peeling paint
  • Bowing or warping of panels
  • Damp spots in carpeting
  • White spots on walls
  • Musty odors

If building owners are aware of these other signs of water damage, they can be more proactive in beginning repairs. Hidden moisture infiltration can damage electrical panels and appliances, cause chronic health problems, and potentially hurt property values, so addressing them quickly is of the utmost importance.

What Waterproofing Products Do You Need?

Waterproofing Products

Foundation waterproofing sealers can be applied on the exterior of the foundation, which is recommended since it keeps water out of the foundation, while interior sealing won’t prevent future cracking and degradation.

Mastic can be applied in localized areas to patch joints, seams and visible cracks. Choosing a foundation waterproofing sealer that is a heavy duty, elastomeric emulsion will help prevent moisture intrusion.

When specifying a waterproofing product, make sure to check whether it is rated for waterproofness or dampproofness. A comprehensive waterproofing system will help keep water out during heavy rain events or spring thaws, while dampproofing will limit moisture intrusion from surrounding soil and groundwater.

A product like Mar-flex’s 362 All Season Mastic is a great choice for patching cracks and sealing foundation joints and seams before waterproofing. It can be applied by hand or with a trowel and leaves a flexible waterproof coating able to handle freeze-thaw cycles throughout the seasons. This flexibility also means that 362 Mastic can be applied at any time of the year.

For broader surface application, Mar-flex 5000 is a heavy duty, solvent-based or water-based polymer-emulsion blend that penetrates concrete or masonry to provide long-term residential waterproofing protection. Drainage boards are also available to extend the residential warranty for new construction applications.

Applying Foundation Waterproofing

Applying Foundation Waterproofing

Before applying the foundation waterproofing sealer, make sure to address any significant sources of water. These could include overflowing downspouts, improperly graded landscaping, or sunken paths and walkways that lead to water accumulation. It’s important to remediate these issues before installing a waterproof membrane in order to ensure its effectiveness.

Next, make sure your surface is clean and dry. Concrete needs to be free of loose particles as well as oils and greases to make sure your foundation waterproofing sealer adheres properly. If you’re waterproofing a new foundation, make sure the concrete has had enough time to cure or that you select a waterproofing membrane that is compatible with green concrete, such as the Mar-flex 5000.

Once you’ve addressed any exterior issues and prepared your surface, you are ready to begin installing the waterproofing system. Make sure you communicate important information like curing times and any warranty requirements to homeowners so that the project only needs to be done once, as re-excavation will be costly.

For more information on how to choose and apply one of Mar-flex’s foundation waterproofing products, visit our website.

Choosing Interior or Exterior Insulation: The Pros and Cons

Insulation is one of the most complicated choices builders and architects face during construction. Interior insulation is cost effective, but can reduce usable space and doesn’t protect against water. Exterior insulation is expensive and susceptible to insects. Regardless of the insulation choice, efficiency, toxicity and resiliency must all be taken into account as well. The Mar-flex team has put together a quick “cheat sheet” to outline the differences, advantages and disadvantages of each type of insulation.

ADVANTAGES of insulation on the EXTERIOR of basement walls:

  • Minimizes thermal bridging and reducing heat loss through the foundation

  • Protects the waterproofing membrane from damage during backfilling

  • Serves as a capillary break to moisture intrusion

  • Protects the foundation from the effects of the freeze-thaw cycle

  • Reduces the potential for condensation on surfaces in the basement

  • Conserves indoor space, relative to installing insulation on the interior

DISADVANTAGES of insulation on the EXTERIOR of basement walls:

  • Costs may be high depending on materials and approach selected

  • Expensive for an existing building unless a perimeter drainage system is being installed at the same time

  • May be susceptible to insect infestation, however Mar-flex offers insect resistant materials

  • Contractors may be unfamiliar with proper detailing procedures that are critical to performance

  • Buildings with high radon will need a radon mitigations system to use exterior insulation

ADVANTAGES of insulation on the INTERIOR of basement walls:

  • Interior insulation is much less expensive to install than exterior insulation for existing buildings

  • Almost any insulation type can be used, however rigid foam EPS is recommended

  • The space is isolated from the colder earth more effectively than when using external methods

DISADVANTAGES of insulation on the INTERIOR of basement walls:

  • Many types require a fire-rated covering because they may release toxic gases when ignited

  • Reduces your usable interior space by a few inches

  • Doesn’t protect the waterproofing coating like exterior insulation

  • May become damp if perimeter drainage is poor

Waterproofing vs. Dampproofing

  • Did you know that there is a significant difference between waterproofing and dampproofing? Dampproofing simply slows down water penetration, but will not completely waterproof your foundation. Dampproofing, however, does protect against water vapor transmission. For the value based homeowner, dampproofing is an alternative to waterproofing, usually done with an easy to spray-on membrane, which dries into a seamless coating. Mar-Flex’s DampFusion Water Based acrylic dampproofing membrane is an economical solution to many damp basement or foundation issues. Value priced for the everyday consumer.

