Dealing with Water Seepage in a Concrete Block Foundation

Water Seepage

Modern construction is shifting towards the use of poured concrete for the foundations of residential houses. However, some homeowners still prefer concrete block foundations or cinder blocks as they are commonly known. These types of foundations are common where the transportation of concrete still poses a problem. Although concrete block foundations have the same strength as poured concrete foundations when it comes to load-bearing, they are not equally as strong when it comes to lateral pressure. This means that they are more prone to develop water seepage problems. The mortar joints in the foundation are a common site for water to seep through. Ground water can also seep through the block itself as it is porous.

What To Do in Case It Happens

There are various options for dealing with water seepage in concrete block foundations. The solution you apply will off course depend on your particular set of circumstances. One of a combination of the solutions below may help.

  • Exterior waterproofing

    This is one of the best ways to deal with a seepage problem in a concrete block foundation. This method of waterproofing, however is quite labor intensive. It involves excavating around the foundation to apply the waterproofing (usually asphalt-modified polyurethane) on the exterior wall of the foundation.

  • Installing exterior drainage

    An exterior drainage is ideal for situations where the water table is high. Having an exterior drain will help to guide water away from the foundation and therefore reduce the pressure on the foundation wall. Even if you have a waterproof membrane installed, you will still need to have an exterior drain tile if the ground water level is high.

  • Interior drain tile

    In some cases, installing waterproofing on the exterior surface of the wall may not be possible. In such cases an interior drain tile would be your best option. The interior drain will ensure that water in the basement is channeled to a collection point where it can be pumped out by a sump pump. You will still need to install a vapor barrier on the inside surface of the walls. This will keep the seepage out of view and ensure that it drains into the drain tile. This vapor barrier can be covered to conceal it.

It is important to talk to a professional contractor when you notice seepage. This will ensure that you are able to identify a long term solution for your seepage problem.