Surface Water Solutions

There are 3 main approaches to handling a surface water problem.  The appropriate solution is determined based on each individual problem.
Sometimes the problem may require that more than one solution be used.

Exterior Drainage Systems (EDS)

An EDS is a system that collects water BEFORE it gets to the foundation, or has a chance to percolate into the ground and become ground water.   An EDS could be any combination of surface level trench drains (sometimes erroneously called Exterior French Drains), buried downspout extensions, and box drains (also called catch basins, or storm drains).    An EDS is typically a trench 16-24″ wide and could be anywhere from 12″ – 3′ deep.

Exterior Membranes

The original membranes used during initial construction usually dissolve over time because they were a cheap and fast tar coating designed to last long enough to get through the builder’s warranty period.   Water can run across the surface and quickly penetrate through the foundation.  Installing a new double layer sheet membrane will block the water from getting to the foundation.  Typicaly sheet membranes are constructed from a combination of HDPE (High Density Poly Ethylene) on one side, and Bentonite Clay granules on the other.  When bentonite gets wet, is swells siginficantly and forms a seal with whatever it is pushed against.   Click here to see how Exterior Membranes are installed.

Exterior Crack Repairs

Although water coming through a foundation crack could be either ground water or surface water, we put this under the ‘surface water solutions’ category because that is more frequently the case.  Whenever possible, we recommend sealing foundation cracks from the OUTSIDE.  Epoxy injection can be used on the inside when there is no alternative, but you must understand that any interior crack repair will be temporary.  Regardless of what warranty some guy on the internet wants to sell you, the physics are clear.  The wall will continue to move, the crack will widen, and the epoxy will NOT widen with the crack.  Once that happens, you’ll have water again.  By sealing the crack on the outside, you are doing 2 things different.  A) you are putting the chewing gum on the OUTSIDE of the crack so that water is pushing the sealing INTO the crack.  B) you are sealing the entire excavated area, not just the immediate crack sight, so there is built in room for movement.  Click here to see how we perform Exterior Crack Repairs.