Setting up an office or a bedroom in your basement is a great way to maximize space in an increasingly cramped home, but basement-level living spaces have certain drawbacks. For one thing, water in the soil surrounding the basement puts constant pressure on the basement walls; eventually, water might find its way and seep through cracks.
To keep your basement dry, contractors recommend routinely inspecting your basement wall for signs of damage and conducting brick foundation repair as soon as possible if any cracks are found. There’s also the option of installing barriers to block the entry of water, but often, there is a lot of confusion about whether a moisture barrier or a vapor barrier should be installed. Stratum Structural Systems, a top basement repair contractor in the state, elaborates on the difference between the two.
All materials are permeable to a certain extent. This includes the insulation, concrete and drywall surrounding your basement. Vapor barriers are installed between the insulation and drywall to stem the diffusion of moisture through the wall. Their effectiveness can vary depending on the humidity and climate, however; vapor barriers don’t perform well in areas with more than 75% relative humidity.
Moisture barriers, on the other hand, don’t have to deal with this limitation. Waterproofing membranes are usually made using thick plastic sheets that have excellent waterproofing capabilities, regardless of the climate or humidity. This makes them a suitable option for basement waterproofing.
Certain materials can function as a moisture and vapor barrier. It’s best to consult a qualified contractor about your options. Before making any recommendations, they’ll usually check to see if your basement has any interior and exterior water issues. Apart from cracks on your foundation and basement walls, overflowing water from window wells and your garden can also be the cause of a wet basement.
Stratum Structural Systems offers basement waterproofing and foundation piering services. To schedule a home inspection and get a free quote, call (314) 669-3030 or fill out this form.