What is an Egress Window Well and Why Are They Important?

Mar-flex_Window-wells_Rhino_insetWe have received several questions on our Facebook page asking about the benefits of egress window wells. What is an egress window well? Why would you want to install an egress window well, and how to know which one is right for you? Mar-flex is a premier national manufacturer and distributor of all types of window wells. As an industry leader, it is our duty and privilege to help the public by addressing these questions.
Egress window wells perform the same basic functions as a standard window well. They keep backfill, rocks and dirt away from below-grade windows. They also help water drain away to prevent leaks and hydrostatic pressure around the window frame. What makes egress wells unique, however, is that they allow individuals inside the basement to exit through the well. Some wells have ladders, others have stairs. From an installation standpoint, the major difference is the fact that egress wells are usually larger than standard metal window wells. This larger design allows individuals to fit through them.
There are a number of good reasons homeowners choose to install an egress window well. The most obvious is that it can let you get more enjoyment out of your basement. Egress window wells allow more natural light into basements; they can literally brighten your day. Extra illumination is nice, but that isn’t the most important reason for exploring an egress window well for your home or business. A quick escape from the basement saves lives. Below-grade spaces that lack direct routes to the outdoors can be extremely dangerous in the event of a fire. We won’t get into the details of what can happen to individuals trapped downstairs. They are, as you can imagine, grizzly. What matters is that you can prevent such a horrific event. That’s why a growing number of cities and townships are requiring homeowners to purchase egress window wells. Check your local building codes to see if your region is among them.

Charlotte Home Lacks Proper Basement Waterproofing

We talk a lot about the importance of proper basement waterproofing, but not everyone understands the subject as well as our team of Division 7 experts. Preventing water from damaging foundations is what we think about all day long. It is our business after all, and we consider it the most important factor a property owner should consider.

You don’t have to take our word for it, however. A team of home inspectors from Charlotte recently put together this video which does a great job explaining the importance of proper foundation waterproofing and the risks water poses to below-grade structures.

Marflex is not associated with Carolina Home Inspectors. We simply found their video to be an excellent educational resource. Of course, the home they were inspecting faced a very specific set of waterproofing challenges. There are, however, some things that all homeowners should be aware of regarding basement waterproofing. Chief among these is the importance of combining a waterproofing membrane with a drainage board and drainage tiles. We refer to this as a “waterproofing system.” Click here to learn more about how these elements work together to preserve below-grade structures.

The Basement Waterproofing Pros Celebrate “Cellar Dwellers”

You know Mar-flex as a team of unparalleled basement waterproofing professionals, working tirelessly to create the best waterproofing membranes, drainage boards and egress window wells in the world. But we are also serious sports fans, and there are few places that love sports more than Philadelphia.

Philly may be “The City of Brotherly Love.” But when it comes to losing teams, that affection comes in the form of “tough love.”

At Mar-flex, we’re urging compassion for the lovable losers. Yes, dare we say… the cellar dwellers. (Hey, we protect basements, come on, we have to look out for our own.) For us, protecting something below-grade is easy: a waterproofing membrane, drainage board or waterproofing system can get you fixed up easily. And while these below-.500 teams didn’t have to worry about the worst that can happen to a basement, they didn’t have to worry much about winning, either.

So let us celebrate the cellar dwellers with five of our favorites:

The Washington Generals

The Harlem Globetrotters’ favorite punching bag, the Washington Generals, racked up a mind-boggling 13,000 losses to their world-famous opponent. Their last win was in 1971, which caused children in the stands to cry. Tough crowd.

The 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers

After LeBron James left Cleveland for sunny Miami, it was a tough period for the Cavs. In 2010-11, the team lost 26 games in a row. The only people who were happy about that were the 76ers, who were no longer stuck alone with that matching record.

Caltech Men’s Basketball

Known much more for excellence in math than proficiency on the hardwood, the ballers of the Caltech’s men’s basketball team racked up losses almost to infinity. Divided by pi and multiplied by the Pythagorean theorem. Or something like that. Yes, 207 losses in a row. The crushing 10+-year streak mercifully came to an end in 2007.

The 2008 Detroit Lions

Only one team in the history of the NFL has gone 0-16. The 2008 Detroit Lions. Although their season was a disaster, head coach Rod Marinelli had one of the all-time great quotes in sports. Desperately trying for a single victory, the embattled HC defiantly said, “My shovel is sharp and my pick is sharp and my will is outstanding.”

The Pittsburgh Pirates

It’s one thing to have a bad year. It’s another thing to have a bad decade-and-a-half. From 1993 until 2009, the Pittsburgh Pirates had losing seasons.  This is not only a record for in Major League Baseball, its a record in all of North American sports.

Mar-flex feels the pain of the cellar dwellers. But we do our best to prevent your basement from being a loser. How? Simple: WINNING waterproofing solutions. We can hook you up with a waterproofing membrane, drainage tiles or whatever custom-built solution you need.

