6 Common Below Grade Waterproofing Myths Debunked

When it comes to protecting your property from water damage, below grade waterproofing is a crucial consideration, especially in areas like Southern California where environmental factors play a significant role. However, there are several misconceptions surrounding this practice. As experts in below-grade waterproofing, we’re here to debunk these myths and provide you with accurate, reliable information.

Myth 1: Below-Grade Waterproofing Is Only For Rainy Climates

One of the most common misconceptions is that waterproofing is only needed in regions with heavy rainfall. In reality, below-grade spaces are susceptible to moisture from various sources, including groundwater, condensation, and even irrigation systems. In places like Los Angeles, where the water table can be higher than expected, waterproofing is essential to protect the structural integrity of your building.

Myth 2: Waterproofing & Damp-Proofing Are Equal

Debunked: Many people use these terms interchangeably, but they refer to different processes. Damp-proofing is typically a basic treatment using a water-resistant coating to prevent moisture from passing through walls. Waterproofing, on the other hand, provides a more robust solution, preventing water under hydrostatic pressure from penetrating your building. It’s a comprehensive approach that’s particularly important for below-grade spaces like basements.

Myth 3: Once Waterproofed, Maintenance Isn’t Needed

While high-quality waterproofing significantly reduces the risk of water damage, it’s not a set-and-forget solution. Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure its effectiveness over time. This includes checking for cracks, ensuring drainage systems are clear, and monitoring for any signs of moisture.

Myth 4: All Waterproofing Materials Are The Same

Just as each building is unique, so too are the requirements for waterproofing it. The choice of materials — from membranes to sealants — depends on various factors, including soil type, water table level and building design. Using the wrong type can lead to inadequate protection, making it vital to consult with a professional waterproofing contractor.

Myth 5: DIY Waterproofing is As Effective as Professional Work

While there are DIY waterproofing options available, professional installation is key to long-term effectiveness. Waterproofing below-grade areas requires not only the right materials but also a thorough understanding of building foundations, hydrology and soil mechanics. Mistakes in a DIY approach can lead to costly repairs down the line.

Myth 6: Waterproofing is Too Expensive

The cost of waterproofing must be weighed against the potential damage and cost of repairs from water intrusion. Investing in proper waterproofing can save money in the long run by protecting your property from more significant damage. Additionally, many waterproofing solutions offer a range of options to fit different budgets.

Keep in mind that insurance companies sometimes pay very little when water damage occurs. If the water was not caused by a pipe or issue from inside the home, for instance, your insurer may or may not cover all of the damages. Proper waterproofing can protect you against water damage and you won’t have to worry about the hassle of dealing with an insurance company or dealing with the mess or costs associated with leaks and repairs.

Residential Waterproofing Services

At Thome Waterproofing, we provide quality below grade waterproofing and a myriad of additional waterproofing services for residential and commercial clients throughout the Los Angeles area. Let’s take a quick look at what we can offer to homeowners.

When it comes to below-grade waterproofing for homeowners, we often are talking about crawlspace waterproofing or waterproofing an existing slab foundation. In a perfect world, your home would have been waterproofed correctly prior to purchase, but often homes are built without much attention given to water damage.

With homes built on crawlspaces, our waterproofing contractors can provide you with complete crawlspace encapsulation. This can prevent moisture and water damage in your home and even improve your home’s energy efficiency.

If you have a slab foundation, this can be a bit trickier, as we typically have to install a waterproof barrier beneath your flooring. This can prevent moisture from seeping up through the slab. In some cases, though, we also might recommend that you contact a company that provides geopolymer injections into the soil under your slab. This can be expensive, but it can prevent a high water table or runoff from surrounding slopes from seeping into the soil and damaging your slab.

With either a slab or a crawlspace foundation, you also must address your home’s drainage system. For instance, clean and clear rain gutters and downspouts are crucial. Likewise, you need proper drainage all around your home to force runoff from rains and irrigation to move away from your structure and down toward the street and gutters.

As a side note, if you are building a home from scratch, give us a call and we can provide the highest quality slab or crawlspace waterproofing during the construction process. We also can make recommendations for a proper drainage system around your home. The construction phase is always the best time to address issues such as grading, drainage and waterproofing.

In addition to providing foundation waterproofing, we also can provide you with retaining wall waterproofing, balcony waterproofing and pool deck coatings. We have many waterproof deck coating options, including decorative coatings, which can transform the look of your pool and deck.

We also provide emergency tarping services, so if you know that your home has waterproofing issues and want to ensure your home is protected prior to a storm, give us a call and schedule this service. We can tarp decks, balconies, windows, doors and more to safeguard your property and prevent water infiltrations.

Commercial Waterproofing

While few homes in Southern California have basements, many commercial properties have subterranean levels, and proper waterproofing can protect these structures from water damage.

The team from our waterproofing company can provide you with any type of below grade waterproofing you might need, whether it be negative or positive-side waterproofing. We also can provide blindside waterproofing, which is common in tight spaces and urban areas. We’ve handled below grade waterproofing for huge commercial projects, and we can select the best waterproofing products, including waterproofing membranes and waterproofing systems to protect your structures and foundation walls.

Of course, we also can help with tasks such as deck coating, balcony waterproofing and planter waterproofing. These tasks not only protect your investment and increase safety,  but they also keep your property looking as attractive as possible, which can entice clients or tenants to select your property.

Need Waterproofing? Contact Us Anytime

Understanding the realities of below grade waterproofing is crucial for any property owner. By debunking these common myths, we hope to have provided valuable insights into why professional waterproofing is an essential investment for your property. If you have any questions or need expert waterproofing services in Southern California, the team at Thome Waterproofing is always here to help you safeguard your investment.