Many modern homes today feature poured concrete foundations. It is therefore not surprising that there is a lot of information on how to repair and maintain these types of foundations. However, there are still many homes that feature cinder block foundations and homeowners searching for information on their repair and maintenance.
Like other foundations, cinder block foundations can succumb to water seepage. This is a problem that no homeowner should ignore. The problem only gets worse over time. It is therefore important to deal with the seepage as soon as you notice it.
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Why Cinderblock Foundations Leak
Cinderblock foundations are sometimes referred to as concrete block foundations. They are constructed in a similar fashion as brick foundations. These types of foundations are especially prone to leakage for the following main reasons:
- The concrete blocks used to build the foundations are hollow. These spaces permit water to seep through and collect within the walls.
- The concrete blocks are joined together using mortar. These joints are weak points in the wall. The rate of expansion and contraction of the mortar and the blocks differs. This results in the formation of cracks and spaces between the blocks and the mortar. This gives water the space it needs to seep through the foundation walls.
Resolving a Water Seepage Problem in a Cinderblock Foundation
When it comes to addressing water seepage in cinderblock foundations, professional waterproofing contractors will suggest two main methods as permanent solutions.
- Excavation and waterproofing from the exterior of the foundation wall.
This involves excavating the soil around the basement wall. A waterproof barrier is installed to prevent water from penetrating the cinderblock walls. Weeping tile is also installed to guide water away from the foundation wall.
- Installing drain tile along the inside of the foundation wall
This involves the installation of a French drain on the interior perimeter of the basement. Water that seeps into the cinderblock walls collects in the drain instead of the walls. The water flows by gravity to a well where it is pumped out of the basement. This prevents flooding of the basement. This system also takes care of water collecting beneath the floor of the basement.
Both of the approaches are effective in dealing with leakage through cinderblock foundation walls. Excavation and installation of a drain tile is the most effective method of waterproofing, but it is also the most destructive.