Want to turn your basement into a winner? Contact Mar-flex at 1-800-498-1411 for more information about how our technicians can transform your below-grade space into a winner.

How to Choose a Sustainable Foundation Waterproofing Product

If you are looking for an environmentally friendly way to waterproof your basement, Marflex has you covered. Consumers from Charlotte to Chicago are discovering that they no longer have to choose between going green and getting the flooded basement blues. Thousands of builders, contractors and architects have been pleased to discover that our greenest products are also among our most effective.

Fusion UV is our top-of-the-line waterproofing membrane, and it also meets the highest LEED standards.
ShockWave is the most effective drainage board on the market today, and it is produced using 100% recycled post-industrial waste from the automotive industry.

When these products are combined with a drainage tile product, such as our DrainAway line, it forms a foundation waterproofing system that’s as good for the environment as it is for your wallet. A complete waterproofing system combining Fusion UV and ShockWave is eligible for our limited lifetime warranty.

So, how should you choose a sustainable foundation waterproofing product? Seek out products, like those sold at Marflex, that meet your needs as well as the needs of the Earth. After all, living in harmony with the natural world is what sustainability is all about.

Waterproofing Lays Foundation for Solid Growth in Charlotte

Whenever a city experiences rapid growth, a building boom is front and center to accommodate all the new professionals coming to town. Welcome to Charlotte, largest city of North Carolina, and home to a growing business hub.

According to Forbes magazine, Charlotte is now the second largest banking center in the United States, only behind New York. Couple that with affordable housing compared to other U.S. metro areas, and Charlotte is an obvious choice for young professionals looking to start their careers—thus leading to an increase in new businesses and homebuilding.

Although Charlotte enjoys a mild, temperate climate year-round, dampness and moisture do not discriminate. These are real problems that threaten the strength and safety of a home or business workplace.

Enter the waterproofing membrane. A simple yet significant solution that can protect a building from the elements and provide the owner with peace of mind. Quality can range with these products, but it’s best not to skimp when battling the destructive capabilities of water and the damage it can cause.

Take for example Mar-flex 5000, a product designed to be applied to any wall foundation, with configurations of water-based or solvent-based. This industry-leading waterproofing technology comes at an affordable price and is produced in an environmentally-friendly manner, as it contains 20% recycled content.

Here’s how it works:

When water reaches the Mar-flex 5000 barrier, the heavy duty, elastomeric emulsion waterproofing membrane wicks away the water and moisture. There is a built-in resistance to freeze/thaw cycles, and it remains flexible because of a polymer concentration within. This delivers a rubber-fortified waterproofing product with decreased permeability and increased durability.

Mar-flex 5000 has been tested and proven effective with nearly every clean, dry and sound substrate. The solvent-based option can be applied in air temperatures as low as 0°F. Its special formulation sprays easily and predictably, producing a viscous, flexible, seamless seal.

Mar-flex 5000 is available in commercial and residential configurations, and both benefit from being paired with other components of a water protection system. Combining the Mar-flex 5000 membrane with an approved Mar-flex drainage board delivers the highest level of protection, and qualifies the product for a limited warranty.

Contact the professionals at Mar-flex to talk over how we can protect your home or place of work. We can discuss a set of solutions that are right for you and designed to help ensure a long life for the structure. Get in touch to discover the protection you need for your home or business.

Basement Waterproofing is the Foundation of Brotherly Love

The City of Brotherly Love certainly knows a thing or two about great architecture. From the American Philosophical Society to the First Bank of the United States, there is no shortage of old, historical buildings that played a part in the forming of the United States. In fact, the Historical Commission of Philadelphia lists 22,000 properties in 15 historical districts. Without question, Philadelphia is famous for its excellent, historical buildings.

But with older buildings comes the responsibility to care for and preserve them. Philadelphians are tough, but so are their winters. Freezing temperatures, sleet, snow and ice can negatively impact structures, and it’s best to be proactive when it comes to protection.

In addition to the historical structures, homes in Philly and the surrounding suburbs also have to contend with the harsh seasonal elements. Whether talking about new homes or repairing older vintage models, fixing the foundation is an important step in protecting your biggest investment.

Mar-flex offers both peace of mind and the protection you need to cover your home. Strength, stability and reinforcement are crucial to combating the elements and guarding against future costly—possibly catastrophic—repairs.

Mar-flex’s line of concrete repair products includes complete crack injection and repair kits, crack injection urethanes, injection ports, port pastes and epoxies. These can be used to help weatherproof and waterproof your home and get ready for the worst that nature can throw at you.

Businesses, too, can utilize the concrete repair products to protect their workplace. Safeguard your office furniture, equipment, computer workstations and more with a solid, reinforced solution to repair all cracks and weak points of your concrete work.

Contact the professionals at Mar-flex to talk over how we can protect your home or place of work. We can discuss a set of solutions that are right for you and designed to help ensure a long life for the structure. Get in touch to discover the protection you need for your home or business.